Peter smirked over his shoulder as he felt Chris behind him struggle with the cuffs binding them together. He leaned back in his chair and twisted his head so his breath ghosted over Chris’ ear. “Well, this is ironic.”
Chris grunted. He twisted his wrist, causing Peter’s hands to jerk. The two of them were handcuffed back to back in the middle of a forgotten factory. They had been in the woods hunting for an omega when a group of hunters had taken them by surprise. One of them had knocked Peter out with a taser set to a high enough voltage to kill a human. Peter had not seen what happened to Chris, but gauging by the trickle of blood behind Chris’ ear, Peter had a decent guess as to what had happened.
When Peter had become conscious again it was to find himself hooked up to a machine that pumped electricity through him. His body thrummed from the volts, but it wasn’t enough to diminish his supernatural strength entirely.
The hunters had still been present when he’d awoken, so he feigned unconsciousness until they left. Chris had done the same.
There was a series of clicks as Chris picked at the cuffs’ lock. “You could help.”
“I don’t want to hurt your masculinity.” Peter brushed his lips across Chris’ neck, enjoying the feel of Chris’ pulse against his mouth. The pulse had hastened since their capture but had maintained a steady beat. Years of hunting the supernatural had made Chris hard to rile. It was why Peter enjoyed the delicious shudder that wracked Chris as Peter teased him.
“I much rather not be stuck here when the others come back.” Chris turned his head, accidently touching his cheek against Peter’s.
Smugness filled Peter. “How about this: You work on breaking the cuffs, and if you do it in two minutes, I’ll let you use them on me later?”
Peter heard Chris’ teeth grit together. “Now is not the time.”
Peter hummed innocently. “I’m just trying to motivate you.” He finally pressed his mouth under Chris’ ear and lapped at the thin trail of blood flowing from Chris’ head wound.
Chris bumped his shoulder roughly against Peter’s. “Not now.”
Peter drew his mouth back and huffed. His wrist baring his soul mark itched in irritation. Scientifically speaking, it was impossible for his mark to react to his annoyance with Chris, but it had happened enough times throughout their relationship that Peter doubted the scientists knew what they were talking about.
“A little fun never hurt anyone,” Peter said.
There was a loud click, and the cuffs holding Chris slid to the ground with a clang. Chris swung out of his chair and kneeled next to Peter. With his hands free, it only took seconds for him to undo Peter’s cuffs. With a clank the cuffs fell off. Peter took his time standing.
Chris on the other hand was on his feet, and scanning the room for his weapons. He glanced at Peter then reached for his soul mate’s arm to haul Peter up.
“It’s almost like our first capture when we were teenagers. Well, I was a teenager. You were a poor college student who spent too much of his time looking for wolves rather than studying. What a waste of money and education.”
Chris tugged on Peter’s arm and headed for the door. His free hand rested over his hip right where his pistol should be, and his fingers twitched. No doubt, Chris felt naked without his weapon of choice.
Peter could see Chris calculating the benefit of searching for the weapon, and leaving right then and weaponless. Without knowing where the hunters had hidden the pistol, they might not find it and there was no guarantee that the gun was even in the factory. However, if he and Peter ran into the hunters during their escape, Chris would only have his hands to defend himself with.
A low growl built up in Peter’s throat, but he held it at bay. Instead, he reached up and clamped a hand on the back of Chris’ neck. Chris jolted in surprise, but relaxed. He nodded in silent understanding.
Peter slipped his hand off Chris’ neck and took the lead. He could handle a few bullets.
The shrill sound of the lunch bell sent students launching out of their seats and racing through the door. Stiles sighed and rolled his eyes as his best friend Scott joined the masses in their hurry to escape the confines of Economics and Coach Finstocks’ rant about Wednesday’s lacrosse game.
Normally, Stiles would be right with Scott running out the door, but knowing what was waiting for him in the cafeteria made him take his time collecting his things and getting out of his chair. Every lunch period for the last few weeks consisted of Scott running to the cafeteria, into the arms of his soul mate, and then making out like they were about to die if they didn’t.
“Bilinski, hurry it up,” Coach hollered and clapped his hands. “These are my forty-five minutes of peace from you hormonally charged, ungrateful brats, and I don’t want to waste one minute of it looking at your pasty face.”
“Thanks, Coach,” Sarcasm coated Stiles’ voice. He slung his bag over his shoulder and dragged himself out of the room. He meandered his way to his locker and took his time reorganizing his books and papers. He looked at his cell phone to see ten minutes had passed when he finished. He smiled to himself and headed toward the cafeteria.
His eyes drifted to his usual table. Scott cuddled with his soul mate Kira, his arm wrapped tightly around her as they chatted and laughed. Kira rested her head on Scott’s shoulder and Scott lit up like the sun.
Two trays of food sat in front of them, but only one looked to have been eaten off of.
Stiles grinned at the extra large pile of curly fries on the untouched tray, and took his seat across from them. “For me? You should have.” He snatched up a fry and practically inhaled it. He hummed in delight at its salty flavor.
“Hi Stiles,” Kira greeted. She smiled, but it was tainted by uncertainty. Kira and Scott had only found each other three weeks ago, and she was still worried about making a good impression with Stiles. It had gotten worse since they went bowling and Stiles had left early because the two wouldn’t stop making out. Kira and Scott had apologized for the incident, but Kira still acted guilty every time she was with Scott and Stiles. Because of that, Stiles made the extra effort to smile at her.
“How was the rope climb?” He asked.
Kira groaned and went on a tangent about her P.E. class.
Content to listen to Kira talk, Stiles ate his fries as he listened. He tried not to laugh at the way Scott kept sneaking enamored glances at Kira. Scott was so whipped, the guy was lucky that Kira was so sweet that she probably would rarely, if ever, use that fact to her advantage.
“By the way, what do you want for your birthday?” Kira asked.
Stiles paused in the middle of biting on a curly fry. “What?” The fry almost fell out of his mouth, but Stiles caught it and swallowed the tasty morsel. “When did—”
“Are you having party?” Scott interrupted.
“Wait? Hold up!” Stiles flailed his arms about. “Since when do you know when my birthday is?” Stiles pointed at Kira.
Scott rolled his eyes. “I told her.” He leaned in and whisper conspiratorially to Stiles. “Kira wanted to go out that night, but I wasn’t sure if you wanted to do something or not. Especially since it’s the big one.”
“The big one” was Stiles eighteenth birthday. Not only would he be an adult, but his soul mark would finally appear somewhere on his body. Everybody got their mark when they turned eighteen—science was still trying to find out that convenient fact of life.
Stiles pursed his lips and mulled over Scott and Kira’s questions. He glanced at the double band with a paw mark above on Scott’s bicep. Kira had a matching mark in the same place on her arm, but it was concealed by her top at that moment. Stiles mindlessly prodded his bicep, thinking about the mark that would soon appear. A part of him hoped the mark wouldn’t show up on his ass or dick, but a more humorous part of him thought it would be hilarious.
“A party would be a good way to find your soul mate,” Kira pointed out.
Stiles snorted. “Yeah, if the person even goes to our school.”
“We could invite kids from other schools,” Scott suggested.
“Come on guys, I know you’re both hopeless romantics, but who finds a soul mate on their eighteenth birthday?”
“Lydia,” they both supplied.
“But Jackson didn’t.” Stiles smirked, enjoying being a smartass. That was the problem with soul marks, because they only showed up when a person turns eighteen two soul mates could spend their entire lives living across the street from one another but they wouldn’t know until the younger one came of age. By then the older one could be across the country at college or touring the world.
Heck, two soul mates could spend years loathing each other only to learn they were meant to be together.
It wasn’t that Stiles wasn’t a romantic. Truthfully, he very much was. He’d seen how in love his parents were and had heard all of the stories about how their relationship had started off rocky and then bloomed into a love so strong it had wrecked John when Claudia died. Stiles wanted to love that strongly, and until a couple of months ago he thought he would. From the moment Stiles had seen Lydia Martin he had been mesmerized. There was no doubt in his mind that they were meant to be, even when she started dating Jackson. He could feel it in his bones that she belonged with him.
Lydia’s birthday had been quite the rude awakening.
“Stiles,” Scott sang to get his attention as he waved his hand in front of Stiles’ face. “You in there, buddy?
Stiles batted Scott’s hand away with a grin. “Have you seen the Star Wars movies yet?”
Scott blanched. “No, but…”
Stile picked up a fry and pointed it at Scott’s chest. “That’s what I want for my birthday. You, Kira, and me watching the original trilogy at my house. Be happy I am merciful enough not to make you watch the prequels.”
Scott groaned and laid his head down on the tabletop.
Kira patted his back and smiled. “The Ewoks are really cute, Scott.”
Scott groaned again.
“That could have gone better.” Peter closed the front door behind him as Chris marched into the kitchen to grab an ice pack and the first aid kit that was hidden under the sink. “You really should talk to your friends about hunting us.”
Chris ignored him in favor of yanking open the freezer and pulling out the ice pack for his head. He was mindful of the cut, and kept the pack away from it. He slammed the freezer shut then squatted in front of the sink to pull out the kit. “They aren’t any friends of mine.
Chris settled on one of the wooden chairs at the kitchen table and flipped open the kit. He tossed the ice pack aside for the moment as he dug through the kit for disinfectant and bandages. “They should have contacted me, though, before hunting on our land.”
Peter scoffed, yanking a paper towel off its roll perched on the counter. He folded the sheet up and passed it to Chris. It was cute that Chris still liked to think most hunters would inform him of their presence even after all these years of being a social pariah in the hunting community. After all, hunters don’t run off with werewolves unless it’s to kill them in some backwatered shed in the middle of nowhere.
Peter folded the sheet and handed it to Chris, who was removing the cap from the bottle of disinfectant. He poured a generous amount of the liquid onto the towel.
Peter wrinkled his nose as the strong scent assailed his nostrils and stung his eyes.
He watched as Chris wiped at his laceration, hissing in pain as the alcohol cleansed the wound of any diseases.
Peter rubbed his soul mark—a silver triskelion with small patches missing from the three silver branches. Peter had always found the mark a little too on the nose for his tastes. The silver hue obviously represented Chris, what with his familial name meaning silver, and the triskelion was Peter’s family’s symbol.
“Something wrong?” Chris asked as he taped the bandage to the back of his head.
Peter let out a haughty breath. “An omega and a band of hunters in my territory, and a mate who is too preoccupied with it all and his mundane job to enjoy the physical things in life? Really, I can’t think of anything better, Chris, except to invite our families over and see whose survives.”
The corner of Chris’ mouth twitched as he stood, taking the ice pack with him. He glanced at the clock on the microwave and shook his head. “We can take care of at least one of those things later. I need to keep up appearances for now.”
Peter crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the counter’s edge. “Ah, that silly job.”
“That silly job is what’s paying for this house.”
“It’s not the only thing, though,” Peter remarked with an air of arrogance. Peter was a collector of sorts, and he had collected many things of the years. Many things that were not legal to have and if seen by a human would convince them that Peter was a serial killer.
If it weren’t for Peter’s heightened eyesight he would have missed the slight muscle twinge in Chris’ cheek that revealed his distaste for Peter’s line of work. It had always been a source of debate between them, but Peter refused to “get a real job” as Chris put it, or be a “sniveling housewife” as Peter phrased it.
Chris walked past Peter, and Peter contemplated seizing the man by the belt and dragging him back for heady kiss. He feigned disinterest by examining his nails. From the corner of his eye, though, he watched as Chris left.
Peter hummed in thought when just before Chris reached the door, the older man scratched at his soul mark.
“Happy Birthday!” Scott shouted.
Stiles eyes flew open just in time to see Scott leap onto his bed with a bucket and dunk Stiles in freezing cold water.
“Shit!” Stiles sat up and hugged himself. His frickin’ nipples had pebbled and he’d gone two shades paler—that’s how damn cold the water was.
Scott laughed and bounced on the bed as he hurled the bucket aside. He hopped off the mattress and ran out of the room.
“Scott!” Stile flung his blankets off himself and dashed out of his bedroom, hot on the heels of Scott. Their steps thundered down the stairs, and Scott swung himself off the stairs and towards the kitchen where the scent of bacon wafted from. Stiles clamped his teeth down on his bottom lip and picked up the pace. Scott was just on the threshold of the kitchen when Stiles jumped him from behind.
The two fell into a pile of limbs and wrestled on the linoleum floor until John in his sheriff uniform cleared his throat.
“You two break anything and it comes out of your pockets. That includes medical bills.”
Scott and Stiles rolled apart. Scott grinned and roamed his gaze over Stiles’ body. “So does it show yet?”
It took a moment for Stiles’ brain to catch up with Scott’s question. When it did, Stiles’ heart leaped to his throat. He roved his hand over his chest as if he would feel the mark’s presence despite the fact that it would be the same texture as any other part of his body.
Scott scooted closer. He griped Stiles shoulder as he searched Stiles’ back for signs of a mark. Stiles was inspecting his left Gastrocnemius muscle when he noticed a few faint splotches on his right wrist. He raised his wrist to his face, scrutinizing the discoloration. It would be impossible to see them without proper lighting. The splotches were a light gray that almost blended into his skin.
John huffed affectionately at the two boy’s actions. Grabbing a spatula, John scooped out a few pieces of bacon and deposited them onto a plate.
Stiles thrust his wrist at Scott while scowling at his dad. “That better be turkey bacon.”
“It’s your birthday,” John said in a no nonsense tone.
“Yeah, so grant my wish and live to a hundred.”
John plucked up the plate and carried it over to the table seated for three. Eggs, toast, oatmeal, and box of doughnuts covered the tabletop, and Stiles’ mouth watered in anticipation. His dad was right. It was his birthday. As long as Stiles’ made sure he didn’t have anything else unhealthy for the next few weeks his dad should be fine.
Scott traced his finger over the faint bits of Stiles’ mark. “What do you think it will look like?”
“A rainbow with flowers.”
Stiles whapped Scott on the back of the head mockingly then hurried to the table so he could get to most of the bacon before his dad could. It was the breakfast of kings with flavors ranging from salty to sweet to slightly charred, and it was delicious. Stiles ate so much he swore he knew what it felt like to be pregnant. He could barely find the strength afterwards to plop himself on the couch, shoving away his dad’s case files so Scott could join him.
Scott plopped half on top of him. He too was a victim of his food consumption.
Stiles halfheartedly pushed Scott away. At some point Stile found the strength to stretch across the gap between couch and coffee table to pick up the remote and turn on the TV to cartoons. The combination of cartoons, his best friend’s presence, and the clatter of dishes as John cleaned up after their meal put Stiles at ease. He sank into the cushions and picked at his mark. A few of the splotches looked like the beginnings of lines now, but they were still so faint it was hard to tell.
As the cartoon was wrapping up, John stepped in front of the TV, dressed for patrol. “I’ll be back by nine.”
John leveled Scott and Stiles with a warning look. “Also, do Melissa and me a favor and stay out the woods. We’ve got animal attacks and it seems like someone has decided to take matters into their own hands.”
Stiles’ interest perked, and he sat up. “Are we talking about a Batman level vigilante or a drunk dumbass who doesn’t know what their doing vigilante?”
John shook his head. “All you need to know is someone is out there hunting. I do not want to come home to you with a bullet hole somewhere on you, do you understand?”
“Yes, sir!” Stiles and Scott saluted in unison.
John shook his head at their antics and left.
An hour later, Scott shoved Stiles off the couch and told him to get dressed before Kira arrived. Stiles muttered a few insincere grumbles and went upstairs where he proceeded to get distract by his mark as he got dressed. He’d just gotten his undershirt on when he plopped down in his swivel chair and booted up his computer.
He did a search on soul marks. Most of the articles he found were basic in their information, so he retyped in his keywords for the search engine. There were blogs dedicated to stories about soul mates meeting for the first time, usually decked out with flowers, hearts, and all the other love icons. Stiles sifted through the blog links until he found stories about soul mates gone wrong. There were articles about a serial killer and an FBI agent being soul mates that used the agent’s resources to aid the killer in murder and escape. There were stories about a soul mate being too controlling and possessive of their partner. There were even a few in which the family and soul mate of a coma patient fought for years about whether or not to keep the person on life support.
A tap on the shoulder drew Stiles out of his research mode. He blinked and looked up to see Scott and Kira standing over him. A small smile played on Kira’s lips as she handed him a small, wrapped package. “Happy Birthday, Stiles. I hope the gift is okay.”
Stiles shredded the paper and opened the box. Inside the box was a Yoda figurine that could fit in the palm of his hand. He immediately took it out and placed Yoda on his desk. He beamed. “It’s awesome!” He opened his arms for a hug, which Kira gave. Stiles released her with pat to her shoulder and grinned wickedly at Scott. “You know, someone hasn’t given me a present yet.”
Scott chuckled. “The bucket was your present.”
“I don’t accept it.”
“I’m finally going to watch Star Wars with you, isn’t that enough?”
“Fine,” Stiles dragged the word like he was exasperated, but truthfully, he was just happy to have his best friend over for his birthday. Watching the originally trilogy was a bonus.
The three hurried downstairs and set up the first movie. They were in the middle of The Empire Strikes Back when their stomachs growled and they called for pizza. Somewhere from there the three of them got in a popcorn fight and the couch got overturned. Stiles then went to the bathroom only to come back to Scott and Kira making out. Stiles took the opportunity to grab a water bottle from the fridge and dump it on Scott’s head. Scott chased Stiles around the house while Kira laughed. John returned home before Return of the Jedi started and the quartet had cake.
Scott, Kira, and Stiles, had reached the last half hour of Jedi when Scott and Kira fell asleep on the floor.
Stiles picked at his mark. It was no longer a faint gray but silver. The lines that had slowly been forming all day created an encircled triskelion. Stiles ran his fingertips over the curls.
He was marked.
It was odd. He’d spent his whole life knowing that it would happen, but now that the day had come he wasn’t sure what to feel. He could now find his soul mate, but were they even worth finding? Intellectually he knew most people found happiness with their soul mate, but emotionally he had doubts.
Stiles pushed himself off the floor and went to his room. From down the hall he heard his dad snoring. The sound was comforting and Stiles smiled. He plopped himself in front of his computer and started his research again.
Peter dashed across the preserve in his wolf form, following the scent of the omega. The bitter smell was faint and circled the perimeter of Peter’s territory. An odd move, considering just days prior the brash fool had wandered into the center of Peter’s land and attacked a car of drunk teens. The teenagers had gotten away, but the claw marks and a human-sized dent had been left in the vehicle’s side.
It was shortly after that the hunters had come.
Peter snarled. He’d rip the intestines out from the omega for leading hunters to him.
Peter stopped and pressed his muzzle to the ground, inhaling the rich smell of moist soil and the omega’s scent. He detected a hint of blood and felt his stomach curl with satisfaction.
He retracted his claws then released them, feeling the earth under his paws.
His being itched with the need to hunt and his body felt too small to contain him. It was a familiar sensation, one he felt during the full moon, but there were still a few days until then. He’d felt trapped in his own skin since morning, and by noon had transformed and taken off into the woods, thinking that finding the omega would sate his urges.
He let out a low growl and paced the area. Intellectually, he knew he wanted to follow the omega’s trail, but something more primal was taking him in a different direction. Yes, that more instinctual part of him wanted to hunt too, but it was for something else, something much more mouthwatering.
A twig snapped behind him, and Peter whirled. He pressed his ears down to his skull and growled.
The aroma of gunpowder, a sharp cleansing aftershave, a heavy musk that Peter loved to drown his senses in came from the source of the noise. The threatening growl turned into a soft rumble of pleasure. Mate.
Chris stepped out from the brush with his gun in hand. He had it aimed at Peter, but upon seeing him, Chris lowered his weapon.
Peter pounced, transforming as he plowed into Chris, knocking his hunter onto his back.
Chris grunted and his hand flew up to grab Peter’s back.
Peter buried his face in Chris’ neck as he rubbed himself on Chris, enjoying the feel of rough denim against his bare skin. His nose tickled Chris’ ear as he teasingly pressed his fangs against Chris’ throat.
Chris shuddered and arousal wafted off him, sending a thrill of delight through Peter, but it wasn’t enough. His mate, that’s what he’d been wanting—hunting for—all day, but not quite this. Something was still amiss.
Chris pressed his right palm against Peter’s chest, muttering something, but Peter didn’t hear it, too preoccupied by what he saw on Chris’ wrist. He snatched Chris’ arm, his claws out and threatening to tear the long sleeve of his jacket. Even though the sleeve covered half of the mating mark, Peter already could tell something was different about it. He pushed down the sleeve to find the branches of the triskele connected and a circle surrounding them.
Chris stilled beneath him, but his steely gaze wasn’t locked on his wrist—it was on Peter’s.
Peter followed his gaze and stiffened. His mark had changed too.
The sound of a bowstring and an arrow whizzing through the air stole Peter’s attention. With a roar, he grabbed Chris by the shoulders and rolled them over, the arrow just missing them in time.
A female scent came from the arrow’s origins, and Peter launched up. He charged toward the scent and slashed his claws through the assailant’s neck.
A gunshot rang out, and Peter moved out of the way just in time for the bullet to lodge itself in the tree behind him.
Peter dropped into a crouch, the female archer’s body dropping down beside him in a heap.
Barks and gruff voices filled the area. From a quarter mile away, Peter saw a flashlight beam. He cursed and dodged another bullet. His eyes followed its path to see a man hidden in the branches of a tree a few yards away.
Chris had gotten up and had his gun ready, and was aiming at the man in the tree. Before he could shoot, Peter jumped up, seized his arm and pulled him through the thicket.
“What?” Chris began but was cut off by Peter.
“Police. I believe you are the one who said we need to keep a low profile. Your bullet in that man’s head won’t help.”
Chris nodded but kept his gun out.
Two tactical retreats from hunters in less than a week? Peter gritted his teeth in frustration. He was going soft.
Chris and Peter were silent upon their return home. The sun would be rising in a few hours, and the two of them should’ve been preparing for bed to get at least a few decent hours before they had to revert back to their average civilian lives. However, the two lumbered about their home. Chris cleaned his guns and stored them for the night while Peter brewed tea and sat at the kitchen table with his laptop. He sifted through the Internet for answers as to why their soul marks had changed. Peter already had a suspicion, but he wanted more concrete evidence before he started spouting off theories.
He would have preferred textbooks over the random sites of the Internet filled with morons with no idea what they were talking about, but he made due with what he had available to him on short notice. Thankfully, since he had an inkling as to the cause of the change, he narrowed down his search immensely.
He had just downed his first cup of tea and scrolled through three sites when Chris dragged himself into the room. A deep frown marred his features. He glanced at Peter’s wrist. He was as stoic as ever, but Peter could read the tension in his shoulders. “So you’ve been looking into it?”
Peter made an acknowledging hum.
Chris’ worried frown became tinged with annoyance as he took an aggressive step toward Peter. “You mind telling me what you found?”
Peter tilted his head up. “How about you tell me what you think it means?” He wanted to see if Chris could reason the answer out himself. Chris wasn’t obtuse; he had to suspect something.
Chris hesitated, but not out of fear or uncertainty. He was scrutinizing Peter, trying to figure out why Peter was being evasive. Finally, either realizing Peter’s reasoning or deciding Peter’s reasons weren’t pertinent, Chris answered. “Polyamory.”
“So it would seem.”
“But how?” Chris braced his arms on the table and sighed in frustration. “Even if it is polyamory the marks shouldn’t have changed.”
“It’s not unheard of. Rare, though. There are more stories of marks changing after a soul mate has died. Very overly romantic second soul mate gibberish.” Peter shut his laptop. “However, it does make sense from an evolutionary standpoint. After all, while not all soul mates have sexual relations, many do. I hope I don’t need to explain to you that the primary purpose for sex is breeding, and therefore it would be advantageous to know when a compatible partner becomes…available. Due to a lack of test subjects, there is not much scientific evidence to support that theory, however, what research has been done shows that it is entirely possible that our bodies are trying to tell us of another viable mate.
Chris’ brow furrowed. “Are you suggesting that we have another soul mate, who just turned eighteen?
Peter raised a thin eyebrow in mock incredulity. “Of course I’m not suggesting it. I’m saying that’s it exactly.”
Chris cursed, dragging his hand over his mouth. He looked anywhere but Peter. After a moment, he marched to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of beer. He knocked the cap off against the counter and took a swig. He then returned to the table and slouched into the chair across from Peter.
The quickened beat of Chris’ pulse pushed Peter closer to the edge. He’d been fighting to keep his claws and fangs hidden for hours. The urge to hunt was still strong, but now he knew what was the cause behind it; he need to find his second mate. “We should check the local high school first, then move on to the freshmen at the community college.”
Chris nearly choked on a mouthful of beer. He coughed and slammed his bottle down. “Are you crazy? We can’t just bring a teenager into this.” He gestured around them.
Peter frowned, his claws slipping out and scraping the tabletop. “Possessive, are we?”
Chris shook his head. “You know it’s not that. This—the supernatural… We can’t bring an eighteen-year-old into this kind of an environment.”
Chris glared. “It’s not right.”
“If they’re our soul mate, then it is,” a growl leaked into Peter’s voice. “I won’t say it will be easy if they are a human with no knowledge of what is really out there. Although, if they are already involved in the supernatural then it will be.”
“That’s a big if.”
Peter shrugged. “They are still our soul mate, which means they are capable of handling what we are and what we do.”
Chris took another gulp of beer. He pinched the bridge of his nose and took a deep breath. “We can’t do it now. Not with hunters and an omega running around. Once this is settled we can try, but not before.”
Internally, Peter howled. He wanted to his second mate now, but he could wait. Waiting and scheming had always been his strong suits.
Stiles woke to a post-it note stuck on his cheek and a knot in his neck from having slept slouched over his desk. Stiles grumbled and batted the note off as he blinked blearily at his illuminated computer screen.
10:37 AM was displayed in the bottom right hand corner.
Stiles shot up, knocking his chair over. He was late for school! Why hadn’t anybody woken him?
Stiles snatched up an armful of clean clothes, ran into the bathroom, cleaned and dressed himself and then ran downstairs to find Kira and Scott still asleep on the floor. He’d completely forgotten about them. “Guys get up! We’re late!”
Scott’s eyes fluttered but he remained on the floor.
Kira didn’t react at first, but then seconds later she launched up and looked around in a panic. “What time?”
Stiles glanced at the kitchen clock as he searched the cupboards for Poptarts. “Ten to Eleven.”
Kira cursed and made a made dash for the guest bathroom.
Scott finally sat up and ran a hand through his mussed hair.
“Dude, get moving. I’ll leave you behind!” Stiles shouted.
Scott finally picked up the pace and ran upstairs to use Stile’s bathroom.
Stiles took a deep breath to calm himself. He’d gone the whole school year without a tardy or absence so far, his dad would understand.
Stiles frowned. Thinking about his dad brought up a very important question, one that Stiles had let fall to the wayside in his rush to get ready. Why hadn’t his dad woken him? Stiles went to the fridge where he found a scribbled note tapped to it. Stiles read the scrawl.
Called in to work last night. Will be home for dinner.
Stay out the preserve.
Stiles’ stomach churned. His dad didn’t usually get called in unless there was an emergency.
“Ready, Stiles?” Scott asked as he sauntered into the kitchen and raided Stiles’ cupboards for a protein bar.
Stiles crumpled the note in his hand just as Kira hurried out of the guest bathroom. “Yeah.”
They clambered into the jeep and sped off to school. Stiles had Scott send a quick text off to his dad letting him know what had happened and also inquiring about last night. As pulled into the parking lot Stiles’ dad respond with a simple: “Okay.” Stiles pulled a sour expression at his dad blatantly ignoring his inquiry, but he didn’t say anything to Scott or Kira about it.
They went to the office to get late passes for their classes. The rest of the school day moved slowly, and Stiles found himself sending off text after text to his dad about his day with a few questions about the preserve and his dad’s most recent case sprinkled in between. His dad ignored most of them, although he did send a sad face when Stiles sent him a picture of the cheeseburgers the cafeteria was serving.
The final bell rang and Stiles practically sprinted to his locker to get his things and go. He was almost out the school’s doors when Scott caught up to him and grabbed him by the arm. “Whoa. Did you forget about lacrosse practice?”
Stiles cursed. He’d been planning to go to the police station and butter his father up with sweets until his dad told him what happened last night. He scratched the back of his head in frustration. “Cover for me?”
“If you don’t show Coach is going to bench you from the next game.”
Stiles rolled his eyes. “You mean like he’s done for the last three games?”
“He’s saving you for something special, man.”
And that right there was one of the many reasons why he loved Scott. The guy was so optimistic, it practically hurt to doubt him.
“Thanks Scott, but if its letting Jackson wail on me today so I can maybe play in the next game, or see my dad and avoid the pummeling that will come from practice…” Stiles held up his hands as if gauging the weight between two objects”…then it’s no contest.”
Scott nodded, adjusting his bag’s strap on his shoulder. “Anything you want me to say? Vomiting? Twisted ankle? Sexual identity crisis?”
Stiles chuckled. “Whatever you want, just make it good. Like I jumped out of an airplane rescuing the president good.”
Scott nodded enthusiastically, a glimmer of mischief shining in his eyes. “I got a few ideas.”
They hugged it out and Stiles headed to the police station. He made a pit stop at a burger joint to buy two milkshakes for bribery.
Stiles strolled through the station as if he owned the place, and in some ways he felt as if he did. He’d been going to the station for as long as he could remember. It felt like a second home to him. Because of that things always turned interesting when a new hire started working at the station. They’d always try to send Stiles away and glare at him whenever he went near a restricted zone, but after a while they would realize their was no point in fighting over such things.
Stiles nodded in greeting at a few of the officers on duty and even exchanged a few pleasantries as he made his way to his dad’s office. He adjusted his hold on the two milkshakes and knocked on the door before shoving it open without permission.
His dad looked up from a file. Upon seeing Stiles, John flipped the folder shut and stuffed it in his desk’s drawer.
Smooth, Stiles sarcastically thought.
Stiles beamed as he plopped himself in the chair across from his dad and offered him one of the shakes. “Hey Dad. Figured you needed an energy boost.” He waved the shake in his dad’s face. “See, not even one of those health shakes—a real, true, chocolate milkshake.”
Stiles’ dad took the shake, leveling Stiles’ with a knowing look. “I’m not telling you anything about last night.”
Stiles gaped in mock hurt. “Dad, I can’t believe you’d accuse me of—”
John cut Stiles off with a wave. “Don’t bullshit me, Stiles. This isn’t even one of your better attempts at getting information.” He slurped the shake.
Stiles scoffed. “See if I ever get you a shake again. I just wanted to make sure you’re safe.”
“You might be eighteen, but I’m still the dad, Stiles. I look out for you.”
“We look out for each other,” Stiles argued.
“That doesn’t change the fact that there are procedures that need to be followed, and right now I cannot share any information with you. Now,” John paused and gestured at Stiles. “Let’s see it.”
“Huh?” Stiles brain stumbled over itself.
“Your mark,” John clarified.
“Oh, right.” Stiles had forgotten that his dad hadn’t gotten a chance to see Stiles’ soul mark yet. Stiles rolled up the right sleeve of his hoodie and held out his arm. John clasped his wrist and examined the silver symbol. He made a thoughtful hum then released Stiles.
“Interesting,” John said.
Stiles rolled down his sleeve. “Yeah, at least it isn’t boring like Scott and Kira’s. Two bands around the arm? How boring? Even a flower or star would be better. What does two bands even mean?”
There came a knock at the door and Deputy Morris popped his head in. “Sheriff, I need you to take a look at something.” Deputy Morris eyed Stiles. “You better come to my office.”
John nodded and stood. He tossed Stiles a warning look over his shoulder. “Behave.”
“When don’t I?”
John narrowed his gaze. “I will handcuff you.”
Stiles held up his hands in surrender.
His dad nodded in approval then left, shutting the door behind him.
Stiles didn’t waste a second. He scrambled for the drawer where his dad had put the mysterious file. Stiles yanked the folder out and flipped it open. The image of woman with claw marks across her throat seized Stiles’ focus.
There were four, deep, perfect, bleeding gashes. Stiles didn’t have to read the file to know that the woman’s death had been instant. Depending on the circumstance the woman might not have even know the animal was coming at her until it was right on top of her.
Stiles’ brow furrowed as he ran his fingers over the claw marks in the photo. They were definitely claw marks, but they were just one set. He’d described them as perfect before and not thought much of it, but the more he studied the image the more off he realized it was. What kind of animal only took one swipe? He supposed it was possible, but he had doubts. He shuffled through a few more pictures and his doubt expanded.
Just the four claw marks.
There was no other damage done to the woman. Not even a bite to suggest that the animal had been driven by hunger and attacked her.
Stiles read through the file. It said the woman had died from an animal attack. It also mentioned that gunshots had been heard at the scene but no one had been found wielding a gun in the vicinity. The woman, oddly enough, had been carrying a crossbow, suggesting that there must have been at least one other person nearby. Gun shells had been collected and were being examined to identify the owner of the gun that had been used. Multiple footprints had been found but were too damaged to use for identification.
Stiles looked over the first photo again. Two armed people go into the wounds and one ends up dead because of an animal—it sounded like it fit with what his dad said the other day. A few people had taken the matter of the recent animal attacks into their own hands. Now one was dead. It sounded so simple, but two things niggled at Stiles’ mind. One was the claw marks being too perfect. The animal attack was too neat and clean. The second thing that bothered him was that the gunman had run off. Hunting on a preserve without the proper permits would get the guy some heavy jail time if the police could prove it, so his lack of presence made sense to a degree. However, if the gunman had any connection to the woman wouldn’t he or she have at least stayed to volunteer some information?
Stiles sighed. He was being too optimistic. There were plenty of people in the world who would abandon a friend if it kept them out of jail.
The knob on the door turned, and Stiles stuff the folder in his dad’s drawer just in time to keep from being caught. He spun in his dad’s swivel chair and smiled at John.
John stared at Stiles with suspicion.
Stiles stopped spinning, keeping his goofy grin in place. “What?”
“You did something.”
Stiles squawked in indignation and stood up. “I can’t believe you, Dad! Well, I’m not going to stay somewhere where I’m accused of wrong doing without any evidence.”
John blocked the doorway with his body. He crossed his arms over his chest. “Just tell me, am I going to have to ground you?”
“Dad,” Stiles spoke seriously as he grabbed his dad’s shoulder. “You’ll be grounding me until I’m sixty. However, I’m pretty sure you won’t ground me for anything I did today.”
John glared. “‘Pretty sure?’”
Stiles shrugged. “Hey, I don’t know when things are going to go off the rails and explode in my face. I’m just being honest here. There is always a chance of a grounding when I am involved.”
Stiles’ dad did not look amused, but he let Stiles pass.
Stiles all but ran to his jeep. He fished out his cell phone from his pocket and speed dialed Scott. His call went to voicemail. Stiles double-checked the time as he climbed into the car. Scott would be getting out of Lacrosse in ten minutes. “Hey, Scott, don’t leave school after practice. I’m on my way right now.” He hung up and sped out of the parking lot.
He reminded himself to drive safely and that Scott would get his voicemail so there was no need for him to panic and run a red light. His nerves were tingling with anticipation, excitement, and worry.
When he pulled up to the high school, Scott was sitting on the front steps, waiting for him. Scott ran up to the jeep and hopped into the passenger seat. Curiosity and expectation curled his lips upward. “What’s up? Did Lydia invite you to her party this weekend?”
Stiles head snapped toward Scott. “Lydia is having a party?” Stiles shook his head, trying to get his mind off the topic. “No, just… do you remember what my dad said about people hunting in the woods?”
Scott nodded, his joy draining from him to be replaced with something somber.
“Someone died,” Stiles said.
Scott jumped in his seat. “Holy shit! Are you serious?”
“Why would I lie?”
“Shit.” Scott looked down at his lap in amazement.
Stiles gave his arm a smack to get Scott’s attention back. “Yeah, but it’s very suspicious.” Stiles delved into explaining his findings to Scott. His best friend frowned and occasionally asked questions and made comments.
“So why are you telling me all this?” Scott finally asked.
Stiles bit the inside of his cheek. This was going to be the hard selling point. “I want to check it out.
“Check what out?” Scott inquired warily.
“The place where the police found the woman.”
Stiles held up his hand to cut off Scott. “I know! I know! It’s stupid, and we promised my dad we wouldn’t go into the preserve, but Scott,” he whined his friend’s name, “something is not right, and my dad is out there. I just need to look, to make sure he didn’t miss something that might get him hurt in the end.”
“Stiles, you’re dad is the Sheriff. He can handle himself.”
Stiles slouched, banging his forehead against the steering wheel. “I know, but I just need to check—to reassure myself. There’s still daylight if we go now. We’ll just look then leave. No harm, no foul.”
“Why drag me into this?”
“Because you’re my best friend, and if something goes wrong I want you to race over to my house and delete my browsing history.” Stiles straightened and said in a deadpan voice. “No joke dude, since Junior year my tastes in porn have gotten so kinky, I question if I should be confined to my room for the safety of others.”
Scott sighed in defeat. “Okay, but we get in and get out.”
“Thank you,” Stiles exaggerated the phrase.
Scott shoved Stiles for his dramatics, and they shared a laugh.
They drove in silence to the preserve. Scott pulled out a map of Beacon Hills and the preserve from the jeep’s glove box. Stiles gave the coordinates listed on the police file for where the body had been located, and Scott circled it on the map. Luckily the spot was somewhat near the edge of the preserve. Unluckily, there was nowhere to park for about mile. Stiles drove as close as he could to the location before pulling off the road and parking. He pulled out his cell phone and set it to compass mode.
The beginning of the trek was easy, there was a trail. Once Scott and Stiles went off trail though, that’s when they struggled. Stiles tripped on anything and everything, whereas Scott constantly needed to stop and rest. There were a couple of times when they thought they had gotten themselves lost, but they eventually got themselves back on track.
When they got to the area, yellow police tape roped it off and there were two officers present. Stiles only caught a glimpse of one, but the other one was clearly hard ass Officer Malcolm. There was no way he could scout around without getting caught, and Officer Malcolm was a no nonsense kind of woman. She’d arrest him on principle alone.
Disappointment hit Stiles hard in the chest, and Scott gave him a sympathetic look.
They headed back toward the jeep. Stiles shoved his hands in his pockets and sighed up at the pink and purple sky. He’d get home just in time to throw pasta in a bowl and trick his dad into thinking he had been home since his visit.
“At least you tried,” Scott consoled.
“Yeah,” Stiles halfheartedly agreed and kicked a rock.
Something loud snapped behind them. Stiles tensed and looked over his shoulder. When he saw nothing, he continued onward.
A bush rustled to his right, and Stiles whirled in time to see a shadowed blur.
“C’mon, Stiles.” Scott waved Stiles forward. “It’s probably a deer.”
Stiles nodded, not fully convinced but not stupid enough to stay and argue.
A howl pierced the air.
Scott and Stiles both jumped in their skin.
“That was a wolf!” Scott exclaimed.
“There aren’t any wolves in California,” Stiles countered. Stiles’ heartbeat skyrocketed. Something was definitely wrong.
Crashing sounds came from the left, and Stiles faced it.
“Stiles!” Scott bellowed.
Stiles spun just in time to see a monstrous wolf lunge at his throat.
Thanks to everyone who has shown support for this fic. You guys are awesome!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
A panicked sound escaped Stiles as he flailed and dropped onto his ass. He winced as his butt slammed against the hard ground, but there wasn’t time to mull over his pain. Stiles scrambled to his feet, distantly aware of Scott shouting something.
Curiosity made Stiles glance over his shoulder. He didn’t know what the hell he was looking at, but “wolf” was not an accurate label. Its build was too human. It was a hideous cross between a man and wolf—a werewolf.
A rock slammed into the wolfman’s face.
It howled in pain.
Scott grabbed Stiles’ arm and tugged him away from the beast. It took a second for Stiles to realize Scott had hurled the rock.
Heart pounding in his chest, Stiles picked up his pace. Never had he been so grateful to be part of a sports team that required him to spend hours running and building stamina.
Claws wrapped around Stiles ankle. With a cry of terror, Stiles fell flat on his face.
“Stiles!” Scott screamed.
Hot breath poured over Stiles neck and he squeezed his eyes shut, bracing himself for a painful death.
A thunderous growl came from Stiles’ flank, and suddenly the weight of the wolfman rolled off him. Snarls filled the air.
Stiles flipped onto his side and gawked at the sight of a large black wolf wrestling the wolfman.
The wolf sank its teeth into the wolfman’s shoulder, ripping and tearing the muscles apart with vicious shakes of its head. The man howled and punched the wolf on the muzzle. The attack caught the wolf off guard and it jumped back. It snapped its teeth at the wolfman, and the wolfman shot up and sprinted off in the opposite direction. The wolf howled and gave chase.
Stiles couldn’t move. He was trapped gasping for breath as he tried to make sense of whatever it was he’d just saw.
Scott ran then dropped and slid to Stiles side. His hands grasped at Stiles’ shoulders. “Stiles, are you okay?” Scott shook him a tad when Stiles didn’t respond. “Are you having a panic attack? Stiles?”
Another powerful shake from Scott jolted Stiles out of his daze. His breathing still came out sharp and quick, but it felt more like the labored breathes after completing a mile run under six minutes.
“What are you two doing out here?” a deep voice asked.
Stiles and Scott twisted from the spots on the ground.
A man that could be described as a silver fox looked down his nose at them. The thinning of the man’s lips in a disapproving frown drew Stiles’ eyes to his mouth and unshaven chin. Stiles’ eyes, however, quickly darted to the crossbow in the man’s hand and the large gun strapped to his back.
“We were just going for a walk,” Scott lied.
“It’s dangerous out here,” the man said.
Stiles narrowed his gaze at the man’s crossbow. “I’m sure.”
The man’s sight followed Stiles’. There was something calculating behind the man’s eyes as he looked at his crossbow, almost as if he were deciding if it were worth hiding it or explaining its presence away. After a moment though, he appeared to mentally shrug off such thoughts and strolled closer to Stiles and Scott.
Stiles held his breath, anticipating the worst. He was completely thrown when the man extended his free hand to Scott and him.
Scott and Stiles shared a look, both communicating silently: “Is this guy for real?”
After a moment, Scott accepted the hand, and the man heaved him up as if he was used to supporting the weight of fully developed teenagers.
He then offered his hand to Stiles. “You two should go home before it gets dark.”
Stiles huffed, slapping his palm into the man’s. “Yeah well—“ Energy thrummed through Stiles. It coursed from fingertips, through his arm, and to his chest. It felt like lightning struck his heart a dozen times, and in the process stole his breath.
Stiles and the man stiffened.
Stiles mind flashed back to the many sex education classes that talked about the reaction between soul mates during first contact. It was often described as a spark of electricity to the heart. It was such a weak comparison to the sensation in his chest.
Stiles looked to man’s right wrist for confirmation, but his jacket covered it.
Stiles heart stuttered when the man gently twisted Stiles’ hand so his wrist—his soul mark—was visible.
Recognition flashed across the man’s face followed by shock. His eyes widened minutely and he took a subtle step back.
Stiles couldn’t believe it either. He had found his soul mate, and it was a man his father’s age.
A man who very well could be breaking the law by hunting on a preserve without the proper papers.
Horror drenched Stiles, freezing him to his core. He watched as the man’s expression of surprise shifted to one of panic. Stiles didn’t even want to contemplate why his soul mate was freaking out. Unless he knew who Stiles was and thus knew just how much trouble he was in, there was no way the man’s horror outweighed Stiles’.
Stiles didn’t know who his dad would kill first. Mr. Soul Mate standing there, or poor Stiles who’d had no idea he was destined to have a deep connection with aforementioned man, and most likely some hot sexy times too.
Suddenly Scott was stepping between the two. He knocked away Soul Mate’s hand and helped Stiles to his feet. “Are you—” Scott began but never got to finish.
“Drop the weapons and hands in the air!” A new voice hollered.
Stiles and Scott assumed the position as easily as breathing. It wasn’t their first time being caught by law enforcement, much to their parents’ chagrin.
Soul Mate was hesitant to release his crossbow, the weapon thunking as it hit the ground. He raised one hand in surrender, and reached behind his back with the other. He carefully laid his gun on the ground.
The brush shuffled behind Stiles, and Stiles mentally prepared himself for when the officers would recognize him.
It didn’t take long before one of them burst with chuckles. “Little Stilinski and Co. up to no good again.”
Bret, Stiles mentally cheered. Bret was one of the more laid back officers. He was also a huge Trekkie, which made him all the more awesome.
“Are you permitted to be carrying such weapons?” a female voice barked, and Stiles winced. Officer Malcolm was not as awesome. Oh sure, she was kickass at her job, but she was very by the book. So of course, that meant Stiles was constantly on her shit list. He was just grateful her attention wasn’t on him, but his soul mate.
Wait. No. Actually, Stiles really wished her attention was on him and not his soul mate! Oh god, his soul mate was about to get arrested. Stiles was going to be one of those losers online who wrote how terrible their first meeting with their soul mate went.
Oh, fuck the part about some Werewolf or mutant beast trying to eat him alive. He could not deal with that right now. Hell, he couldn’t deal with any of this right now.
He nearly missed his soul mate’s nod in answer to Officer Malcolm’s question. He lowered his arms. “I’m just reaching into my coat for my license and registrations.” He pried the flap of his jacket open and pulled out a wallet and a few papers from his inside the pocket. After some rifling with the items, he held out the required papers and license.
Officer Malcolm took the offerings, looking them over with a critical eye.
As she did so, Bret patted Stiles and Scott down. Once Bret was done he let them lower their arms.
From his short distance away, Stiles noted that his soul mate had handed over a hunting license too. He swallowed a lump in his throat.
Officer Malcolm gave Soul Mate the stink eye. “And what exactly were you hunting, Mr. Argent?” She pointed her chin at the discarded weapons.
“Squirrels,” Mr. Argent—was that too formal for Stiles to think of his soul mate as—deadpanned.
“And why all the screaming?” Officer Malcolm hummed in suspicion.
Crap, Stiles mentally cursed. He’d seen enough movies to know that telling the truth was a one-way ticket to the looney bin.
“There was some kind of wolf thing,” Scott exclaimed. “It attacked Stiles.”
“There aren’t any wolves in California,” Bret said.
“That’s what I said,” Stiles interjected, hoping to stop the officers from analyzing Scott’s statement too critically. “It was probably a mountain lion. Most likely looking for food. They don’t get this close to cities unless they are desperate. Maybe we should leave a few cans of tuna out for it. Oh! I know! Let’s get a canned food drive going and—”
“Thank you, Mr. Stilinski,” Officer Malcolm snapped, “for your thoughtful contribution. Officer Miles, please escort Mr. Stilinski and Mr. McCall back to the patrol car, and call in some back up to take them to the station.”
Bret, or Officer Miles as Officer Malcolm had called him, gave an affirmative nod. He cocked his head over his shoulder in the direction of what Stiles assumed was the car. “All right boys, follow me.”
Stiles and Scott obeyed; however, Stiles couldn’t stop himself from glancing over his shoulder at Mr. Argent. The man was stoic as Office Malcolm proceeded to interrogate him. Stiles ran through a litany of laws, trying to calculate the odds that Mr. Argent would be arrested or brought in for questioning. If he had all the proper paperwork then there wasn’t much the police could do.
Stiles and Scott lounged in the back of the patrol vehicle as Bret called in reinforcements.
“Are you okay?” Scott asked for the third time.
Stiles sighed and dragged his hand over his face. “Yeah…no. I don’t know. I almost got mauled, and…” Stiles scrunched his face in a grimace. “You have got to promise me you won’t say anything to anyone—that includes Kira.”
Scott’s eyes widened and he leaned forward. “What is it?”
Stiles sucked in a deep breath and then released it. “I think Mr. Argent is my soul mate.”
Stiles cringed as Scott stared at him in awe. Slowly the corner of Scott’s lips curled upward. He lunged at Stiles, trapping Stiles in an affectionate headlock. “Dude! That’s great. I mean, he’s older than I’d thought your soul mate would be, but hey, you found him!”
Stiles wrestled out of Scott’s hold. “Are you serious? They guy was out in the woods, possibly playing vigilante, and my dad is the Sheriff.”
“Don’t you have a crush on Batman?”
“Not the point, Scott.”
“It kind of is, Stiles. He’s your soul mate. You don’t even know how awesome that is. When I first met Kira…” Scott smiled goofily. “…Wow.”
Stiles snorted tersely.
Scott shook his head to clear it, but he was still beaming like an idiot. “I know. That sounds so lame, but it was just so spectacular. I can’t even begin to describe it. Then I really got to know her, and it was even more amazing. I didn’t even know anything could feel that good. It’s like the ultimate feeling of safety, happiness, and peace. Like I’m in a constant state of afterglow when I’m around her.”
That did sound pretty amazing, and Stiles would be lying if he said he didn’t want that. “That’ great, but I still have my dad to worry about. Plus, whatever it was that tried to kill me.” Realization smacked Stiles in the face. “You don’t think Mr. Argent was hunting that thing, do you?”
The question gave Scott pause. “Well, if that wolf is the animal causing all of the attacks and he is Batman, then yeah, I think so.”
Stiles mulled over that thought. If the wolf-man-thing was a… werewolf—Stiles was going to research that once he was somewhere with wi-fi—then what did that make Mr. Argent? A hunter? Like a supernatural hunter? Or maybe a slayer? Oh dear lord, his soul mate was a mix of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Batman. The thought alone was enough to give him an inappropriate boner. Stiles subtly adjusted himself.
Stiles glanced out the rear window where he saw Officer Malcolm approaching with Mr. Argent. Stiles soaked in Argent’s appearance. He was handsome in a rugged way. Stiles supposed if they didn’t connect intellectually, at the very least they could have a great sexual relationship, assuming Argent was into gangly, just legal teenagers.
“Crap,” Scott hissed through his teeth.
Stiles turned his head to see what Scott was looking at and echoed his friend’s sentiments.
Two police cars had just pulled up, and his dad was driving one of them.
“Is this some kind of joke to you?” John shouted at Stiles.
Stiles flinched. He was back at his dad’s office in the police station. Melissa McCall had been called and had picked up Scott. Stiles had to watch as his friend was tugged out of the station with a furious Melissa ranting at him, followed by a bear hug as she proceeded to break down and express how scared she had been when she learned what had happened. Stiles wished the same would happen with his dad, but he knew his father wasn’t one to break down in the middle of a scolding for hugs and kisses. Maybe in a few hours when they were at home his dad would offer him a mug of coffee or hot chocolate, but for now Stiles was stuck with the brunt of his anger.
“You’re eighteen, Stiles. I would think by this age when someone tells you not to do something because its dangerous you would know better than to do the opposite.”
Stiles winced. “I was just worried.”
“That’s no excuse to make yourself a target for wild animals and stray bullets.”
“I’m sorry,” Stiles tried. His chest constricted with remorse. He hated upsetting his dad. His dad had always been there for him, and supported him even when he was acting like an ass. There was no better parent than him, and Stiles just wanted to make him happy. His desire to make sure his dad wasn’t walking into a deadly trap was just stronger.
His dad dropped into his chair and heaved a sigh. He closed his eyes and pinched his nose. He waved Stiles out. “I’m going to finish up some papers, and then we are going home. Wait at the front desk.”
Stiles nodded numbly and did as his dad ordered. He shut the door gently behind him then slouched against it for a few seconds. He closed his eyes and took a couple of deep breaths to calm himself. When he opened his eyes it was to see Argent staring at him from across the room where he was being interviewed by Officer Malcolm and Yamamoto.
Argent’s gaze snapped back to his interviewers faces, and Stiles’ stomach knotted with indecision. He had no clue how to handle the Argent situation. He hadn’t planned to find his soul mate so soon, let alone while the person might be performing illegal activities. The age difference was also surprising, however, Stiles knew once he had some time to process the events of the day, he wouldn’t care so much. He was honest enough with himself to admit that he had admired quite a few older men in the past, but he’d never taken them seriously because of his feelings for Lydia.
Stiles went to the front desk and collapsed on one of the benches as he waited for his dad to come out of his office.
He took out his smart phone and pulled up a search engine. He pulled up thousands of webpages on werewolves. There were various legends and myths, some contradicting each other. He also ran across articles on skinwalkers and theories about the government creating mutant hybrids to take over rival countries and silence traitors. Stiles raised an eyebrow at the latter but didn’t dismiss it entirely. As Sherlock Holmes once said: Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.
The door to the station opened, letting in a gust of cold air. Stiles shivered as he opened another webpage on his phone.
“May I help you?” The officer at the front desk asked politely.
“I would think so, but considering this station’s lack of competence, I won’t get my hopes up,” a smooth voice with bite answered.
Stiles’ head shot up, ready to tell off the guy who had just insulted his station when his voice caught in his throat.
Then newcomer was around Argent’s age, albeit a few years younger if Stiles’ were to guess. His perfectly styled hair, trimmed goatee, and fashionable clothing revealed he was a man who cared about his appearance. He wore a white v-neck with the sleeves rolled up to show off well-muscled forearms and his wrist.
A silver triskele in a circle decorated his right wrist.
The blood rushed away from Stiles brain, causing him to feel lightheaded.
The man looked at Stiles from the corner of his blue eyes and smirked. Stiles swore he saw a flash of red in man’s eyes, but it might of have been his brain’s lack of oxygen making him hallucinate. “I’m looking for my soul mate,” the man paused, his eyes still locked on Stiles. He shifted his gaze to the officer. “Christopher Argent. I believe he volunteered to be taken in for questioning.”
An iron fist clenched Stiles’ heart. This man was Argent’s—Christopher’s soul mate? Then that spark earlier, had it been fake? But the mark!
Stiles stared at the styled man’s wrist, examining every detail of his soul mark. Stiles couldn’t find anything different between his and the man’s.
Only one theory sprang to mind as to what the matching marks could mean, but Stiles wasn’t willing to believe it until he had further evidence. So pushing his shoulders back and swallowing his trepidation, he stood up and marched over to the man.
Stiles knew the man was watching his approach even as the officer at the front desk took the man’s name—Peter Hale— and informed him that Christopher was still being questioned, but she would let the interviewers know that he was waiting. Stiles lifted his hand and ghosted his fingers along Peter’s forearm.
It was lightning all over again, and Stiles yanked his hand back, only to have it caught in an unbreakable grip.
Frosty blue eyes burrowed into Stiles’, and he couldn’t stop himself from gulping. His heart bounced around the walls of chest like a flailing pre-teen in a fit—he just didn’t know if it was a fit of excitement or terror. The smirk on Peter’s lips grew as the corner of his mouth quirked higher, and he drew Stiles’ hand close to his face.
Again, Stiles thought he saw a flicker of red in Peter’s eyes. His nostrils flared slightly as he stared at Stiles’ soul mark. Peter pulled Stiles forward, pressing soft lips to Stiles wrist. Something coiled in Stiles stomach.
“Now what would your name be?” Peter purred, his teeth grazing Stiles’ tender flesh.
Stiles inhaled sharply at the sensation.
Then suddenly his dad was at his side and yanking him out of Peter’s hold. “What the hell do you think you’re doing to my son?”
Stiles’ brain was as good as dead.
In less than twelve hours—hell! In less than four hours, he’d almost been mauled by a werewolf, found his soul mate, realized his soul mate might be up to some shady business, panicked that his dad would kill Christopher, met his second soul mate, and now his dad was about five seconds away from arresting Stiles’ second soul mate for molestation/public indecency. How the hell was this Stiles’ life? What deity on the day he was born pointed at Stiles and said, “Yes, this one. This is the one who will star in my master piece soap opera.” The deity could have at least made it a telenovela!
Peter was nonplussed by Stiles’ father, though. He kept his calm demeanor. “I was merely asking your son for his name.”
John scowled. “It looked like more than that to me.”
Peter nodded in a humoring manner, as if John were some child struggling to fully comprehend the situation but giving it a decent effort. “That would be because it was. However, I’m sure even you can understand how difficult it is for one to maintain proper decorum when one has finally met their soul mate.”
Damn, Stiles thought. At least Peter could have told Stiles what Peter wanted on his tombstone before he provoked John into killing him. This was also going to make things even messier with Christopher.
Stiles blanched. Dear god, he had two soul mates, and his father would murder them both.
John opened his mouth to rebuke, then snapped it shut, then opened it again. Finally, he seized Peter’s wrist and yanked it out.
A low, angry rumble escaped Peter, and he scowled.
John paid it no mind as he stared wide-eyed at Peter’s mark. He snatched Stiles’ arm and held the two wrists side by side.
A moment of silence passed as John’s eyes bounced between the pair of marks. Then finally, “Shit.”
Stiles tried not to giggle like he was back in junior high school, but it was so hard. His dad cursed a lot, but he usually tried to keep it in within his house, and occasionally in his office when talking to Stiles. To see his dad so riled and thrown enough to let out a cuss in public, combined with Stiles’ own sense of awkwardness, filled Stiles with nervous laughter.
Peter yanked his wrist back, dropping it to his side.
John couldn’t stop staring.
The officer at the front desk coughed to clear her throat. “Um, sir, is there anything you’d like me to do? I was a witness to Mr. Hale’s inappropriate behavior.”
John’s face flared red at the memory. His fist clenched and he looked ready to give the command to arrest Peter.
“I’m okay!” Stiles flailed. All eyes turned on him and he scrambled to figure out exactly what his mouth had tried to say without his brain’s consent. “I mean…one little touch isn’t going to traumatize me for life, and it felt really good.” John’s eyes narrowed while Peter’s lips curled. “I—oh crap—that’s not. Well, okay, yeah it felt good—just stop giving me the judging eyes, Dad, and you,” Stiles pointed at Peter. He sneered. “You may be my soul mate, and one damn good looking bastard, but that doesn’t mean you get to bypass my consent and start nibbling on parts of my body.”
Stiles’ brain decided to be helpful right then and supply him with images of places on him Peter could nibble. He floundered as his blood was torn between rushing towards his face and his lower region.
As if Peter could read his mind, his expression turned even more cocky and—Damn it! Why’d Stiles have to think of the word “cocky?"
Stiles willed himself to picture his grandma naked in her tub as she asked him to help with her sponge bath.
Stiles shuddered and suddenly his pants had a lot more room.
Boots clicked on the linoleum floor and the door leading to the back of the station swung open. Christopher stepped out with Bret as his escort. He took one look at the room and raised an eyebrow inquiringly at Peter. “Do I even want to know?”
Peter smiled wider. Stiles’ first instinct was to compare it to a clown’s, but a second glance at it revealed as certain crazed quality to it. Perhaps his smile wasn’t just any clown’s but the Joker’s.
Stiles was part of threesome with Batman/Buffy and the Joker. Stiles could feel a nosebleed coming on. Now if Peter had a bit more of a bad boy edge he could so pull of the Spike to Christopher’s Buffy. Except…wait… Peter was a bad boy!
Oh fuck! Stiles had to grab hold of the front desk to keep from swooning. He was in a threesome with the incarnations of his favorite hero, anti-hero, villain, and anti-villain.
Reality was so going to ruin this for him—more than it already had; he just knew it.
“Chris, have you met our soul mate?”
“Do you have a death wish or just want to get arrested?” Stiles shouted at Peter.
Chris’ jaw tightened and his eyes scanned the room, as if looking for deadly projectiles aimed at him.
The blood drained from John’s face. “This is some sort of sick, twisted joke, right?”
Stiles chuckled sheepishly.
Peter shook his head.
Chris looked away.
John spluttered, gripping his gun in its holster. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, He refused to take his hand off his gun. A moment later, he opened his eyes and sent venomous looks Peter and Chris’ ways. “Now, I know normally when soul mates find each other, they tend to spend the first few days together as much as possible, but in this instance, I am going to have to ask the two of you to vacate the premises immediately and let me talk to my son.”
“Uh…” Stiles meekly raised a hand up to get his father’s attention. “I would like to point out that I have no control over who my soul mate—mates are, so I should really not be punished for anything.”
“How about two months grounding for sneaking out into the woods?” John snapped.
And that was Stiles’ cue to shut up. Stiles held up his hands in a show of backing off.
Peter appeared amused by the exchange, whereas, Chris nodded his head and moved for the exit. He grabbed Peter by the arm and guided Peter to turn around and follow him out. Peter chuckled.
Stiles made a mental note that Chris was probably the one he would want to go to in an emotional crisis. It was too soon to judge, but he could already envision Peter teasing him and laughing at him instead of helping.
Stiles bit his bottom lip as he realized that he was already planning how his interactions with Peter and Chris would go. Dang, was this what all soul mates went through, or was he just so desperate for love that he was willing to latch onto anybody?
Or maybe he was just a really horny teenager and Peter and Chris’ combined pheromones were just messing with his already sex-crazed head?
Stiles hoped it was the pheromones.
John grumbled something under his breath, then made a loud comment about how the prior events better not become gossip. Bret and the officer at the front desk both zipped their lips and went back to work. John sighed, headed for the door, and waved Stiles to follow him. They climbed into the jeep—one of the deputies called in last night had swung by to pick up John on the way to the station—and buckled in with John driving.
The ride home was oddly quiet. Stiles couldn’t stop fidgeting and glancing at his dad from the corner of his eye. God, he couldn’t imagine what his dad was feeling. Sure, soul mates having significant age gaps weren’t unheard of. Even triads were known, although very uncommon. To have his one child not only be partnered with an older man but with two, Stiles wouldn’t know what to feel or think in his dad’s situation.
Stiles didn’t even know how to feel about it for himself.
Stiles fiddled with the drawstring of his hoodie as he sank into mild depression. Seriously, a large age gap? Stiles could handle that. Two soul mates? Bring it. It just meant more sexy times for Stiles. To have both of those…Stiles just didn’t know what to feel.
On top of that, Peter and Chris were already together. They could have been together for years. For all Stiles knew, they were together before he was born.
Stiles internally groaned. He could barely imagine his dynamic in a threesome with two older men—well, okay the sex part was easy, but the relationship part wasn’t so much. He had no idea what role he could play in an already established relationship. Other than serving as a kink.
Stiles chest constricted at the thought. Wouldn’t that just be his luck? He gets two soul mates and all they want is sex from him.
Yes, he wanted sex, but…
He didn’t want to admit it, but he wanted a relationship, and he was frickin’ terrified of it. He’d spent so much of his life imagining himself with Lydia, he didn’t want to set himself up for disappointment again. Even so, he did want a relationship.
Two soul mates equaled twice the love, but also twice the heartache too.
A heavy hand on his shoulder pulled Stiles out of his wonderings. He’d been so deep in thought, he hadn’t realized that his dad had pulled into the driveway.
John took a deep breath and squeezed the steering wheel. “Just because they’re your soul mates doesn’t mean they can make you do anything you don’t want to do.
John met Stiles gaze with a serious look. “I’m talking about consent, Stiles. They’re older and have more experience. You may feel you need to prove yourself to them by doing things your not comfortable with, but you don’t have to. Some soul mates are just really good friends, and if they are yours then they’ll understand and respect your boundaries.”
Stiles was stunned. “You’re giving me the consent speech.”
John sneered. “That’s only half of it. Trust me, if your soul mates had been someone closer to you in age I would have started off with exactly what you told Peter. Just because they’re your soul mates doesn’t mean you can jump them whenever you want. You need to respect their wishes, although, with those two, I doubt they’d let you get away with anything they didn’t want.”
“Dad, that’s ageist,” Stiles said it as a joke, but his father’s temper strengthened.
Stiles slouched in his seat. “Are you always going to be mad about this?”
The fight seemed to leave John as he slumped and let go of the steering wheel. “Stiles I’m not going to be happy about this until you are, and even then it might take me some time. This was not something I expected. Hell, before Kira showed up, I was betting that Scott was your soul mate.”
“Yeah… that would have been a platonic relationship.”
“Unless something has changed that I don’t know about, it is a platonic relationship.”
Stiles grinned. “Well, if things don’t work out with our soul mates, Scott and I will just get married.”
John gave a snort of mild amusement. There was a moment of silence between the two of them, but unlike before when it felt uncomfortable and awkward, this silence was peaceful. “Do I need to have the safe sex talk with you as well?”
Stiles shook his head. “Nah, I still remember it from when you first gave it, and if anything, porn has emphasized a lot of those points.”
John looked torn between reprimanding his son and inquiring into what kind of porn Stiles was watching if it emphasized safe sex. Finally, John shook his head, and with a grumble, stepped out of the car.
Stiles followed his dad inside where they ordered a pizza for dinner—vegetarian only—and sat down in the living room to watch the evening news together while they waited. The pizza arrived while Stiles was in the middle of fetching his school bag. Soon after, he and John had their bellies stuffed with the delicious food. Stiles put in a few hours of homework before he finally called it a night and went to bed.
Stiles lay on his bed, waiting for sleep to take him, but energy thrummed through his body. He couldn’t stop thinking about the day’s events. Now that his soul mates weren’t literally a few feet away from him, he could focus more on what was important: What the hell was that wolf thing?
He’d been referring to it as a werewolf internally, but honestly, he knew so little about the creature, it could be some other sort of mythological shape-shifter.
Giving up on sleep, Stiles crawled out of bed and stumbled toward his desk where his computer was set on sleep mode. He woke his computer up as he plopped himself in his chair, and continued the search he had started on his cell phone. Stiles bit this thumbnail as he read through all the articles he found. Every myth and legend he pulled up didn’t quite fit what he had seen though.
For example Rougarous were said to have the body of a man with the head of the wolf. What Stiles had seen had definitely had some wolf-like aspects to its body though. Plus, Rougarous were more associated with Louisanna—at least in the U.S.
Skin-walkers seemed to transform completely into whatever animal they became—it wasn’t some half shift.
Werewolves were said to change only on the full moon, which wasn’t due for another for a while. Granted, some modern tales threw that myth aside, but Stiles was more willing to trust an old myth than a recent trend in pop culture.
Stiles eyes watered from staring at the screen, and he rubbed his face. He blinked at his alarm clock and saw that it was almost four in the morning. He was supposed to wake up in about two hours for school. He closed his laptop and collapsed on his bed. He curled into a ball as he wrapped his blankets tightly around himself.
He was exhausted, but his brain wouldn’t shut up about the wolfman.
An image of Chris came unbidden to Stiles’ mind. He was about to mentally chastise himself for thinking about his love life while some monster was out there terrorizing people when a thought from earlier returned. Had Chris been hunting the creature? If so, did that mean Chris knew what it was?
Stiles eyes flew open at the thought.
He needed to find Chris and question him.
Peter lay sprawled on the comforter of his and Chris’ Queen size bed. He made a mental note to look into a King size, maybe even a Cal King. Stiles—it wasn’t hard to find the boy’s name once he learned who his father was—had flailed a lot when Peter had met him. That constant movement might transfer over into Stiles’ sleep patterns.
Chris leaned down and kissed Peter, their bare and sweaty chests brushing together. Chris’ calloused fingers drifted across Peter’s thigh, sending a wonderful spark through Peter’s body. Peter released a low, soft growl that was reminiscent of a purr. He felt heat pooling in his stomach for a fifth orgasm. His refractory period had always been good—being a werewolf did have its perks—but tonight was exceptional. Just when he’d think he was done for the night, a look at Chris or a brush of skin had him craving his mate’s touch like a starving man.
Peter’s fangs elongated, playfully ghosting along Chris’ bottom lip.
Chris pulled back, looking rather annoyed. One would think he hadn’t had his two explosive orgasms just moments before. “You’re not sated yet?”
Peter chuckled, sliding his hands up Chris’ thighs, and letting them rest on Chris’ ass. He leaned up to press a kiss to Chris’ collarbone. Chris relaxed against the touch then yelped as Peter flipped them over. The gentle kiss became a full out of assault of kisses and nips.
Peter could feel Chris gearing up for another round beneath him.
Chris turned his head away. “This has to do with the boy, Stiles, doesn’t it?”
Peter hummed as he moved downward to lavish Chris’ sternum with licks and nips. Chris arched up against him.
“Peter,” Chris ground out.
Peter huffed in exasperation. “I want my mate.” Peter’s eyes glowed red. “Both of them.”
Chris shuddered underneath Peter, eliciting a wave of arousal from Peter. “Even if he knows about us now, we shouldn’t—”
Peter plastered his mouth on Chris’, swallowing his words. He already knew what Chris was going to say, and he didn’t want to hear it. He pulled away just enough to mutter. “I’ve already dealt with the omega.”
Chris tensed and the intoxicating scent of arousal that had been pouring off him was halted.
Peter growled, his instincts prickling with irritation at Chris’ reaction. Intellectually, he knew his actions had been quite pleasing for Chris, but a more primal part of him that didn’t see reason saw Chris’ lack of enjoyment as an affront. This was his soul mate, everything Peter did while having sex with him, should bring Chris to the height of pleasure.
“Why are you only telling me this now? We had the whole car ride—”
Peter cut Chris off again with a warning bite to his muscled abdomen. “I was too busy thinking about how we would celebrate finding our new soul mate.” Peter’s fingers returned to Chris’ ass, gripping Chris’ globes as Peter’s fingers dipped just a teasing bit between the crack.
“The hunters are still out there,” Chris said between two sharp breaths as he tried to sit up.
Peter braced a hand on Chris’ shoulder and pushed the older man down. He hovered his face above Chris’, letting his breath caress the man’s skin. “If they know what’s best for them they’ll leave soon enough.”
“Peter,” warning laced Chris’ tone.
Peter ignored Chris, snatching up Chris’ lips with his own. Chris stubble brushed against his mouth, and Peter entertained the idea of what it would be like to have the rough sensation accompanied by the soft one of Stiles’ smooth cheeks and chin. A thrill raced up Peter’s spine.
He wouldn’t out right ignore Chris’ plea to minimize the danger surrounding them before attempting anything with Stiles, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t push the boundaries.
Never before had a school day gone by so slowly in Stiles’ life.
Okay, maybe that was an exaggeration, but Stiles was practically bouncing in his seat the entire time. Twice a teacher had asked him if he needed to use the bathroom. It took five energy drinks to keep him somewhat focused on his classes, although, it didn’t stop him from creating some sort of noxious gas in AP Chemistry. When the final bell rang, Stiles raced to his jeep and jumped inside. It wasn’t until he started his engine that Lacrosse popped into his mind and he sent a quick text to Scott, asking if they had practice that day. Stiles was certain they didn’t but it wouldn’t be his first time mixing up his schedule while zeroed-in on a research topic.
When Scott responded back that there was no practice, Stiles tore out of the parking lot like a maniac.
He’d spent his entire lunch period looking up information about Peter Hale and Chris Argent until he found Chris’ address. Stiles noted that Peter wasn’t listed as living there, but shrugged it off. Perhaps Peter liked his privacy and didn’t want himself listed anywhere. Either way, it didn’t matter if they lived together or not—Stiles’ target was Chris.
Stiles drove down the roads at just barely legal speeds. His path took him to the border of the preserve where there was less housing. Stiles followed a lone unmarked road that led him just out of the eyesight of the other houses before arriving at a refurbished two-story building. It was the type of house that probably had once had a white picket fence and a bunch of lawn ornaments, considering the quaint build, but such things had been striped away.
Brown wooden boards enclosed the backyard from the preserve, whereas the front yard and preserve merged into one.
Stiles gulped down his nerves and stepped out of the jeep. He shoved his hands in his hoodie pocket as he strolled up the cement path to the house. Stiles noticed there was a tiny hole near the front door where a hook probably had once been for a hanging plant. Stiles looked around for a doorbell, but couldn’t find one, so he knocked.
In a few seconds the door swayed open, and a shirtless Peter leaned against the doorframe. His lips curled in a flirting smile. “Well, isn’t this quite the surprise? Come to see your soul mates, Stiles?”
Stiles bones jumped in his skin. “How do you know my name?” Stiles was pretty sure no one had said it in front of Peter. Although, Scott had said it a few times in front of Chris.
“How do you know where I live?” Peter shot back, amusement coating his tone.
Heat flood Stiles’ cheeks. “Hey, who says I was looking for you? Maybe I am going door to door to collect donations for the Lacrosse team.”
“Hmm, Lacrosse.” Peter eyes roved over Stiles. “Are you built for such a sport?”
Stiles flush became one of anger. “Hey! I’m plenty good, and I’ll have you know, I have muscle. Sure, maybe not as much as Scott or Jackson, or you…” Stiles eyes strayed to the six pack Peter was sporting. He swallowed a bit of drool. “… but I’m definitely fit.” Stiles flexed his arm just to prove his point, although the bulkiness of his hoodie ruined the effect.
“I see.” Peter’s eyes locked onto Stiles’ abdomen.
Stiles reflexively covered his stomach.
The action caused Peter to snap his eyes to Stiles’ face. “And what position do you play?”
Stiles was about to answer when his brain caught up with the conversation. Holy! He was having a conversation about Lacrosse with Peter Hale, and the man was actually asking him questions like he wanted to get to know Stiles. He was going about it in an asshole way, but he was doing it.
“Um…” Stiles pushed his realization to the back of his head. “I’m actually here to see Chris.”
“He’s at work.”
“Oh.” Gun shop, Stiles’ mind supplied for an explanation. He’d come across that in his research too.
Peter pushed the door open wider, pulling himself off the doorframe. “You can wait for him here. He should be back in a few hours. I’m sure you have homework you can do while you wait.”
Stiles bit the inside of his cheek. It certainly would be more convenient then coming back later. Although, he could try to talk to Chris at the gun shop. Then again, did he really want to be around a complete stranger in a room full of guns? Hell, did he want to be in a complete stranger’s house when said strange sold and owned guns? It was a recipe for disaster.
Knowing that he was about to make another stupid decision, Stiles squared his shoulders and nodded. He turned halfway to go. “Let me get my stuff from my car.” Stiles didn’t wait for Peter to respond. As Stiles pulled his bag out of the jeep, he sent a text to Scott, informing him of what was going on and where to look for his body should he disappear for twenty-four hours. Stiles didn’t know if he should be pleased or offended when all he got back from Scott was a smiley face and an “Okay.”
Stiles hurried back to the house where Peter was waiting for him at the door. Warmth spread through his cheeks and down to his groin as he was once again met with the image of Peter shirtless. The guy clearly knew he was built like Adonis and was showing off. “You always walk around shirtless when you’re home?” Stiles said with a hint of venom as he slipped past Peter.
“Usually only when I plan to surprise my mate,” Peter said casually.
Stiles practically tripped at the admission. He looked over his shoulder at Peter, who was looking like the cat who had caught the canary.
“Sometimes in the summer too, when it gets too stifling in the house. Granted, when it’s that hot some times I lose my pants as well. Chris certainly hasn’t had any complaints.”
Stiles swallowed hard, his eyes glued to Peter’s chest as he imagined what it probably looked like in the summer with sweat glistening—
Stiles shook his head and tightened his hold on his bag’s strap. “You know, what you’re doing could be construed as sexual harassment towards me. No joke, if we were in a school or a work place, you would be getting arrested so fast, it would make you dizzy.” Stiles turned his back on Peter, forcing himself to walk deeper into the house. “Besides, just because you’re good looking doesn’t mean you can just sweep me up into your arms and I’ll just—”
Stiles gasped as two arms spun him around, wrapped around him, lifted him off the ground and plaster him against Peter’s chest. Stiles dropped his bag and grabbed Peter’s shoulders for purchase.
One of Peter’s arms rested along Stiles’ back to hold him in place, while the other… the other… oh lord, the other one was wrapped right under Stiles butt, just brushing the underside of it.
“You were saying?” Peter raised one thin eyebrow.
Stiles sputtered in indignation and sheer amazement. Stiles scowled. “Oh, what now? Do you plan to take me on a magic carpet ride?”
“Depends. The dirty version or the clean version?”
That witticism was so horrible Stiles didn’t know whether to laugh or groan. Instead he gawked.
Peter smirked. “I could keep this Disney theme banter going by informing you that you look like a codfish.”
Stiles snapped his mouth shut.
Peter was an arrogant asshole who had a witty comment for everything and made Stiles want to yank out what little hair he had.
Stiles was going to fall in love with him.
The realization plowed into Stiles like a raging bull.
He had loved Lydia for her confidence, ruthlessness, and brain, and Peter had that in spades. Having made that connection between Lydia and Peter, Stiles wondered if that was why he found so many fictional villains attractive. “You going to put me down, Hercules?”
Peter’s hold tightened. “Do you want me to?”
Stiles rolled his eyes. “You’re going to have to at some point. Do you really want me to watch you struggle as you heft me around for two minutes in a desperate attempt to show me your manliness?”
Peter smirked. “I can hold you for much longer than two minutes.”
There was a spark in the air as Stiles sensed a challenge. “Oh really?” Stiles met Peter’s devious gaze.
Peter tilted his head up so his lips and goatee ghosted Stiles throat. “Gladly.”
A jolt of excitement rushed through Stiles both at the contact and challenge.
Peter carried him through the house and into the kitchen where he asked Stiles if he’d like something to drink. Stiles bit down a laugh at the juxtaposition of the banal question and their odd situation. Stiles nodded his head and asked for a glass of water—rolling with the strangeness and enjoying every moment of it. Stiles was impressed when Peter slipped his hand off Stiles’ back to get Stiles his drink, holding Stiles up with one arm as if Stiles weighted nothing at all.
Peter handed Stiles the glass and Stiles finished it off in one chug.
“Getting tired yet, old man?” Stiles teased.
Peter flashed a smarmy smile. “Feeling too much like a damsel, Stiles?”
“The fairy tale joke portion of the evening is over, Peter,” Stiles drawled his name.
“Damsels are not just in fairy tales, Stiles,” Peter put emphasis on Stiles’ name.
Stiles refused to lose and was not above dirty tactics. He wiggled in Peter’s hold, trying to force Peter to put him down. Peter’s hold was like iron.
Stiles huffed. “What? Are you on steroids or something?” Stiles put all of his weight on his arms, trying to leverage himself out of Peter’s arms.
Stiles opened his mouth to make a witty comment when he his hand slipped off Peter’s shoulder. His upper body went careening backwards toward the hard counter. Stiles squeezed his eyes, bracing himself for a split skull. Instead, the hold on his hips slipped so he slid down Peter’s body, and a hand buried itself in his hair, tugging him toward Peter.
Peter’s arm encircled his waist, holding his feet just centimeters off the ground. Peter was tense, and his grip on Stiles was secure, albeit a tad painful.
Stiles waited a second to be sure he really hadn’t hit his had and was in a coma before he released a deep breath and sank against Peter’s chest. Like a chain reaction, Peter’s muscles loosened and he lowered Stiles the last few centimeters to the ground. Peter pulled away first, glancing over Stiles’ form.
“I win,” Peter deadpanned. He turned around and walked away.
Stiles sputtered amd gave chase. “You did not!”
Peter bent to pick up Stiles’ bag. “I held you for over two minutes, didn’t I?”
Stiles paused then mentally cursed. Peter was right.
Looking like the smug asshole that he was, Peter tossed Stiles his bag.
Stile caught it with one hand and sneered at Peter.
Peter ignored the expression, strolling past Stiles towards a door. Peter pushed the door open to reveal a small study filled with bookshelves of leather bound books and artifacts that looked like they belonged in a museum. Peter cocked his head in the direction of the kitchen. “Grab one of the chairs from there, and join me in here. You can study while I work.”
Stiles huffed, but did as directed. He dragged one of the wooden chairs at the kitchen table to Peter’s study only to stop at the doorway.
Peter—finally, with a v-neck on—sat at the desk typing away at the computer screen. The desk was immaculate with only a small pile of papers that Peter thumbed through. Such a sight shouldn’t be so intimidating, yet Stiles found himself nervous. Stiles was used to spreading everything out on any surface available to him—it was why his room was such a mess. If Peter was so tidy, he probably wouldn’t appreciate Stiles’ study habits.
Peter didn’t even look up from his computer screen as his mouth curled with annoyance. “Will you just get in here already?”
Stiles rushed inside, setting his chair across from Peter and dropping his bag to the floor. Stiles crouched and searched through his bag for all the things he would need. He pulled out two notebooks and textbooks, plus a handful of worksheets. He gnawed on his lip as he stared at the desk.
Peter glanced at him from the corner of his eye, fingers pausing momentarily on his keyboard. He scoffed. “Spread out, just clean up when you’re done.”
Stiles nodded enthusiastically and did just that. He hummed to himself as he did his homework. Peter sneered at the sound, but didn’t say anything. After a few minutes his sour expression vanished.
This could work, Stiles mentally said. Sure, Peter wasn’t perfect, but Stiles would be lying if he said he hadn’t enjoyed Peter’s company so far. It helped ease some of his doubt.
The two hours went by quickly with Peter, and Stiles jumped at the sound of the front door opening and closing.
Peter stood, brushing past Stiles as he rounded the desk and exited the room.
Stiles hesitated, uncertain whether he should follow or if Peter planned to bring Chris to him. He tapped his fingers nervously against the back of his chair, screwed his courage, then stood.
He exited the study just in time to hear Peter say, “…visitor who would like to talk to you.”
Chris was standing in the living room, having just entered the house. His eyes left Peter’s face and zoomed in on Stiles’. In an instant, the warm yet curious look on Chris’ face vanished to be replaced with disgust, like Stiles had just dropped a dead rat in front of him.
There was a pang in Stiles’ chest at the reaction, but he did his best not to let his disappointment show. He might have been getting along with Peter, but that meant nothing if Chris disliked him or viewed him as an intruder.
It looked like Chris had a good life. What did he need a second soul mate for anyway?
“Stiles.” Chris greeted him with a nod. His prior expression was wiped away and left with nonchalance.
Stiles mimicked Chris’ stoicism and crossed his arms over his chest. “Chris.”
Stiles focused on feeling angry about the reaction, using that to fuel his confidence. “I wanted to ask you about why you were hunting in the preserve yesterday.” Stiles’ eyes flicked to Peter. He wasn’t sure if Peter knew about the wolfman. Soul mates had a special bond, but that didn’t mean they shared everything with each other.
Chris nodded, walking around Peter who watched their interaction as if studying a chess match. “The preserve is a nice place to hunt.”
Stiles fidgeted. “Let me rephrase. I want to know what it is your were hunting.”
Chris was flipping through the mail left tossed aside on the coffee table; his back was to Stiles. “I believe I told the police it was squirrels.”
Peter snorted with contained laughter.
Chris turned just enough to give Peter the evil eye.
Time to push the subject a little more, Stiles encouraged himself. “Really, because you showed up right when something big attacked me.”
“Probably a bear or a cougar.”
A vein in Stiles’ forehead throbbed. “You came running!”
“You screamed.” Chris whirled, raising his voice just a tad. “Any decent being would have come running. Is this really why you're here, Stiles? Because you saw something that scared you? Or is this just some excuse so you can visit us?”
Stiles saw red and clenched his jaw just long enough so he wouldn’t call Chris a god damn jackass. “You know, what, no. This wasn’t some pathetic attempt just to see you two, so don’t even try to belittle me by writing me off as some besotted teenager who makes up stories just to get their boyfriend to notice them. I want to know what attacked me.”
“You and a lot of people.” Chris threw the mail down and marched out of the room.
Stiles gaped. “Are you even my soul mate?”
The words were out of Stiles’ mouth before he could stop himself, and even if he could have, he wasn’t so sure he would have. From the moment Chris realized what Stiles was to him, he’d done nothing to encourage Stiles to pursue a relationship in any way. Quite the opposite in fact. Stiles knew not all soul mates had the happily ever after wedding, but weren’t they at leas supposed to be cordial?
Peter went as rigid as a statue. Chris’ shuffle stopped abruptly.
Stiles waited for either one of them to say something. It didn’t have to be poetic or a grand confession of love, but just something to make him feel less like an invader.
Stiles threw his hands up and stormed for the door. “Forget it! I’ll just figure it out on my own.”
“Stiles,” Peter said. He grabbed Stiles’ by the hip and turned him around. Stiles’ felt Peter’s fingers dip into his jeans’ pocket then retreat. “You almost forgot you school supplies.”
Stiles flushed. He stomped into the study, gathered his things, then stormed out of the house, refusing to look at Peter or Chris.
He slammed the Jeep’s door once he was inside and threw his bag into the passenger seat. He smacked his head against his steering wheel and groaned. What a frickin’ idiot he was. That’s what he got for letting himself think for a second that just maybe he could pull off this complicated relationship.
Stiles hit his dashboard. He twisted at the waist to grab his seatbelt when he felt something poke at his hip. He reached in his pocket to pull out a folded piece of paper. Written in perfect penmanship where seven digits—Peter’s phone number, Stiles assumed since the man was the last to touch Stiles’ hip.
Stiles stared at the numbers. He didn’t even know if it was Peter’s house or cell phone.
House phone… Chris’ phone.
Stiles crumpled up the paper into a ball and threw it on floor.
He gunned the jeep out of there.
“You want me to what?” Danny—lovable, kind, intelligent, Lacrosse goalie, and expert hacker—asked Stiles.
It was currently the ten-minute break between periods three and four, and Stiles had cornered Danny at his locker to ask him for a big favor. “I want you to hack into the government and tell me if they are conducting any human-mutant experiments. Specifically, ones that have to do with wolves, although, maybe you should look into canines in general, just to be safe.”
Danny slammed his locker shut and shook his head. “You’ve lost your mind.”
Stiles ran around Danny and blocked his path. “No. No. I have not lost my mind. I’m a little bit crazy, I will admit, but everyone is to an extent, and thankfully I am not past the line of normal crazy just yet.”
“Even if you aren’t insane, what makes you think I could do anything like that?”
Stiles made a show of looking around. “I may have looked up your arrest record.”
Danny rolled his eyes and shoved past Stiles.
“I’ll tell the police you broke probation a few months ago to hack into medical files to find your soul mate.”
Danny’s shoulders bunched together as he came to a halt. He spun around. “You know about that?”
Stiles grinned and pulled out his cell phone, which he had left recording the conversation. “No, but I do now, and I got it on record.”
Danny’s frowned at the phone. “I could delete that easily.”
Stiles held up a finger. “True, however, I’ve set up my phone to automatically send copies to a select few individuals who you do not know, who are to make hard copies upon receiving aforementioned recording and deliver it to the police upon my instructions.”
“Is one of them Scott?” Danny inquired, not taking Stiles seriously at all.
Stiles scoffed. “What? Are you nuts? The guy can barely handle a DVD player.”
Danny paused, contemplating his options. “You’re bluffing.”
Stiles nodded. “You’re right, I might be.” He clasped his hand on Danny’s shoulder. “But do you really want to take a chance that you might be wrong?”
Danny pried Stiles’ hand off him. “Okay, but it’s going to take a few days.”
“Cool. Stiles and Danny hanging out for a few days. Almost like a date. I’ll bring the popcorn.”
Danny smiled, showing off his dimples. “Fair warning, I’m a cuddler.”
Stiles blinked. “Is that true? That’s so sweet.”
Danny rolled his eyes, and smacked Stiles on the arm. “No, you dumbass, and I’ll be working on this alone. Last thing I need is you distracting me and I do something to get myself caught.” Danny sauntered past Stiles to his next class just as the bell rang.
“That wasn’t very nice, Danny!” Stiles hollered.
Scott popped in front of Stiles, nearly giving Stiles a heart attack. “Dude! Are you cheating on Argent with Danny?”
Stiles clutched his heart and backed away. “Jesus Christ, Scott, you cannot do that to me. I may have inherited my Dad’s weak heart, and you doing that may kill me one of these days.”
“Sorry, but you were flirting with Danny.”
“I always flirt with Danny.”
Scott, bless his soul, did his damnedest to give Stiles a bitch face but failed spectacularly.
“Okay,” Stiles confessed, “maybe not all the time, but some times. I did ask him if he found me attractive sophomore year, though, and that was right after I shot my highlighter cap out of my mouth and caught it.”
“What does your highlighter cap have to do with anything?”
Stiles pointed at his mouth. “Hello? I have a skillful mouth. Do I really need to explain this to you?”
Scott frowned. “I still don’t see how shooting a highlighter cap out of your mouth is flirting. It’s not like you were licking a sucker.”
Scott walked with Stiles to history. “So have you talked to Argent yet?”
“Define ‘talk to.’”
Scott winced. “What happened?”
“I really don’t want to talk about it, but you know what I do want to talk about…” Stiles stopped in the middle of the school hallway, which had emptied due to fourth period having started. “That thing that attacked me. Was there anything you noticed about it, besides it being hideously deformed? Like maybe some sort of mark or bite?”
Scott shook his head. “I was kind of focused on it trying to eat you.”
Not surprising, but still rather disappointing. Stiles needed more information if he was going to narrow down his list of possible creatures.
“Honestly, I rather forget about it.” Scott shuddered. “It gives me the creeps.”
“How can you not be curious about what that thing was?”
Scott shrugged. “As I said, I really just don’t want to think about it. I rather just call it some weird wolf mutation or a crazy homeless person that the police will deal with.
“You mean that my dad will deal with,” Stiles pointed out, letting anger seep into his voice.
Scott blushed. He rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. “Sorry. I didn’t think about it like that.”
Stiles deflated, unable to stay mad long at his friend. “It’s okay.”
They picked up their pace, but just as they were a few steps away from history, Scott stopped. “What about the wolf?”
“I thought you said you didn’t want to think about it?”
“I mean the real wolf. The one that saved you. You said wolves aren’t native to California.”
Stiles blinked. He’d totally forgotten about his furry savior. He’d been so focused on the monster he hadn’t paid attention to the other abnormality. “I could hug you, Scott.”
Scott grinned. “Thanks.”
History went by fast with Stiles ignoring the class and jotting down any theories he had behind the wolf’s appearance. Wolves lived in packs, so it was very possible that the wolfman and the wolf were pack. The wolfman could perhaps be caught in the middle of the shift, unable to turn human or wolf for some reason. If that was the case then it was more likely that the man and wolf were skin walkers. However, the wolf did attack the wolfman. So the question was did the wolf attack out of animosity or to stop the wolfman from murdering Stiles?
Stiles bit on the eraser of his pencil, looking over the question he had just written. He drew two branches from it that read: Save me b/c good guy? and save me to protect W.M. from murder charges?
If Stiles could figure out the wolf’s motivations in all this, he might be able to solve this mystery. Although, he could always wait until the next full moon and listen for howls. That would indicate a high probability for werewolves. He hadn’t heard any howls over the last couple of days so any activity during the full moon would be quite the change of pace.
History ended and Stiles head for his next class where he continued writing down questions and theories. He got called on a few times in class, but a few witty comments and snarky remarks managed to hide the fact that he hadn’t been paying attention. Stiles did his best to keep an ear out for key words during the rest of his classes.
Then Lacrosse practice came, Coach Finstock put him in the goal. Stiles was terrible at playing goalie, and Finstock knew it too. This was so obviously punishment for Stiles skipping out on the last practice, and Stiles almost called Finstock out on it. Sadly, every time Stiles opened his mouth to protest the abuse, a ball whizzed at him and Stiles had to either duck or flail to save himself. He cringed when one ball hit him in the pelvic—Jackson’s doing.
Stiles spent the rest of the practice running suicides and wondering what exactly he had done to Scott to make his best friend inadvertently try to kill him by insisting they sign up for Lacrosse?
Later, Stiles drove Scott home then returned to his house to find his dad had taken on another double-shift. Stiles collapsed on the couch, glaring at his school bag. He was not in the mood for homework.
He wanted to solve this wolfman mystery more than ever. It wasn’t just about simple curiosity any more. He felt like he needed to prove himself. Like he needed to go up to Chris Argent and rub it in the jackass’ face that Stiles was able to figure out the mystery without him.
It was petty and stupid, but Stiles never claimed to be mature and smart.
Even taking into account the wolf angle, Stiles needed more information, and there was only one way he was going to get it. He had to go back into the woods.
Stiles grumbled as his cell phone’s screen dimmed while he was using the compass app. He looked down at the map in his hand, trying to find the place where he’d been ambushed the other day. He squinted at the map then his compass. By all calculations he should have at least stumbled upon the police sectioned off area in the woods.
Crap. He must have gotten turned around somewhere.
Stiles bit his thumb, mentally running through the path he had taken to figure out where he had gone wrong. The obvious answer was the moment he suggested to Scott that they go out into the preserve, but there wasn’t anything he could do about it now. Nope, he just had to plow on until he came up with something.
…Or died. Specifically killed and eaten by the wolfman in the woods.
At least Stiles wasn’t wearing his red hoodie. That was not an allusion he wanted in his life. Especially, if it pertained to his death.
Now an allusion to the Blue Beard fairy tale, that he wouldn’t mind.
Wait! No! Stiles shook his head. He did not want his life alluding to the Blue Beard fairy tale either, even if it was one of the better tales. All this stress was making him crazy.
Stiles huffed and turned on heel. He’d just retrace his steps until he found the trail leading to where he’d parked.
He kept glancing between the map and compass, while doing his best not to think about the animal in the woods that wanted to maul him. Finally, he shoved the map into his pocket. He let his eyes wander the preserve’s floor, scanning it for signs of the wolfman’s presence.
Maybe he could find something that would lead him to the wolfman’s den or wherever he lived?
He crouched in front of a bush with a broken branch and studied it for five seconds before he realized he didn’t know what he was studying it for. TV made tracking animals look easy.
A little voice in Stiles’ head pointed out that Chris would know what to look for. It sent his blood boiling and his determination aflame. He stopped at every broken branch, trampled plant, and oddly shaped hole in the ground. All the while he jumped at every rustle in the bush. He squealed like a frightened chipmunk when a rabbit bounced out from behind a tree to rush past him. He thought he’d heard a bark of some sort after, but shrugged it off when no other sound followed.
Sweat drenched him by the time he found the trail, and Stiles wondered if it was worth continuing the search for the day or if he should try again tomorrow? He was exhausted and that homework he had avoided prior was not going away no matter how much he willed it to.
His chest was heavy with defeat as he followed the trail back to his car. He stuffed his hands in his jeans’ pockets and hung his head low. He’d been on the path for ten minutes when something caught his attention from the corner of his eye. Stiles stopped and strained his eyesight.
There was a hole in earth with something black sticking out of it.
Stiles cocked his head to one side and took a cautious step towards the hole. He briefly wondered why he hadn’t noticed the strange sight before, when he realized that from his angle earlier the trees and brush did an excellent job of concealing the oddity.
Stiles got closer and frowned. There were more details to the black thing in the hole that he could make out, but not much. It was charred and almost branch-like.
There was also a horrible odor to it, like burned meat.
Stiles' heart shot to his throat and he froze. His eyes went wide as he stared at the object in the ground.
No… Stiles thought in disbelief.
Horror had Stiles trapped in a mental loop of: “No. …but it kind of looks like—No!” His morbid curiosity dragged him toward the thing.
“Shit!” Stiles cried when there was no mistaking that the black mass sticking out from the hole was a hand.
Stiles backed up. “Police,” he told himself. “Call the police.” Stiles fumbled to pull out his phone, dropping it in his hurry. He cursed and bent to pick it up.
The bushes shook and a low growl was emitted from the direction.
Stiles flailed in a panic and landed on his hip. He winced in pain, a rock digging into his thigh.
A black wolf padded out from the bushes. Its lips were pulled back in a snarl that was aimed at the charred limb. It went up to the hand and sniffed. It shook its head, its growl growing in volume. The wolf snapped its head at Stiles.
Stiles bit down a yelp, and fought the urge to scramble backwards. His brain was functioning just enough to remind him that acting like prey would only make things worse. He didn’t know what to do. If it were a bear he was dealing with he would play dead, but he wasn’t so certain the survival tip extended to wolves.
The wolf approached him.
Stiles’ heart hammered in his chest. Fuck whether it was for bears or not, Stiles needed to at least try something to keep himself from getting mauled.
Stiles threw himself on the ground and closed his eyes. He went as limp as he possibly could and did his best to keep his breathing shallow.
He felt the wolf hovering over him. It huffed then sat beside him.
Stiles opened his eye a crack.
The wolf stared at him, and something about its expression transmitted the phrase, “You dumbass.”
Slowly, Stiles peeled his eyes open and sat up.
The wolf watched his movements intently.
Stiles swallowed a lump in his throat and eyed the wolf. Everything had been such a blur when he’d first seen the wolf he hadn’t noticed the white patch of fur on the lower half of its muzzle—like a goatee. There was also a white spot on its head that Stiles’ fingers were aching to prodded.
“So you’re not going to eat me?”
The wolf opened its mouth in a grin that showed off its fangs.
Stiles shuddered. “Yeah, keep those teeth to yourself, buddy.”
The wolf held its grin for a moment longer then snapped its jaw shut. It looked at the hand sticking out of the ground and growled again. It then pried its gaze away from the scene and glared behind Stiles.
Stiles twisted to see what the wolf was looking at, but the wolf swiped its tail along the ground and sent something hard scuttling into Stiles’ lower back. Stiles reached behind him and pulled out his cell phone. Stiles looked between the phone and the wolf. With some of his fear gone, his brain had enough room to process the situation and fill the emotional hole with suspicion. “Definitely not a normal wolf.” Stiles scrutinized the wolf from the corner of his eye. “So what are you?”
There was a twinkle in the wolf’s gaze, something that indicated there was more than standard wolf intelligence beyond the expression. It compounded what Stiles had been suspecting all along.
Stiles glared. “Talk to me.”
The wolf barked.
“Use human speech.”
The wolf just stared at him.
Stiles huffed. “We both know that I know you’re not a normal wolf, so c’mon, speak or transform or whatever it is you do.”
The wolf’s eyes flashed red.
Stiles’ jerked away. Stiles gawked as his mind raced through all his theories, eliminating a few, and then adding a handful more to his list possibilities. He hoped with all his might that his new theory that the wolf was a demon wasn’t true.
Slowly, like an ocean tide coming in, images of Peter bubbled to the surface of his mind. It had only been milliseconds it seemed, but there had been a few times when Stiles had thought he’d seen crimson in the man’s gaze.
Stiles’ shoulder bunched with apprehension. He brought his hands up and cupped the wolf’s face, staring into its eyes as if doing so would somehow magically confirm what he suspected. Chris had been hunting the wolfman that day, but there had been no Peter—at least not at first glance. It sounded crazy, but Stiles’ had already opened himself up to supernatural possibilities, so why couldn’t Peter be a skin walker or something similar?
“Peter?” Stiles asked.
The wolf surged forward, its soft fur slipping through Stiles fingers. It touched its cold nose to Stiles neck, inhaling his scent. It brushed its teeth along the junction of Stiles’ throat and collarbone. Stiles shuddered in fright when the wolf added pressure. He shoved the wolf away. “Hey!”
Amusement shone on the wolf’s face.
Definitely Peter. “You asshole!” Stiles pushed Peter’s muzzle away.
Peter mock growled and snapped at Stiles’ fingers.
Stiles yelped and withdrew his hand.
His body was shaking with nerves and Stiles cursed his body’s reaction. His soul mate was some kind of supernatural being—no biggie. He’d always wanted to marry a super hero, this was probably as close as he was going to get. Stiles took a deep breath and closed his eyes, willing himself to calm down.
His body wouldn’t stop trembling.
“Damn it,” he hissed.
A human hand wrapped around Stiles’. Stiles lifted his head to see a naked Peter kneeling in front of him. “Now really, I thought you could handle this much better than that. You were doing so well with the cadaver.”
“Shut up.” Stiles glanced at the charred limb in the ground and squeezed Peter’s hand. “You’re a fucking asshole for not telling me that you’re a furry.”
Peter chuckled, his voice low and rich. “The correct term is ‘werewolf.’”
Werewolf. Stiles let the word sink in and filtered out all of the information he’d collected over the last couple of days that wasn’t pertinent. “You seem more like a skin walker, since you actually become a wolf and not whatever that thing was that attacked me.”
Stiles glared, annoyed that Peter was blatantly ignoring the social cue for him to explain himself. Stiles reached for his phone. “I’ll deal with you later, once I take care of the burned body over yonder.” He gestured at the charred hand.
Peter’s hand wrapped around Stiles’ wrist, halting Stiles’ movements. Stiles gave Peter an expectant look, and Peter grinned in a charming manner that made Stiles all the more suspicious. He tugged Stiles close so he could whisper in Stiles’ ear. “I need you to hold off on calling the law enforcements.”
“What?” Stiles flinched away, but Peter kept his hold strong and firm. “Maybe you’ve been in your wolf form too long, but when a person finds a dead body or a severed limb they need to report it.” Stiles glanced down as he finished his sentence. He wished he hadn’t when he got the lovely reminder that Peter was in nothing but his birthday suit.
The situation was so weird. He could not be around naked people when dealing with corpses. It messed with his head too much.
He flushed with embarrassment as he turned his head away.
Peter pressed closer. “Unless you want to bring more trouble to your father, I suggest you keep quiet about what you found today.”
Stiles whirled. “Are you threatening me?”
Peter’s grip tightened on Stiles’ wrist. He rolled his eyes. “Don’t be so dramatic. I am merely offering advice.”
“I welcome your sagacity,” Stiles spat out sarcastically.
Suddenly the hand was gone from Stiles’ wrist and his chin was being tilted up. Peter’s eyes flickered ruby red for a second then returned to icy blue as he stared Stiles down. “I also suggest you take what I say seriously, Stiles. What you’ve found is the remains of the creature that attacked you.”
Stiles tried to whip his head toward the hand, but Peter kept his head steady. “You already have an idea how strong that creature was. Imagine what brought it down, and why someone would make the effort to bury the body but leave the hand sticking out of the ground.”
Stiles insides chilled. It would have taken something very strong to bring down the wolfman, and Stiles couldn’t fathom a reason to so spectacularly fail at hiding a body unless it was intentional.
Peter released Stiles’ chin. He rose to his feet, guiding Stiles to stand with him. He nudged Stiles toward the path leading out of the preserve. “Go. I’ll take care of this.”
Stiles intestines churned with trepidation. He understood Peter’s point but instinct told him that letting Peter dispose of the body was wrong on so many levels. A more shallow part of himself was panicked about what it said about who Peter was that he so easily suggested lying and then offered to hide the cadaver. Peter was his soul mate, but could Stiles really trust him? He barely knew the guy and this was something that would have him hesitating even if Scott asked him to do it—and Scott was his bro for life!
Peter frowned and waved Stiles away. “Unless you want to help and put yourself at criminal risk, you should be going, Stiles.”
“How do I know it wasn’t you?” Stiles burst.
Peter was nonplussed by the question.
“You could have killed the—the—god damn it! What is it?”
Stiles pursed his lips. “But you’re—”
“Also a werewolf.” Peter nodded. “My form is not as crude. He was an omega driven mad without a pack and his form showed that. Poetic, isn’t it?”
Stiles shook his head. “I still don’t know that you didn’t kill him.”
“I would hide the body much better than this.”
“That is not comforting.”
Peter shrugged. “It wasn’t intended to be.”
Stiles bit his bottom lip. Indecision wracked his insides. He looked between Peter and the body. He thought about his dad and how devastated he would be if this was some elaborate trap set up for the police. He loved his dad too much to put him at risk, so he shoved down all of his apprehensions and took a step back. “Okay.” He took a deep breath. “Okay, I’m going to act like I never saw this, but,” he leveled Peter with his best glare, “I’m going to be watching you, buddy.”
Peter’s lips curled like he enjoyed the challenge. “Whatever helps you sleep at night, Stiles.”
Stiles swallowed a lump in his throat and nodded. He spun on his heel and jogged up the path, leaving Peter to do the deed.
Chris raised the shotgun to his face, looking through the sight. He suspected the sight had been damaged during travel, but everything appeared fine when in use. He lowered the weapon and eyed the sight—it still looked slightly crooked though. He frowned and set the gun down on the counter, and examined it some more.
A bell overhead alerted him to someone entering the store.
Chris’ hand dipped below the counter where one of his personal guns lay.
Peter marched through the rows of guns and gun accessories. Chris was momentarily distracted by Peter dressed in black, form-fitting attire. Of course, Peter couldn’t go a moment without something reminiscent of a v-neck in his outfit, so he’d pulled down the zipper of his jacket to give a hint of chest.
Chris’ body tensed in anticipation; Peter was dressed like he wanted something and was going to seduce it out of Chris. The fact was cemented by the memory of Peter in more casual clothing when Chris had left for work.
Chris squashed his expectation at the grim look on Peter’s face. Peter pressed his palms against the counter, ready to spring in any direction at a moment’s notice. Peter was either feeling defensive or preparing to chase Chris if he tried to run. “Looks like your hunter friends are either more desperate than I thought, or they are abundantly cocky.”
Chris eyes narrowed and he looked around the shop. There weren’t any customers and he wanted to keep it that way. Chris held up one hand, signaling he’d be back in a moment. Peter huffed, but let Chris walk past to flip the open sign on the door to close and lock them inside. Chris returned to Peter. “Continue.”
Peter scoffed. “There isn’t much more to say.”
Chris glowered. He really hated when Peter chose to be difficult. “Elaborate.”
“The omega’s body was removed from where I’d buried it, and conveniently placed near one of the trails leading into the preserve. It was also burned. Of course not to ashes, but just enough that any blithering idiot could identify claw marks.”
“You think the hunters did that?”
“Who else would?” Peter wrinkled his nose. “Unless you know of another threat to our territory and haven’t told me.” There was a bit of a growl at the end of Peter’s sentence, but Chris paid it little mind.
“That’s a bold move though, one that could hurt them just as much as it could hurt us.” A burned body with claw marks—it would force the police to look a little more closely at the animal attack cases to determine if it was at all possible for humans to leave such marks. Upon closer inspection they might even find evidence of human involvement. Whatever would happen though, one thing was certain, if there had been a lot of cops in the preserve before, there would be more if the body was found. “What did you do with the corpse?”
“Got rid of it. I even moved it out of our territory and finished the job the hunters started by burning the remains into an unrecognizable crisp.”
Intrigued, Chris leaned forward and took a whiff of Peter’s scent. A subtle soapy smell filled his nostrils. Suddenly, Peter’s change of clothes made a little more sense; he’d cleaned himself of any chemicals he’d used.
Peter’s lips quirked; he was taking joy out of Chris’ curiosity. Peter stretched, arching his back. “Now can we kill the hunters, since they’ve chosen to stay even after I did their job for them?”
Chris shook his head. “I’ll try to get in contact with them, and see—”
Peter glowered. “The omega was dead, Christopher,” he purred Chris’ formal name, but the seductive rumble was laced with venom. “They should have left, but instead they are trying to make things difficult for me. Even go so far as to get other hunters out here.”
Peter smirked. “You really didn’t think it was just about being an annoyance, did you, Chris? You know just as well as I do once the police file a report about someone dying from animal wounds and burning, other hunters will arrive. The omega may have brought the hunters here, but they are after me.” Peter sauntered around the counter, brushing his side against Chris’. “After us.”
Peter’s breath ghosted Chris’ ear, but he refused to let his lover distract him. He wasn’t a fan of killing humans. He could do—had done it, but it wasn’t something he was fond about.
Peter’s eyes roved Chris’ face. Calculation shone in his blue orbs. “I wasn’t the first to find the body, Chris. You know who was?”
Chris turned his head, his brain debating with his gut as to whether he should listen to Peter or not.
“Stiles found the omega.”
It took all of his years of training not to wrench himself from Peter. He seized whatever concern he felt and hurled into a closet in the back of his mind. He focused on his anger. “Stiles? And were you following Stiles when he found the body, or did you two just coincidentally stumble upon it at the same time?”
“I may be interested in our soul mate, Chris, but even I know stalking isn’t the best way to start a relationship. I had been roaming the preserve when I caught the scent of the body having been dragged through the woods. If I happened to stumble upon Stiles along the way, then so be it.”
The pieces of the puzzled clicked into place, and Chris could see the picture that Peter was dancing around. “You stopped Stiles from calling the police.” Chris white knuckled the edge of the counter. He loved Peter, but he knew the man could be downright evil when he wanted to be. He’d like to think Peter was too enamored with Stiles to harm the boy, but he’d been taught long ago to expect the worst, even from those he loved. “How?”
Peter frowned, his head tilting just enough to give away that he was listening to Chris’ heartbeat. Peter placed a hand on Chris’ back, letting it run along Chris’ spine as Peter nonchalantly wandered past Chris to pretend to examine one of the guns on the back wall. “I told him the truth: that he’d be bringing more trouble to his father if he did. I would think a town filled with hunters would be bothersome to the police, don’t you?”
Chris relaxed a tad, but was still bracing himself for another bomb. “And what other truths did you tell him?”
Peter blinked, letting his eyes go wide as if he were the most innocent being in the world. “I told him nothing, at least nothing he hadn’t already figured out or was on the brink of discovery.”
“Damn it, Peter.” Chris shoved himself away from the counter and stormed a few paces away from Peter before whirling on his soul mate. “We discussed this.”
Peter held up a finger in contradiction. “We did, and I said I would go along with it, but there’s no sense in lying to the boy when he’s already found the answer.”
“And how did he, Peter?”
“He’s a smart one, Chris. Don’t belittle him.”
Chris glanced at Peter from the corner of his eyes as he turned his back on Peter. He needed a moment to calm down and think rationally. It was a struggle, especially when he knew Peter had somehow manipulated the situation so it would be easier for Stiles to guess whatever Peter wanted him to know. “What does he know now?”
“That I am a werewolf, and so was the omega who attacked him.”
“Does he also know that you killed the omega?”
Peter waved off the question.
“So you misled him?”
“I thought you would be delighted,” Peter said.
Chris ran he hand through his hair. He glanced at the clock on the wall. There were only a couple hours left until he closed for the night. He was tempted to close the shop anyway, just so he could get a drink to calm his nerves. “I don’t like these games, Peter.”
“I don’t like this strange belief of yours that Stiles is safer ignorant. He showed up here the other day suspecting something supernatural at work. It took him only a minute to guess who I was despite my wolf form. Whether you like it or not, Stiles will learn everything eventually. We can either bring him in now, and control how he learns and pace him, or we can leave him out there vulnerable to anyone or anything.”
Chris clenched his fists. He understood Peter’s argument, but there was still a voice in his head that protested. He remembered growing up in a hunter family, being signed up for every self-defense class, learning at age six to load and clean guns, and believing it was all so normal at first then questioning it as he got older until he was fully indoctrinated into hunter society. He’d still been young then—unable to care about the aspects of the life he had missed out on because of his upbringing—but now that he was older there were times when he wondered what his life would have been like if hadn’t been raised to hunt.
He didn’t want Stiles to have those doubts too.
“Let’s not forget what he said the other day too,” Peter brought up the topic so casually.
Internally, Chris cringed. Never had he imagined his soul mate would question if they were indeed destined. Stiles’ words had stung like a whip. He wanted to prove himself worthy to Stiles, but he couldn’t do so without bringing Stiles into the supernatural world.
He was trapped with no clear victory in sight.
Chris fished out the store keys from his pocket and tossed them to Peter. “Lock up for me.”
He was going to drink enough alcohol that he’d go blind by the end of the night.
Stiles plucked the crumpled up paper ball that held Peter’s phone number on it from the jeep's floor. He unfolded it and stared at the numbers. He crumpled it again, pressing his fist to his mouth as he debated what to do. He’d been plagued by worries and questions since he left Peter in the preserve. He’d forced himself to sit down and do his homework, although, he was fifty percent certain his government essay on dictatorships had devolved into a paper on mythological creatures, starting with vampires.
Stiles pulled his phone out of his pocket and looked at the time. It was just past eleven. Peter was probably asleep by now—or maybe not. Did being a werewolf make Peter nocturnal?
Stiles sighed and smoothed out the ball again. He typed the number into his phone but didn’t hit the call button.
He marched into the house, locking the door behind him.
His dad peeked around the corner from the family room—he’d go to bed in a few minutes once he finished whatever talk show had grabbed his attention for the night. “You find the notes you were looking for?”
“Not in my car.” Stiles climbed the stairs. “Must have left them in my locker.”
“You going to be okay for school tomorrow?”
“Not really much I can do if I’m not.”
Guilt riddled Stiles at his dad’s sour expression. “Don’t worry about it, Dad. I’ll be fine.”
“Next time, grab everything out of your locker.”
Stiles nodded. “Will do.” He hurried upstairs and locked his bedroom door behind him. He pressed the call button on his phone and raised the cell to his ear. He tapped his foot as the phone dialed out.
“Hello?” Peter’s voice traveled down the end of the line.
“You owe me so many explanations.”
“Stiles.” Peter chuckled. “Sadly, I can’t play Twenty Questions with you now. I have to pick up someone and take them home. You really should have called sooner.”
“I had homework.”
“Ah, good. You’re not like Chris who throws away his education.”
“Just stop with the quips, and take me seriously.”
“I am taking you seriously, however, answering all of your questions right now is not a priority. Now, if you insist you must get your information tonight, then I will swing by your house and you can join me.”
Stiles crossed one arm over his chest, his eyes going to the alarm clock by his bed. “Right now?”
Stiles looked at his door, checking to see if the hall light was on, even though he knew it was. He bit the inside of his cheek, internally cussing at his predicament. “Can you give another fifteen minutes? My dad is still awake—”
“Are you saying you have a curfew?” The “at age eighteen” was heavily implied in Peter’s voice.
Stiles scowled. “No, but that doesn’t mean my dad is okay with me going out in the middle of the night without telling him. Plus, he can legally kick me out of the house now if I piss him off.”
Peter tutted. “Then I suppose it’s a good thing that you can come live with Chris and me if that ever happens. I’m driving down the street right now, if you’re not outside when I reach your house then I’m leaving without you.”
Peter hung up.
Stiles let out a litany of curses. He grabbed his jacket off his computer chair and slid it on. He climbed out his window and jumped down onto the front lawn. His dad would probably be more furious that Stiles left without telling than if Stiles had just shouted something over his shoulder while running out the front door, but Stiles didn’t want to risk getting stopped because his dad wanted to interrogate him.
A sleek black car pulled up to the driveway.
Stiles dashed across the lawn and hopped into the passenger seat.
A mixture of musk and woods with a hint of soap assailed Stiles’ nostrils—Peter’s scent.
He barely had time to close the door before Peter took off so fast the engine roared. Stiles accidentally bit his tongue as he was jolted forward. He grabbed his seatbelt and strapped himself in.
“So what do you want to know?” Peter asked.
Stiles huffed, giving himself a moment to collect and organize his questions. “Since you can turn into a wolf whenever you want, does the full moon have any effect on you?”
“It makes it harder to control the transformation, but otherwise, no.”
“All right, so how much of the werewolf legends are true?”
Peter guffawed. “Which one are you referring to?” Peter took one hand off the wheel, letting it rest lazily in his lap. “Let me make things easy for you. Heightened senses, greater strength, and faster healing abilities. Weaknesses…” Peter looked at Stiles and smirked. “Let’s save those for when we know each other a little better.”
“Pack dynamics: wolf like or not?”
“Only wolf like in terms of hierarchy, although, omegas are different for werewolves. Omegas are packless.”
“So they’re not everyone’s bitch?”
“Only in colloquial terms,” Peter grinned knowingly. “Pack makes us strong. Without it, well, I’m sure you can guess what happens.”
“What about you?” Stiles asked.
“What about me?”
“Do you have a pack?”
“Chris is my pack,” there wasn’t a note of irony or sarcasm at the admission.
It felt like someone had released a cage of butterflies in Stiles' stomach. It wasn’t hard to put two and two together. “So I’m—”
“Not pack yet,” Peter cut in. A wicked gleam entered his eyes. His hand slid to Stiles’ knee. “Although, that can change at any moment.”
Stiles’ throat went dry. His emotions were a mess. He didn’t know if he was happy, excited, disappointed, or terrified at Peter’s reveal. If he was being a romantic about the situation the idea of being in a pack with his soul mates sounded awesome, but if he was being realistic, it was very creepy how Peter had already planned to add Stiles to his pack without discussing it with him, even if it was a logical step take.
Stiles shrugged off such thoughts. He hadn’t just wanted to talk to Peter about the inner workings of werewolves. He wanted to know more about the omega, and learn if Peter had any idea why it had come to Beacon Hills. He opened his mouth, but Peter slide aggressively into a stop along side a curb and parked.
Stiles jolted forward in his seat. His seatbelt was the only thing that had saved his forehead from connecting with the dash.
He glowered at Peter, but the man was already out of the car.
Stiles mumbled to himself as he rubbed his forehead.
The passenger door was flung open, and Peter thrust a hand out to help Stiles.
Stiles stared at the offering.
Peter huffed in impatience.
Stiles placed his palm in Peter’s. His fingers were enveloped in warmth. Peter eased Stiles out of the car with a gentleness Stiles hadn’t expected. Peter kept his hand locked around Stiles’.
Stiles considered slipping his hand out of Peter’s as they headed toward a bar with neon signs plastered in all of the windows and a deck outside. It was bone-chilling cold out, and Peter’s hand was the perfect temperature, so Stiles let himself indulge. The deck was roped off and a bouncer stood at the entrance. He raised his hand to stop Peter. The man aimed a pointed look at Stiles.
“We’re here to retrieve one of your drunks, we’ll be out in five minutes. If not, feel free to come in after us yourself,” Peter said.
The bouncer eyed Peter. He glanced to another bouncer just a little ways away. The two exchanged nods. “Five minutes,” the first bouncer said as he unhooked the rope.
Peter tugged Stiles past the bouncer and into the bar.
The place was packed. All the tables were occupied and people were crowded around the pool tables. The only lights came from the neon signs, the lights in the bathroom hall, and five TVs strung up around the bar.
Peter’s nostril flared and he zeroed in on a hunched figure at the bar. He maneuvered Stiles through the buzzed bodies, weaving them in and out of groups until they reached a silver-haired man at the bar. Peter tapped the man on the shoulder. The man straightened, downed a shot of whiskey, then turned.
It was Chris.
Stiles gritted his teeth and instinctively gripped Peter’s hand tighter. He could kick himself, he should have known Peter was picking up Chris. It was so obvious. He should have just passed on getting his answers right away. Was it really important if he knew whether werewolves change on the full moon tonight or tomorrow morning?
Chris squinted. His eyes were red and watery.
Peter leaned into Chris, sniffing him. His chest rumbled with displeasure. “You’ve had more than I anticipated.”
“What is he doing here?” Chris raised his hand to gesture at Stiles, but the movement was sloppy and ended up being off by a foot.
“Assisting me in collecting you.” Peter grabbed Chris’ arm and wrapped it around his shoulders. He snaked his arm around Chris’ waist, bring the man closer to him. He nodded at the door. “Lead the way, Stiles.”
Chris squeezed the back of Peter’s neck, and Peter froze. His jaw clenched and his nails lengthened.
Stiles went wide-eyed at Peter’s claws.
Peter quickly retracted them.
“We’re not supposed to get him involved.” Chris glared at the spot over Peter’s head.
Peter blew an annoyed breath and signaled Stiles to move toward the exit. “Stiles had some questions about my heritage, I just answered them. Now, come on, Chris.”
Chris struggled, but Peter dragged Chris to the door, no longer waiting for Stiles to take the lead. Stiles trailed behind the two, torn between offering help and running away. He was still pissed at Chris, and would rather leave the man on the floor of the bar than help him.
The bouncer watched them go, studying Chris’ slumped form as if he was weighing whether it was worth his time to make certain Chris wasn’t being abducted by Peter or not. The man turned his head away and focused on other patrons.
Peter fumbled with the door handle to the backseat but got the door open. He motioned Stiles inside.
Stiles was miffed. As immature as it was, he begrudged getting thrown in the backseat just because Chris was now present. Maybe he was being oversensitive—and he wouldn’t deny jealous—but it was just another reminder that Peter and Chris already were a couple. They had their rituals designed around their habits. Just the fact that Peter felt comfortable guessing how much alcohol Chris would consume in an evening spoke volumes. They were familiar with each other in a way that Stiles couldn’t compete.
Stiles didn’t voice any of his insecurities though. He just climbed into the backseat.
“All the way,” Peter instructed.
Stiles scooted inward more. He all but squawked when Peter shoved Chris in the backseat with him. He grabbed the buckle of the middle seat and strapped Chris in. “Keep his head in your lap, and make sure to keep it sideways. He shouldn’t have had enough to make him vomit, but just in case we don’t need him drowning.” Peter guided Chris’ head to Stiles’ lap.
“Wait! Wait!” Stiles flailed, but Peter was already out of the car and closing the door.
Stiles looked down at Chris in his lap. Chris slowly blinked his eyes. He was going to fall asleep at any moment.
“You’re both jackasses.”
Peter slid into the driver’s seat.
Chris scrunched his face as he stared up at Stiles.
The engine rumbled with life, and Peter took off down the road.
Chris groaned, and on instinct Stiles ran a hand over Chris’ forehead. Stiles yanked his hand away as if scolded.
Chris’ head swiveled, his nose brushing Stiles’ stomach. His breath gently played with Stiles’ shirt, letting Stiles feel every breath.
Chris moaned and turned his head away. He glanced at Stiles from the corner of his eye. “Damn it. Not supposed to be involved.”
Anger burned Stiles’ cheeks. “That’s my decision, you asshole.”
Chris’ face contorted into confusion. He shook his head then gripped it as he winced. “You don't know what you’re talking about. You have no idea—”
“Then tell me! You can’t expect me to make an informed decision without telling me what I don’t know. Guess what, just because I know about something doesn’t mean I’m involved in it, if that were the case everyone who ever attended school in the U.S. would somehow be involved in the civil war. Knowledge doesn’t work like that. Also,” Stiles grabbed Chris’ face and shoved his face into Chris’ until their noses brushed and only a centimeter separated their mouths, “I’m your soul mate.” No matter his doubts, that would always be true. “I’m going to be involved with this crap whether you like it or not, so stop being a giant fucker, and just talk.”
Stiles pulled away.
Chris was wide-eyed.
Peter hummed his approval. “That’s two against one, Chris.”
“Better to do it when things are safer,” Chris grumbled. His eyes flickered shut for a moment.
“The omega’s gone right? See, safer,” Stiles said.
A big calloused hand grabbed Stiles’ arm. Stiles’ bones jumped in his skin. Chris was holding his arm, just holding it like it was a security blanket or pillow.
Stiles looked down at Chris.
The man was asleep.
Stiles slouched. He heaved a sigh and met Peter’s gaze in the rear view mirror. “Is that really why he was being such a jerk yesterday? Because of some misplaced need to protect me?”
Peter hummed in thought but didn’t answer.
Stiles’ looked down at the man in his lap and shook his head. He rested his elbow along the door and bit his knuckles. These two were going to send him to an insane asylum with their antics. “So do you know why the omega was here?”
“Just stumbled upon the territory, I suppose.”
“Do you have any idea what killed it?”
Peter meet Stiles’ gaze in the mirror with a glint. “Not the one responsible for burning it.”
“What?” Stiles sat up a little straighter. “Are you saying we got a killer and an arsonist out there?”
“You could say that.”
“What do you mean, ‘you could say that.’ Do you know just how creepy you sound right now? I mean it’s almost like…” Stiles smacked himself on the head. “I’m a fucking idiot.” Peter killed the omega. Frickin’ Peter, the guy who had convinced Stiles not to call the police because it could be some sort of trap, had killed the omega. “Stop the car.”
“If I do that now you’re going storm off without hearing an explanation.”
“You killed a guy.”
“I killed a rogue omega who had lost any sense of humanity—who couldn’t even return to his human form. An omega who would have killed you and your friend if I had not intervened, by the way.”
“Dude, how can I trust you?” Stiles ticked off the reasons on his fingers. “You didn’t tell me you’re a werewolf until just a few hours ago, which I can forgive to an extent because let’s face it, you had no idea how I would react and based off movie logic that’s how these kind of things go. However, when I asked Chris for help, you did nothing.”
“I have been arguing for you since the beginning, Stiles.”
“Again, how do I know? You purposefully misled me to think that someone else had killed the omega. In addition to that—and I will admit this is not as pressing as the others, but it does add up—even though Chris and I just had a fight, you couldn’t even let me know that the person you were going to pick up tonight was him.” Stiles halfheartedly threw his hands up in the air. “I don’t know if you just didn’t think about it, or if you really just don’t care about my feelings. I guess that is not too surprising though since we’ve only known each other a few days, unlike you and Chris, who have had years together. I mean what a fucking burden it must be to have to tiptoe around all these secrets.”
Peter kept quiet, and that just pissed Stiles off even more. “Stop the car already.”
“No,” Peter said.
Stiles undid his seatbelt.
Peter whirled at the clatter of metal unlocking. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Being a badass.” Stiles threw open the side door and jumped out. He tucked and rolled.
The tires of Peter’s car screeched as it came to a stop.
Stiles got on his feet and ran toward his home.
He only got a few steps away before Peter grabbed him from behind. Peter’s arms locked around Stiles, pinning Stiles’ arms to his side. Stiles kicked and wiggled, but Peter’s hold was unbreakable.
Peter growled, burying his face against the back of Stiles’ neck. “You idiot.”
“Let me go!”
Peter strengthened his grip. He kept his face buried against Stiles’ neck, breathing him in deeply. Claws had sprouted from Peter’s fingertips. He dug his claws into his arms. His body was shaking.
Stiles froze in Peter’s embrace. Crap, had he pissed off Peter so much that the man was going to kill him now. Stiles was just an extra soul mate after all. “Peter?”
Peter took a deep breath. His voice was rough when he spoke. “Don’t do that.”
Stiles gulped. “Are you going to kill me?”
“I’d rather kill your idiotic streak. You make me regret ever telling Chris that you’re intelligent.” Peter had stopped shaking, but his claws were still embedded in his arms.
Stile prodded one of the clawed fingers. “You’re freaking me out.”
Peter snorted. “I can’t imagine what that must be like. I just watched my soul mate hurl himself out of a moving vehicle. Luckily, there wasn’t a car behind us that could have run him over, but lest not forget just one wrong angle and he could have smashed his skull against the pavement and killed himself or permanently damaged himself.”
“Yeah, well,” Stiles licked his lips. “Mine has murderous tendencies, has his claws out, and refuses to let me go.”
“The claws are due to the fact that you triggered my more primal instincts, and until I am certain you’re not going to throw yourself into traffic, I am not letting go.”
Stiles gave Peter the birdie. “That is some serious Edward Cullen shit right there.”
Peter smirked. “Never said I was perfect, although, I do come close.”
Stiles snorted tersely. “Fine, if you’re going to hold me like a teddy bear, then spit out whatever it is you wanted to say before I proved that I can’t be tamed.”
“Did you just reference a Miley Cyrus song?”
“Did you just understand a Miley Cyrus reference?”
Peter and Stiles locked gazes.
“We will not repeat this again,” Peter said.
Stiles nodded in agreement.
“As I said, I killed the omega, who was no better than an animal with rabies. If you don’t believe me, you can ask Chris or you can borrow his bestiary. It has pages of information on werewolves and I believe one of those pages goes into detail about omega’s an their slow descent into insanity. If that is not good enough, I can give the numbers of a few werewolves outside of town who can verify. Chris could probably call in a few hunters too.
“So Chris really is Buffy?”
“In essence, although his targets were mostly werewolves.”
“You still misled me,” Stiles pointed out.
Peter quirked an eyebrow. “Would you tell someone you were interested in after three days that you killed someone?”
“Surprisingly, not a lot of people find that an attractive trait in a mate, and the few who do are questionable themselves. As for the other things you mentioned: as you said, you can’t fault me for keeping my heritage to myself. Like murder, it’s not something you mention on the first date. I can’t prove to you that I’ve been fighting to let you in on the more secretive aspect of Chris’ and my life. Although, Chris could vouch, but based off what you have said, I don’t think his words would hold much merit. So that leaves me with the rest of your rant.”
The claws retracted and the arms around Stiles’ loosened. Peter urged Stiles to turn around so they were face to face. “Tonight, I manipulated the situation so that you and Chris could spend time together.”
“Even though you knew I was pissed off,” Stiles spat.
“Don’t you understand? It was for your benefit, and his too. You’re both stubborn. You two needed a push.”
“So having me see Chris when he is drunk was a great idea in your mind?”
Peter shrugged. “He usually isn’t this drunk until one in the morning.”
Stiles pushed himself out of Peter’s hold, and Peter yielded. He held his hands up defensively. “I just can’t right now, Peter. I can’t deal with the deception and the manipulation. So you and Chris, you two can go about your regular routines, because until I figure out this mess, I’m not dealing with either of you.”
Peter let out a noise of exasperation. He shoved one hand in his pants pocket, jutting one hip out. “At least let me drive you home.”
Stiles shook his head. “I can walk it, and if I get tired I can always call my best friend.” Assuming Kira and Scott weren’t in middle of making the beast with two backs, but hey, Stiles was willing to take the gamble.
“Call your friend,” Peter commanded. He sauntered to his car and gracefully slid inside it. He started the car, and Stiles watched it go until the rear lights disappeared around a corner.
Stiles sighed and trudged home.
When Stiles got to the house there was one light on inside. He cringed in anticipation as he opened the door.
His dad was sitting in the armchair, cleaning his guns.
Stiles winced. “Grounded?”
“Buried,” his dad answered.
“Until you can afford an apartment.”
“Bilinski! This isn’t Mattress Hut or a sleepover at McCalls’ house. Wake up before I fail your ass on principle.”
Stiles snorted and flailed as he was jolted out of his sleep by Finstock’s voice. He rapidly blinked his eyes as he tried to clear them of their blurriness. “Uh. What?” He shook his head. “Sorry, coach, your nasally, coarse voice was just so soothing it lulled me to sleep.”
Finstock gestured at his eyes then pointed at Stiles. “I’m watching you, Bilinski. I’m not accepting any excuses for Lacrosse today.” He turned his back on the class and wrote on the white board. “All right, as I was saying to all you ingrates…”
A balled piece of paper hit Stiles’ arm. Stiles turned toward Scott. Scott was hunched over his desk. He pulled a face that asked Stiles what the heck he had been doing.
Stiles sighed, and slouched in his desk.
Scott threw another ball.
Scott deflated as he pouted at Stiles.
Stiles huffed and halfheartedly waved. He’d answer Scott’s questions later.
Stiles fumbled with his pencil, unable to concentrate. He ran a hand through his hair, tugging on the short spikes. It had barely been more than forty-eight hours since his confrontation with Peter, and he was still as confused as ever. He knew not every relationship between soul mates was the stuff of Disney fairy tales, but wasn’t it supposed to be easier? Why did everything not only feel like an uphill climb, but like he was traversing a mountain during an avalanche?
The lunch bell rang and the teens stampeded out of the room. A shadow fell over Stiles. Stiles gathered his things, not bothering to acknowledge Scott while he did so.
Stiles huffed. “I hate you so much right now.”
“Me?” Scott jerked. “What did I do?”
“McCall! Bilinski! Get the hell out of my classroom.” Finstock gestured at the door with his thumb.
Stiles marched out of the room with Scott beside him. Once they were out of Finstock’s hearing range Stiles elaborated. “You had to tell me how amazing things were for you and Kira—how you practically shoot rainbows out of you ass when she’s around. Scott, I don’t even get amazing sexy times.”
Scott’s brow wrinkled. “Did you ask them for sexy times?”
Stiles pouted. “No, but I have reasons. Like massive insecurities that would probably land me in therapy if anyone knew the extent of them reasons.” Stiles whined. “Scott, it’s not fair. Not only do I not have an epic romance, the two of them have ruined sex for me before I’ve even had it.”
Scott gave Stiles a sympathetic pat on the shoulder.
Stiles pulled away and slumped against a row of lockers. “Be honest with me, were you lying earlier about how Kira makes you feel?”
Remorse contorted Scott’s face. “Sorry, but no.”
Stiles banged his head against the lockers. “What’s so wrong with me that I’ve ended up in a threesome yet I’m more frustrated than ever? And I do mean sexually as well as mentally.”
Scott fiddled with the strap of his bag and couldn’t quite look at Stiles. “Are you sure it’s you? I mean, did they do something to upset you? Sorry, but I just don’t know what’s going on.”
Stiles huffed. “Just so many secrets.”
Scott perked up like a dog smelling bacon. “Stiles, everyone has secrets. Even Kira did. Don’t be so upset.”
Stiles’ fist curled as he bit back a defensive remark. Scott had no idea the kind of crap Stiles had had to put up with. He couldn’t even fathom it. Stiles couldn’t blame Scott for his simplistic view of the situation, but he couldn’t quell his anger entirely. He pushed himself off the lockers and headed for the cafeteria. “C’mon, don’t you and Kira have a lunch date or something?”
Scott’s visage transformed into that of a kicked puppy. “You know you can talk to me, right?”
Stiles nodded. “I know. It’s just a mess.”
Scott slung an arm over Stiles’ shoulder in a half hug.
Something smacked Stiles on the back of the head, stopping Stiles’ in his tracks.
Stiles slowly turned.
Danny held up a green folder full of papers. He offered the folder to Stiles. “Everything you could possibly want to know about wolves and experiments involving them. That includes attempts to replicate the knotting process in humans.”
“Seriously!” Stiles snatched the folder and flipped through the papers for the glorious and horrific information.
“No,” Danny deadpanned then snickered. “Do me a favor, and keep me out of your weird research projects in the future.” Danny nudged past Stiles and strutted down the hall.
“You shouldn’t toy with a guy’s feelings, Danny!” Stile snapped the folder shut and grumbled to himself.
“I didn’t know wolves could knot. Doesn’t that require thumbs?” Scott asked.
Stiles gawked at Scott. He cocked his head as he studied his friend for deceit. When he found none, he blurted out: “Don’t you work for a vet?”
Stiles stirred the cauliflower on his plate. His mind was working through three things at once. One was math problem thirty-one in his pre-calculus book. The second one was the soul mate drama that had been plaguing him. While the last one was him trying to figure out what combinations of spices would make tofu meatloaf taste like actual meatloaf and not the halfhearted attempt on his plate. He loved his dad and wanted to keep him alive, but he wasn’t cruel enough to subject the man to another serving of this monstrosity until he found some way to better the flavor.
“You’re awfully quiet,” his dad commented. John took a bite of meatloaf and grimaced. He reached for the mixture of ketchup, barbeque sauce, and brown sugar that Stiles had made.
Stiles stopped his dad. “It can only do so much, Dad. What this thing is missing isn’t sweetness, but salty juices with a little extra kick. Maybe some garlic or peppers.”
“Do you have any of those?”
John batted Stiles’ hand away and scooped two spoonfuls of the ketchup concoction onto his meat.
Stiles internally huffed.
“So you want to tell me what’s really been bothering you the last few days, or do you need me to interrogate it out of you?”
Stiles speared a piece of cauliflower and smashed it against the clumps of his meatloaf. “Everything is fine.”
John nodded his head. “Right. So how are things with your soul mates?”
Stiles glowered. Curse his dad and his perceptiveness. “Don’t worry. We’re not rushing into anything.”
“Really, because sneaking out at night doesn’t exactly scream slow and steady.”
Stiles dropped his fork. “Nothing happened, and even if it did, I am legal.”
There was a pause in the conversation. Stiles twitched under his dad’s scrutinizing gaze. “Did you want something to happen?” John asked.
Stiles groaned, burying his face into his palm. “Dad, I’m pretty confident Peter would have sex with me ten seconds before I offer. Chris, I am not so certain about, but if I want sex, I can get it.” Stiles spoke confidently, but it wasn’t until the words left his lips that the reality hit Stiles. After eighteen years of no one wanting to even hold his hand without being dared to, Stiles finally had someone who wanted to have sex with him. It would be glorious if there weren’t so many complications.
“So you haven’t had sex?”
“What do you want from me, Dad?” Stiles asked, defeated. “We both know you’re not thrilled by my soul mates. Is this just you trying to comfort yourself or…” Stiles threw his hands up in defeat.
“Hey,” John’s tone was firm, with a hint of anger. “I will never take comfort out of your unhappiness, Stiles. Never. I’m just trying to find out why my son is acting so closed off.”
“Well, you did ground me, so I’ve been forced into hermit-hood, which can sometimes come off as—”
“Stiles.” John smacked the table. “Just tell me what is going on.”
“Fine.” Stiles let out an agitated breath. “Since meeting Peter and Chris, there has been nothing but arguments between us, and I can’t trust either of them.”
“Stiles, you just met.”
“Scott and Kira never fight. You and mom never fought. Both you guys had these amazing connections and—”
John guffawed. “You really think you’re mom and I never fought? Stiles, your mom and I bickered all of the time. Don’t you remember the story about how we met?”
Stiles nodded. “Yeah, you guys had gone to some house party. Mom’s friend got drunk and she was trying to take her friend home, but some guys were blocking the way and being huge douchebags. You showed up and helped her. Arms brushed and you two knew that you were soul mates right then.”
John shook his head, appearing boggled and amused. “Stiles, that’s how your mom and I realized we were soul mates, but we’d met before that.”
Stiles went ramrod straight, unable to believe he’d gotten the story wrong. It had been one of his favorite tales growing up. “No. I would remember.”
John snickered. “Stiles, we probably never told you the full story, because our original meeting was not kid friendly. I was running late to class and needed to use the restroom, and in my hurry I went into the girl’s room. Your mom and one of her friends was there, and your mom was helping her friend remove a stain from a blouse that her friend had bought with the intent on returning to the store once she impressed one of the football players. In other words, your mom’s friend was topless, and I being young and stupid made a crude comment.”
“You’re mom verbally ripped me a new one so bad navy seals would blush. She had hated me since then.”
“So wait…” Stiles wrinkled his nose in bafflement. “Are you saying she just forgave you because she realized you were her soul mate?”
“No,” John’s tone brooked no room for argument. “You’re mother didn’t forgive me until much later. However, she gave me a second chance, because I was her soul mate.” John shrugged. “I’ll admit, Scott and Kira make it look easy, but relationships are hard, even when you know it’s meant to be. You’re situation is going to be three or four more times difficult, and there are some things that haven’t even crossed your mind yet about your relationship that one day might really test you.”
Stiles doubted anything could test him more than one of his soul mates being a werewolf and the other being a werewolf hunter. Even so, he decided to humor his dad. “Like what?”
John lowered his gaze for a moment and frowned. He looked torn. “Right now, you’re probably thinking about the age gap in terms of them having more experience than you or having been allowed to spend more time together. Have you ever stopped to consider, though, just how little time you actually have with them?”
The image of Claudia Stilinski in her hospital bed filled Stiles' mind and was accompanied by the many times Stiles’ had caught his father grief stricken before and after her death.
Stiles’ insides chilled.
“Depending on their lifestyles, you might have them when you’re sixty or seventy, if you’re really lucky. However, you could just as easily have them for ten more years.” John lowered his head, his expression darkening. “You might only have them for one more day.”
Stiles choked on a lump in his throat. His eyes watered. He pushed down his tears and the pain he felt for his father, but it was suffocating.
John sucked in a shaky breath. He leveled Stiles with a serious look. “This may not be what I pictured for you in life, son, and if ever there is a time you feel threatened or hurt, I want you to come to me. Arguing, though, that’s something you got to learn to accept. You can’t run off every time. You have to fight. Fight about what’s bothering you so can find a solution, and fight for your relationship. Understood?”
Stiles nodded, swallowing hard. The atmosphere was heavy with emotion. So heavy that it rendered words trivial.
John took another breath, picked up his fork, and smiled. “By the way, you are still grounded.”
Stiles sputtered. “Oh, come on! After that dramatic speech? Who the hell do you think you are?”
John smirked. “Your dad.”
Luckily, grounding didn’t bar Stiles from grocery shopping. It might not have been Stiles' favorite thing to do during his evenings, but it kept him occupied while his dad worked the night shift. It also gave him the chance to sneak in a candy bar or two—his dad rarely checked the receipt. Some might call it a breech of trust, Stiles liked to think of it as a reward for taking excellent care of his father.
Plus, when he did get caught he made it up to his dad by going out and getting his dad one too.
Stiles pushed the shopping cart down the bread aisle. He scanned the shelves for the store brand, but someone had decided to rearrange the shelves since he’d last shopped. Stiles went all the way to the other end of the aisle where he found his bread on the top shelf. It was just out of reach. He cursed the evil mastermind who had redesigned the shelves. He used the cart to angle himself better on his tiptoes.
His fingers brushed the bag.
The cart rolled, taking Stiles with it.
Stiles hollered in a panic and flailed. His cart smashed into someone else’s and his stomach rammed into the handle of his cart. His breath was knocked out of him momentarily. “Sorry, I was just—”
Chris Argent was the victim of his side collision.
Crap! Stiles was not mentally prepared for a run in with Chris. The man looked a lot better than when Stiles had last seen him, but he wasn’t the perfect picture of health. He hadn’t gained any bags under his eyes, but they were rimmed black, revealing that he wasn’t getting the sleep his body required.
The image took Stiles back to the conversation he’d had with his dad the other day. His throat welled with worry.
Chris removed his cart from Stiles’. He nodded at Stiles, keeping his face nonchalant. “I hope you’re doing well.” He pushed his cart past Stiles.
Stiles lunged, seizing Chris’ cart. Chris froze, eyes zeroing in on the hand impeding his retreat then traveling to Stiles’ face.
Embarrassment filled Stiles, but he shoved it twelve feet down and buried it. “Were you really being a jackass because you were trying to protect me?”
Chris weighed his answer before speaking. “Yes.”
Stiles nodded. “Okay.” He took a deep breath. “Okay, I’m going to trust you on that, because you said it while you were drunk too.”
Lines crinkled Chris’ forehead, but he showed no other signs of irritation at being reminded of his less than composed state.
Stiles released Chris’ cart. “Like I said then, you don’t get to decide what’s best for me, especially without my input. So if there is ever a next time like this where you think I’m in danger, you need to involve me in the discussion.” A spark of fury lit within him. “And you have to tell me everything, especially if Peter already knows about it.” His anger made him bold and he jabbed his finger at Chris’ chest. “This thing isn’t going to work if I don’t get treated just like you guys, so if Peter gets to know something about you or about whatever supernatural being is in the neighborhood for the Fourth of July, then I get to too. Got it?”
Chris wasn’t quick to answer. He examined Stiles in such a calm and calculating manner, Stiles could practically envision Chris hunting down supernatural baddies and taking them out one by one like pawns.
Chris nodded curtly. “That sounds fair.”
Stiles raised an eyebrow. “Really? No fight?”
Chris let out an annoyed breath through his nose. “I can assess when I’m in a losing situation. After everything you’ve learned, and with your attitude it’d be impossible to keep you out of the supernatural world.”
“And it’s not your choice to make,” Stiles pointed out.
Chris’ eyes narrowed. “I may not get a final say in all of your life choices, but as your soul mate, I get an input.”
“All right, I’ll give you that.” Stiles slunk over to the end of Chris’ cart and grabbed the edge. He steered the nose so the cart turned and then pulled it down the aisle, pushing his cart along with it.
“What are you doing?” Chris asked.
“What does it look like? I’m going to put my cart away, and we’re going to shop together like a normal couple.” Stiles raised his head challengingly at Chris. He knew he was making a bold move, but if he didn’t make a move now he wasn’t certain if he would be able to in the future. He also had no idea when he’d have another opportunity, since he was grounded indefinitely.
“Here, let me.” Chris took Stiles' empty cart from him and pushed it toward exit where there was a line up of carts.
Stiles took the opportunity to check out Chris’ jean-clad ass. He was not disappointed. It was ample and looked firm—perfect for grabbing. It made Stiles’ fingers twitch with the desire to squeeze those globes.
Chris turned around from parking the cart, and Stiles snapped his head down and looked at the selection of food Chris had gotten so far. Everything was some kind of fancy brand that probably cost twice as much as Stiles ever spent on the individual foods. There was also an abundant amount of organic items.
So Chris and Peter were health nuts—perfect. As long as no one killed them, chances were they would live a long life. They might even have some tips for keeping his dad’s health up. Still, there was a part of Stiles that was quite bothered by Chris’ choices. “Okay, the organic stuff, I can’t really argue against, but seriously?” Stiles plucked up a bag of cheese with a name so foreign to him he couldn’t even fathom how to pronounce it. “This is so ridiculously expensive. How can you waste money on it?”
“That is one of the finest cheeses. It was made in France—”
“Unless it was shipped from France there is no reason for it to be three times the price of the cheap stuff. Do I even need to get started about the rest of the crap in this cart?” Stiles picked up a container of Italian bread crumbs that were two dollars more than the store’s brand. “This you could make at home.”
Chris plucked the container out of Stiles’ hand and dropped it into the cart. “There is a reason why it is more expensive—it’s superior.”
“Have you even tried store brand? It tastes exactly the same.” Stiles stood on his tiptoes and reached for the bread on the shelf that he’d been trying to get earlier. He gritted his teeth as he straightened his back as much as it would go.
“There is a difference. Not always with taste—sometimes with texture and smell.” Chris sidled up behind Stiles. His chest ghosted along Stiles’ back as he grabbed the bag of bread without any effort.
Stiles tensed at the miniscule contact, but didn’t push away.
Chris held the bag of bread out for Stiles to examine. Stiles confirmed that Chris had grabbed the correct loaf with a nod and put the bread in the cart. “Oh please, as if the texture and smell could be that different. Even if they were, unless it makes you gag, who cares as long as they taste the same?”
“Considering Peter’s heightened senses, the smallest change can make all the difference.” Chris pushed the cart down the aisle.
Stiles followed right beside him. “So Peter is the prissy princess?”
Chris smirked. “Don’t ever let him hear you say that.”
Stiles grinned. “But he is, isn’t he?”
Chris didn’t say anything, but there was a twinkle in his eye that hadn’t been there before. “I enjoy some of the finer things in life too.”
“Before or after Peter’s influence?”
“I’ll have you know, my family used to go to France when I was young and we spent many nights enjoying traditional French meals.”
“Oh don’t give me that ‘I’ve had French cuisine, therefore I am a professional food critic’ bullshit. Admit it, before Peter you probably could care less if your burger was gourmet or if was from McDonalds.”
“I was young.”
“You hadn’t gotten a stick shoved up your ass yet,” Stiles said.
Chris stopped the cart. He gave Stiles a deadpan stare and raised one gray eyebrow.
The hidden innuendo smacked Stiles across the face and he flushed. “I mean—you weren’t such hard ass—no! I mean—Peter hadn’t—gah!” Stiles snapped his head away from Chris’ gaze. His shoulders bunched, rising to his ears which were burning like someone had put coals on them. “You know what I mean!”
Chris hummed thoughtfully. A small smile played on his lips. He returned to pushing the cart down the aisle.
Stiles stayed two steps behind Chris, at first because he was embarrassed, and later because of the view. He questioned what it said about his character that not long ago he had been pissed at Chris and now he was staring at the man’s ass as they shopped. He reminded himself he had always found Chris attractive—it was just his personality that had sucked, so there was nothing wrong with him checking out the goods.
Somewhere in the middle of their shopping, Chris looked over his shoulder. He caught Stiles’ eye, and in that moment Stiles wanted to bury himself alive—Chris knew. He was prepared for a teasing remark, but Chris didn’t comment, just looked pleased with himself. After that Stiles walked step in step with Chris. They didn’t talk about anything deep, just bickered and teased each other for their food choices.
When they got to the check out counter they spent more time sorting out the food than putting it on the conveyor belt. One of Chris’ items slipped into Stiles’ pile, and before Chris could stop him, Stiles paid for it.
Chris let Stiles put his bags in the cart and helped him to the jeep. While Stiles had unlocked the car and opened the back, Chris had managed to grab all of Stiles' bags in his arms.
“You sure you don’t want me to take one?” Even as Stiles asked, he slid out of the way.
“I got it.” Chris maneuvered himself between the car and Stiles. He bent into the vehicle as he deposited the bags inside. Once done, he pulled out and shut the car behind him. “So what should I tell Peter?”
“Huh?” Stiles asked.
“The last time you spoke to him, you said you wanted your space. Is that still true?”
Stiles scratched behind his ear. He’d made up his mind that he was going to give Peter and Chris another chance, but he hadn’t quite decided how he was going to go about it yet. He was still confused and hurt, although, his time with Chris had eased some of that pain away. “Maybe just texts or phone calls for now? If we bump into each other, he doesn’t have to run away or—”
Chris scoffed. “Sorry. It’s just the image of Peter running from you is laughable.”
Stiles scowled. “Hey! He may be a werewolf, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t kick his ass.”
Chris shook his head. “That’s not what I meant. Peter would be more likely to run at you.”
“Oh.” Stiles shuffled his feet, feeling like an idiot for not understanding what Chris meant right away. A tiny flame of happiness warmed his insides at thought of Peter pursuing him. Even though things were still a mess, it was just nice to know there was someone out there that wanted him.
Although, in theory, there were two people now.
Stiles raised his eyes to meet Chris’.
Chris shoved his hands in his coat’ pockets and nodded. “I’ll let him know.” He turned his back on Stiles and reach for the cart.
Stiles seized Chris’s arm. “Wait. What about you? I don’t have your phone number.”
It was so miniscule that Stiles wouldn’t have seen it if he hadn’t been looking right at it, but Chris’ eyes widened in surprise. The reaction caused something in Stiles to knot with emotion, and before Stiles even realized what he was doing, he whipped out his cell phone. “What’s your number?”
Chris didn’t answer right away. Instead he appeared to be gauging Stiles’ sincerity. Finally, he listed off the number, and Stiles hurriedly typed it in then hit the call button. A sound of beeps came from one of Chris’ jeans' pockets. Stiles ended the call before Chris could answer it.
That had been all Stiles had planned to do, when an idea hit him. “One more thing.” He waved Chris over to him.
Chris hesitated, but did as Stiles gestured.
Stiles plastered their sides together and leaned his head against Chris’. He held up his phone with the camera aimed at them. “Smile.” A second later his phone made a shutter sound as he took the photo. He untangled himself from Chris as he examined the picture. He couldn't stop beaming. It wasn’t one of his best pictures—his smile was nice but didn’t hold the same genuineness that it would have if he’d been caught smiling in the heat of the moment. Chris, however, smiled like he had just won the best prize ever.
Stiles looked at the Chris in the photo and the Chris in front of him who had reverted back to his stoic ways.
Stiles chuckled. “You’re ridiculous.” He attached the image to a text and sent it off to Chris. “There, now you have a picture you can attach to my number.”
There was a light of humor in Chris’ eyes and a small curl to his lips. “Good night, Stiles.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Stiles went over to the driver side of his car and opened the door. “Good night, Batman. Have fun with the Joker.” He hopped into his car, not giving Chris a chance to respond to the pet name.
Once the road was clear, Stiles backed out of his parking spot and drove home. Excitement thrummed through his being. He felt like he might be able to handle his relationship with Peter and Chris once he sorted things out. However, as pleased as he was with his interaction with Chris, there was a voice in the back Stiles’ head that reminded him not to get too attached to the idea of any sort of relationship too soon. He’d just been feeling more confident about his relationship when he’d spent the afternoon with Peter at his soul mates’ home only to have Chris crush his hope then. He didn’t want to relive that moment again.
Stiles returned home. He tried to mimic Chris and carry all of his grocery bags at once, but he found them too heavy and cumbersome. He ended up putting two down halfway to the door and fetching them once he’d stored the remaining ones in the house.
His dad would be home at seven, so Stiles went about preparing lasagna for his dad. Stiles had just put the dish in the oven when he noticed a light flashing on his cell phone.
Stiles checked his phone.
Peter had texted him.
I hear you and Chris did some shopping today.
Stiles stared at the message. He’d expected a question—something that would require an answer from him. It was surprising. He reread the sentence. It could be taken as accusing too, but since Chris and Stiles were each others’ soul mates along with Peter’s he assumed that text was sent more as a conversation starter.
Stiles looked at the timer he’d set for the lasagna. He had well over a half hour to fool around. He texted a response.
We did, and may I say, you 2 have expensive tastes. Would I even be allowed 2 eat curly fries if I dated you guys?
Stiles headed upstairs. He plopped himself down in front of his computer. His phone vibrated in his pocket.
What significance is there to curly fries?
Curly fries are ambrosia, u heathen. And let me make this clear, if it comes down to u/Chris or curly fries, I’m pickin’ the fries.
Stiles booted up his laptop, and grabbed the file Danny had given him off his desk. Even though he knew the truth about Peter and the omega now, that didn’t mean Danny’s information was useless. There could be an interesting nugget of information hidden in the papers that could one day prove of use.
His phone vibrated again.
I don’t know whether to rid the world of curly fries or use them to lure you to me.
Stiles snorted in amusement.
Like the big bad wolf?
Your humor is astounding.
Do I detect dryness in ur tone or r u trying 2 compliment me? If latter, work on it more. Creeper wolf.
Peter didn’t respond right away. Stiles used that time to skim the pages Danny had given him and mark the ones that looked the most promising.
Peter texted again.
You took a picture with Chris?
There was another pause in between messages before Peter responded.
Cute. It seems only fair that you have one of me too.
Stile typed swiftly, a witticism at his fingertips, but Peter beat him to the punch, and what an accurate word ‘punch’ was.
Peter had sent him a picture that was nearly identical to the one Stiles had taken with Chris, the only difference was Peter was wearing sunglasses and in Stiles’ place.
It felt like Peter had rammed his fist right through Stiles’ gut, and what made it worse was that Stiles was ninety percent sure that Peter had no idea what he had just done.
A part of him replayed the scene from the last night he’d seen Peter though, and that ninety percent dipped down to seventy then to sixty. He’d confessed then that he had insecurities about being the third wheel in their relationship. Peter was smart, he had to have known. At the same time, though, what benefit did he gain by reminding Stiles that Chris and him had a relationship before Stiles—a good one too?
Stiles shook his head.
Peter followed the picture up with a message.
That one will do until we get one of the three of us together.
The text should have chased away Stiles' insecurities right then, but they’d already gripped him so tight, he couldn't shake them off. Even using Peter’s last message to battle against his doubts did nothing.
Stiles powered off his phone and went downstairs.
He needed time alone.
So any chance I can get my hands on that bestiary Peter says u have? Stiles hit send on his phone and rolled over in his bed. He groaned and closed his eyes. It was too early to be awake on the weekend, but he couldn’t fall back to sleep. He’d spent most of the night jumping between homework assignments, research, and reading the file Danny had given him. There was nothing on mutant wolves, although it looked like there were a number of towns up and down California in which an animal attack had been reported and many experts after examining the bodies brought up the similarities to wolf claws and teeth marks. It appeared the government planned to send people out to see if wolves had migrated into the area and discover why if such was the case.
It was interesting. It looked like the omega had started at the border of Arizona and California and had worked his way north.
Except some of the dates didn’t add up if it was just the omega, unless the omega could magically be in two places at once.
Stiles doubted werewolves had mastered the art of teleportation though.
His phone beeped and he pulled up Chris’ response.
I can bring it over to your house.
Stiles threw an arm over his face as he typed out his response.
Give me a 1/2 hour. Still in bed.
Stiles took a deep breath and arched his back, luxuriating in the feel of his muscles stretching. He rolled off his bed, taking his covers with him. He rummaged through his dresser for a clean pair of boxers and sweats. He was too tired to care about his appearance. Plus, he was going to spend his day inside, reading the bestiary. He stumbled into the bathroom and took a scolding shower that left his skin pink. When he was done, he carded his hand through his hair a few times then lumbered into the kitchen where he brewed a pot of coffee.
He’d finished his first cup by the time someone knocked.
Stiles mumbled under his breath as he made his way to the door. He flung it open, only expecting Chris. His heart jumped in his chest when not only did he see Chris, but Peter too. The latter stood just a few inches behind Chris and was acting nonchalant with his face turned slightly away and one of his hands resting inside his jeans’ pockets.
Chris kept his back to Peter, although, his gaze followed Stiles’. “Sorry, if we surprised you. We were just on our way out for the day.”
Jealousy boiled in Stiles’ gut, which sent his conscious rallying against him. He wished he could get over his insecurities. They only made him feel more inadequate, because Chris and Peter showed none of the same fears. The closest was Chris’ worry regarding dragging Stiles into the supernatural via their relationship.
It was a vicious circle, one he needed to end.
Just another thing to resolve on my list of issues, Stiles sarcastically thought.
“Don’t worry about it,” Stiles answered Chris. “So where’s the bestiary?”
Chris pulled out a USB from his coat.
Stiles snatched the USB. “Couldn’t you have just emailed it to me if you have it on this thing?”
Chris gently pried the USB out from Stiles’ fingers. “Yes, but this is more secure. Now, where is your computer?”
“Upstairs.” Stiles cocked his head toward the stairs and stepped out of the way.
Chris surveyed the room as he stepped inside, and Stiles wondered if he was doing that because it was an instinct instilled in him from years of hunting or if Chris was trying to get a sense of Stiles’ lifestyle.
While Stiles pondered Chris’ actions, Peter sidled up to Stiles. His fingers brushed against Stiles’, jolting Stiles out of his thoughts. As soon as his attention was on Peter, the werewolf wrapped a hand around Stiles’ wrist. “It’s been a while, Stiles. Are you still upset about the omega?”
“About how you murdered the guy and then misled me?” Stiles snapped. His voice was venomous. “Yeah, but I’m working on it.” That was one of reasons why he wanted the bestiary—he needed something other than Peter’s word that said the omega was a lost cause and needed to be put down for the safety of others. It would take a lot more time for him to trust Peter again, but to have it confirmed that the omega was crazy would ease some of his anger.
Peter hummed in thought. His thumb rubbed circles against Stiles’ pulse point.
Stiles slid his wrist out of Peter’s hold. He marched up the stairs, pausing just a few steps up. “You two wait down here while I get my laptop.”
“It’s a private laptop, right? Only you use it?” Chris asked.
“Sometimes I let my dad borrow it if his is having trouble connecting with the printer or something, but otherwise, it’s all mine.”
Chris gave a small nod.
Stiles hurried up the stairs. He opened his laptop to see that he had kept in on all last night. There were a bunch of windows and tabs on his screen, some had to do with wolves and werewolves while others could be labeled pornographic. Stiles, however, liked to label the latter as research. He knew how sex and relationships worked—could even imagine how a threesome with guys would work, but it was always good to brush up on one’s knowledge.
Stiles closed all of the windows and carried his laptop downstairs. He gestured for Chris to follow him to the couch where Stiles plopped himself down. He bent to rest his laptop on the coffee table when two walls of heat smothered him on either side. Stiles' head swiveled. On his left, Peter was sprawled across the couch, with his arm stretched behind Stiles’ neck. To Stiles’ right, Chris kept himself compact, not taking up as much room, but having pressed himself against Stiles nonetheless.
It was nice, and if it weren’t for Peter’s deception, Stiles’ might have relaxed and laid against Peter’s side. However, as willing as he was to give Peter another chance, boundaries still needed to be set. What Peter had done wasn’t something small. If anyone learned what Peter had done and that Stiles’ had let him hide the body then Stiles could be considered an accessory to murder. The ramifications of that were too great.
He’d be nice, friendly, and work on their relationship, but he wasn’t going to let Peter literally sweep him off his feet again or give Peter overly affectionate gestures for a while.
Chris plugged in the USB. Stiles leaned into Chris as the man dragged the file onto Stiles’ desktop. “Hide it in a few folders.”
Stiles’ snorted in amusement. “Don’t worry. My dad won’t find it, and even if by some miracle he did, he’d just assume it has something to do with D&D or Lord of the Rings.”
Chris popped the USB out. “Do me a favor, and just hide it.”
“Fine, fine.” Stiles pulled the computer onto his lap, and buried the bestiary in folders upon folders on his desktop. He pretended not to notice that Peter had leaned in a little closer and was watching him. When done, Stiles shut the laptop and stood. He stretched. “All right, thanks for the bestiary.”
Chris rose to his feet. “If there is anything else—”
“You should join us,” Peter interrupted.
Stiles was startled by the invite, his body giving a slight flail of shock at Peter’s words. “That’s nice and all, but I’m grounded.” He glared at Peter. “Thanks to you, by the way.”
“I believe Chris had a hand in that too.” Peter tilted his head as if listening for something. “You’re father isn’t home. How long until he is due to return?”
“That doesn’t make you sound like a creeper at all,” Stiles grumbled.
Peter smirked. “Not at all, it makes me sound like an opportunist.”
“Peter.” Chris huffed, unhappy about Peter’s antics. “Don’t get him into any more trouble than he already is.”
“I’m not planning to,” Peter said. “I’m merely pointing out that if Mr. Stilinski isn’t due home for another few hours, now would be the perfect time to get to know each other and test out our dynamic. We’ve only had a handful of interactions with the three of us together, and none have been particularly stellar.”
Stiles, for once, was able to clamp his mouth shut and not make a sarcastic remark. He’d just barely caught himself in time, and for that he was thankful. While Peter and Chris could take some of the blame for those less than grand moments, Stiles could admit that there had been other factors involved. Also, he didn’t want to get in another fight, which was exactly what he would be doing if he started pointing out everything Chris and Peter had done wrong.
“Also,” Peter went on, “how many more chances will we have to sneak around?”
Stiles prided himself on being able to understand a lot of things, but not even he could make sense of what Peter had just said. He looked to Chris for help, but the man looked just as baffled.
Peter smiled at their confusion. “Stiles is an adult, and whether it be moving into a dorm for college or finding a place to rent. In the next few months to years, he will no longer live with his father, which means there will no longer be an authority figure to dupe.”
Stiles gaped. “I’m not even going to go into the fact that you just made a lot of assumptions about my future. I’m still trying to decide my reaction to the fact that you like sneaking around like some teenager.”
“What can I say? I miss the good ole days.” Peter’s eyes slid to Chris with a knowing and hungry look.
It was like a three-ton truck rammed into Stiles.
He internally cursed himself for feeling such hurt and jealousy.
Peter’s gaze flicked to Stiles. His lips curled downward ever-so-slightly and his gaze narrowed. His expression was that of surgeon’s studying his patient and determining where to make his incision. Peter rose off the couch, approaching Stiles. He hummed in thought. “All right, the three of us are going to the city.”
“What?” Stiles squawked at the decision. “You can’t just make decisions for me.”
“He’s right, Peter,” Chris chastised.
Peter cocked his head toward Chris. “Trust me.”
Chris snapped his mouth shut. He watched Peter and Stiles like a hawk.
“I planned to study the bestiary today,” Stiles said.
“And you still can, after our date.”
Heat flooded Stiles’ cheeks. Damn, he was blushing like a twelve-year-old who’d just received their first kiss. “It’s still my choice.”
“You’re right, however, I think it would be best if the three of us went together.”
Peter didn’t answer right away. There was a beat of silence, and then Peter spoke in a very calm and level tone. “Why didn’t you respond after I sent you that picture?”
The heat in Stiles’ cheeks rose to his ears, but it was no longer the giddy, silly warmth of embarrassment that came from new sexual and romantic encounters, but the heat of actual shame. He couldn’t hold Peter’s gaze, so his eyes flicked away, just for a second.
It was enough of a reaction for Peter.
Peter nodded. “It would do all of us some good to forget about past interactions for one afternoon and go out.”
Stiles nodded, slowly. Intellectually he knew what Peter was doing and why, and that part of him was happy to see Peter acknowledging his insecurities and doing something to remedy the situation. However, his emotions were all over the place, having gone from angry about being pushed around, to hurt and jealous, to ashamed in minutes. He took a deep breath letting the remnants of the emotions wash over him one more time before he pushed them aside as he focused on that bit of happiness.
He smiled. “Okay, but you’re still not off the hook for misleading me.”
Peter feigned hurt. “We agreed that we would forget all past interactions.”
“Oh, I will. Just not that.”
Peter huffed and looked to Chris for assistance.
Chris chuckled. “Sorry, I’m on his side.”
“Et tu, Chris?”
Chris just looked smug. He pulled out a set of car keys, twirling them around on his finger. “Let’s get going.”
“Whoa! Hold up!” Stiles gestured to himself. “Give me at least a minute to put some jeans on. I am not letting my lazy day sweats get ruined by grime and sweat.” Stiles didn’t give Chris or Peter time to argue. He beelined it for the stairs and his room.
“Avoiding sweating in sweatpants defeats the purpose of them,” Peter hollered.
“I don’t see why you’re complaining. Jeans will give you a better view,” Chris said.
Stiles tripped on the last step at Chris’ words. Stiles shot up to his feet and craned his body over the banister so he could see Chris. The man looked perfectly nonchalant about the comment whereas Peter was grinning like a wolf with a big kill.
“Pants,” Stiles reminded himself. He dove into his room and reached for the closest pair of jeans. He had one leg in the denim when he caught a whiff of them and grimaced. If he could smell the three-day-old stench on them, then Peter definitely could. He may have promised himself that he wasn’t going to act lovestruck and be affectionate with Peter until the man learned his lesson, but that didn’t mean he wanted to kill Peter with his odor. Stiles grabbed a new pair of jeans and wiggled them on. He then grabbed one of his cleaner shirts and tossed it on over his head. Once he was fully dressed, he raced down the stairs.
“We need to be back before four,” he said.
“No romantic dinner then,” Peter said.
The trio exited the house. Stiles stay back to lock the door then hurried for the car. He was thrown to find Chris in the driver’s seat and Peter lounging in the back with his feet propped up on the cushions. Stiles stared for a moment.
“Stop gawking, Stiles, and get in,” Peter said.
Stiles snapped out of his stupor and scurried into the passenger seat. His head swiveled between Chris and Peter as he buckled up.
Peter snorted in amusement. “Don’t be so surprised.” He sank into the seat. “I’m a creature of luxury, so I don’t mind being chauffered around like the precious cargo that I am.”
Chris snorted. “Cargo, yes. Precious, I’m not so certain.” He pulled out from the driveway and took off down the street at a sane pace; Chris would definitely be doing more driving in the future if Stiles had his way.
Peter sat up and scooted so he was directly behind Chris. He leaned forward, his lips ghosting over the rim of Chris’ ear. “I’d be happy to remind you how precious I am.” He glanced at Stiles and smirked. “You too.”
Stiles gulped. Damn Peter and his natural ability to flirt. He was not going to make it easy for Stiles to follow his personal mandate against Peter and intimate touching.
“Driving, Peter,” Chris said.
“But that’s what makes it all the more fun.” Despite his words, Peter slid away and slumped into the back seat.
“You know, I once compared you to the Joker, but I almost feel like I should call you Poison Ivy or Catwoman with the amount of flirting you do.”
“I think you should keep with calling me the Joker, then you can be Harley Quinn.”
Stiles cursed every single deity he knew. Peter just referenced Batman back at him. It should not have been as sexy as it was. “Sadly for you, I’m less Harley Quinn and more Spiderman. Sorry, buddy.”
“Peter is probably just delighted that you identify with a character who’s name is Peter. He’d probably even like it if you called yourself Star Lord.”
Damn. Stiles checked the air conditioner knobs to see if they were on or set to heat. They were off. Stiles turned the temperature dial all the way to freezing cold, and set the fan to its highest level.
Chris eyed him with curiosity.
Stiles smiled sheepishly. “What? I’m hot.”
“No denying that,” Peter mumbled.
Stiles flushed. He shook a fist at Peter. “You know that’s not what I meant, you smarmy jerk.”
“Whatever are you implying, Stiles? I just agreed that you are excessively warm.”
“Yeah right.” Stiles grumbled to himself.
The corner of Chris’ mouth was upturned and his eyes sparkled with amusement.
Stiles’ nudged Chris with his elbow. “Hey, you’re supposed to be on my side.”
“I let you play with the air conditioning,” Chris responded.
Stiles threw his hands up. “The whole universe is against me.”
Suddenly Peter was right behind Stiles. His breath skimmed across his neck, his nose brushing against the junction at Stiles’ jaw and neck. “I’m actually quite fond of you.”
Stiles jerked away. Instinctively his palm planted itself on Peter’s cheek and pushed the man away a few inches. “No. No special touching for you. You don’t get the good stuff when you went out of your way to mislead me.”
Peter wrapped his hand around Stiles’, lacing their fingers together and lowering Stiles’ hand to the arm rest between the front seats. “And how am I to get back into your good graces?” he purred.
Stiles yanked his hand away. “I’ll let you know when I decide.”
Peter made an approving sound then settled down in his seat. He pillowed his hands behind his head and stretched out, thoroughly enjoying himself. The cocky werewolf probably thought he’d get into Stiles’ pants eventually, so he didn’t care if Stiles was icing him out at present.
And god damn it, Peter was friggin’ right too. Stiles’ had never been the poster child for self-control, and despite his horrendous actions, Stiles was drawn to him.
Stiles slouched. Curse his libido.
“So what are your future plans?” Chris asked as he merged onto the freeway.
“College. Definitely college. Not sure where yet. I was looking at some of the more prestigious schools for fun, but actually managed to get into a couple. I had also thought I’d go wherever Scott went, but so far out of the one we both applied to we’ve only heard from our ‘if we’re desperate’ choices. Plus, he’s mentioned he might follow Kira somewhere, but he’s kind of back and forth on that. I kind of like the idea of being close to home. Someone needs to look out for my dad.”
Chris nodded, taking in everything Stiles’ had to say.
“I guess there’s more reasons to stay in town now, though,” Stiles mumbled. It was weird. So weird. Before he only had to think about his future in term of himself and occasionally his dad and/or Scott. Now he had to include Peter and Chris, two people who he barely knew.
Chris’ looked in the rear view mirror, catching Peter’s gaze. The two seemed to silently communicate, because after a few seconds of staring, Chris broke their gaze and said, “We’ll figure it out later. So what do you plan on majoring in?”
Stiles groaned, hitting the back of his head against his seat. “That’s half the reason why I don’t know where to go. I’ve thought about criminology and forensics, but I also love research, and films and comics. Hell, I even like history when it’s not being taught by a complete ass clown. But it would also be really nice to know how to make things explode for a living.” Stiles punched his palm. “I’m going to be a doctor. I don’t know what kind, but I am getting a doctorate in something.”
“Now why couldn’t you have been this passionate when you were his age?” Peter asked Chris.
Chris glared at Peter. “You didn’t know me when I was his age.”
Peter waved off the rebuke. “What’s a few extra years?”
“Huh, well, one age is just barely legal and the second one is legal and the person can drink,” Stiles pointed out.
“Details.” Peter scoffed.
The conversation carried on like that for a half hour, with Chris taking the initiative and asking Stiles’ about his plans for the future, and even digging a bit into Stiles’ past. Peter somehow wheedled a story out of Stiles about the time Scott and he decided to play with Mrs. McCall’s make up and another story involving a volcano and too much baking soda.
They were about five minutes away from the city when Stiles noticed Chris had switched to driving with one hand, the other resting comfortably on the armrest between them. Stiles eyed the hand, mulling over his choices. Finally, he grabbed Chris’ hand and held it.
There was no visible jolt through Chris, but Stiles was able to feel the flinch through their connection. He squeezed harder.
Chris snuck glances at their hands and a few at Peter, who snorted in amusement at their actions. Finally, Chris squeezed back.
Chris didn’t take his hand back until it came time to parallel park.
When Stiles’ stepped out of the car, he tilted his head up at the sign of the shop they’d stopped in front of. The paint had faded off some of the lettering and it looked like one of the letters needed to be screwed on tighter. Mannequins stood in the window, showing a few of the clothes inside.
“It’s down a few more shops,” Chris said as he locked the car.
Peter brushed past Stiles as he headed toward their destination.
Stiles glared and Peter smirked.
Letting Peter, take the lead, Stiles decreased his pace. Chris caught up to him and walked by his side.
“So where are we headed?” Stiles pressed close to Chris as a group of teenage girls all in row ate up the sidewalk as they sauntered by.
“Peter has some business to attend to before we can enjoy ourselves.” Chris pulled Stiles in front of him as another crowd pushed themselves past.
Peter had no problem with the crowds. If anything, they seemed to part for him. Stiles scoffed. “Why am I not surprised?”
Chris followed his gaze. “One thing you’ll find in the bestiary is that it mentions a theory about humans subconsciously recognizing werewolves. Some theories believe it’s only the alphas that humans can sense due to the fact that alphas are more in touch with their inner animal.”
“You said it’s a theory though?”
Stiles bit the inside of his cheek as he watched Peter stop in front of one of the shops. Peter haughtily looked over his shoulder at the two of them.
“So based on your experience, would you say it’s true?” Stiles asked.
Chris didn’t answer right away. “I think that it comes down to the human, not the werewolf. For example, not a lot of people would have considered anything supernatural when meeting that omega, but you did.”
“While it is nice to see you two finally getting along, you really need to work on your walking pace. I saw a grandmother with a cane past you two,” Peter said when Chris and Stiles caught up. Peter went inside the shop, a bell tinkling overhead as he entered.
Stiles rolled his eyes at Peter, and Chris used the opportunity to grab the door and hold it open for Stiles. Stiles thanked him as he entered.
Crap! Shelves upon shelves of antiques filled the dim and narrow shop. Stiles did his best to compress his body as much as humanly possible. “Flail” was practically his middle name, and he was in a room just a tad bigger than his bedroom with wall to wall fragile things. He was doomed. So doomed, he didn’t dare breath his joke about Peter being an old man because he went antiquing.
A hand landed on Stiles’ shoulder.
Stiles jumped at the contact.
“Are you okay?” Chris asked.
Peter, who had been talking to the person at the register, had turned and was frowning at Stiles.
“I’m fine, I just don’t want to touch anything. I promise you, my touch will be the kiss of death to every object in here.”
Stiles shook his head. “Three years ago, I broke a thousand dollar vase without even touching it.”
“Then how did you break it?”
“I ran past it after I punched some guy in the face.” Stiles still felt warm inside at the knowledge that he had decked Jackson that day. “Apparently the vibrations from my sprint were just powerful enough to knock it over.”
Chris mulled over the new information. “Maybe we should go outside?” Chris looked to Peter.
Peter gave a curt nod and returned his attention to the cashier.
Chris wrapped his hand around Stiles’ upper arm and tugged him toward the door. Stiles barely moved a few steps when his shoulder bumped a shelf, and a glass jewelry box slid forward. Stiles reached out in time to stop it from sliding off the shelf entirely and pushed it back where it belonged. He exhaled deeply. “Told ya, man.”
Chris moved a little faster in getting Stiles out of the shop.
Once outside, the two of them lounged against the shop’s wall.
“So do you and Peter go antiquing a lot?” Stiles asked.
“Not much. Mostly Peter does it himself.” Chris’ brow pinched. “It’s what he does for a living. He collects things and resells them. Some of them are questionable.”
“Oh.” Stiles paused. “Like supernatural questionable or my dad would have to arrest him questionable?”
Chris sucked in a frustrated breath then let it go. “Listen, I don’t want you to take this as me pushing you away, but more than half of the time Peter isn’t going to be on the right side of the law. Now, I am not saying what Peter did in regards to tricking you was okay, but if part of the reason you are still mad at him is because he broke the law, then the three of us are going to have bigger issues.”
“What about you? You’re a hunter of the supernatural. Are you saying you always follow the law?”
Chris schooled his face. “I do what I have to.”
Stiles nodded. “Considering I have made copies to all of the doors in the police station, have gone through private case files, and stolen evidence, I can’t exactly preach about upholding the law.”
Chris’ head snapped toward Stiles. “You stole evidence?”
“It was that or let one of the officers down at the station see a naked photo of Kira.”
“Your friend’s soul mate? Why would—”
“I’m not going to go into the details, but there may have been some personal texts sent, and someone may have been checking out a crime scene with a friend, and that someone may or may not have dropped the phone containing the texts. Kira doesn’t know, and that’s how it is going to stay, at least until she inevitably finds out and that sweet girl turns vengeful. It’s the sweet ones you gotta look out for.”
The shop bell rang, and Peter’s sauntered out with a wrapped package tucked under his arm. “I believe my nephew can attest to that,” Peter’s spoke in a silky smooth voice.
Chris tensed. He threw a warning look at Peter.
Peter’s mischievous grin grew. “Oh, don’t be so sore about that, Chris. If anyone here should be, it’s me.
Stiles’ head swiveled between the two. “What happened with Peter’s nephew?”
Peter’s eyes twinkled with delight. “As you know, Chris is a hunter and so is his family. As you can imagine neither of our families were happy by our pairing. My nephew, however, being the overly sentimental soul that he is, set out to befriend Chris’ family. He’d thought he’d found an ally in Chris’ sister.”
“There are some days I still want to put a bullet through your skull,” Chris said.
“Love you too, dear,” Peter sassed.
Stiles’ stomach churned. “I’m guessing things didn’t go well.”
Peter nodded. “That’s a mild way of putting it. I almost killed the bitch and got a wonderful bullet hole from Chris in my arm.” Peter stroked his upper arm for show.
“You shot him!” Stiles whirled on Chris.
“It was far away enough from his heart that it just slowed him down.”
Stiles shook his head. “I’m soul mates with two sociopaths.”
“Personally, I think that says more about you than it does about us,” Peter quipped. He adjusted his hold on his package. He nodded toward Chris’ car. “Let’s drop this off.” Peter didn’t even wait for a response, just strolled down the sidewalk expecting Chris and Stiles to follow.
Stiles’ leaned into Chris’ side to whisper conspiratorially. “Do you ever think that you and me are real soul mates and Peter is just his own soul mate that we got saddled with because the universe decided the two of us can handle him?”
Despite being a good distance away, Peter snapped his head over his shoulder and raised his head haughtily at Stiles. “You should be thankful to have such a magnificent soul mate as me.”
Stiles laughed. “Do you even hear yourself?” He shook his head as he marched after Peter, Chris sticking close to him.
Chris’ made a pondering noise. “He may be right, Peter. I don’t think anyone could love you more than you.”
“Of course, I excel at everything. There is no conceivable way for average human beings such as yourselves can muster up to even a tenth of the love I possess for myself.”
“I don’t know if he’s joking anymore,” Stiles said to Chris.
“I wasn’t certain if he was joking to begin with.”
“Cute,” Peter said drily, stopping in front of the car.
Chris popped the trunk.
Peter maneuvered the package out from under his arm and was about to place it in the trunk when he stopped. His features hardened and his eyes flashed red. His gaze darted around the area. His nose wrinkled as he took a subtle inhale of the air.
Chris stepped closer to Peter. He feigned nonchalance, but his hand on the edge of the trunk revealed his concern with its white-knuckle grip. “Something wrong?”
Peter’s lips formed a thin, firm line. “I thought I heard something, but there’s nothing I can detect.”
Stiles’ nerves were thrumming with worry. He couldn’t stop looking around for whatever had caused Peter’s reaction. One moment Stiles would glare a at a street sign, and the next he’d contemplate what the old lady in thrift store could be carrying in her purse—pepper spray and cat fur.
Stiles bones leaped in his skin when a hand rested along the cradle of his back.
Stiles blinked and craned his head to see the appendage.
It was Peter comforting him, although, based on the man’s expression an outsider might think the touch was done more out of a need to maneuver Stiles or something equally practical. His eyes had reverted back to their blue hue, which eased some of Stiles’ panic. Peter deposited the package in the trunk then used his hand on Stiles’ back to guide Stiles’ closer to him, while also taking a step closer to Stiles and away from the car.
Chris slammed the trunk shut. He scanned the area once again, a hint of frustration leaking into his visage.
“What’s going on?” Stiles inquired.
Peter let his hand drop from Stiles’ back. “Not certain. For now though, I suggest we go about things as planned.”
“There’s an ice cream parlor a few blocks away,” Chris said.
Stiles’ nodded rapidly. Without Peter’s calming touch, Stiles’ nerves were getting the better of him and making him jittery. “Ice cream is good. A little cliché for a date, but not as bad as say dinner and movie. Still cliché.”
Chris rounded the vehicle to the driver’s side. “Let’s go.”
“I thought it was a few blocks away. Can’t we walk it?” Stiles asked.
Peter guided Stiles toward the passenger side of the car.
“I rather have the car in sight.” Chris swung open his door and slid inside.
“Right…” Stiles joined Chris in the car. Peter soon followed, and shortly after Chris pulled out of the parking spot and cruised down the road.
Chris had been an attentive driver before, but Stiles noticed that he flicked his eyes to each mirror more now and kept a tight grip on the wheel.
Stiles turned in his seat to look out the back window. There was a yellow Volkswagen Bug and a Black SUV tailing pretty close behind them. “You think someone is following us?”
“In this short a distance it’s hard to tell. There are a couple of cars that could be tailing us, but it could be coincidental. We’ll have to watch and see what they do when we park.” Chris slowed the car down to pull into an empty spot right in front of a brightly colored ice cream shop.
“So why would they be following us?”
Peter snorted. “I’m a werewolf—an alpha werewolf at that, and Chris is living in sin with me. I don’t smell another werewolf, so I imagine any pursuers could range from hunters to special agent nuns out to destroy the abominations.”
Stiles opened his mouth then shut it. He opened it again. “Are you joking about the nuns? Because that sounds kinda awesome.”
Peter rolled his eyes. “No, Stiles, I’m serious.”
“No, you dimwit.”
Chris parked the car, and Peter was outside in a second.
Stiles pouted. “You said I was smart!” He marched out of the car and tailed Peter inside the shop. He heard the car beep as Chris locked it.
Peter got in line for ice cream, not even glancing at Stiles. “You’re exceptionally smart when you are not being dimwitted.”
“That’s redundant,” Stiles argued.
“No, redundant would be if I said you lack intelligence and are stupid. I clearly stated that you have bouts of exceptional intelligence. You’re just tragically hampered by your moments of stupidity.”
“You know what, just for that, you pay for my ice cream,” Stiles declared.
“What a burden,” Peter mocked.
Stiles made sure to order three scoops of ice cream with all of the toppings. Chris and Peter blanched a little at his choice, but other than one snide comment from Peter, they kept their opinions to themselves. They seated themselves next to a window that gave them an excellent view of the car. The normal setting calmed Stiles and he tore into his dessert with vigor.
He made a running commentary as he went that included such gems as, "You know what flavor I have yet to see in ice cream? White chocolate. I gotta figure out if it actually exists, or if ice cream makers are just scared of the flavor for some reason, because you know white chocolate isn't real chocolate. They probably just don't want to explain it to people. Ugh, can you imagine having to tell every customer..." and so the commentary went.
He was halfway through his second scoop when he noticed Chris and Peter had barely touched theirs.
Stiles followed their gazes, but all he saw was a normal street. “So did the cars you suspected pull over nearby or something?”
“No,” Chris answered. He nodded at a man carrying a briefcase across the street. The man yammered on his phone as he went. “He’s walked the block twice now.”
Peter discreetly pointed out a woman in a dress store nearby checking out the outfits on the mannequins. “She’s been hemming and hawing over those two dresses for twenty minutes.”
“It’s takes a while for some people,” Stiles defended.
“Do most people stay at the same mannequin or rack for that long or do they usually browse while they decide?”
Stiles nodded in deference to Peter’s point.
Stiles examined the street some more, his gaze landing on a bus stop. “What about the people waiting for the bus? Did anyone join around the time we showed up?”
“The teenage couple making out,” Chris said.
“Well, crap. I think we know their plan now: give all of us Mono.” Stiles’ picked up his spoon and scooped up a mouthful of ice cream. He brought the delicious sweet to his lips, but stopped. With an aggravated sigh, he dropped the spoon into his bowl. “Jeez, everything is so tense, you’re making it impossible for me to enjoy my ice cream.” He plucked a gummy worm off his dessert and waved it in Chris’ face. “It even has gummy worms!”
“Chris, perhaps you should take Stiles home?” Peter stood, gathering his bowl of half melted ice cream.
“You think you’ll be fine?” Chris asked.
Stiles flailed. “Wait! Hold up, you know splitting up never works out, right?”
“This coming from someone basing their knowledge off of movies and comics.” Peter turned on heel and waltzed up to the counter where he returned the dirty dish.
Chris grabbed Stiles’ bowl and stacked it on top of his. “We’re going to test where their priorities lie.” He stood and dropped off his and Stiles’ dishes too.
Stiles grumbled as he shoved himself out of his seat and stomped over to the door where Chris and Peter congregated. “We’ve pointed out three potential stalkers, and we don’t even know how many more there might be. I don’t think Peter should be wandering the streets alone. Besides, how the hell is he going to get back to Beacon Hills?”
“I’ll take a cab, and it is so sweet to hear that you care about my wellbeing.” A saccharine smile curved Peter’s lips. “I can handle myself though.” Peter’s eyes flashed red.
Stiles smacked him on the chest. “Not against a dozen people trained to kill you.”
“I’ve fought worse,” Peter said.
Stiles looked to Chris for confirmation.
Chris nodded. “He has.”
Stiles crossed his arms in front of his chest. “I still don’t like it.”
“Well then, how about a kiss for good luck?” Peter tapped his lips as he smirked.
Stiles’ shoulders rose to his ears as he crossed his arms. “You know I’m still mad at you.”
“Very well.” Peter turned to Chris. “Chris?”
Chris heaved a sigh, but took a step forward. His hand fisted the short strands of hair on the back of Peter’s head as he pulled Peter in for a chaste yet forceful kiss.
Stiles mouth went dry and just the beginning hints of warmth flow to lower parts of himself. The kiss may not have been the tongue twisting dance that he saw in porn, but there was a subtle heat behind it. Chris and Peter were also quite attractive and people he knew, making the visual all the more real and stimulating. There was also a little voice in Stiles’ head reminding him that he’d get to participate in that soon too.
Stiles shifted as Chris and Peter pulled apart.
Peter cast a knowing look Stiles way. “You still have a chance.”
Horny but defiant, Stiles refused to give into Peter’s taunt. He seized Chris’ arm, yanked Chris toward him and planted a kiss smack on Chris’ lips.
The kiss lasted only a second due to Chris reeling back in surprise.
It may have been brief, but the contact had Stiles’ toes curling in anticipation.
He sent Peter his own smug look. “Maybe if you live.” Stiles tugged Chris halfway out the door.
“With that kind of promise, there is no doubt I will.” The red was back in Peter’s eyes, but only briefly. It was enough though for Stiles’ to know that Peter would hold him to his word. It sent a thrill up his spine that was a mix of anticipation and worry. He had no idea what he had gotten himself into, but he had a feeling if he had trouble ignoring Peter’s advances before, it was going to be impossible in the future.
The door shut behind Stiles and Chris as they exited. Stiles squeezed Chris’ arm.
They climbed into the car. Chris turned the ignition, and reached to take off the emergency brake when he paused. “I hope in the future you won’t kiss me just to get a rise out of Peter.”
Stiles flushed. “That was a bit of a dick move towards you, wasn’t it?”
Chris didn’t say anything, just took off the emergency brake and signaled his intent to leave the parking spot.
Stiles leaned over the armrest and kissed Chris’ check, his lips brushing stubble. He pulled back.
Chris glanced at Stiles.
Stiles beamed. “Get me home safely, and I’ll give you a real kiss.” He glanced suggestively at the ice cream shop. “Can’t get a rise out of him if he’s not there.”
Chris snorted in amusement as he pulled out into the street. “You have no idea what can get a rise out of him.”
Stiles opened his mouth to say something, when he caught a car pulling out behind Chris and him from around a corner. Stiles frowned. It was a black SUV. Hadn’t there been one on the road when they were driving earlier?
Stiles glanced at Chris.
Chris had noticed the SUV. He didn’t comment on it, but his grip on the steering wheel tightened, and he picked his speed just a tad.
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There were two people following Peter. The two teenagers at the bus stop, he would bet. There was their natural hormonal scents that carried the hint of gun powder mixed with the faint yet familiar fresh and sharp smell of the Beacon Hills’ preserve. He almost missed it under the blanketing smell of teenage arousal.
At least the two were enjoying their job, Peter thought. He glanced at a shop window, catching the reflection of his young stalkers.
Peter picked up his pace and weaved in front of a large man to create an obstacle between him and his pursuers.
The teens’ footsteps fumbled, and there was a clash of bodies meeting. The girl apologized quickly as her partner huffed and tried to round the large man.
Peter grinned and ducked into an alleyway.
He unsheathed his claws and climbed the brick walls of one of the buildings. It was as easy as sprinting across a field. He yanked himself up and over the edge of the building, landing gracefully on the roof. He stared down at the alley, like a king looking over his land.
The two teenagers raced into the alley. The boy pulled out a knife from his jacket while the girl took out a taser from her purse.
Peter scoffed. The two teens were riddled with nerves—still too new to hunting. They’d only be a threat as added numbers in a group.
Peter scanned the city.
The woman who Peter had suspected of being a hunter in the clothing boutique was heading toward the teens. Running parallel down the road Peter had been on was the businessman Chris had noted. He was still chatting on his phone, but he was far more tense than he’d been prior.
“You lost him?” The woman from the shop said through gritted teeth as she approached the teenagers.
“He couldn’t have gotten far.” The boy took a step toward the woman, determination shining in his eyes. “He went down this alley, so he’s probably on Jonathan’s path now. If we hurry we can catch up and—”
The woman held her hand up to silence the boy.
Peter retreated a step, just as the woman looked up.
He listened to the woman’s breathing and heartbeat, waiting for any indication that she spotted him. There was a hitch in her breath.
Peter flexed his fingers, his claws brushing against his palms.
“Circle the area,” the woman instructed the teens. “I’ll contact Jonathan and inform him of the situation.”
The teens murmured agreements and hurried off. The woman stayed behind and dialed Jonathan.
Peter eyed the businessman as the woman’s phone rang out. The businessman reached into his pocket and fished out a second cell phone. He pretended to end his call on the first phone and answered the second.
“Chloe and Tom lost sight of the target. He could be in your area,” the woman said.
The man’s eyes darted about. “Understood.”
The two hung up, and Peter huffed in annoyance. He had had been hoping to get more information from the duo. He doubted they would have any deep revelations; however, he would have liked to have gotten a sense of how many hunters were after him. The hunter group had originally seemed small, but it appeared its numbers had increased. He needed to know if there would be more hunters encroaching the vicinity of Beacon Hills.
Peter watched as the woman exited the alley. He crossed his arms over his chest, his claws ghosting over his biceps. He wanted nothing more than to sink his claws into the hunters, but the location was undesirable. It would be difficult to hide a body in broad daylight, but in the city it was almost impossible. He’d need to corner one of them near a dumpster so he could deposit the body right after the kill. However, a dumpster was horrible hiding spot. It would take just one pedestrian throwing away their Starbucks coffee to find the body and report it, which would bring more hunters.
Peter grumbled and retracted his claws.
He’d kill them later.
“They’re still following us.” Stiles sat up in his chair and craned his head around the headrest. They were on the freeway and just a few miles from Beacon Hills.
There was a car between them and the SUV, but Stiles could tell it was the same vehicle that had been following them since they'd left the city. “Got any plans for how to lose them?”
Chris nodded. “A couple. They’re good though; they’ve done this before.”
Stiles nodded. Chris had already tried speeding up and cutting across lanes to lose the SUV, but whoever was driving it had kept up beautifully. Chris had even tried making a sudden exit off the freeway, but once again the SUV tailed them.
Stiles tapped his fingers along the armrest. He sucked on his bottom lip. “I have an idea, but it’s crazy.”
Chris raised an eyebrow at Stiles. “How crazy?”
“Crazy like they’ll never see it coming, and it may end with us talking to them.”
“What exactly do you have in mind?”
From the corner of his eye, Chris gave Stiles’ a look that told Stiles he was considering getting Stiles’ head examined once they were in Beacon Hills. Chris checked his mirrors and slowly pulled over to the shoulder of the road.
Stiles watched in the rear view mirror as the SUV slowed down. It drove past them, but then pulled over just a little ways down on the shoulder.
Stiles unbuckled his seat belt and got out of the car. He went to the hood and popped it up when Chris killed the engine.
He heard two male voices accompanied by footsteps approach him from behind. The hairs on the back of his neck stood on end.
Chris was soon at his side, his body emitting a comforting warmth. Stiles took in a deep breath, feeling better that Chris was there to help him if his plan went south.
“You two need some help?” One of the men from the SUV hollered.
Stiles looked over his shoulder and beamed at the men. They could have been mistaken for lumberjacks with the amount of plaid they wore—although he did like the blue plaid over shirt the tall one was wearing. Stiles would have to keep an eye out for a similar one the next time his dad forced him to update his closet. “Maybe, how much do you know about cars?”
The two men sauntered up. “Quite a bit, let’s take a look,” the tall one in blue answered. He offered his hand to Chris. “Jared.” He nodded at his companion. “He’s Caden.”
Chris shook Jared’s hand. “Chris.”
Stiles didn’t volunteer his name. Instead he leaned over the car and pointed at the engine. “It’s been making these weird sounds on and off. At first I thought something was loose, but when we checked earlier we couldn’t find anything. The sound gets worse every time it returns. Do you have any idea what it could be?”
Caden leaned forward, resting his elbows on the edge. “What kind of sound?”
“Like metal hitting metal. At one point I thought maybe it was the muffler coming loose, but the sound is definitely coming from under the hood, so it can’t be that.”
Caden shook his head. “Nothing I can see at a glance.” He looked over his shoulder at Jared. “You spot anything?”
Jared shook his head.
“We’re almost home; let’s just take the car to the shop when we get there,” Chris said.
“I don’t want to get stuck on the road if it breaks down,” Stiles argued. He was pleased that Chris was playing along.
“We are already stuck on the road.”
“But at least we are not in the middle of the street.”
“I’ll pull over if it starts to break down.”
“But what if it happens like that!” Stiles snapped his fingers for show. “No warning! Then we are stuck in an ocean of cars that will kill us if we step outside.”
“You’re being paranoid,” Chris patronized.
“Guys.” Jared stepped between them, holding his hands up in a placating manner. “We can escort you to the repair shop if it’s not that far.” There was a twinkle of delight in Jared’s eyes. He glanced at Caden, and Caden smiled back. The two of them obviously thought they had Chris and Stiles in the palm of their hands, but they had no idea what Stiles had planned.
Stiles’ scuffed his foot on the dirt and shoved his hands in his pockets. He grumbled. “I guess we could do that.”
Chris let out a relived sigh. He turned to Jared. “Thank you.”
The plan was to have the two hunters follow them, but just in case they got separated—highly unlikely, considering—Chris gave them a set of directions. At least he tried to. He’d just told the hunters what exit to take when Stiles cut in with his directions. Chris and Stiles bickered over the auto shop, until Chris huffed and yielded.
Stiles couldn’t deny he took some delight in Jared and Caden’s faces. What had started off as friendly and confident expressions became ones of awkwardness and discomfort.
Once their performance was over and an auto shop was chosen, Chris and Stiles returned to their car. The hunters were still making their way to the SUV when Chris reached for the keys in the ignition.
Stiles halted his hand. “Continue to play along.”
Chris hesitated but withdrew his hand. “Why?”
Stile grinned. “They don’t know, that we know who they are. If we play our cards right, the next time we bump into them instead of attacking us they might try to approach us. Talk to us. Trick us, but they won’t because we already know. ”
Chris looked skeptical.
“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” Stiles tried. When Chris hit him with a deadpanned stare Stiles slouched in his chair and huffed. “Do you even know how much these guys know about you or Peter? Maybe they only suspect and are looking for evidence. After all, if they really think at least one of you guys is a threat then why not break into your house and kill you two while you sleep?”
“Peter would wake up before they reach the door. Also, they know about Peter and me.” The hunters had climbed into their vehicle and had started the engine. Chris turned the key in the ignition. He waited for traffic to clear before he hopped onto the freeway again.
“How do you know?”
“Peter and I were captured by a group of hunters in Beacon Hills not long ago. If these hunters have joined them, then they know about us.”
Stiles sat up straighter. “You didn’t tell me that.”
“It wasn’t pertinent at the time.”
“It kind of was, considering the situation.” Stiles grabbed the side of his head, fisting the short strands of hair he found there. God, his plan could have gone so wrong. “Okay, but you’re saying these guys are different. So they may have nothing to do with Beacon Hills.”
Chris nodded. “It is unlikely however.”
Stiles nodded, taking in the information. “Okay, so let’s pretend then that they just joined the group in Beacon Hills. Clearly Peter is the number one target, and we have the two stooges following us. Why though, bring in more people for just one werewolf? Also, why not contact you if you’re a hunter?”
“Because my loyalty is to Peter. Unless I give them reason to believe otherwise, they won’t contact me.”
“Have you tried contacting them, you know, besides when you got captured?”
Chris kept his gaze on the road.
Stiles wasn’t certain what exactly Chris’ silence meant, but he gathered it wasn’t anything good.
Stiles bit the inside of his cheek. “Does Peter have a reputation for being extremely dangerous?”
“I’ve done my best to keep most of Peter’s activities out of hunter gossip.”
So, ideally Peter should just be a regular werewolf in their eyes. Maybe more dangerous since he was an alpha, but still, bringing in more people didn’t make much sense. Unless… “They’ve lost numbers already. Either Peter or the omega, or someone took out a few of their own so they needed back up.” Another thought occurred to Stiles. “They also moved the omega’s body--didn't they? I bet the moment that hit the police reports, dozens of hunters would have been notified, which means these guys were specifically called in. So they’ve already called all their friends, yet they still need more back up.”
Chris’ brow was furrowed. “What are you getting at?”
“I’m not sure,” Stiles mumbled. “But something is going on here.” Stiles slumped against his chair. “Let’s just play it cool for now. These guys clearly think they are at the advantage and don’t realize that you recognize them as hunters. We’ll lose them for now and deal with all the weirdness later.”
They were coming up on their exit. “And how exactly will leading them to an auto shop help us lose them?”
“Simple: we’re going to force them to leave us.”
Stiles watched the SUV keep one car length behind them the whole trip into Beacon Hills. His palms sweated and his nerves tingled. He spoke confidently, but he was nervous. As the shop came into view, Stiles instructed Chris to park as close to the front as possible; they’d need to move fast once the hunters left, or else the duo would be back on their tail again.
Stiles got out of the car, with Chris close by, just as the hunters parked. Chris moved as if to follow Stiles into the shop, but Stiles put a hand on his chest to stop him. “Distract them for a minute.”
Chris nodded just as the hunters slammed the doors shut.
Stiles hurried inside. There was a narrow desk covered in papers, pens, and a few oil smudges. On top of one stack of papers was a bell, and Stiles pounded on it three times.
A blond mechanic stepped out from the back, wiping his hands on a rag. “Tim” was written in cursive just under the collar of his jumper. Tim made a face—recognizing Stiles from some of his visits. “Not another spark plug.”
“Hey, don’t complain that I keep you in business,” Stiles snapped.
Time rolled his eyes, sauntering over to the desk. “What do you want today?”
“Today, I want you to go outside, act like a jerk, and tell the two assholes in plaid outside that they aren’t welcomed on the property unless they are buying.”
Time raised an eyebrow at the request. “They prospective customers?”
“Doubt it. They’ve been tailing me and my soul mate for an hour now. Probably just a bunch close-minded dickheads, since my soul mate is an older guy. “ Please don’t be homophobic or ageist. Please don’t be homophobic or ageist.
Tim’s eyes narrowed, but any derision didn’t seem to be aimed at Stiles. Stiles felt a spark of relief. “All right, but what do you I get out of it?” Tim asked.
“The joy of helping your fellow man.”
“That doesn’t pay the bills.”
Stiles grumbled and fished in his pocket for his wallet. He opened it and sighed. “I only got twenty bucks.”
Tim held out his hand.
Stiles grumbled some more about gouging people, but Tim either was slightly deaf or he chose to ignore it.
Tim pocketed the bill and marched outside. Stiles followed.
“So what did you say was the trouble?” Tim hollered over his shoulder, heading straight for the car where Chris and the two hunters were gathered.
“It keeps making a weird noise from the hood,” Stiles answered.
Tim reached the car and pointed at it. “This the one?”
Tim nodded then glared at Chris and the hunters. “Something I can help you fellas with?”
Chris glared back. “You can fix my car.” He rapped his knuckles on the hood.
Tim turned his icy look on the hunters. “And you two, is this your car?”
Jared and Caden appeared slightly taken aback by Tim’s attitude. They shared a look. Jared turned toward Tim and beamed. “No, we’re just helping—”
Time held up an oil covered hand. “I don’t want to hear it. If you're not a customer then I don’t want you taking up space. Manager is already yelling at us for parking our own cars here. He’d be royally pissed if we let some loiterers do so too.”
“Loiterers?” Caden fought to keep his expression cordial.
Stiles clapped a hand on Tim’s shoulder and shook it. “Listen guys, thanks for the help but I know this guy’s boss, and he is one hell of an asshole. If his workmanship wasn’t great, I’d never come here.”
“You bet your ass he’s one hell of a bitch,” Tim threw in. “So you two get out of here, because I ain’t dealin’ with ya.”
Jared and Caden looked torn between hauling Tim around back and beating him up, and keeping up their friendly charade. After a moment of silent communication between the two, Jared and Caden’ shoulder drooped. They put on concerned masks.
“Are you sure you don’t want us to stick around in case you need a ride?” Jared asked.
Stiles shook his head. “Called my dad on the way over. He’ll be by with one of his friends.” Stiles ribbed Chris. “The more people to hassle you with.”
Stiles saw it in the two hunters eyes the moment they realized they’d fumbled. It took all of his willpower not to do a victory dance right then and there.
“If you’re sure,” Jared tried.
Stiles nodded. “Absolutely.”
Like a couple of kicked dogs, Jared and Caden trudged back to their SUV. They spent an extra two minutes sitting their car conversing and shooting worried glances at Stiles and Chris. All the while, Tim had popped the hood and was pretending to rummage through it.
Finally, the two took off.
The second the hunters were out of sight, Stiles shoved Tim away from the hood. “Thanks, gotta go before they catch up.” He slammed the hood down.
Tim grunted, but didn’t protest.
Chris was already in the car and had the engine started.
Stiles jumped into the passenger seat. He didn’t even have his seatbelt on before Chris peeled out of the parking lot, heading in the opposite direction of Jared and Caden. Stiles looked over his shoulder, holding his breath just in case he saw an SUV following. Stiles sighed in relief when he saw nothing of the sort.
Chris slid onto the freeway again, driving past two more exits taking the third, dropping him off at the opposite end of town.
“So…” Stiles smirked. “Did I do good?”
Chris reached down and squeezed Stiles’ knee. “You did excellent.”
Chris took the long way to Stiles’ house. The ride was filled with constant glances in the mirrors and Stiles craning his neck around the seat to see if the SUV had magically reappeared. The extended drive came to an end when Chris pulled up in front of Stiles’ house.
Stiles unbuckled his seat belt and sarcastically said, “So, you gonna be a gentleman and walk me to the door?”
“Wouldn’t want someone to snatch you at your doorstep.” Chris ducked out of the car.
It took a moment for Stiles’ brain to catch up with the joke and when it did he was left spluttering for a response as Chris opened the car door. Chris raised an eyebrow at Stiles, and for a brief second Stiles wonder if Chris or Peter had picked up the facial habit from the other or if they’d both possessed the trait beforehand. Stiles scrambled out of the car, almost tripping over himself in his hurry. “You two really don’t know how to take a joke.”
The corner of Chris mouth twitched upward. “I disagree.”
Stiles batted Chris playful on the chest and sauntered toward the front door. “You guys take me too literally. I told Peter he couldn’t sweep me off my feet, and the show off picked me up.” Stiles had reached the front door and spun to meet Chris. His heart leaped in his chest when he came face to face with Chris with only a few inches of space separating them.
His eyes flickered to Chris’ lips as he remembered his promise in the car. His lips tingled at the memory of the perfect mix of soft lips and stubble. His temperature rose and his nerves vibrated with anticipation. “It’s not even that impressive now that I know he’s a werewolf. If he carried me around for days, I might be impressed, but a couple of minutes means nothing for him.”
Chris’ fingertips touched Stiles’ hip, cutting off Stiles’ tangent. “Did you enjoy it?”
Stiles licked his lips as his brain short-circuited on the question. “Um? Being picked up? Uh? Yeah. It was fun, and—”
The hand on his hip jumped to his ass and was accompanied by another. He was hoisted into the air and Stiles’ flung his arms around Chris’ neck. Their chests were plastered together. Stiles could feel every breath and subtle movement of Chris’. It sent blood rushing through Stiles, and without thinking he wrapped his legs around Chris’ waist. “Oh yeah, this awesome. Really awesome. I got your hands on my ass, and you’re human which means holding me up is—” Stiles’ mouth went dry, and Chris squeezed his ass. “I’m really impressed.”
Chris smirked and pointedly glanced downward. “I can tell.”
Stiles wasn’t rock hard, but the evidence of his arousal was noticeable.
“Shut up.” Stiles buried his fingers in Chris’ hair and yanked the man’s face toward his. Their lips smashed together in a bruising fashion. Stiles opened his mouth, knowing that he wanted to add some tongue action to the kiss, but uncertain how to go about it without shoving his tongue down Chris’ throat. He yelped when instead of getting his tongue in Chris’ mouth, he felt the gentle prod of Chris’ against his lips.
Stiles’ melted, letting Chris take control, memorizing the movements. Once he thought he had a good pattern down, he nipped at Chris’ bottom lip and pushed his tongue against Chris’, urging the hunter to retreat. Stiles took control, mimicking Chris’ movements with vigor.
Chris’ fingers clenched around Stiles’ ass and Stiles smiled. He wiggled in Chris’ hold, earning a groan.
A loud cough interrupted them.
Stiles and Chris’ mouth parted and their heads whirled in the direction of the sound.
Sheriff Stilinski glowered at them with his hand hovering just an inch away from his gun.
“Dad,” Stiles squeaked and dropped his legs from Chris’ waist.
Chris let go of Stiles but kept close.
Sheriff Stilinski eyed them. “Stiles, aren’t you grounded?”
Stiles winced. “Yeah, but you just said I couldn’t go out. Technically, I am still on the property.”
John’s eyes narrowed. “I also said no friends.”
“Actually, you said no Scott. I think you’re just so used to Scott being my only friend that you forgot I have soul mates now and that Kira likes to come over sometimes too.”
John pointed at the door. “Inside.”
Stiles nodded hurriedly. “Bye.” He waved at Chris.
John glared at Chris as he slipped past the man.
Chris kept his expression nonchalant, which only seemed to infuriate John more. John slammed the door behind him as he entered.
Stiles raced for the stairs.
“Stiles,” John said in a warning tone.
What was left of Stiles’ boner was killed. He lowered his head in shame. “Yeah, Dad?”
“I’m happy to see you and one of your soul mates getting along, but if I ever see the two of you going at it like that again outside, I will have both of you arrested for public indecency.”
Stiles flushed. “Okay.” He hurried upstairs, but stopped at the top. He cursed and rushed halfway down the stairs, poking his head over the banister. “So just to be clear, you mean Chris and me when you say ‘you two?’ Cause that means Peter and I can still go at in public and you won’t arrest us, right?”
“Stiles,” John growled in warning.
Stiles held up his hands to show he was defenseless. “Hey, hey, it’s just a question, and a necessary one at that. Plus, what are you doing home so early?”
“I felt guilty knowing my deviant son was home alone on the weekend and decided to have lunch here.”
Guilt sucker punched Stiles. He winced. “Sorry.”
John waved him off. “Should I make a sandwich for you too, or am I dining alone?
Stiles wanted to make it up to his dad, but his mind was chomping at the bit for him to look through the bestiary Chris had given him. Stiles fidgeted. “Can I research at the table?”
John sighed in exasperation. “We can have dinner later. Just go look into whatever has you acting like you need to pee.”
“I don’t look like—” Right then Stiles noticed he’d been tapping his foot on the stairs and drumming his fingers on the banister. Stiles withdrew his hand, placing it behind his back. His fingers bunched the hem of his shirt. “Okay, fine. I look ansty, but that doesn’t mean I look like I need to pee.”
John gave Stiles a doubtful look.
Stiles huffed, throwing his head back. “Why do you have to embarrass me, it’s not like there is anyone else here; you’re the only one getting any joy out of it.”
John smiled and shook his head as he went toward the kitchen. “Go research, Stiles.”
“I’ll research my ass off, which will make you happy because then Chris won’t be able to grab me there—there will just be two holes in my body where my ass cheeks should be.” Stiles paused, thinking about what he just said. “Actually, do you think Chris and Peter would like that more, since that means I would have—”
“Stiles! There are only two ways I think about your ass: One, all the times I had to change your diaper, and two, how I am going to ground it again if you keep talking about it.
Stiles snapped his mouth shut and mimed zipping his lips, despite being out of sight from his father. He raced up the stairs and into his room. He booted up his laptop and pulled up the bestiary. He sifted through the contents until a picture of a werewolf appearing much like the omega he had seen appeared on the screen.
The entry on werewolves was thick with information. There were sketches of a skull in “beta form”—a midway transformation that mostly affected the face and nails. It mentioned body parts such as fangs and claws being used in magic rituals. There were paragraphs dedicated to explain the differences between alpha, beta, and omega, and their relations to their pack and interactions with other werewolves outside of the pack.
According to the bestiary, Peter was right—mostly. Omega’s who turned feral could regain their humanity through interaction with pack and/or soul mate. The problem with that scenario was that unless the Omega’s pack or soul mate came forward, or the omega still retained its verbal skills, there was no way to know who the omega belonged to.
Stiles swallowed as he reread the paragraphs. He glanced at the file Danny had given him. According to what he had found it appeared the omega had been attacking people for weeks, almost months. The omega wasn’t hiding its trail well. A pack of werewolves should have an easy time finding a lost pack mate. Therefore, Stiles had to assume if the omega ever had a pack, it wasn’t wanted by it anymore or worse.
Peter had done the right thing. More people would have been hurt or killed otherwise.
Stiles slouched and heaved a sigh. Peter would be insufferable after this.
Except… Stiles sat up and grabbed Danny’s file. He rummaged through the contents and reread notes he’d scribbled in the margins.
It looked like another werewolf had been following the omega.
Stiles smacked his forehead. Of course there was a second werewolf! How else could he explain the weird attack patterns that suggested the omega had been in two places at once? It was so obvious, he’d have to get his IQ tested to be certain he wasn’t contracting stupidity from Jackson (they were on the same Lacrosse team; it was possible).
Stiles stomach churned as more of the pieces clicked into place. If there was a werewolf following the omega, it wasn’t a friendly one; it was attacking people too.
The window to Stiles’ room slammed open and Stiles jumped out of his chair with a screech. He seized his baseball bat and swung at the intruder.
Peter caught the bat without batting an eye.
Shock rammed into Stiles. His mouth moved but no words came.
Peter cocked his head to one side. “My beauty steals your very speech.” He yanked the bat out of Stiles’ hands and tossed it to the side.
Stiles squawked in indignation. “Dude! We talked about emulating Edward Cullen, didn’t we? I admit, my inner preteen that can easily be fooled into thinking displays of intense jealousy and possessiveness is romantic is dying with joy at getting to live out a fantasy, but I mostly just find this creepy.”
“Personally, I find this more Romeo and Juliet like, what with you being awake.”
“If you say you wish you were a glove upon my hand, I will slap you.”
“I take thee at thy word.”
Stiles thought processes ceased functioning for two seconds. “I don’t know if I like you, or really hate you right now.” Stiles returned to his desk where he’d gathered his papers. “I guess it’s good you came though. I was looking into it and…”
Two hands grabbed Stiles’ hips. Peter pressed closer to Stiles but kept an inch between them, just enough to tease. “I believe you promised me something if I live.”
Stiles picked up the papers and pushed them against Peter’s lips. Out of shock, Peter released him and Stiles took the opportunity to spin out of Peter’s reach. “We got more important things to deal with right now than your libido.” Stiles took the papers back and pulled out a map that he had left markings on. “I had a friend look into some stuff for me, and it turns out Beacon Hills isn’t the only place to have a sudden string of animal attacks.”
Stiles took the map back and put it on his desk. He plucked up a green pen and drew two lines. One line started almost in Arizona and worked its way up to Beacon Hills. The second line started in the same location but ended just one town over from the first. “It’s pretty clear to me that another werewolf was following the omega, but I can’t figure out why. Also, why hasn’t the werewolf made itself known. Based on the timeline, it should have arrived by now. Instead we have more hunters.” Stiles snapped his fingers as realization came to him. “Hey, maybe that’s why they are after you and Chris. Maybe they think you’re the one following the omega.”
Peter frowned. He studied the sheets of papers in his hands. He flipped one over and read the back. His brow furrowed. He pulled out another sheet and scowled.
“Something wrong?” Stiles asked.
“You’re right. The attacks were done by a werewolf; it’s the victims though, that make this quite the mess.”
“I really don’t see how.”
Peter’s eyes flashed red. “They’re all established packs.”
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“Established packs?” Stiles repeated. His mouth had gone dry, and he longed for a cup of water. “Like a pack of werewolves?”
“No, a pack of cigarettes.” Peter rolled his eyes. “Of course a pack of werewolves.”
“But that doesn’t make sense. Not really, at least. Yeah, okay, maybe a werewolf or a pack of werewolves attacking another pack for land or power I could believe, but this is all along most of the state. Also, it clearly attracts hunters, so who would be stupid enough to do it?”
“Someone very stupid,” Peter said lowly, “or someone very confident.”
“I don’t see why the two have to be mutually exclusive.”
“They don’t, but it’s very troubling if our perpetrator is only the latter.” Peter thumbed through the pages of papers Stiles had given him, his visage growing more serve with each flip of the sheets. “Where did you say you got these?”
“My friend.” Stiles shifted nervously. “He’s a bit of a hacker.”
Peter hummed in thought. “And why was he researching wolf attacks?”
Stiles flushed. “Hey, you and Chris were barely giving me any information. I had to look somewhere.”
For a second, levity returned to Peter’s face. His eyes skimmed the papers once more, and the flicker of amusement left him. He folded the papers and shoved them into his pocket. “I’ll share these with Chris, and we’ll look into it more. Perhaps our second wolf left some clues as to its identity.”
“Those are my papers,” Stiles rebuked, gesturing at the stolen items.
Peter crossed his arms over his chest and smirked. “And now they are mine.”
Stiles marched up to Peter and seized him by the collar of his shirt, yanking him toward Stiles. “That’s not what I’m saying. Not entirely, anyway. I figured this out Peter, so don’t you dare start pulling a Chris and keep me out of the loop to protect me. If you and Chris are going anywhere or plan to confront this second werewolf, I better be involved.”
Peter feigned innocence. “Aren’t you grounded?”
Stiles scowled. “I can sneak out, like I did today.”
“Really?” Peter questioned in a disbelieving tone.
Heat pooled in Stiles’ cheeks. His dad had tomorrow off and school was the following day. “Okay, so maybe I can’t pull it off in the next few days, but that doesn’t mean if things were different, I couldn’t.”
Stiles huffed, releasing Peter’s collar and pushing the man away. “Your sincerity moves my heart.”
Peter snatched his wrist, his thumb pressing over the pulse point and the soul mark. The contact gave Stiles pause. Peter drew him in by the wrist. His lips were curled and his eyes sparkled with mischief. His free hand went behind Stiles’ head, his fingers lacing through the barely there strands. The grip was strong and in juxtaposition with the gentle guide of Peter’s hold.
Their lips pressed. Peter moved his lips in a caress, and Stiles mimicked the movement. He expected a slip of tongue, but Peter used only soft brushes of lips before pulling away.
Stiles blinked, shocked by the lack of boldness. Peter had been flirtatious and suggestive from the beginning and to receive a kiss that was more tender than rough and dirty had him reeling. It felt good—had him warm and tingling and wanting to touch his lips to confirm that he’d really just kissed Peter in such a way. He just didn’t know what to make of it. “No tongue?”
“I’d be happy to oblige if that’s what you want.”
Stiles cheeks were burning. “I never said that. Sure, if you want to give me some tongue, I wouldn’t be opposed, but I am not asking for it. You understand? I’m not begging for you to shove your tongue down my—”
Peter yanked Stiles forward by the back of his head and slammed their lips together. There were only a few swift, rough brushes of lips before Peter was plunging his tongue in Stiles mouth like Stiles had the last mouthful of air on the planet and Peter was doing everything in his power to steal it.
Stiles clutched the fabric at Peter’s shoulder to keep himself balanced. His legs quaked under the sheer enthusiasm of the kiss.
His throat vibrated with a mewl.
A delighted growl tore through Peter.
The reaction had Stiles smiling into the kiss.
Peter broke away, looking more than satisfied with himself. His eyes glowed red. He blinked and the red was replaced by blue.
His hand was still on the back of Stiles’ head. His fingers scraped the back of Stiles’ skull. “So I take this to mean I am forgiven.”
Stiles knocked Peter hand away from his head and scoffed. “You’re an asshole.”
“I don’t hear a denial.”
“You shouldn’t have misled me.”
“But then we wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t have shared in two delightful kisses.” He stepped closer to Stiles so their chests brushed. “We could even have a few more.”
Stiles slid a hand between them, laying it on Peter’s chest. “I’m serious. Mislead me like that again, and it’s going to be more than a few days of no contact and no kisses.”
“I will endeavor to do my best.” His hand wrapped around the one Stiles had placed on his chest. He leaned in for another kiss.
Stiles placed a finger on Peter’s lips. “Don’t you need to inform Chris about what’s going on?”
Peter nipped Stiles fingertip. “I can spare a few minutes.”
Stiles rolled his eyes and shoved Peter toward the window. “Go. Whoever was following the omega is due to make an appearance here any moment, and I rather know who it is than be taken by surprise.”
Peter let out a dramatic huff of annoyance. He sauntered to the window. He placed his hands on the sill and looked over his shoulder at Stiles. “You’re right that we are due for a visit. So do Chris and me a favor, and stay on guard.”
“Considering I’m grounded, I don’t think you have to worry about me that much.”
“Except for those instances when you sneak out.”
Stiles crossed his arms over his chest and gestured for Peter to leave.
Peter chuckled as he climbed out of the window and jumped down with inhuman grace.
Stiles flopped onto his bed and sighed. Hunters, a mysterious and dangerous werewolf, and two soul mates caught in the middle of it all. Yup, Stiles was so screwed.
He touched his lips, remembering his two passionate kisses of the day.
At least it wasn’t all bad.
When Peter returned to his home, Chris was on the phone with what sounded like one of his few remaining hunter friends. Chris was questioning the female hunter’s certainty, and the woman was responding with snappish affirmations.
Peter waltzed up to the front door of the house, and sauntered inside. He pulled off his jacket and hung it in the coat closet under the stairs.
“I’ll see if anyone else has heard anything, this is the first I’ve heard of any hunters going anywhere near you,” the woman said.
Chris released his frustration through a heavy sigh.
Peter went to the kitchen and pulled out a small glass from the cupboards. He went to another cupboard and grabbed a bottle of bourbon. He filled the glass halfway then returned the bottle to the cupboard. He waited for Chris to finish his conversation before taking the drink upstairs and joining Chris in his office.
Peter didn’t bother knocking. “Do you think we will need an add-on to the house? It’s not very fair for both of us to have offices, and for Stiles to have none. Although, I suspect his might double as a game room, considering the number of video games I saw on his shelf.”
Chris’ head shot up from where he’d rested it in his hands. He was seated and hunched over desk. His phone lay in disuse on the desk. “Peter.”
Peter strutted over to the desk. He seated himself on the corner of it, so his legs bumped Chris’. The proximity made it easier to smell the faint traces of Stiles’ scent on Chris. Peter had smelled Chris’ musk and gunpowder scent on Stiles when he had visited the boy, and it took a hefty portion of his will power to push down his baser instincts to drink in the intoxicating mixed scents while smothering Stiles with his own to complete trio of smells.
He found himself struggling once again against his primal urges as he breathed in the mixture of gunpowder, musk, and a rich smell that despite it’s potency managed to be quite cleansing. Almost like a rushing river with hint of fresh grass. He sucked in a breath of it through his nose then plopped the bourbon in front of Chris. When Chris didn't take the offering right away, Peter pushed it towards him.
Chris eyed the cup. He cast Peter a look of suspicion. “What happened?”
Peter scoffed. “You say that like I’ve done something wrong.” He brushed his foot down Chris’ leg. “You know I seduce on the rare occasion I’m at fault.”
“Rare?” Chris deadpanned.
Peter grinned as he pulled out the papers he’d obtained from Stiles out of his pocket. “Stiles is really proving you the fool. Not only has he adapted to the supernatural well, but it appears he’s even solving mysteries for us now.” He held out the papers for Chris. “Take a look.”
Chris didn’t reach for the papers at first. Instead he grabbed the bourbon and chugged down a mouthful. He slammed the cup down and snatched the papers from Peter.
“I really hope you aren’t going to drink every time I mention Stiles. You might never be sober again.”
Chris glared at Peter.
“Too soon?” Peter teased.
“It’s always too soon for you,” Chris grumbled as he skimmed the first page.
“Don’t sell yourself short, Chris. Just because you were little quick when we first got together doesn’t mean anything now. In fact, your endurance is quite remarkable. If you’d like we can even test it out to see how much you’ve—”
“I expect to be compensated later.”
Chris mumbled an agreement. He’d stopped skimming the papers and was studying them with intensity. He fished a pen out of one of his desk drawers and drew markings on the sheets. He even circle and underlined some of the notes Stiles had made. When he got to the map Stiles had marked with two lines, Chris paused then cursed. “He was right.”
“Right about what?” Peter purred, taking pleasure out of watching Chris work out the same conclusion Peter and Stiles’ had prior. He also found himself enjoying that his two soul mates were indirectly working together. They’d been much more friendly recently, and his instincts told him that it wouldn’t be much longer until he could have them both.
“Stiles had made some comment that it didn’t make much sense for there to be so many hunters in town, especially if they are only after you. This whole time, I haven’t put much thought into it because there is no other reason for them to be here. I had also excused it because any hunter who knows about me would consider me a threat.”
“Careful, darling, you’re starting to sound arrogant.”
Chris ignored the tease. “However, he had a point which is why I was on the phone earlier. I wanted to see if I could find any other reason. I didn’t even consider there might be a second werewolf due to arrive. Hell, it could be an entire pack. It probably is if the hunters already have reinforcements and tried to bring more with the omega’s body.”
“And we’re just a potential threat that they don’t want around.” Peter let his head fall back and let out a dramatic sigh. “Honestly, it’s almost insulting. I could have killed them all by now.”
Chris leveled Peter with a warning look.
Peter scoffed. “Don’t give me that look. You know I understand the importance of anonymity.”
“How about the fact that they are trying to protect others? Do you understand that?”
“And I would hope you understand that not all of them ‘protect.’ You have first hand knowledge of that.”
Peter could smell the anger wafting off of Chris. It was potent and stung his nostrils, but Peter kept his mask of calm. Images of Chris’ sister Kate flooded his mind and his claws came out as bloodlust surged through him. He still longed for the day he could bury his face in her neck and rip her throat out as she screamed.
Peter was drawn out of his fantasy as Chris took another sip of bourbon. Chris eyed Peter’s claws but didn’t say anything.
Peter retracted his claws and smiled. “I suppose we’ve breached that topic one too many times today.”
Chris nodded. He pointed to a spot on the map. “We’ll head out there tomorrow, and see if we can find anything to identify who or what pack was tailing the omega.”
“My thoughts exactly.” Peter stood up from the desk, planning to take his leave.
Chris grabbed his arm.
Peter glanced at Chris.
“I believe some compensation is in order.”
Delight filled Peter. The corner of his mouth curled upward and he took a sauntering step toward Chris. He planted his hands on the back of Chris’ chair, caging the hunter in. He placed his legs on either side of Chris’ and leaned down so their foreheads brushed. “Ah, Chris,” he purred, “this is exactly why I love you.”
He pressed his lips to Chris’, enjoying the feel of stubble along the edge of his mouth. He sunk himself onto Chris’ lap as he nipped at Chris’ bottom lip, seeking entrance. Chris opened up to him and as reward, Peter slowly ground his crotch against Chris’, earning a moan from his soul mate. Peter grinned into the kiss.
Peter truly loved Chris, for many reasons. It helped though that he was one of the few people who’d let Peter talk about killing his pseudo in-laws with true murderous intent and still have sex with him afterwards.
Even without the soul mark, Peter would have known Chris was made for him just for that reason.
After learning that there were hunters after his two soul mates and another werewolf or more werewolves were out there causing trouble, by all logic Stiles’ mind should have been plagued by nightmares as he slept. His mind had always been a defiant thing. Any fangs and claws featured in Stiles’ dream were welcomed and left him hot and bothered. There had even been a moment with a gun, but it was little more than a foggy picture amongst the sight and feel of tangled bodies. Touches would be soft then turn rough and leave him gasping for air.
That was how Stiles woke. His heart was pounding as his chest rose and fell with deep breaths. His dick was thick and heavy between his legs. Stiles threw his head back in a groan of frustration.
He lifted his head an inch to look at his erection and let it drop. He was so hard just a few strokes would be enough to get him off. He looked at his door and saw it was shut.
Stiles licked his hand and shoved it in his boxers. His sensitivity was so heightened that the first touch sent his back arching. With a few strokes and artful twists of his wrist he came, his vision going white and his toes curling.
He slumped against his mattress, soaking in contentment.
Contentment didn’t last long as worries plagued Stiles—he ignored the judging voice that chastised his worries for having nothing to do with werewolves or hunters, or at least the not appropriate kind of worries that had to do with maiming and death. Stiles rolled out of bed, grabbed a clean pair of boxers, and went to his bathroom to tidy himself up. Once he was clean he hurried downstairs.
“Dad,” he hollered.
“Kitchen,” John shouted back.
Stiles dashed into the kitchen just in time to see his dad bite into a slice of toast.
“I’m a virgin,” Stiles announced.
John’s face contorted with distaste as he struggled to swallow the chunk of bread in his mouth. He tossed the remainder of his toast on his plate. “Stiles, not when I’m eating.” He finally swallowed his bite. “I’m happy you’re still a virgin, but please not when—”
“No, Dad. You don’t get it.” Stiles pulled out a chair and dropped himself into it. “Dad, I’m a virgin with two soul mates.”
“I know, Stiles—”
“No, Dad, I don’t think you do. I’m a virgin with two soul mates. Who am I going to lose my virginity to? In a fantasy world I would lose it to both of them at once, but if I’ve never had sex before, is it really safe for me to be having a threesome?”
John slammed his forehead into his palm.
“Dad! I’m serious! I know there are all of these positions and different ways to go about having sex, but I’m talking honest to god sex with penetration. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love me some hand jobs, blow jobs, rim—”
John threw up a hand. “Don’t finish that sentence.”
“The point is. I don’t even know what positions Peter and Chris like. Hell, I don’t know what any of their sexual preferences are. Anyway, as it is, I feel like we’d essentially have to create a sandwich with me in the middle for both of them to be involved—you know, in uh, um…penetration—assuming we don’t double up—but is that too much for a first time? Do you think there is anyway I could hurt myself doing that? Oh god, what if I climax right away and both them have barely gotten started? It’s bad enough if I disappoint one soul mate, but to come too early for both! I’ll die, Dad! I’ll die from embarrassment!”
John shoved his plate away and stood up. “I’ll get you some condoms and a gallon of lube.”
Stiles’ eyes widened. “A gallon? Why would I need a gallon for my first time?” Stiles shot out his chair, but his dad was already racing out of the room. “Dad? Daddy! Why?”
Chris pressed on the brakes as he spotted the large, burgundy house along the curvy hillside that he and Peter had been looking for. An iron gate and brick wall protected the house from trespassers, or it would if the gate was not torn halfway off its hinges.
Chris gave Peter an inquisitive look as he pulled off the road and parked.
Peter rolled down the window and sniffed the air. He frowned. “Smells like werewolf, but long established; it would have to be the pack that lived here.”
Chris nodded. Even with his extra heightened senses as an alpha, it would have been a miracle for Peter pick up any trail of a strange werewolf or pack. “If we come back tomorrow do you think there will be a better chance of you finding something?” Chris asked. The full moon was tomorrow, it might give Peter enough of a boost to help him locate an odd scent.
“My chances will be better, but that doesn’t mean I’ll find anything.” Peter took another whiff. “Not worth the trip back at this point. Also, since our werewolf or werewolves are due to arrive in Beacon Hills any time now, I rather be guarding my territory than be out here wasting time.” He unbuckled his seat belt and got out of the car.
Chris turned off the engine and joined Peter outside.
Chris ran through the information he’d come across after he went digging for more. The information Stiles had obtained had only mentioned those who’d suffered from animal attacks. Chris had done his research and learned that during the estimated time the omega was in the area, three attacks had been made with one proving to be fatal.
Once the omega left there had been one more death. It wasn’t until a few days later that someone reported one of the family members of the victim missing. When the police went to the house they found it vacated.
Chris had conferred with Peter and shared the name of the second werewolf’s victim. Peter confirmed it was the alpha of the residing pack.
Letting the police find the body had been a demonstration of power.
Peter and Chris went to the front door. Chris tried the knob but it was locked. He gestured for Peter to take over. Peter wrapped his hand around the knob and snapped the lock off. He threw the knob aside and waltzed into the house like he owned it.
There wasn’t a piece of furniture in sight.
Chris pulled out his gun from his side holster. His gut told him that something wasn’t right, and experience told him that when something didn’t feel right, he’d better be ready for a fight.
“There’s no one here,” Peter said.
“Humor me.” Chris wouldn’t stash his gun.
Peter shrugged. He took the lead. They search the bottom floor of the house, finding a few small items here and then, such as a can of soup in the pantry and broken doll in the family room. They went upstairs to find forgotten towels in the bathroom and a broken springboard box in one of the bedrooms.
They checked the master bedroom last.
Peter pushed open the door and paused in the door frame.
A lone nightstand stood in the center of the room.
Chris frowned, the placement was odd even if the piece of furniture had been left behind. He approached it and frowned at what he saw. Carved into the top of it was triangle with three bent branches stemming from its corners. “I’ve seen this somewhere.”
Peter joined him. His eyes flashed red. “I’m not surprised you have. It’s the symbol of The Alpha Pack.”
Hi buddies! So thank you for your support so far. Also, for your patience with this chapter. Normally for a chapter this length I would only have all of you wait a week at most for it, but due to a few reasons (some mentioned here) I postponed the chapter.
As always, keep an eye out for updates on my Tumblr, so you can have an idea of when I'm going to post here.
The Internet was as helpful as the graffiti scribbled on the bathroom stalls in school. Stiles banged his head on his desk. He’d spent hours scouring the internet for information about threesomes and virginity, and while had found a few pornos that he had bookmarked, everything went back and forth. The few medical journals he’d found all seemed to agree he should be fine as long as proper preparation was preformed. It was the anecdotes that had him worried. There were only a handful and all of them conflicted. There were some people who said they did everything properly and still felt quite a bit of pain, while others claimed the experience to be phenomenal even without proper preparation (Stiles winced at the thought).
“Maybe blowjobs is the way to go for now,” Stiles mumbled.
The window slid open and Peter poked his head in. “Are you offering?”
“Jesus Fucking Christ on toast!” Stiles fell out of his chair and collapsed on the floor in a tangle of limbs. He reached for his baseball bat, despite knowing the intruder and the ineffectualness the bat would have on Peter. “Have you just been sitting outside my window, waiting for an invite or something?”
Peter pulled himself onto the windowsill and seated himself there. “I’m not a vampire, Stiles. I don’t need an invite.” His eyes went to the computer screen. “Research?”
Stiles scrambled for his desk. He slammed his laptop shut and half-heartedly glared at Peter. “I already know how threesomes work.”
“Then exactly what were you researching, Stiles?”
Stiles flushed. He turned his head away from Peter’s smug look. “I rather tell Chris. He won’t taunt me.”
Peter stood from the windowsill and sauntered over to Stiles. He placed a hand on Stiles cheek, guiding Stiles to look up at him. “I wouldn’t do that.”
Peter blinked, acting stunned, but Stiles knew it was a façade. He glared at Peter, and after a few more seconds of his act, Peter surrendered and grinned. “All right, I admit, I am a bit of a tease. If it’s Chris you want, he’s waiting outside.”
“Outside!” Stiles rushed to the window and stuck his head out. Parked right in front of the house was Chris’ car—right in plain sight from the front door and window. The very same door or window Stiles’ dad could look out of at any given moment!
Stiles waved his arms, urging Chris to drive down a few houses so he wouldn’t be spotted. If John saw the car, the first thing he’d do is check on Stiles. If he saw Peter in Stiles’ room, Stiles would be trapped in the house until he was Peter’s age.
A few seconds later the engine started and the car rolled down a few houses. Stiles sighed in relief and slumped against the window. His relief was short lived, however, when his brain realized that Peter wasn’t there just to tease and flirt with him. He whirled. “What happened?”
“Nothing happened. However, Chris and I know the group that was tailing the omega.” Peter strolled around the room a bit, his fingers sliding across the edge of Stiles’ bookshelf. He plopped himself onto Stiles’ chair. “It’s a group of werewolves known as The Alpha Pack. I’m sure by the name you can guess what their members consist of.”
Stiles gulped. Yeah, it didn’t take a genius to guess that information. “So are they known for going around attacking other werewolves?”
Peter shrugged. “It depends how you look at it. This is the biggest attack they have launched in years. The truth is, they rarely attack. However, when they do, it is quite devastating, and usually with purpose.”
“So what purpose could there be in tailing an omega and then attacking any werewolves in the area?”
Peter frowned. “I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.” He stood up and reached into his coat pocket. He made a face, like something had scolded him. He pulled out a plastic bag filled with gray grains. “In the mean time, Chris and I want you to protect yourself.” Peter tossed the bag.
Stiles leaned forward to capture the bag in his arms. He hugged it to his chest to keep it from falling out of his hold.
“That,” Peter nodded at the bag, “is mountain ash. Form a circle around your house with it, and The Alpha Pack will not be able to touch you while you’re inside it. It also means that this will be my last visit through your window until the ring is removed.”
“So you really think they’d attack me?”
“I can’t say one way or the other. If they’re following their pattern, then they should go after Chris and me. Since you aren’t officially part of my pack yet, you should be spared, but you’re also my soul mate. The pack part is just a technicality at this point.”
“I’d go after me,” Stiles admitted.
Peter looked mildly intrigued by the confession.
Stiles’ shrugged off Peter’s reaction. “Even if we barely know each other, we’re still soul mates. It’s not something easy to ignore. Honestly, since I’m the one without any training or supernatural abilities, I’d pick me off first and either use me to lure you and Chris or to act as a warning.” Stiles’ stomach roiled. It was his first time considering that someone was truly determined to do him severe harm.
“So you’ll humor us, and ward your house?” Peter asked.
Stiles nodded. “I gotta protect my dad too.”
Stiles licked his lips, his mouth having gone dry. “Do you think Chris could teach me a few things, maybe after school tomorrow?”
“Certainly. Personally, I would prefer to keep you around all night tomorrow, but even with all our skills and cunning combined, I highly doubt the three of us could hide your absence from your father throughout the entirety of the evening.”
“What’s so special about—" Stiles’ cut himself off as his brain supplied him with the answer to his question. Tomorrow was the night of the full moon. “Do you think they’ll attack tomorrow because of the moon?”
“There’s a reason they haven’t shown themselves yet, and that may very well be the one. However, I do admit there is some self-interest in keeping you all night.” Peter lips curled as he approached Stiles. He swayed his hips subtly as he moved. He leaned over Stiles’ and bent so their faces were only centimeters apart. “The full moon brings out my more primal urges and being around my mates would greatly please me.” He whispered the word ‘please’ in Stiles’ ear.
Stiles shuddered and bit his bottom lip.
Peter backed off, but looked quite content with himself.
“I’m not sure how much pleasing I could do.” The confession slipped out Stiles and he wanted nothing more than to seize it and reel it back in.
Peter cocked his head. “Your presence would be pleasing enough. Unless you are talking about something else.” His eyes slid to Stiles’ laptop. There was a flash of realization in his gaze and his head snapped toward Stiles.
Peter sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.
Somehow that reaction stung more than if Peter had started taunting Stiles. Stiles hugged the bag of mountain ash closer to his chest. “Just forget I said anything, okay.”
Peter made a frustrated growl in the back of his throat and carded his hand through his hair. “No. I won’t. I just… Like you, I would have preferred for you to have this conversation with Chris first. I’m not good with…comforting.”
Anger and indignation set a fire in Stiles. “You don't have to comfort me! It’s not like I have anything to be ashamed about!”
Peter snapped, “I am not saying you need to be ashamed. However, clearly this is a topic your are sensitive about, and I…” Another growl, although it sounded like Peter aimed it more at himself than Stiles “…I am not the soothing type.”
Stiles opened his mouth to snap back, but something stopped him. He replayed Peter’s words in his head, and really looked at Peter. The man was tense, and his arms were crossed defensively across his chest. He kept looking down at himself with gritted teeth, like he was contemplating what limb he’d need to chew off to escape this scenario.
Stiles slouched. He took a deep breath to steady himself. “I guess I should just be happy that you can admit there are some things that you are not good at.”
“I’m perfect at everything,” Peter countered, and Stiles could tell it was said out of habit than out of truth.
Stiles laughed. “God, we are so fucked up.”
Some of the tension seeped out of Peter.
Stiles stood, giving Peter the room needed to exit. “You better get going; you don’t want to leave Chris in the car for too long.”
Peter nodded and took a step forward. Stiles matched his step and put a hand on Peter’s chest. “By the way, could you please keep my lack of experience to yourself for now? I feel like I should be the one to tell Chris.”
Peter scoffed. “And after you were so furious with us for keeping secrets from you.”
“You are quite lovely on the eyes, though, I suppose I can ignore your hypocrisy for now.” Peter cupped Stiles cheek and leaned forward to press a kiss to the juncture of Stiles’ neck and collar. His teeth brushed along the junction as he pulled away, only to return with a playful nip. He grinned at Stiles as he finally retreated, his blue eyes sparkling. “You really have nothing to be worried about.”
Stiles huffed. “You say that just because I’m adorable.”
Peter raised an eyebrow. “So?”
Stiles chuckled. “Asshole.” He grabbed Peter by the chin and planted a hard yet chaste kiss on his lips. Before Peter could deepen it, Stiles sidestepped away from Peter and smacked the man on the ass. “Now, go before Chris decides to drive off without you, or my dad decides to pop in on me.”
Peter growled, but it was playful, and sent a thrill up Stiles’ spine.
Peter’s eyes roved hungrily of Stiles as he backed toward the window. He smirked. “As I said, Stiles, I don’t think you have anything to worry about.” He dove out of the window, not even causing a sound with his landing.
Stiles rolled his eyes at Peter’s antics, but inside his heart was pounding like a humming bird’s with joy and excitement.
He grabbed a jacket with big pockets and slung it on. He stuffed the bag of mountain ash into his coat’s pocket. He looked at himself in the mirror and shook his head. He looked like he was trying to hide a bag of weed and failing. He pulled out the bag and studied it as he considered his options. Taking the bag outside via backpack would draw too much attention from his dad, and putting it into smaller bags would only work if his dad didn’t question why Stiles was running off with all of the bags they kept stored in the kitchen.
A cool breeze caressed Stiles’ cheek, and Stiles knew in an instant what to do.
He tossed the bag outside, aiming for a bush.
He hurried out of his room and took the steps two at a time. His hand was on the doorknob when his dad hollered from the family room: “So did you enjoy Peter’s visit?”
Stiles whirled. “How the hell—”
John was seated in his armchair. He picked up the remote and paused the game he’d been watching. “I’m a cop and a dad. There are very few things I don’t notice.”
“Then I’m sure you know I did nothing wrong! I can’t help it if I’m so desirable that my soul mates are climbing in through the windows to get a hold of me.”
John looked heavenward in exasperation. “You still can’t go out. At least for today.”
Stiles was about to protest when the meaning behind his dad’s words hit him. “You mean I’m no longer grounded tomorrow?”
“As long as you don’t sneak out before then, yes.”
Stiles flailed. “I am totally not sneaking out. I just wanted to get something out my car. Red Bull. I swear I left a can in there, and we don’t have anymore in the house.”
John frowned. “Didn’t you just go grocery shopping?”
“Yeah, but someone didn’t put it on the list, and for once it is not my fault, because I did not drink the last one. Thank you, very much.” Stiles crossed his arms over his chest.
“You know I don’t drink that crap.”
Stiles stared pointedly at his dad.
John sighed. “All right. I might have had one, but just because I forgot to set the coffee timer, and I didn’t have enough time to brew a cup.”
Stiles’ reached behind him for the doorknob, twisting it as he backed out. “See. Told ya.” He shuffled outside and closed the door before his dad could respond. He raced toward the bush where he’d dropped the bag of mountain ash. The bag had fallen through the branches into the center of the bush. Stiles extracted the bag with care, but a few branches had caught on the plastic and torn holes in it. He grimaced. He really hadn’t thought through the pros and cons about throwing the bag in the bush.
Deciding there was no use in bemoaning his decision, Stiles held the bag close and opened it. He picked up a handful and let the grains sift through his fingers and back into the bag. It was so light and smooth, Stiles wondered if the ring would hold. All it would take was a breeze and the grains would be blown away.
Stiles shook his head. Peter and Chris had gone out of their way to bring him the mountain ash, if something as simple as a breeze could undo its magic, Stiles doubted the two would have wasted their time. Whatever magical properties the plant possessed, it must be able to maintain ring even through weather conditions and such.
Stiles scooped up a handful and began walking the perimeter of his house. His first fistful didn’t get him far—just a couple of steps—but with each handful he felt as if he’d managed to grab more. Instead of two steps he could take four, then he could take six, then he could take ten. By the time he’d completed the circle around his house, Stiles still had half of the bag.
Stiles frowned and held it up to his face. He could have sworn that he’d barely had enough to work his way around the house, and that was if he kept his lines thin.
He looked at the circle he had made and back at the bag. There was now way all of that mountain ash could have fit inside.
It had to be the mountain ash. That was the only explanation.
Unless the bag was magical.
Stiles ran his hand over the plastic bag and frowned. A magical plastic bag seemed highly unlike, especially when it had holes in it from a bush.
Stiles tossed the bag in his car and went back inside his house.
“Took a while searching for that can,” John commented.
Stiles marched into the living room and pouted. “You ruined my life. There wasn’t any can inside.”
John heaved an annoyed sigh. “I did not ruin your life. If it makes you feel better, we’ll get take out for dinner and we’ll swing by the store to get you more of the energy drink crap.”
“You’re just trying to get your mitts on fast food!” Stiles squawked.
“You get your drinks tonight or get them later, your choice,” John said.
“Fine,” Stiles grumbled.
Peter watched from the bottom of the stairs as Chris went around the house, double-checking the alarm system, and making certain there was a hidden weapon in every room. They’d already had a passionate discussion about circling their own home with mountain ash, but Peter had been adamant about not using it. He refused to be trapped inside his own house with his only method of escape being Chris breaking the circle.
There were too many ways that could backfire, whether it be as simple as someone setting the house on fire from a distance or The Alpha Pack knowing some sort of spell that would let them pass through the barrier and leave Peter at its mercy.
Peter leaned against the stairs, resting his head in his cupped hands. “I think I’ve heard you clean and load ten guns now, Chris. Anymore and I’m going to have to perform a full body search to figure out where you will keep them all.”
“Not all of them are for me.” There was a click as Chris loaded another gun.
Peter craned his head so he could catch a glimpse of Chris’ shadow in the other room.
It was interesting to say the least. He’d thought that Chris would fight a little more about teaching Stiles’ to shoot, but when he’d brought it up with his lover, Chris just nodded solemnly.
“You know, I might actually be jealous of you two by the end of tomorrow. My two soul mates bonding over an activity, one that you can easily take advantage of, or have not realized that you have the opportunity to pull off the romantic cliché of wrapping up Stiles’ in your arms while you show him how to aim?” Peter smiled to himself at the mental image. “Really, I don’t see how you could not take advantage.”
The sound of Chris’ movements stopped. After a few beats of silence he slowly padded over to Peter. “First off, we have more important things to worry about. The hunters are still here, and The Alpha Pack is due for an appearance. Both of which are wild cards, since we don’t know what their true goals are.”
Peter let out his most put upon sigh as he angled his head to look up at his frowning soul mate. “Really, Chris? In such dire times as these you can’t take a moment out of your brooding to enjoy the simple things in life?”
“It’s not brooding.” Chris leaned one arm on the banister so he was slightly bent over Peter. He looked away for a second. “Besides, you have nothing to be jealous of. You know my feelings, and Stiles has shown interest in you since the beginning.”
“Jealous?” Peter teased.
Chris stared deadpan at Peter, holding the look for a meaningful second. He walked away.
Peter blinked slowly. He sat up. Well, that had not been what he’d expected.
He let out an annoyed breath. Of course his two soul mates had to confess something deep and personal with him on the same day. “Considering what I smelled on you yesterday, I can attest that Stiles is very much interested in you. He was also the one who suggested you teach him how to use a gun.” Chris had stopped halfway to the living room. “So might I suggest getting over your insecurities?”
Peter pushed himself off the stairs and wrapped his arms around Chris’ shoulders from behind. He nipped Chris’ earlobe. “And if that’s still not enough, I’ll happily show you my appreciation.”
Chris batted Peter’s arms away. He took on a serious face, but Peter could see the glimmer of amusement beyond the mask. “After we’ve prepared ourselves for The Alpha Pack and have done a check around the town’s perimeter.”
“Whatever gets you off, dear.”
Chris shook his head in feigned exasperation, but the faint smell of arousal gave away his true reaction.
Peter internally purred with delight. He glanced out the window where the waxing moon had almost reached its height. Peter smirked, a bit of fang peeking out as a he followed Chris.
Peter told u about teaching me how to use a gun, right? Stiles typed in his first period class and instantly felt self-conscious. He’d hate to think what would happen if his phone got confiscated by a teacher. Technically, the teacher shouldn’t read his texts, but that didn’t mean there weren’t an asshole or two who would if given the chance.
A small light on Stiles’ phone told him Chris had responded. Stiles opened the message.
Yes. After school today.
Stiles felt relief wash over him. He tapped out another message.
Yup. Awesome. I know theoretically how 2 use a gun, just so u no. Dad taught me. Never used 1 though.
Understood, Chris wrote back.
Someone poked Stiles in the back with a pencil.
Stiles looked up in time to see his math teacher walking down as they explained the equation on the board. Stiles quickly hid his phone under his textbook. Stiles waited for the teacher to pass by before he glanced behind him.
Kira scribbled away in her notebook. As if sensing him staring, she looked up and smiled.
Stiles mouthed, “Thank you.”
Kira nodded and went back to writing.
Stiles mentally promised to take Kira’s side if ever her and Scott fought.
Stiles spent the next five minutes tapping out a steady rhythm with his pencil against his textbook when he detected the sound of someone mimicking the taps behind him. He glanced over his shoulder to see Kira mindlessly copying him. Stiles muffled a laugh with a snort, causing Kira to pause and look up. He nodded at the pencil in her hand and held up his for show.
Kira flushed as she realized what she had been doing, but smiled nonetheless.
The rest of the class was spent half paying attention to the teacher and the other half bouncing his pencil against his book to the tune of Shave and a Haircut, pausing near the end to let Kira finish the tune for him. The bell signaling the end of class rang, and Stiles twisted in his seat. “So I see Scott is making you a social deviant.”
Kira giggled as she shoved her books into her bag. “I think you’re having more of an influence. So was that your soul mate?” She nodded at Stiles’ phone.
Stiles was momentarily taken aback. Okay, maybe it had been a while since he barred Scott from talking to Kira about Chris—and it had just been Chris—but that didn’t make it right for Scott to be sharing such personal information without checking with Stiles’ first.
Something must have shown on his face, because Kira instantly looked panicked. “I’m sorry, was I not supposed to say anything? I know you’ve been keeping it private.” She cursed. “Sorry, Scott even told me he wasn’t supposed to say anything—and he didn’t! Not intentionally! You seemed really distracted recently and when I asked him about it, it slipped! He felt horrible. He didn’t give me any details, I swear. I just know you have one, and that’s it. I promise.”
“Have one.” In other words, Kira didn’t even know that Stiles was part of a trio. Relief pooled in Stiles’ chest at the realization. Scott hadn’t betrayed him, at least not intentionally. “It’s okay.” Stiles scratched the back of his neck as he reached for his bag. “Yeah, it was my soul mate.”
Kira visibly relaxed. “That’s good. Really good.”
Stiles nodded and shoved his papers and book into his bag. He stood up, Kira joining him. “Yeah. There’s still a lot to work out. It’s why I want keep things private for now, until we figure out our dynamic.”
Kira nodded, walking him out of the classroom. “I get it. As romantic as it is to find your soul mate there are a lot of adjustments to make and a lot of things to consider too. Scott and I still go back and forth about college. Some days we end up not speaking to each other for hours because we can’t agree on anything.”
“Scott never told me that.” Scott had mentioned they were struggling to decide what to do about college, but he never mentioned anything about fighting and silent treatments.
Kira shrugged. “Probably because he didn’t want to bother you, since he knew you were so disappointed after Lydia and Jackson came out as soul mates.”
“Does it make me a terrible person that I’m actually delighted to hear you two have at least one issue that gets you ticked at each other?”
Kira went wide-eyed with surprise. “Do we really come off like we don’t have issues?”
“Have you heard Scott talk about you? You might as well have created the universe in his eyes.”
Kira blushed and bowed her head. The corner of her mouth quirked up in a subtle smile. “You’re exaggerating.”
Stiles bumped her side. “I’m not.”
They had to part soon after or else risk being late to their next classes. Their conversation replayed in Stiles’ head over and over, and each time Stiles’ felt a little bit happier. He still questioned if he was a horrible person for taking so much joy out the fact that Kira and Scott didn’t have it all figured out like it appeared on the surface, however, it was just such a relief to have it reconfirmed again that being soul mates didn’t make everything perfect.
It also helped that with each moment that passed, Stiles was one second closer to his lesson with Chris. By last period he was fidgeting in his seat so much his teacher asked him if needed to use the bathroom. Stiles may have shameless lied and said he did just so he could send off a text to Chris to let him know he’d meet him at the house in forty-five minutes—getting out of the student parking lot would take ten minutes alone.
Once the final bell rang, Stiles bolted out of his seat so fast, he swore he knocked his desk over. His teacher shouted at his back, but he ignored her. He was one of the first students out of the school doors and approximately car twenty in the queue of cars lined up to exit the parking lot, shaving off a few minutes from his exit time.
He felt like he hit every red light on his way to Chris and Peter’s, but he arrived right on time. He parked his jeep along the curb and waltzed up to the front door. He raised his hand to knock only to have the door open, revealing Peter—once again shirtless.
“It was more impressive the first time.” Stiles gestured at the finely toned abs. The abs were perfect and crying out to be touched, but Stiles restrained himself. So maybe the abs were impressive, they were just more so the first time, so Stiles technically wasn’t lying.
Peter propped his arm against the doorframe and leaned sideways to get a better view. “You still seem quite taken.”
Fuck it. Stiles pressed his fingertips to Peter’s stomach, letting his fingers trail down the soft and smooth skin, loving the slight fall and rise of each abdominal muscle.
Peter looked as smug as ever. “Perhaps we should talk to Chris about the three of us staying in for the day?”
Stiles gave Peter’s abs one last poke, then crossed his arms over his chest. “Unless you think you can seduce all your enemies into surrendering, I’m sticking with the gun practice today.”
“Finally, someone else with their priorities straight,” Chris voice filtered in from behind Peter. The door was pulled open farther, revealing Chris. He glanced down at Peter. His gaze lingered for a second then he shook his head in exasperation. “Really, Peter?”
Peter pushed himself off the doorframe. “I actually was getting ready to go for a run to burn off some excess energy before the full moon tonight and see if I could find any traces of The Alpha Pack when Stiles showed up.”
“Because you couldn’t possibly guess when I got out of school and how long it would take me to get here.” Stiles rolled his eyes.
Peter took a step closer, entering Stiles’ space. He cupped Stiles’ cheek. “I admit to nothing.” He pressed a kiss to Stiles’ lips, light and barely there. Fangs brushed the bottom of Stiles’ bottom lip, but before Stiles could participate, Peter pulled away.
Stiles blinked, dazed and confused by the surprise kiss. Peter was still in his space and cupping his cheek. His nostrils flared as he took in Stiles' scent. Contentment filled his face and he pulled away. “That should sate me for a while. You should return after your lesson with Chris.”
“Is this a full moon thing?” Stiles asked.
Chris nodded. “He tends to be more aggressive and…sensual.”
Peter snorted, stepping past Stiles. He unbuttoned his jeans. “That’s one way of phrasing it.” He smirked at his two soul mates, as he dropped his jeans and revealed that he wasn’t wearing anything underneath. “Enjoy your date, you two.” There was a ripple across Peter’s skin and he transformed into a wolf. He sprinted off into the woods, howling as he did so.
Stiles stared at the spot where Peter had been standing. He’d seen Peter naked before, but this was his first perfect view of Peter’s ass, and it had been glorious. He would never tell Peter that, though.
Stiles' hand flew to his mouth but he felt nothing of the sort. Embarrassment wracked his nerves, and he flailed. “I—you—well, come on!” Stiles gestured at where Peter had been. “You have to admit, it is a nice view, and unlike you, I haven’t had time to develop immunity to it.”
A happy bark came from the woods.
Stiles scowled and whirled on Chris. “Thanks, now he knows, and he will be incorrigible. I hope you’re happy.”
Chris did that thing where he smiled with his eyes, and Stiles found his lips curling upward in response.
“Perhaps you should work on concealing your feelings a little more.” Chris reached for something in the house and pulled out a bag. He slung it over his arm, shut the door behind him, and locked it.
Stiles expected for Chris to head to the car in the driveway, but Chris went toward the jeep. “In case, our hunter friends are still out there, I rather drive around in a vehicle they don’t know about.”
Stiles nodded hurriedly and went over to his jeep. He clambered into the vehicle whereas Chris slid in like he’d ridden in the passenger seat a hundred times. Stiles hesitated for a second as he put the key in the ignition, half expecting Chris to ask if they could switch seats at the last minute. When Chris didn’t say anything, Stiles felt a bit of happiness—Chris trusted him with driving; he didn’t think Stiles was going to ram them into another car and kill them both.
Stile started the car and followed Chris’ directions. He had a vague idea of where the shooting range was already, but it was nice to have Chris remind him of the route.
“So I don’t know if this is rude, but can I just ask something about Peter and his kissing skills?”
Chris squinted his eyes at Stiles and frowned, like he couldn’t quite make up his mind about what Stiles’ had just said. “What’s there to ask?”
Stiles waved his hand in the air as if somehow the movement could convey his thoughts and feelings on the subject. “I don’t know. He seems like a very sexually aggressive guy, like in another life he was a sexual predator. Actually considering some of the stuff he’s done around me, he probably could be labeled as one, but anyway, that’s not the point. The point is, he keeps giving me these soft kisses, which are nice, but they seem to go against character, or is Peter really all talk and no show?”
Chris scoffed. “He’s got plenty of show. He’s just a tease. Plus, he’s still seducing you.”
“Uh,” blood rushed to Stiles’ face and his nether regions at the memory of his intense kiss with Chris. “No offense to Peter’s seduction technique, but I think rough, fast, and passionate are great seduction methods too. Really good. Like amazingly good.” Stiles glanced nervously at Chris from the corner of his eye. “Like I wouldn’t mind a repeat of what happened in front of my house with you, but just at a different location, since my dad threatened to arrest us if we ever do that again. In front of my house, I mean. Making out is fine, just not so publicly. Ack! No. Public making out is fine with me, but my dad—” Stiles cut himself off. He was just digging himself deeper into his hole of embarrassment and shame.
Stiles stole another glance at Chris.
Chris didn’t say anything, and Stiles internally cursed.
“I went too far, didn’t I?”
Chris squeezed Stiles’ knee. “No. We just have other priorities right now.”
Right, right. The Alpha Pack, which was clearly up to no good, and the hunters. Although, if Stiles had to choose he would pick the hunters, at least until he got a hold of some wolfs bane. “But you would be up for doing that again, right? Like if The Alpha Pack and hunters weren’t around right this second you would—”
“Make you stop the car, pin you to your seat, and continue what we started in front of your house.”
Stiles gulped, mouth dry. “If this is you foreshadowing that you’re a dirty talker in bed, I think I may actually die when you do so.”
Chris propped his elbow on the door and rested his chin in his palm. “You’ll just have to wait and find out.”
Stiles clutched the steering wheel tighter. “I’m horrible at waiting.”
Chris gave Stiles a knowing smirk—one that could rival Peter’s, and once again Stiles wondered just how well prepared he was to handle his two soul mates.
The remaining two thirds of the ride to the shooting range consisted of Stiles babbling about his day at school and fighting off the boner in his pants every time he thought about his kiss with Chris and the promise for more to come. It wasn’t too hard a struggle, all Stiles had to do was remind himself how out of his depth he felt and suddenly little Stiles wasn’t so eager anymore.
When they arrived at the shooting range, Chris grabbed his bag and led Stiles inside.
They approached the man running the place, and Stiles had to produce an ID to prove he was of legal age. The man suggested Stiles go through safety lessons first, which Stiles quickly squashed by demonstrating his gun safety knowledge. There were a few more exchanges, including the man checking Chris’ bag to make sure there were no loaded weapons inside, before he let them into the back with goggles and earmuffs.
“God, I forgot how much I hate these things.” Stiles knocked his fist against his earmuffs as Chris loaded his pistol. “They’re always so heavy and make me feel like a giant lobster is clamping onto my head.”
Chris didn’t say anything, he probably hadn’t even heard Stiles. He offered the gun to Stiles. He guided Stiles into a proper hold and adjusted Stiles’ posture so he stood in the center of the booth they occupied. The movement jostled Stiles’ eye gear, and Stiles flailed as he fixed it.
Chris seized Stiles’ gun wielding arm, to keep him from shooting at the ceiling, despite having the safety on.
Stiles grinned sheepishly. “Starting to see why my dad taught me the theories, but never took me down here, huh?” he hollered.
Chris glared. “You passed the safety test, you should know better.”
“Doesn’t change the fact that I’m an innate spazz.”
Chris huffed. He stood behind Stiles, setting on hand on his shoulder. “Take your first shot, and be careful with the recoil.”
Stiles nodded. He aimed his gun at the human shaped target and frowned. This was so not like any of his shooter games. He squinted as he lined up his sight with the bull’s eye. He shot.
His hands and the brunt of the gun rammed into his face. Stiles jolted backward with a yelp, bumping into Chris’ chest. Luckily his eye gear had protected him from giving himself a black eye, but his cheek was sore from where the side of his fist had collided with it.
“How did you even do that?” Chris shouted.
“Did I hit the center?” Stiles blinked and shook his head. He eagerly searched the target for his bullet hole, but didn’t find one; he’d missed! “Hey, most people don’t hit the target the first time. It’s not that unbeliev—”
“No.” Chris shook his head. “Your recoil.” He shook his head again.
Stiles beamed, his pride at stupefying Chris outweighing any embarrassment he might feel for missing. “I’m a cartoon.”
“You’re a piece of work is what you are.”
“You love it.” Stiles winked.
Chris went silent, and Stiles realized what he had said. Stiles internally screamed like a stereotypical chic in a horror flick. “I wasn’t—I… I have no expectations?” Stiles winced. “I just made this more awkward.”
Chris sighed and patted Stiles on the shoulder.
Stiles relaxed, relieved to know that Chris knew what he was trying to say and had failed to. He squeaked when he was yanked toward Chris’ chest and the hand that had held his shoulder became an arm that wrapped around him in an embrace. It was brief, but strong and warm, and Stiles was disappointed when it was over.
“Try again,” Chris said as he spun Stiles toward the target. “This time use the sight.”
“I did use the sight!” Stiles licked his lips and pressed them firmly together as he concentrated.
Stiles blinked. He noticed he had the pistol aimed a little too much to the left and inched it to the right. He narrowed his gaze and pulled on the trigger.
He still jerked from the recoil but it wasn’t as bad as the first time. He’d hit the target, but nowhere near the center.
“You squinted again,” Chris said.
“No, I didn’t.”
“Just before you took the shot. Also, lower your arm about a centimeter.”
“I’ll lower my arm, but I swear I didn’t squint.” Stiles took up his stance again. He'd pressed his finger to the trigger when he noticed he was squinting. He huffed and looked behind himself to glare at Chris. “If you say, ‘I told you so’ in any form, I will punch you the second we walk out of here.”
Chris raised a hands as if to signal his innocence, but he had that glimmering smile in his eyes again, which belied his actions.
Stiles took a few more shots, but all of them either missed the target entirely or only hit the outer ring. Stiles huffed, put the gun down, and sidestepped out of the way. “You do it. Maybe there’s something I’m missing.”
Chris nodded and stepped forward. He picked up the gun and with ease fired off two shots right at the center of the target.
Stiles’ slouched in defeat. “Show off,” he grumbled.
Chris gave Stiles a curious look, having been unable to hear the comment.
Stiles took the gun and reloaded it. “Tips?” He raised his voice.
Chris once again took his place behind Stiles and helped maneuver him into position. “I can’t see what you see, so you’re going to have to adjust accordingly. You got the right height now, but you need to work on your angle.”
Stiles let out a breath of annoyance, but nodded. It took two more shots, but he hit the second outer ring, bringing him closer to the center.
Stiles punched the air. It took a lot of time and inching his gun either left or right, but eventually Stiles found the center ring. He had to keep himself from whooping and jumping up and down when he finally did it, but that didn’t stop a huge grin from consuming his face. He fired off a few more bullets to make certain the first time wasn’t a fluke. He got in one more round before Chris checked the time and declared that they had to go.
Stiles was practically high on his giddiness, and as they made their way to the car, Stiles anxiously waited for Chris to deposit his bag in the vehicle. Before Chris could slid into the car, Stiles seized his arm and pulled him back.
Chris yielded, a look of confusion wrinkling his forehead as he turned to face Stiles. He opened his mouth, but before he could get an inquiry out, Stiles stood on his tiptoes and pushed Chris against the side of jeep and kissed Chris.
He was already glowing with happiness from his small victory, but the sound of surprise from Chris sent a tingle through him, and Stiles pressed closer, his hands pinning Chris down by his shoulders. His fingers gripped the fabric of Chris’ jacket.
He ran his lips over Chris’ in eager kisses, Chris responded in kind, like he couldn’t get enough of Stiles on his mouth and wanted more. Stiles’ lips brushed against stubble, eliciting a spark of desire in his gut. He canted his hips into Chris’, relishing the feel with a groan as two hands rested on his waist, just above his ass.
Stiles broke their string of kisses, huffing for breath.
One of the hands on Stiles waist slid to his butt, cupping the cheek. “What brought that on?”
Stiles rolled his eyes. “Beside me being a hormonal teenager and you being a freakin’ Adonis?” He pressed a soft kiss to Chris’ lips. “Just think of it as a thank you.” Stiles paused. “Although, I am a little disappointed you didn’t haul me up the second you had a chance.” He wiggled his ass. “What? No longer good enough for you?”
Chris raised an eyebrow.
Chris squeezed his ass.
A plaintive noise escaped Stiles, but before he could enjoy the sensation, Chris pulled away and climbed into the passenger side of the jeep. Before he closed the door, he said, “I believe you mentioned something about us being arrested if we do these sort of things in public.”
Stiles nodded his head vigorously and hurried to the driver’s side. He practically tripped and fell into the car, but luckily didn’t bash his head on the steering wheel or anything else in his rush.
He took a deep breath to calm himself, but he was still excited. He started the car and drove off. “Well, I may not be able to hit a moving target, but as long as you or Peter hold one of them down, I might be able to stop one of the alphas if they attack.”
“Ideally, you won’t have to deal with any of them.”
Well, that assassinated all of Stiles’ joy. He frowned.
Chris touched his arm. “It’s not a slight against you personally, Stiles, but today was your first day with a gun in your hands. Forgive me, if I rather you didn’t have to fight against someone who is physically designed to rip you apart.”
Stiles sighed. “Yeah, I get it.” Heck, he didn’t even want his dad facing werewolves, and his dad had been wielding guns for years. “I’m still just a little sensitive. It’s not easy seeing how well you and Peter fit together, and not being able to do half the stuff you guys do.”
“I’m happy to keep practicing with you until you’re capable of defending yourself against werewolves.”
Stiles laughed drily. “Yeah, and every week we’ll have me wrestle Peter to see if I’m ready.”
“I’m sure he would enjoy it.”
A real laugh escaped Stiles, and he shook his head. “Probably.”
They settled into a companionable silence as Stiles drove Chris home. It was nice—peaceful. He could almost forget about hunters, werewolves, and all the insecurities that had been plaguing him. When he arrived at Chris’ house, he didn’t think twice about following Chris inside. Chris left to put away his bag, and Stiles waited for him in the foyer.
“No Peter yet?” Chris asked as he came down the stairs.
Stiles shook his head and met Chris at the bottom of the stairs. Chris had removed his coat and was wearing a tight t-shirt that showed off his biceps. Stiles wanted nothing more than to give them a squeeze, but he controlled himself for the time being. Stiles hooked his fingers around the bottom of the shirt and tugged Chris toward the living room. “C’mon, I want to try something.”
Stiles led Chris to the living room and pushed him onto the couch so he was sitting on it. Chris looked intrigued and curious, but didn’t say anything, letting Stiles set the pace.
Realization hit Stiles then; he was going to fall in love with Chris. It was just like that moment when he’d first come to the house and Peter had been nothing but full of sass and wit. Stiles had known then he was going to fall for Peter hard. Perhaps it went without saying to most people—soul mates should love each other after all, right? However, the idea versus the reality was quite different.
He’d known then he’d fall for Peter because of his intelligence, attitude, and humor.
Chris was utterly different.
Chris was intelligent too and had his own subtle brand of wit that sometimes left Stiles speechless, but that wasn’t the only reason he was going to fall for him. Since day one, even if it had hurt and pissed Stiles off at the time, Chris had always been looking after him. He’d frickin’ cared about Stiles when Chris barely knew him and Stiles was yelling at him. He was letting Stiles set the pace, and also giving Stiles whatever he wanted whether it was rough or soft.
Stiles had planned to plop himself in Chris’ lap and continue their make out session at the shooting range. Instead he slid onto Chris’ lap, bracketing the man’s legs with his own and cupped Chris’ cheek. He let his thumb run across Chris’ stubble as he took in every crease, every hair, every rough and smooth patch of skin, and the hue of his eyes before leaned forward and met Chris’ lips with his own.
He let his lips lay there in a lingering kiss then moved them slowly, lazily kissing Chris, truly taking in the texture for the first time. So soft, yet with a firmness underneath, and a hint of coarseness just off to the side of his mouth.
Chris’ hand splayed across his back, holding him in place.
Stiles smiled into the kiss as those hands rubbed soothingly up and down his back.
He wrapped his arms around Chris’ neck and pulled away from Chris’ mouth. He took a deep breath and touched his forehead to Chris’. “I’m a virgin, by the way.”
The hands on his back didn’t stop their ministrations, nor did Chris jerk or pull away. He just leaned forward and pressed a kiss to the side of Stiles’ mouth. “Okay.”
It was such a perfect and unexpected reaction that Stiles burst with laughter and hugged Chris close.
“Well, it seems I am the jealous one now,” Peter’s voice came from across the room. The sound startled Stiles, but he kept his hold on Chris.
Chris leaned his head away to get a better glimpse of Peter, and Stiles craned his neck to do so too.
Peter sauntered into the room, jeans on with the zipper and button undone. He was shirtless once again, but considering when Stiles had last seen him, Peter had transformed into a wolf, Stiles wasn’t all that surprised. “Maybe we should call you Hulk instead of Joker if you’re going to walk around like that most of the time,” Stiles suggested. “It would put you in the Marvel universe with Spiderman.”
Peter didn’t comment, just walked right up to Stiles and cupped Stiles head between his hands. He guided Stiles to tilt his head back. Confusion scrunched Stiles’ face, but before he could get a question out, Peter kissed him.
It was chaste and brief, and when Peter pulled away his face was alight with mischievous delight. “I believe upside down kisses are typical of Spiderman, correct?”
Stiles blinked. He could sense that Peter was aiming at something, but he couldn’t quite—oh! Stiles rolled his eyes. “It’s not an upside down kiss if I just have to tilt my head back. Ugh.” Stiles cuddled close to Chris and hugged him until there wasn’t a breath of space between them, even going so far as to press his head into the crook of Chris’ shoulder. “Can you believe him, Chris? He doesn’t even have the most iconic of superhero mythos down.”
“While iconic, I don’t believe Spiderman’s style of kissing can be construed as superhero mythos,” Chris said.
Stiles feigned anger and disgust as he jerked away from Chris. “You blasphemer!”
Chris looked to Peter for help.
Peter’s hands slid around Stiles waist, and he hoisted Stiles up from Chris’ lap like he was a pillow. “Come here, Stiles, my interpretation may not match yours, but at least I agree such a kiss is part of superhero mythos.” He plopped himself on the opposite end of the couch with his back pressed into the armrest. He laid Stiles back against his chest and hooked his chin over Stiles’ shoulder. His legs framed Stiles’ and kept him in close quarters.
Stiles prodded at the hand still on his waist as he sunk into the warmth. “I was having fun over there, you know.”
“And now you can have fun over here with me.” Peter bumped his nose against Stiles’ cheek.
Stiles huffed, but inside he enjoyed the attention and affection.
Chris stood. “If you two are going to keep each other company then I’ll go to my office and try to get some work done today. I’ll also try contacting some of the hunters I wasn’t able to get in touch with to see if they might have any valuable information about our two threats.”
“You should join us.” Peter’s hand slid under Stiles’ shirt, rubbing small circles across Stiles’ stomach.
Stiles squirmed and bit his bottom lip to keep from laughing. Damn, why’d he have to be ticklish there?
Peter nipped Stiles earlobe. “I can keep his back warm while you cover his front.”
Chris shook his head.
“I don’t mind,” Stiles threw in, feeling only a tad embarrassed. He hoped he didn’t sound too eager.
Chris bent down and pressed a kiss to Stiles’ forehead. “I’ll keep you to that, but for now, I need to feel like I am at least making some progress with our dilemma.” He pulled away and looked at Peter for a second.
He swatted Peter on the back of the head.
Peter jerked forward, taking Stiles with him. He growled and covered the spot Chris had struck. “What was that, Christopher?”
Chris glared at Peter like a parent scolding their child. “Behave. The only reason I’m not forcing you to join me is because I know spending time with Stiles will help curb some of urges later tonight.”
“I did just recheck our borders.”
“And?” Chris asked.
Peter scowled. “Nothing, not even a hint of them outside of our territory either. I’m starting to wonder if our Alpha Pack may have found a way to cover their scents.”
Stiles sat up a little. “Is that possible?”
“Anything is possible with the right tools and knowledge,” Peter answered.
Chris nodded and folded his arms over his chest. “Without any evidence though, it’s more likely they haven’t arrived yet.”
“Couldn’t they just not show up now that the omega is gone?” Stiles asked.
Peter’s arms constricted around Stiles’ waist. “A possibility, but doubtful, considering the rumors about them.”
Stiles slumped against Peter, cheek pressing against Peter’s as he groaned in aggravation. Nothing could ever be simple, could it?
“We’ll figure this out,” Chris said with promise. He let his hand fall on Stiles' head, his fingers gripping the short strands in firm yet comforting manner. He pulled away and went to his office.
Stiles and Peter remained still until they heard the door shut to Chris’ study. Once the latch clicked in place, Peter manhandled Stiles until he had easy access to Stiles’ neck. “I’m going to get him back for such disrespect,” he murmured into Stiles neck, his warm breath teasing Stiles’ skin there. His hand wandered under Stiles’ shirt again and drew circles around Stiles’ belly button.
Stiles tried to bite it down, but he could help it. He curled up and burst with laughter as he pushed Peter’s hand away. “Stop! Stop it!”
Peter blinked, taken aback. He stared at his hand then at the white strip of flesh that had been revealed by the slight rise of Stiles’ shirt. Slowly the corner of his mouth curled and a happy rumbled vibrated through his chest. He rested one hand on Stiles' hip, letting his fingers brush along it. “Stiles,” he purred, “are you ticklish?”
“N-no,” Stiles sputtered.
Peter looked more and more like a delighted wolf with a big kill by the second, without actually transforming. “You know, Stiles…” Peter slid his hand up so his palm lay across Stiles' span of revealed skin and the edge of his jeans. “Werewolves can detect when others lie.”
Stiles flushed. “So?” He might have been caught in a lie, but that didn’t mean he had to admit it.
Peter scoffed, diving for Stiles’ neck again and nipping at it in reprimand. “So stubborn.”
In a bout of rebellion, Stiles wiggled and twisted until his could lay his hand on Peter’s nipple and flick it. “Hi Pot, meet Kettle.”
The rumble in Peter’s chest increased and a clawed hand came up to capture Stiles’. “I highly recommend you don’t do that unless you plan to follow through.”
Stiles’ gaze narrowed at Peter. “That better be intended as a playful threat and not a real one.”
Peter let out an annoyed breath, wrapping a hand around Stiles’ neck and pulling him in for a kiss. Gone was the tenderness, and in its place was a clash of mouths. It wasn’t rough, but there was an edge of demand to it. The mouths moved in deep and heavy strokes, peppered with Peter sucking on Stiles’ bottom lip.
Stiles reached up and touched Peter’s face to give himself a better angle.
Peter’s hand trailed up and down his sides, exploring his body, and Stiles relished in the contact.
Regrettably Stiles had to break the kiss for air. He gasped in a few lungfuls of air as he collapsed against Peter’s chest. He laid his chest on Peter’s sternum, loving the soft feel of his skin and the firmness that lay underneath.
Stiles’ cell phone vibrated in his pocket, and he groaned. He pulled out his phone and stared at his screen displaying his dad’s name and a text message. Stiles sighed and pocketed it. He sat up, using Peter’s chest to push himself up. “I think that’s my reminder that while I may no longer be grounded, I am expected home for dinner. There might even be a mention about homework in there. You okay for the full moon tonight? You’re not going show up randomly at my house demanding I mate with you right then and there because we don’t have a strong enough bond or something, right?”
Peter waved off Stiles’ concern. “You’re safe for the night.” He grinned menacingly. “However, tomorrow might be another matter.”
Stiles tried to playfully swat at Peter’s nose, but Peter caught his arm.
Stiles huffed. “Killjoy.”
“I don’t think you Chris should spend any more time together if he is going to encourage your violent streaks against me.”
“Yeah right, you’re a super powered alpha werewolf that could use me as a chew toy if he wanted to.” Stiles touched his neck. “Actually, you already did.”
Peter just looked pleased with himself.
Stiles pushed himself off the couch, bringing Peter along with him. “C’mon, at least pretend to be a gentleman and walk me to your front door, which by the way is actually a concession, since true gentlemen walk their guests to their cars.”
“The sacrifices you make,” sarcasm drenched Peter’s voice.
As they entered the foyer, Stiles hollered up the stairs nearby, “Hey Chris, you want to give me a goodbye kiss?”
“He probably didn’t hear you. We did our best to soundproof the walls.”
Right, werewolf super hearing. Even if they were soul mates, Chris probably liked the illusion of privacy.
“Would you like me to go get him?” Peter inquired.
Stiles shook his head. “Nah, just means he owes me an extra one later.” Stiles planted a kiss on Peter. He said his goodbyes and waved, all but buzzing with delight as he left the house and jumped in his jeep. He refused to think about hunters and alpha werewolves. Nope. He was just going to keep riding the high of having hit the center of the target while shooting and the fantastic kisses and cuddle sessions he just had.
He turned up the radio in his jeep to block any thoughts having to do with the supernatural.
It failed horribly.
No matter what he did the hunter and Alpha Pack refused to leave his head. All he could do was push those thoughts more to the background by focusing on the positive aspects of his day.
Stiles parked his jeep in the driveway. He locked his car and pulled out his cell phone to text his dad and let him know he’d just gotten home. He fiddled with his keys, not really looking at them as a he typed his text. He’d just gotten the house key out when he’d reached the front door.
A giant hand with a handkerchief slammed over his mouth and nose. Stiles cried out in shock and breathed in the overly sweet scent of chloroformed. His heart hammered in his chest, and he struggled against the hold his assailant had around his waist.
Not a werewolf. Gotta chance, was all Stiles could think—his mind already putting together the pieces that the attacker couldn’t be a lycanthrope if he passed over the mountain ash.
Stiles’ vision blurred and his muscle gave out.
He cursed as everything went black.
Thanks again for all of the support guys! I hope you enjoyed this chapter.
As always, keep an eye out for updates/my writing schedule on my Tumblr.
Peter flipped through a tome from his more diverse collection of books. There were spells upon spells in its musty old pages, but none that could help him undo whatever The Alpha Pack was using to hide their scents without the knowledge of which spell or potion they were using. Peter shut the book and fetched another one from the shelf of his study. The second book was wrapped in burgundy leather and still carried the smell of the witch who had been gutted for it. He’d had a few buyers interested in it at one point, but they’d refused to pay the price he’d demanded.
The first page contained a spell for traversing dreams but required the user to give up a year of life.
Peter snorted with contempt at the spell—he supposed if one was desperate enough, it was a fair price.
Peter’s muscles shifted in his back and he could feel his eyes flaring red. He closed his eyes and concentrated on calming himself. It’d been a while since he had difficulty controlling himself during a full moon, but considering the circumstances he couldn’t fault his responses. Two threats were circling him and his first mate, and he had second mate who had yet to join his pack. His instincts to kill and protect were guaranteed to wreck havoc with his control.
He felt his claws lengthen and scoffed. Really now, he was almost as bad as an untrained pup.
He closed the book, deciding that some time with Chris would curb some of his baser instincts, or at least allow him to relieve some of them.
Peter couldn’t contain his grin as the image of him pushing Chris onto his desk and taking Chris right then and there entered his mind. He hummed contentedly to himself, only to stop short at the sound of a car parking in front of the house. Peter narrowed his eyes at the front door as footsteps approached. He smelled the air. Coffee, gunpowder, and a sharp after-shave stung his nose.
There were only a few reasons Peter could assume behind the man’s arrival, and most were not pleasant. One reason behind his actions, though, stuck out from the rest and moved Peter toward the door.
Sheriff Stilinski knocked and Peter didn’t waste a heartbeat opening the door.
Peter beamed like he had won dominion over the country. “Why, Sheriff, what brings you to my humble abode?”
Sheriff—John Stilinski stood tall and firm like he was working a case, but wrinkles along his forehead and around his eyes gave away worry. There was extra tension to his stance and he clutched a cell phone in his hands.
Stiles’ cell phone.
“Did Stiles come over here today?” John asked, worry seeping into his demanding tone.
Peter nodded. “He left more than an hour ago.”
John’s grip on the cell phone tightened, and Peter could hear the strain his grip put on the phone’s casing.
Upstairs the door to Chris’ study opened. “No luck. Just dead ends…” Chris trailed off as he reached the top of the stairs and saw John in the doorway. Peter could see the moment Chris’ mind had calculated out what was happening by his change of posture. Chris went from relaxed to braced for a fight in milliseconds. “What happened?”
John held up the cell phone. “Stiles wasn’t home when I got there, and I found this at the front door. It looks like he was about to send me a text message, but never hint send. I already called his friend’s house, but he never went over there.”
John didn’t have to say what he interpreted that to mean, Peter and Chris both knew what the man was thinking.
Someone had taken Stiles.
Stiles did not groan. He may have wanted to like a man in the desert wanted to drink water, but he did not wish to alert his captors to his wakeful state, especially when it wasn’t that wakeful. Everything was still in a fog and his thoughts moved so slowly. He clung to the memory of chloroform and being grabbed from behind, and used it center himself.
Kidnapped—he had been kidnapped. Well, technically, he was over eighteen, so ‘abducted’ was the correct term. In that moment though, he didn’t feel very adult.
He took a deep breath in through his nose and felt the bindings around his chest more prominently. His heart was pounding and his nerves were jittery. If he got anymore nervous, he’d have a panic attack. He couldn’t let that happen.
He needed to survive—he could survive. Whoever had captured him was human. Sure, the person could have weapons, and Stiles could even be outnumbered, but at least if Stiles had to tackle his way to freedom, he had a chance.
That thought wasn’t as reassuring as Stiles had hoped it would be.
Stiles subtly moved his wrist. He was tied to a chair from what he could tell. His arms were roped together behind his back.
Rope was good. It hurt like a bitch against his skin, but rope could be broken a lot more easily than handcuffs or chains.
“I still don’t like it,” a male voice whispered. It was familiar, and Stiles struggled to place it for a second.
It was Jared, one of the hunters.
“The kid seemed clueless when we talked to him,” Jared went on.
“Even so, he’s still that thing’s soul mate,” a young girl’s voice responded. “It doesn’t change the fact that it will come for him one way or another tonight.”
“It still doesn’t sit well with me.”
“The kid’s dead either way. If that wolf hasn’t already been approached by the alphas, he will be and when that happens, you know it’s only a matter of time.”
Stiles opened his eyes a crack. It looked like he was in some forgotten butcher shop’s meat locker. Through his lashes he could see Jared’s back to him. There was a girl about Stiles’ age next to him. She looked like the girl from the bus stop when he’d gone to the city. They both carried guns and were seated on two crates in front of the exit.
Neither one appeared to notice him.
Stiles took another deep breath in through his nose. Okay, he’d read up on escaping ropes a few years ago. His memory was patchy, but he could remember some things, like making certain to keep as much space between your wrists and ankles when being bound without giving away what one was doing. He’d been unconscious for the initial tying so he was screwed there. The rope biting into his wrist was a testament to that.
He also remembered that escaping ropes was all about loosening them. He took another deep breath and flexed his arm muscles at his side, feeling the rope push back against him.
It was going to take time, but he was going to get the hell out of those ropes.
Chris pulled up to the Stilinski house and stopped. The sky was just on the cusp of turning black and the full moon was already out. Beside him, Peter was all but growling in his chair. His claws were out and the tips of his fangs threatened to poke out from the bottom of his lip. His red eyes had been present the entire drive.
Chris hadn’t seen Peter this out of control since they were young adults, and it had his nerves on edge. “Stiles will be fine.”
“Liar,” Peter snapped, slamming the door open and stomping outside.
Chris hurried after him. “You know what I mean.” Panic had his chest pounding and every second he itched to grab one of his guns for security, but he refused to let himself be overcome by those feelings.
Peter tilted his head back and scented the air. He growled and stormed over to the edge of the property line. “Hunters were here. The ones from the city.”
Guilt rammed into Chris, but he threw it into the back of the mental closet with the rest of his emotions. Now was not the time to fret over ‘what ifs’ or ‘I knew this would happens.’
Another growl ripped through Peter as he crouched in front of a bush and tore it aside to reveal a smooth rock with a triangle containing three branches carved on the surface. “They weren’t the only ones,” Peter said.
Jared’s shadow fell over Stiles. Stiles had dropped his head so his chin rested on his chest and had shut his eyes. Jared poked his cheek and Stiles let his head lull to one side.
Jared let out a huff. “Odd. This kid’s tolerance sucks. Should have woken by now.”
“At least he gets to rest,” Chloe—Stiles had learned the girl’s name from conversations between the two hunters. “This is getting boring.”
“Enjoy it. Boredom means you’re safe.”
Yeah, assuming there isn’t something hovering in the shadows to pick you off one by one, Stiles thought. He wished there was someone that would sneak in and take out the hunters for him. If he was more optimistic, he might have wished for Peter or Chris, but even he found that hope too romantic.
Also, the reality of the situation was that Peter and Chris had no reason to be searching for him yet. As far as they knew, he had made it home safe. The first person who would be alert to any trouble would be his dad, and that was assuming he didn’t get roped into taking a double shift.
Jared walked off, and Stiles peeked through his lashes. Once again Jared and Chloe hovered near the door.
Aggravation heated Stiles' blood and almost made him tap his foot in annoyance. He’d finally loosened his bonds enough that he could slip out of the ropes holding him down, but there was nowhere to run.
A gunshot fired.
Stiles’ bones jumped in his skin.
The two hunters jolted and raised their guns at the door.
More gunshots rang out, followed by shouts and screams.
Jared straightened his shoulders and jogged to the door. He wrenched it open with a loud creak. “Stay here and guard him.”
“Let me—” Chloe started, but Jared had already slammed the door in her face.
Chloe let out a breath of annoyance, but even from a distance Stiles could see her legs trembling.
This was his best chance to escape, Stiles realized. The girl was too focused on the sounds beyond the door to notice him coming up from behind. She was also about the same size as him. He just had to knock her out or get her gun away from her.
Then he’d just run through a gunfight like a maniac.
It wasn’t the safest or sanest plan—certainly not the smartest, but the fight provided the distraction he needed. He’d just have to run like The Flash and pray that no bullets hit him.
Stiles lifted the ropes off him and carefully lowered them to the ground, so as not to make a sound that would draw Chloe’s attention. He looked around for something small but sturdy, it looked like whoever had previously owned the place had done a good job of cleaning it up. Unless he could walk right up to Chloe and grab one of the two large crates without her noticing, he was going to have to overpower her with his own two hands.
…and she was probably trained in close-quarter combat, because what supernatural/werewolf hunter wouldn’t be?
Stiles imagined himself duck taping silent the voice in his head screaming doubts at him.
He tiptoed toward Chloe.
There was a loud crash against the door. Chloe aimed her gun, her finger wrapping tighter around the trigger.
Stiles gulped and braced himself for the wrestling match of his life.
A frickin’ chunk of the wall exploded and debris sprayed Stiles and Chloe.
Chloe whirled and shot three bullets in the direction of the blast.
Stiles crouched and covered his head and face.
When the dust settled everything was silent and there was a gaping hole leading out to some sort of break room. Framed in that hole was a tall, bulky man. The man held up the dead and mangled corpse of Jared as a shield. He stepped into the meat locker with his eyes glowing red. His jaw jutted out to reveal large fangs. His brow was crinkled and his nose malformed and flattened so it was more snout like—more wolf like.
“Jesus fucking Christ on steroids! What the hell is that?” Stiles shouted as he scrambled two steps back.
Chloe’s head snapped in his direction, and it was just the distraction the man needed. He hurled Jared’s body at Chloe, knocking her to the ground.
Her gun fell and skidded to Stiles’ feet.
Stiles didn’t hesitate. He threw himself at the gun.
The man roared and the ground vibrated with his thunderous footsteps as he charged.
Stiles winced as he picked up the gun, whirled and shot blindly.
A howl of agony filled the room, and the man dropped to his knees. He gripped his arm where Stiles had shot him and stared at the wound in fury and disbelief. He yanked his head up and suddenly Stiles very much knew the difference between “red” and “rain hell fire and brimstone down upon you and your family” red.
Stiles pressed his finger to the trigger, but before he could pull back, claws wrapped around his wrist and dug into it.
He cried out in pain as the gun was ripped from his grasp and kicked away.
A knee slammed into his diaphragm, and he doubled over. He gasped for breath.
Brown bare feet circled around him.
Stiles looked up in time to see a dark-haired woman with red eyes and fangs lunge for his hair. She mercilessly yanked his head back. She bared her fangs and dove for his jugular.
Stiles screwed his eyes shut.
A cane beat twice on the floor. “Tsk. Tsk. Kali, you know the plan.”
“He shot Ennis,” Kali growled at the new presence.
“And we have the wolfs bane to cure him. In little time, it will be less than a scratch. If you’re so angry though, then please take it out on the hunter girl behind you who is trying to play dead.”
“With pleasure.” Kali threw Stiles aside.
Stiles screamed just as Chloe shoved aside Jared’s body and reached for a knife in her boot. She couldn’t draw it fast enough.
Kali’s claws tore through Chloe’s throat like a knife through paper.
Chloe’s body hit the ground with a loud thump.
Stiles lay frozen on the floor, unable to feel anything but shock. He’d seen his mom draw her last breath when he was a child, but it was nothing like this. This was murder, and Stiles wasn’t even certain how mournful he should be. He didn’t even know the girl. She was just his abductor, but the way her life had been taken from her…it just didn’t sit well with him.
The taps of a cane as it drew near, lured Stiles out of his shock long enough to turn his head and see the cause of the noise.
It was a fair-haired man dressed like he was just going out for a stroll in the evening and trying to keep warm. Red tinted sunglasses covered his eyes. He stopped in front of Stiles, resting his white cane in front of him, as he smiled down at Stiles. “You must be Stiles Stilinski. Allow me to introduce myself, I am Deucalion.”
“Turn right here,” Peter commanded. He’d rolled down the window and had been tracking Stiles' scent for miles. The smell was faint, barely a wisp on the air, and if he were a beta, Peter would have had no hope of tracking Stiles. The boy’s smell was intermingled with several humans’, some of which Peter recognized as the hunters who had been causing Chris and him trouble.
Chris turned down the street, and Peter threw up his hand to signal Chris to slow down. “He’s somewhere here,” Peter said. He took another deep inhale. “Seven more buildings down and on the left.”
Chris nodded and drove to the location, parking across the street from a butcher shop.
“There’s blood,” Peter let out in a low growl as Chris put on the emergency brake. The coppery and salty tang of blood was overpowering, almost masking Stiles’ scent. The amount of blood it would take for such a thing… well, it was obvious Stiles wasn’t the only one injured, if he was bleeding at all.
Chris grabbed Peter’s hand and laced his fingers through Peter’s. “You have to calm down. Whatever their plan is, I’m certain one of the reasons they picked tonight to abduct Stiles is because your mental and emotional state will be so volatile. We need to keep our wits about us if we are going to have any chance of getting Stiles out of there without any fatal injuries.”
Peter threw a wicked and condescending grin at Chris. “I’m really not in the mood for your lectures, Christopher.” He shoved himself out of the car and slammed the door shut. A distant part of him scolded himself for making such a noise that could alert his enemies to his presence, but he was too far gone to care.
Chris was quick to get out of the car. He double-checked his weapons on his body (two guns at his waist, one strapped across his chest, another on his leg, and three knives—one in each boot, and one strapped to his left wrist). He fetched one of his large guns from the trunk and made sure it was loaded and ready. “How many?”
Peter frowned. “Four heartbeats.”
They marched across the street, the scent of blood strengthening.
Peter released his claws and yanked open the front door.
Bodies littered the floor. They were torn apart. Chests were ripped open, throats were slashed, and limbs were broken off like the humans were nothing more than dolls.
“Alpha Pack,” Peter said.
Chris nodded. He tightened his grip on his gun.
They walked cautiously to the back of the shop where the four heartbeats got louder and Stiles' scent grew stronger. One heartbeat was erratic and louder than the rest—Stiles’.
There was a shuffling sound then the deceptive smooth voice of Deucalion. “You really should calm down, you’ll upset your mates.”
Stiles’ heart skipped a beat. “F-fuck you.” There was another sound of movement followed by a choked off noise from Stiles.
The door to the meat locker was left open. Peter glared at the opening, not trusting for a moment that he wouldn’t be attacked the second he went through. However, there wasn’t much in the way of other options, unless he wanted to punch his way through a wall, which wouldn’t do much to help him. The Alpha Pack already knew he was there.
He listened for any sounds that could give away a trap and looked for clues, but found none. He signaled Chris to stay behind him as he moved to the door.
Deucalion stood in the center of the room with his hands wrapped around Stiles’ neck, forcing Stiles to bare it towards him.
Instinct surged through Peter and all composure was lost. A furious, beastly howl, erupted from him and he charged at Deucalion.
He only got halfway to the other alpha before Kali leaped at him and kicked him in the side. He flew through the air like a ragdoll, but twisted and landed on all fours. His claws cut into the floor to stop his movement. He could feel the pinch of his brow and the flattening of his nose that signaled he’d entered beta form.
Kali came at him again, but this time he caught her kick and flung her into the wall.
A growl came from the other side of the room, and Peter turned in time to see Ennis rushing him.
Chris fired, and Ennis dodged.
The smell of wolfs bane grew stronger in the air. Ennis growled and redirected himself to charge at Chris. From the new angle Peter could see a fading bullet hole on Ennis. Peter picked up a whiff of burned wolfs bane in the wound.
Ennis lunged, and Chris made to pull the trigger.
“I suggest all of you stop,” Deucalion raised his voice but did not shout.
Stiles made a choking sound, and Deucalion yanked Stiles to his chest. His clawed hand cradled Stiles’ chin and neck, forcing Stiles once again to bare his throat.
Peter growled lowly, but didn’t attack.
“Son of a bitch,” Stiles managed to curse.
Deucalion spared him a glance. “Now really,” he swiveled his head as if looking at Peter and Chris. “And here we delivered such a wonderful gift to you. The hunters are dead and you are free once again to enjoy your territory.”
Peter stood, straightening himself. He dredged up all of his confidence and put it behind his smirk. “Personally, I take more joy out of killing my enemies with my own hands.”
Deucalion nodded diplomatically. “My apologies then. If we had known, we merely would have restrained them and left them for you to kill.”
“Because that’s so much better,” Stiles said sarcastically.
Deucalion’s claws breeched the skin of Stiles’ throat, sending tiny drops of blood trailing down the alabaster neck.
There was a catch in Stiles’ breath. Chris lifted his gun to shoot at Deucalion. Ennis growled and took a step toward Chris.
Deucalion tilted his head toward Ennis and Chris. “Fire that gun, and I will use your soul mate as a shield, hunter. I’m sure your experience with my kind informs you that I am not bluffing.”
Chris didn’t lower the gun, but he didn’t make a move to shoot either.
Deucalion turned his attention back to Peter. “As I was saying, the death of the hunters was a gift. You took care of one of our problems, so it seemed only fair that we help with one of yours.”
The hunters would not have been as much of a problem as they had been if it weren’t for The Alpha Pack, Peter mentally argued, but kept such thoughts to himself. This situation called for delicacy and patience, two things his was sadly lacking with the full moon. He could do it though. It was just a matter of extracting himself from the situation—to look at it as no more than a game of chess. He had two valuable pieces in play, and one was in danger of being stolen after his next move (Stiles). The second piece (Chris) was safe for now, but in a few more plays could be in equal danger.
Peter eyed Stiles and wished the boy had a knife covered in wolfs bane. Stiles was set up perfectly to take down Deucalion if he’d had such a weapon.
There was no point focusing on “what if” scenarios though.
“One of your problems?” Peter repeated, keeping his tone casual. He reverted back to his human form. It put him at a disadvantage if Kali or Ennis chose to attack, however, his goal was to lower their defenses by appearing non-threatening.
Deucalion smiled. “Yes. The omega. One of our former members. He and his brother rebelled, which is not good for a pack, as you well know. So they had to be dealt with.”
“One of your pack? I believe you only accept alphas, and that was no alpha,” Peter said.
“Actually, it’s quite fascinating what happened. They shared the power of an alpha, and it appears when one died the power went away from the other.”
“So one little omega gave you three trouble?” Peter scoffed. “I must say, I am disappointed if the infamous Alpha Pack was so easily eluded.”
Ennis chuckled. From the corner of Peter’s eye he saw Kali smirk.
Deucalion smiled. “Far from it. He was just a test, and you passed.”
“Oh my god! You are not seriously going for that old tired villain line?” Stiles groaned.
Deucalion’s face scrunched. “Does he ever shut up?”
Peter wobbled his hand in the half and half gesture. “If he’s angry, but there is a fifty percent chance he’ll still yell at you.”
Deucalion considered this, then nodded minutely in acceptance. “We’ve lost two members, Peter, and while we’ve never been ones to insist on a certain amount of members, the loss of our two brothers does leave quite the hole. We’ve witnessed how other packs reacted to our former member when he fled into their territory, and none of them possessed the back bone needed to finish the job.”
“So when he moved on, you killed the packs,” Chris said, disgust in his voice.
“A last chance to prove themselves. If any of them had showed potential, we would have let them live,” Deucalion said.
Chris gritted his teeth and his muscles itched to shoot Deucalion, but he held off.
Peter kept quiet, weighing his options and all possible outcomes. “I suppose I should be honored, however, I became an alpha so I wouldn’t have to deal with the insipid hierarchy of werewolf packs, or the loss of power that comes from being an omega. Other than the spike in power that would come from joining your pack, there really isn’t much in it for me.”
“Even getting your soul mate back?” Deucalion asked, feigning innocence.
The question was so obviously coming that Peter was not one bit shocked by the blackmail. Stiles appeared also unfazed by the ultimatum, if his eye roll was anything to go by.
“The problem with giving into blackmail is that once you do it, unless you can eliminate whatever put you in that position to be blackmailed in the first place, there really is no end to it. Therefore, while I may enjoy my soul mate, I can’t very well agree to joining you when you could use him against me again and again.”
“Then it appears we are at an impasse,” said Deucalion. “So, we will be taking the boy.”
Chris’ heart beat was like thunder in Peter’s ears—almost loud enough to drown out Peter’s traitorous heartbeat too. The sound had him bristling internally, but it was the humming bird heart beat from Stiles that had panic shooting through all his nerve endings.
He’d predicted this as a possible outcome, and did not like it. The odds though of Chris and Peter being able to defeat The Alpha Pack on there own without losing Stiles was slim. All it would take would be one deep slice across Stiles’ throat and they’d lose him forever.
“Take me instead.” Chris lowered his gun and stood tall, like the solider he was trained to be.
Stiles squawked and tugged on Deucalion’s arm. “No, Chris. Don’t be a martyr, you dumbass! I can handle it!”
Deucalion tightened his grip, causing more blood to seep out of Stiles’ cuts. Stiles hissed in pain. “Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow! Jesus, give a guy a break.”
“We’d be all too happy to break your arm,” Kali said with a smile.
Peter turned a crimson glare on Kali.
Deucalion hummed like he was considering something. “I am open to a trade.” He gestured at Chris. “The boy may be your soul mate, but this one is your soul mate and pack mate. He has also been at your side longer, making him far more valuable.”
Peter bit down a growl. He’d managed to regain his composure, but he was rapidly losing it.
“Well, Peter?” Deucalion prodded. “It’s your choice. You're his alpha, after all.” Deucalion nodded at Chris.
“No one needs to save me, I can take care of myself!” Desperation filled Stiles voice. He kept tugging at Deucalion’s arm and went as far as sinking his blunt fingernails into his skin. He kicked Deucalion in the shin, but the alpha werewolf was immobile.
Chris’ gaze was locked on Deucalion, but Peter knew all of Chris’ attention was on him. Whatever Peter said next would determine Chris’ next move. Either he’d hand himself over, or he’d fight tooth and nail to get Stiles back.
There was little doubt in Peter’s mind that Stiles’ life would be forfeited immediately upon attack. It’d then be three alphas against Peter and Chris. There was nothing to gain in that scenario, and everything to lose.
Peter nodded his chin at Chris. “Take him.”
“What!” Stiles wrestled in Deucalion’s grip. So much som the man wrapped his second arm around Stiles’ waist. “No! Guys! It’s okay! I’m going to be fine! Don’t do it!”
“Remove all of your weapons,” Deucalion said to Chris. To Ennis he said, “Check him when he’s done.”
Chris lowered his gun and slowly removed every single weapon on his person. The removal of each weapon was like having a piece of his skin ripped off for Peter. He couldn’t imagine what it felt like for Chris. Stiles shouted through the whole process, and Peter did his best to tune out every word hurled at him and Chris to stop.
Chris was trained to withstand torture, Peter reminded himself. Stiles was not.
Chris was also the one who could help most with a rescue mission.
Peter shoved that thought down. Chris’ added years of experience and strategizing would be beneficial, but not needed. Peter had just as much skill and expertise; he would get Chris back.
When Chris was stripped of his weapons, Ennis patted him down, and Peter resisted the urge to bury his claws in Ennis’ face and rip it off. Ennis confirmed Chris was weapon free and crushed the weapons under his feet, making them unusable. He grabbed Chris, locking Chris’ hand behind his back, and pressing claws into Chris’ throat.
With Chris restrained, Deucalion released Stiles, shoving him toward Peter.
Stiles stumbled and cursed.
Peter stepped forward, steadying Stiles by his shoulder, so he wouldn’t fall on his face.
“Well then, we shall—” Deucalion started.
Stiles whirled. “At least let me say goodbye!”
Deucalion actually looked mildly shocked by the request, whereas Kali and Ennis sneered.
The look of sorrow on Chris’ face was enough to said physical pain through Peter’s chest. He couldn’t keep his eyes from flashing red or his claws from coming out.
“I suppose, I can allow a brief farewell.” Deucalion nudged Ennis.
Ennis let out a disgruntled grunt, and maneuvered Chris so he was standing in front of Stiles.
Stiles flung himself at Chris, wrapping himself around Chris like an octopus. He buried his face in Chris' chest and cursed under his breath. “This isn’t over,” he whispered. He squeezed Chris’ waist tighter. “You don’t get to keep protecting me, you asshole.”
Chris sighed, letting his head dip, so his chin touched Stiles’ head. “That’s up for debate.”
Stiles punched him lightly on the chest in reprimand.
“That’s enough,” Deucalion said. He slipped his cane between Stiles and Chris, and pushed Stiles away.
Stiles stumbled backwards and bumped into Peter.
“And you, Peter?” Deucalion asked.
Peter meet Chris’ eyes and saw only promise and determination.
It soothed something in Peter, and he found the strength in himself to withdraw his claws and return his eyes back to their blue hue. “Take him.”
Stiles tensed and Peter put a hand on the cradle of Stiles’ back.
He watched as The Alpha Pack walked off with Chris.
His hand snaked around Stiles’ waist. He yanked Stiles to his side and breathed in that subtle, sweet, cleansing scent. He’d get Chris back, and when he did there would be hell to pay for stealing his two mates away from him.
Obligatory reminder that I haz a tumblr, buddiez. :D Lol. Joking. Well, mostly. As always, feel free to chat me up on tumblr, or just stalk me.
The ride back to… Hell! Stiles didn’t even know where Peter was taking him, just that it was away from the butcher shop. Stiles just wanted to kick and scream. His body was tense, like a string stretched too far. He felt like he’d snap at any moment, but he had no idea in what way. He was just so frustrated and angry with himself that he might cry. The only thing keeping him from doing so was his fear.
Peter hadn’t said a word since Chris had been taken.
Peter might have agreed to the swap, but that didn’t mean he wanted it.
A traitorous voice pointed out that Chris had been the one to volunteer and that Peter had practically surrendered Stiles to Deucalion. Stiles wanted to squash that voice so hard it would be pulverized out of existence. Now was not the time for stupid insecurities that had never done him any good.
The tires screeched and Stiles was jolted forward as the car came to a sudden halt. Stiles looked up from his lap to see that Peter had stopped at Stiles’ house.
Stiles blinked rapidly and stared, his brain trying to tell him something through the static and haze that was his bemusement. “You brought me home.”
“You’re dad is looking for you. He’s on the phone arguing with his own deputy about filing a missing person’s report.”
Stiles heart lurched for his father. His fingers twitched with the urge to seize the door handle, fling the door open, and run into his house. It was his worry for Chris that kept him rooted to the spot. “What about Chris?”
Peter looked out the windshield, refusing to look Stiles in the eye. “What about Chris?”
“We have to save him, right? So what’s the plan? Do I go into my house for a couple of hours to calm down my dad, and then I’ll meet you out here or—”
“You’re going into your house, and you’ll stay inside the mountain ash circle you created,” Peter’s voice was calm, cool, and collected.
And it pissed Stiles off. “Are you fucking kidding me? Chris just took my place with the Psycho Pack, and you want me to just sit at home and hide behind some magic circle and hope for the best? I mean what was the point of today then? Chris was helping me—”
“There isn’t enough time for you to reach Chris’ skill level, and with him, I still couldn’t save you. You’re just a liability at this point.”
It was frickin’ dagger in the heart. No—an icicle. No—some freaky abominable-snow-werewolf-man’s claws. Those claws dug into Stiles’ chest, squeezed his heart like it was a plaything as it froze his insides, and then ripped out the organ and squashed it.
He wanted to say something—anything to disprove Peter, but there was nothing. He wasn’t a werewolf and he didn’t have Chris’ years of experience.
It just pissed him off even more. “You’re a fucking asshole! I get it! Deucalion was frickin’ right!” Stiles’ hand hit the window as he gestured wildly. “I may be your soul mate, and I sure as hell may be attractive to you, but let’s face it: at the end of the day, Chris will always be number one, and you know what? I don’t blame you, because at least Chris cares. At least he—”
Peter threw open the door and stormed out of the car.
Stiles jumped and flinched away when Peter reappeared on his side and yanked the door open. Peter reached inside and seized the collar of Stiles’ shirt.
Stiles yelped as his heart beat frantically in his chest.
He was going to die! He’d crossed a line, and Peter was going to kill him. He was going to—
Shove Stiles into the back seat and climb on top of him.
Peter slammed the door behind them, giving them privacy. Crimson burned in Peter’s eyes as he straddled Stiles and bracketed him in with his arms. He lowered his face so he was only a few inches from Stiles’. “You think I don’t care? I let Chris—my best friend, my love, and my soul mate—get taken away from me for you.”
“I get it, you resent me!”
Peter growled and lunged forward.
Stiles squealed and covered his face.
Seconds past and nothing happened.
A gentle hand came up and cupped Stiles’. The hand squeezed Stiles’ fingers and slowly guided them away.
Stiles cracked open an eye.
The red had bled out from Peter’s vision. Stiles relaxed.
Peter took in a deep breath and exhaled. He laid himself down so his legs tangled with Stiles’ and his chest pressed against Stiles’. Stiles could feel Peter’s heart beating right above his own. He found himself swallowing his nervousness.
Peter ran a hand soothingly up and down Stiles’ arm. “I’m going to repeat myself, Stiles, and when I do, I want you to really listen. Whatever insecurities are running around in that enormous brain of yours needs to be shoved aside for now. Can you do that for me?”
Stiles nodded; he was too stunned to do anything else.
“Chris volunteered to take your place, that’s true, but Deucalion wouldn’t have taken him without my permission.” Peter grimaced. “It’s a form of torture, forcing a person to have to chose between their loved ones. He wanted me to blame myself for whatever happens to Chris, or whatever would have happened to you if I hadn’t let Chris go. Now here is the part that I am going to repeat: I let Chris—my best friend, my love, and my soul mate—get taken away from me for you.”
Peter stared intently and impatiently at Stiles.
The intensity made Stiles want to wiggle away and pretend he hadn’t seen it. He couldn’t though; this was too important. He shoved down the nagging voice that had popped up before and told him Peter resented him. When he did that, a whole new meaning to Peter’s statement slammed into Stiles. Stiles choked on the realization and turned his head away.
Chris was everything to Peter. Peter would not sacrifice him for some random person he had the hots for. Hell! He wouldn’t do it for family or friends. It would take so much more.
Stiles’ chest hurt, but it was a good kind of pain. Tears welled in his eyes and he cursed. “God damn it.” He threw his arm up, to hide his eyes behind his forearm. “Not like this. You’re not supposed to confess to me like this. Not when Chris is abducted, my dad is freaking out just a few steps away, and we’re in the backseat of a car.” He sniffled, and rubbed the tears away with his arm. “It hasn’t even been a month since we met, and now I’m crying. Do you know how freaking cliché and horrible this is? This fucking sucks.”
Peter sighed like he was the most put upon soul on the planet. He grabbed Stiles’ arm and lowered it, but didn’t let it go. “Werewolves are instinctual creatures, Stiles, and you’re my soul mate. It doesn’t take long for something more than lust or school yard ‘like’ to happen.”
Stiles guffawed at Peter’s use of “like.” It wasn’t the least bit funny, but he was hysterical, and couldn’t help himself.
There was a happy rumble from Peter’s chest that sent vibrations through Stiles. That earned a true laugh from Stiles. “Damn it, I hate you so much.”
Peter leaned forward and pressed a kiss to the corner of Stiles’ mouth. “Mine.”
Stiles shook his head. “Can you even use the correct four letter word for this moment?”
Peter smirked and kissed Stiles again, lips pressing fully to lips. Peter pulled away. “Mine.” He kissed Stiles. “Yours.” He looked up and out the window before diving in for another chaste kiss. “Ours.”
Stiles felt something warm and pleasant in his stomach and chest. “Is it weird that I actually think I like your definition of that special four letter word better than the actual word? Although, one of your replacement words is five letters long.”
Peter pressed another kiss to Stiles’ mouth, adding a reprimanding nip to Stiles’ bottom lip.
Stiles sighed, soaking in the moment of contentment before he’d have to focus on the greater situation at hand.
Peter sat up, still straddling Stiles. “I’ll get Chris back and murder those overgrown canines.”
Stiles sat up. “You have to let me help.”
Peter scowled. “No.”
“There has to be something I can do!” Stiles threw his arms out at his sides. “What about the mountain ash? I still have some left over. If we find wherever they’ve taken Chris, then I can—”
Peter put a silencing hand on Stiles’ lips. “You have mountain ash leftover?”
“Yeah…” Stiles hesitated. “I know it wasn’t a lot at first glance, but it’s got some powerful magic going on.”
Peter pressed his fingers to Stiles’ mouth again, and Stiles bit the tips in retaliation. “Exactly how much do you have left?”
“Half a bag.”
Peter shook his head and chuckled. “Of course.” Peter lifted his head, meeting Stiles’ gaze. He chuckled again. “Of course.” He pressed his forehead against Stiles’. “Here is the plan for now: You’re going to walk into your house and make up some excuse for why you were missing this afternoon. Keep in mind, he found your phone in front of the house. In a few hours, I will contact you and I’ll take you to my place to conduct a few experiments.”
“Okay, but do you mind telling me what’s going on, and why it’s a big deal I have leftover mountain ash?”
Peter cupped the back of Stiles’ neck and pulled him in for a kiss. “After a few experiments. If I tell you now, it might hamper the tests later on.”
“’You know ‘experiments’ and ‘tests’ really aren’t comforting words.”
Peter trailed his fingers down Stiles’ chest. “I’d be happy to offer another form of comfort, but we have a soul mate to save, and your father is headed in this direction.”
“Shit!” Stiles yanked his legs out from Peter, sending Peter almost toppling to the floor. Stiles scooted backwards and pushed open the door and crawled outside into the cold night air. “Sorry, sorry. Just last time my dad caught me making out with someone in front of the house he threatened to arrest me if I do it again.”
Peter righted himself and glared. “Who were you making out with?”
“Chris. Duh.” Stiles straightened his rumpled shirt and pants and sprinted for the door.
He reached his house just as the front door flew open and his dad stepped outside.
“Daddy!” Stiles cried and flung himself at his dad.
John startled, but out of instinct or good reflexes threw out his arms to catch Stiles. Stiles knocked the breath out of him, and squeezed John with the strength of a boa constrictor. John coughed, but returned the embrace with equal, bone-crushing strength. “Stiles,” he breathed in awe. That awe was quickly killed buy fury and concern. “Where the hell were you? What happened? I’ve been calling Scott, Kira, and all of your friends for hours trying to find you.”
Stiles loosened his hug and pulled back to make a face at his dad. “Dad, Scott and Kira are my only friends. Unless you count Peter and Chris, but even then I don’t think you could have spent that much time calling them.”
John lovingly smacked the back of Stiles’ head. “Don’t give me lip.”
“Ow! Dad.” Stiles rubbed the back of his skull.
The sound of a car door slamming caught Stiles’ attention, and he turned in time to see Peter move into the driver’s seat.
Peter started the engine. He leaned back in his seat to check the road behind him for traffic.
“Did Peter find you?” John asked, surprise entering his voice.
Peter sped off as Stiles nodded. “Yeah. Him and Chris. He’s just the one who dropped me off.”
John’s arms dropped from Stiles. He stared for a second at the spot where Peter had been. Guilt clouded his features. “You could have invited him in.”
Stiles shook his head. “Nah, it’s okay. I think Peter isn’t really the type to meet the parents, you know. He won’t hide from you in the supermarket or anything like that, but the whole getting together just to have an official meeting, not so much. Although, he might change his mind if you offer him blackmail material. Chris would do it though.” The thought of Chris had his chest constricting with worry.
John patted Stiles on the back and guided Stiles into the house. “So, are you going to tell me what happened?” The click of the door latching into place resounded.
“Just some jerks from school pulling a stupid ass prank that went too far.”
“Would one of these jerks happen to be a Jackson Whittemore?”
“Shockingly, for once he wasn’t one of them.” Stiles went to the kitchen and grabbed a glass from the cupboard and filled it with water. He leaned against the counter as he gulped down the cool liquid. His fingers thrummed against the glass as he tried to think of anything other than Chris.
His thoughts turned to the dead hunters, and he winced. He wouldn’t be writing tearful obituaries for them, but their deaths had been brutal and were not easy to shake.
Stiles looked up from his glass and faltered under his father’s intense scrutinizing gaze. “So what’s for dinner? I know it’s late, but there’s gotta be leftovers, right?”
“Are you going to tell me the truth or keep lying about what happened?” John asked.
Stiles internally squeaked and flailed like a spastic puppy in a panic. “Dude? Are you serious? Why would I lie?”
John’s eyes narrowed at Stiles. “That’s what I can’t figure out. I would assume you’re trying to protect someone, but anyone who you would want to protect had no idea where you were or what happened to you.” John frowned in disappointment. “You know you can always come to me, right?”
Stiles’ heart broke. “Of course, dad. What happened…What happened…” Stiles sighed and ran a hand through his hair. How could he even begin to explain? He doubted his dad would believe him even if he told the truth. He’d need Peter to do his wolf thing in order to get John to believe. It also wasn’t Stiles’ secret to tell. “Honestly, everything just went wrong. One thing was supposed to happen and then another did, there was lots of screaming and panicking, but I’m fine now.”
“’Screaming and panicking?’” John repeated, incredulously.
Stiles huffed and put the glass down on the counter, pushing away from it. “I know you don’t want to, but can you just trust me on this one? I’m fine. Peter and Chris saved me.”
“So Peter and Chris know what happened?”
John pursed his lips. He shook his head and mumbled a curse. “I don’t like it, but you are an adult now, and as long as someone knows what happened, I suppose I can let this one go. You swear though,” John practically pinned Stiles to the spot with his stare, “everything has been taken care of and you’re fine?”
Stiles nodded, his throat going dry at the lie. Everything was not taken care, and he would not be fine until he got Chris back.
John deflated a little at Stiles’ answer. “All right.” He fished around in his pocket and pulled out Stiles’ cell phone. “I believe this belongs to you.”
Stiles smiled. “Thanks, Dad.” Stiles reached for his phone.
John yanked it away. “You promise me, you’ll talk to me if things turn out not to be resolved?”
“Of course,” Stiles answered.
John hesitated, scanning Stiles once again for deceit. He reluctantly held out Stiles’ phone.
Stiles’ snatched it up before his dad could change his mind. His stomach grumbled, and Stiles smiled sheepishly.
“I’ll order a pizza,” John said.
“It better be vegetarian.”
John glared. “You went missing for hours. I get meat lovers pizza, or I am chaining you to your desk. I will even home school you.”
Stiles held up his hands in surrender. He waited until his dad was on the phone with the pizza delivery service before he went to his room. He stopped in the middle of his doorway and bit the inside of his cheek. What the hell was he supposed to do for the next few hours?
He went to his collection of movie and video games and shook his head. He knew them all too well; they wouldn’t distract him in the least. He grabbed his laptop and combed the Internet for videos and/or forums to take his mind off things. It didn’t help.
His father’s holler that the pizza had arrived was a blessing. Stiles raced downstairs to join his dad. He’d planned to eat at the table, but his dad had other things in mind. He placed the pizza on the coffee table in the living room and turned on the TV to a news station. He settled into his armchair, while Stiles’ took the couch, sprawling across it as he ate slice after slice of pizza.
Twenty minutes later, John had popped open a beer and was feigning casualness. “So things with Peter and Chris are going really well then?”
Stiles shifted nervously in his seat. He hoped his nervousness came off more as embarrassment than anything else. He grabbed his sixth slice for the evening. “Yeah. We still fight, but it’s mostly harmless.” Stiles flushed at his memory of Peter pinning him in the back seat of the car. He scratched the back of his ear. “Mostly.”
John did not look pleased.
Stiles waved his hands frantically. “It’s nothing bad. Just…I’m pretty passionate, and Peter, as much as he likes to pretend he’s unmoved by anything outside of himself, he’s actually pretty passionate too.” He scratched the back of his ear and bit his bottom lip. “My stubbornness, plus stressful situation, plus Peter’s temper does not equal happy times. Well, except it kind of does in this case.” Happy knots formed in Stiles’ stomach at Peter’s confession. He bowed his head in embarrassment. “God, I’m such a weirdo. He is too. It’s the only reason we work together.”
“But he is not abusing you?”
Stiles shook his head. “Just caught me off guard.”
John nodded. “And Chris?”
Stiles mentally cringed. It hurt to talk about Chris. “He’s really great. He seemed like such an asshole at first, but he’s really nice, and is always looking out for me. Maybe a little too much at times, but better that than not at all.”
John was quiet for a moment. “I know I am going to regret asking this, but since you were in such a panic about it—did you talk to them about…” He trailed off.
Stiles nodded, knowing what his dad was trying to ask. “Kind of. They know I’m a virgin. I haven’t talked to them about the mechanics of changing that though.” Stiles sighed forlornly. “If I’d experimented more with anal when masturbating, I’d ask them about double pen—”
John threw his hands up. “Not that much detail, Stiles.”
Stiles chuckled. Then a light bulb went off in his head. “Hey! You know, there is still time! It’s not like I have a deadline. I can practice more with my—”
John reached over and slammed his hand over Stiles’ mouth. “I will eat the last of this pizza, if you continue to share such explicit details about your sex life.” He removed his hand.
Stiles whined. “But dad, I don’t have one! That’s the problem.”
John glared warningly. “Stiles, I will put you in a chastity belt, and then you will never have to worry about how you’ll go about losing your virginity.”
“Peter would just rip it off.” Stiles warmed a little at the image of Peter using his supernatural strength to rip off the torturous device.
“I’d like to see him try,” John grumbled and took a swig of his beer.
Stiles didn’t comment. The supernatural aspects of his relationship were going to remain a secret for a while, or at least until things stabled out between the three of them. John was sharp though, and as much as it pained Stiles not respond back with a witticism, he knew now was not the time to be dropping hints, whether intentional or not.
Stiles ate his pizza, commenting on the news between bites. He’d only planned to stay downstairs with his dad until he was full, but after finishing off the pizza, Stiles couldn’t bring himself to leave the room. The combination of news and quick commentary between them was enough to let Stiles push aside his worries for Chris.
His dad mentioned something about one of the officers at the station, and suddenly the news was ignored and Stiles was swapping stories with his dad. After a couple of hours, Stiles helped his dad clean up the living room and take out the garbage.
“I’m going to finish some paperwork I brought from the office. Are you going to need anything?” John asked as he put away the last plate in the dishwasher.
Stiles shook his head, and feigned a yawn. “I’m wiped out. I’m just going to crash. Don’t wake me up unless someone I know is dying. And by ‘know’ I mean someone I actually give two shits about, or Jackson. I got a bottle of champagne ready for just the occasion.”
“Stiles,” John said in a disapproving tone.
Stiles rolled his eyes. “What? Everyone wishes at least someone dead. I’m just honest about it.”
“Go to bed.” John shook his head.
“Don’t have to ask me twice.” Stiles marched up the stairs, locking the door behind him. He turned off all of the lights and settled onto his bed with his laptop. He dimmed the screen down as low as it would go, and popped in his headphones so his dad wouldn’t hear his music or videos as he waited for Peter’s arrival.
The next hour was excruciating. He was back to trying to find distractions, but his focus was so zeroed in on Chris and what could possibly be happening to him that Stiles finally caved into his morbidity and researched various forms of torture. After twenty minutes of reading, he was biting his nails and tapping his foot against his mattress.
Stiles’ phone rang and flashed Peter’s name. Stiles seized his phone and answered it.
“Even with your window closed, I can smell your panic from outside.”
“Peter,” Stiles breathed out in relief. He closed his laptop and put it aside. He rushed to his window and flung it open.
Peter stood on the sidewalk. “Break the circle so I can pass.”
Stiles looked around and gnawed on his bottom lip. “Okay, but just let me…” Stiles started to climb out the window.
“Stop. Imagine the circle breaking and it will. You can also put it back that way too.”
Stiles pulled the phone away from his ear and stared at it then at Peter. He had the distinct impression that Peter was messing with him, but he couldn’t fathom why. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and hovered his hand over the air. He envisioned the circle breaking and waved his hand through the air like he was batting away a fly.
He waited a few seconds, expecting something to signal that the circle had broken—a change in the wind, or the sound of the ash moving. What he got was the sound of someone scaling his house, and suddenly a face full of Peter.
An arrogant smirk played on Peter’s lips as he half climbed inside the room. It soon vanished though as his nose crinkled. “It truly does reek of panic in here. What on earth have you been doing?”
“Peter.” Stiles flung himself at Peter and hugged him like his life depended on it.
Peter grunted under the unexpected attack. His arms hovered around Stiles for a millisecond, as if uncertain what to do. He wrapped them around Stiles and squeezed back. “While I would normally be delighted to have you cling to me so desperately, I find it combined with the smell of your room unsettling.”
Stiles withdrew from Peter, but kept one hand fisted at the bottom of Peter’s shirt. “Yeah, I may have just screwed myself over with my need to research everything and anything.” He cocked his head at his laptop.
Peter’s gaze followed the gesture and narrowed as if the laptop had offended him somehow. “Am I going to have to get child blocking for the Internet at my home for you?”
Stiles mock punched Peter on the chest.
Peter grabbed the fist and pulled Stiles toward the window. “Come now, Juliet. We must go find our Paris.”
Stiles blinked, processing the literary reference. He sneered. “That’s the threesome you ship from Romeo & Juliet?”
“They all died together in the end.”
“I don’t think you can use death for a reason behind a ship.”
“Oh Stiles,” Peter’s voice was full of pity. “You really have not mastered the Internet, if you feel confident making that claim.” He let go of Stiles’ hand and dropped out of the window.
Stiles craned his head over the windowsill. Peter stood perfectly poised on the ground and was looking expectantly up at Stiles.
Stiles rolled his eyes. “Show off.”
Peter raised his arms up. “I could catch you, if you prefer to just jump.”
“I refuse to be a damsel.” Stiles swung his leg of the ledge and slowly lowered himself to the ground. He could feel Peter hovering close by. Once he was only a few feet from the ground, Peter’s hands landed on his hips and helped guide him down. He dropped the last few inches to the ground. Peter’s grip on his hips tightened as he fell, but he didn’t swing Stiles’ into his arms, like Stiles was worried he would do.
Peter walked him to the sidewalk and instructed to Stiles fix the circle. Stiles did so, and Peter reached out to test that the barrier was up. When an invisible force stopped Peter’s hand from reaching over the perimeter, Peter looked so victorious and proud, Stiles shuffled self-consciously.
Peter took his hand and led him to the car, which he had parked three houses down. Stiles held Peter’s hand tighter, hoping to silently convey his thanks for keeping the car out of view in case his dad looked outside.
“So are you going to tell me what these experiments you have planned are?” Stiles asked as he climbed into the passenger seat.
“I believe I already answered that question a few hours ago.” Peter shut the car door behind him, and started the car.
Stiles huffed. He was going to be really pissed if Peter was lying to him about needing to keep the experiments a secret. He spent most of the drive sulking, with the occasionally snarky comment aimed at Peter to break him out of his mood.
They arrived at Peter’s house and Peter led Stiles inside. Stiles expected to be taken to a secret training room or somewhere else just as equally possible in a comic book or TV series about the supernatural. He was a little embarrassed when Peter took him to the kitchen instead. His humiliation was quickly squashed when he took in the array of jars filled with herbs and…
Was that a komodo dragon’s foot?
Stiles walked up to the jar and lifted it to the light. Yup, that was definitely a komodo dragon’s foot. “Where the hell did you get this?” Stiles whirled on Peter.
Peter raised a thin eyebrow and crossed his arms over his chest. “Ebay.”
“Yes,” Stiles said. “Yes, you are.”
Peter shrugged. “I am sorry you believe that.”
Stiles huffed in exasperation. He put the jar down and examined the other items. It was mostly herbs, but there were a few mysterious liquids and animal parts. Off to the side there a few bones placed delicately in a basket, almost like a home warming gift. The quaintness of it put Stiles a little on edge, but he shoved aside his feelings. “So am I supposed to be getting a satanic vibe here, because while I do want to get Chris back, I think we should try other things before we summon any demons.”
Peter waved off his concern, plucking a large leather tome off the kitchen counter. “We won’t be summoning anything. We are, however, going to make a few potions.”
Stiles scrunched his nose at the comparison.
“Oh, Stiles, you don’t have a large enough hero complex to be Harry Potter, and you’re far too cunning to be compared to Ron. Take the compliment.”
“Don’t be a Ron hater.” Stiles smothered his inner nerd, who was squealing with delight to be bantering about Harry Potter with Peter. Really, if Peter had come forward with how much he knew about comics and Harry Potter, Stiles would have jumped him that first day. The only thing that would have made it better would have been a shared appreciation of video games.
He’d have to teach Peter and Chris the joys of Halo and Call of Duty someday.
“So what kind of potion are we making?” Stiles brushed his finger across the tops of the jars.
Peter grinned mischievously. “We’ll make a potion that will help us track Chris, since it appears The Alpha Pack has found some way to hide themselves even from my heightened senses. However, before that we’re going to make a potion that will hide your smell.” Peter flipped to a page in the tome and set the book on the table.
“I guessing cologne or odor eaters are not going to work.”
“Not for a pack of alphas.”
Stiles nodded and rolled up his sleeves. “Okay, so how are we going to do this?”
Peter’s grinned strengthened. “Just follow my instructions.”
Part of Peter’s instructions included getting out a pot, and boiling water on the stove, which Stiles found a mixture of hilarious and odd. He commented on how domicile potion making was. Peter quickly killed that notion by requesting Stiles’ grab the jar containing faerie wings. Stiles crooned an ode to Tinkerbell and her friends. Peter slapped him on the back of the head through his ballad.
The irony about the scent-neutralizing potion: eighty-percent of the ingredients reeked. Hell, freaking garlic was used! Garlic! Stiles had to stop and double-check that Peter was reading the write recipe before he could allow himself to continue.
Stiles grimaced as he poured the concoction into a vial and capped it. Somehow the potion was purple and smooth, despite throwing chunks of herbs into it, among other solid things. Magic: breaking the laws of physics everyday.
Stiles was about to fill another vial when Peter plucked a spoon from its drawer and dipped it into the potion. He raised the spoon to Stiles’ lips.
Stiles frowned and turned his head away. “I am not taste testing it.”
“We’re not testing it for taste. We’re testing it to see if it works. Although, by the looks of it, I would think so.”
Stiles blinked. Suspicion crept up in him and he glared at Peter. “What do you mean ‘test it to see if it works?’ It’s a potion.” He gestured at the spellbook. “Written in a grimoire. It should work.”
Peter smirked. “Only if the person making it has a spark.”
“A spark?” Stiles deadpanned.
Peter nodded. “You can think of it as possessing magic, except, that’s not quite the right phrasing. Anyone can try their hand at magic, or use items with magical properties. It takes something special, something innate, to do more—to enhance those spells, or perform spells of a higher caliber. It takes a spark. That’s what you are.”
Stiles gaped then shut his mouth. “Did you just give me the ‘you’re supernatural’ speech? No seriously. Did you just tell me, that I, Clark Kent, am Kryptonian?”
“You are not Clark Kent.”
“I could be, if I wanted to be!” Stiles slapped his hand on the counter. “Are you serious though, Peter? Are you really saying that I’m—god! Am I even human?”
“You are very much human.” Peter wrapped his hand around Stiles’ upper arm, squeezing it in a comforting manner. “You just have a unique talent, or a flare for magic, if you will.”
“Can you stop making references to fire? Flare. Spark. Jeez.”
“Spark is electric.”
“’Spark that lit the flame,’ Peter.”
Peter smirked. “Exactly. A spark that sets everything off. It’s the reason why the mountain ash didn’t run out, even though it should have.”
Stiles groaned and buried his face in his hands. “I hate your word play. Stupid spark.” He removed his face from his hands. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”
“As I said earlier, I didn’t want to hamper you.”
“A big part of magic is believing. You believed that the potion you just made would work, so it should.” Peter raised the spoon to Stiles’ mouth. “Just test it, and you’ll see.”
Stiles swallowed hard as he stared at the purple liquid on the spoon. “And what if it doesn’t work?”
Peter shrugged. “Then I was wrong, but I’m never wrong.”
Stiles scoffed and took the spoon from Peter. He waved it under his nose and smelled it. He frowned when he detected nothing. He glanced at Peter for reassurance then sipped down the concoction. Stiles shuddered at the bitter taste and the syrup-like consistency. He stuck out his tongue and made gagging noises. “God, I hate you so much right now.” He threw the spoon into the sink. “Please tell me I don’t smell. I did not just suffer through that for this potion to be a dud.”
Peter held up his hand to silence Stiles. He stared intently at Stiles, his brow wrinkling. His nose flared, but he didn’t say anything.
“Well?” Stiles tried.
Thirty seconds passed and Peter grinned. “Not a trace of scent.”
“Well, at least I know what to take now if I ever go a week without a shower.” Stiles picked up a vial and poured more of the potion into it. His fingers twitched and he took a deep breath, letting the knowledge of what had just happen seep in.
He’d created a potion—he could use magic. Stiles grinned. “This is so weird, but so awesome. Do you think I could I could ever pull off some of the things the X-men do? Like can I go all Cyclops on everyone and start shooting lasers out of my eyes? Or how about telekinesis?”
“We’d have to test your limits, and see if we could find a spell or ritual that would allow you to do those things. Although I have run into some powerful magic users who use telekinesis with minimum effort.” Peter glowered. “They quickly learned such defenses were useless against me.”
“Not before pissing you off though, clearly,” Stiles said with sarcasm.
Peter just smiled in response.
Stiles huffed and looked at the mostly empty pot. “Okay, so we made a potion that can hide our scent, and we’re going to make one that can help use track down Chris. What else are we making?”
Peter hummed in thought, although it seemed more for show than actual consideration. “A spell or potion that could increase my strength and speed would help for direct combat. We should stick to potions that effect us, and not so much them.”
“Why?” Stiles asked. “If there’s a potion in there that works like a Molotov cocktail but better in there, then I don’t see why we shouldn’t use it.”
“For the same reason you wouldn’t want to use a Molotov cocktail—you’d actually have to hit them with it. With their speed and reaction, it would be almost impossible for you to hit them without some sort of distraction.”
“And what about you?”
“As of right now, in a one on one fight, I would be on equally footing. That would not be so bad. However, keep in mind there are three of them, and if one of them were to catch the potion before it broke they could use it against us. How do you feel about being burned alive?”
Stiles wrinkled his nose and crossed his arms. “Not very good. I guess that also rules out turning them into ants that we can step on.”
Peter smirked. “I like the way you think, however, I rather not risk one of them getting a hold of our potion and turning me into an ant.”
“Oh, and what about myself and Chris?”
“I’d find you an ant farm to live in.”
“Go fuck yourself.”
“I’d rather you do the honors.”
Stiles’ brain screeched to a halt like a car slamming on its brakes. “Did you just say what I think you said, alpha werewolf man?”
Peter quirked an eyebrow. “What? You didn’t think just because I am an alpha that I’d be opposed to switching off, did you? I’d be missing out on half of the experiences of sex if I was so prejudice.” He slithered up closer to Stiles and let his hand brush against Stiles’ arm. “Think about it, Stiles. I know I certainly have.”
Stiles mouth went dry. He coughed to clear his throat. He tried to subtly adjust his pants, but when he realized it was a hopeless endeavor, he huffed and maneuvered himself. “You’re not allowed to get me thinking about sex when I am worried about Chris. It messes with my head too much, and forces me to acknowledge what a horrible and depraved person I am. Not that I didn’t already know that, but that doesn’t mean I want to think about it.”
“Then let’s get to work on our potions.” Peter flipped to another page in the book.
They made the potion to track Chris, one that would double Peter’s strength, and another that would aid in his speed. From there, their potion making effort developed into arguments about what other potions they could use.
“There has got to be an invisibility potion!”
“You need the essence of a ghost. Sorry, but I’m fresh out.”
“Well, let’s go to a graveyard.”
“Spirits are more likely to be where they died than at a graveyard.”
“Who made up that rule?”
“The universe, Stiles.”
“Fine, I will go through the police files, and—”
“It also has to be made during a new moon at exactly midnight.”
“Fuck! Okay, how about a shrinking potion, and we’ll just carry the antidote to be safe?”
“Stiles,” Peter heaved the name in aggravation.
“What? It could work.”
“I’d sooner trust you with a knife covered in kanima venom.”
“What’s a kanima?”
So the debate went on, until Stiles eyelids weighed ten tons and his muscles were practically goop. He was stirring together some potion—he couldn’t remember what it was supposed to do, but it had something to do with healing. He blinked his eyes and rubbed them.
Peter sighed, coming up behind Stiles, and bracketing one of Stiles’ sides with his arm. He reached out with his other and slipped the stirrer out of Stiles’ hands. Stiles grumbled something and leaned against Peter’s chest. Arm wrapped around him and lifted him off his feet. Stiles groaned in protest, but couldn’t get his mouth to shout the complaints in his head.
He blacked out for a second and then was being lowered onto something soft and cushy. Stiles thought it was a couch at first, but when he stretched out, he realized he’d been deposited in a bed. He heard Peter walk away, let himself drift off to sleep—he was probably in some guest room.
It felt like he’d only been asleep for seconds when the bed dipped behind him. Stiles rolled over and squinted at the intruder in the dark. He could make out some of Peter’s features and didn’t think anything about it.
Sunlight hitting his eyes, woke Stiles. He groaned, still feeling bone tired. He was pressed against the mattress with his face half buried in a pillow that smelled faintly of Chris. He snuggled into it and felt an armed at his waist tighten around him. He scrunched his face, noticing that there was also a slight weight on one of his shoulders.
He grumbled and turned his head to see Peter resting behind him with his eyes shut.
“You have to let me know if you’re normally a cuddler, or if I brought this out of you like all those cheesy romance novels.”
Peter opened his eyes, not a hint of tiredness showing in them. “You wouldn’t cease moving, so I pinned you in your sleep. You responded quiet nicely.” Peter leaned forward, letting his lips brush across Stiles’ neck.
Stiles wiggled, feeling his usual morning problem pressing against the mattress.
Damn. He was so tired but so aroused. All he wanted to do was grind against the mattress until he found sweet release.
He was greatly disappointed when Peter pulled away.
Peter pushed himself up so he looked down at Stiles. “Are you ready to save our soul mate?”
Stiles tensed as reality chased away his morning daydreams of lazing around in bed. He sat up, meeting Peter’s gaze. “Yeah.”
Stiles and Peter had gathered the potions in a bag and were on their way to Peter’s car when Stiles’ cell phone vibrated in his pocket. Stiles froze in the driveway as realization crashed into him. It was a school day, and his dad had a morning shift, which meant his dad was going to expect to see him moving around in the morning and when he didn’t see Stiles…
Stiles winced as he pulled out his phone. He held up a finger, gesturing for Peter to wait. He ignored the way Peter’s face pinched as he gestured at the car.
“Hey, Dad.” Stiles turned his back on Peter.
“Stiles, where the hell are you?”
“I, uh, I was having trouble sleeping, and since I had a test today anyway, I figured I just go to school early and study.”
“Hey, I give a damn about my grades, and you know that. The fact that you’re insinuating—”
“Don’t even begin with that deflective crap. I was willing to ignore my instincts last night and let you have your privacy, but this is the second time in less than twelve hours where I’ve found you missing.”
His dad might as well have ripped Stiles’ heart to shreds. “I’m sorry, but—”
There was a hand in front of Stiles’ nose. Stiles blinked at it then followed up to Peter’s face. He looked exceptionally put upon as he waited for Stiles to surrender the phone to him. “Um… Dad? I think Peter wants to talk to you?”
“Peter?” Incredulity filled John’s voice.
Peter seemed to take that as an invitation to pluck the phone out of Stiles’ grasp. Peter brought the phone to his ear and adjusted his position, causing the bag of potions to jostle on his other arm. “Good morning, Sheriff. I suppose I owe you a bit of an explanation for why your son isn’t at your residence right now. It’s actually because of a bit of weakness on my part. You see, due to some messy business dealings that went awry, Chris had to leave last night with some associates to settle the issue.
“It has been a while since I’ve been parted from Chris for any length of time, and your son wanted to comfort me.” Peter chuckled warmly—lovingly—but it didn’t match his eyes, which were filled with a glint of mischief and determination. “I helped him sneak out.”
“You helped my son sneak out?” John deadpanned. It was a little challenging for Stiles to hear, but the volume on his phone had always been loud, even after he’d gone into his settings to adjust it several times, making it possible to for Stiles to overhear his dad’s end as long as he stood near Peter.
Peter nodded. “Not a very adult thing to do, but I was more focused on my loneliness at the time.”
“You helped my son sneak out, after I thought he had been abducted,” John said with a little more anger.
Peter sighed. “Not one of my finer moments, which is why Stiles was trying so hard to hide it from you, I believe. He values your opinion and wouldn’t want you to think less of me.”
There was a moment of silence on the line, and Stiles mentally held his breath. The excuse Peter had given was a little too cheesy for his tastes, but damn it all if it didn’t carry some plausibility with it.
The quiet continued on the other side, and Stiles knew that whether his dad bought the lie or not, at that moment the man was deciding how much he could get away with chastising Peter. If he bought the lie then there wasn’t much he could say without coming off as a heartless bastard. If he didn’t believe the lie and he called Peter on it, Peter could insist on the lie, and they’d just be trapped in an endless argument that would put a strain between Stiles, Peter, and John.
John took a deep breath. “All right. I’m going to go along with what you’ve just said, because I have no evidence to refute it. However, that does not change the fact that you aided my son in sneaking out at night.”
“True, but he is an adult and is allowed to make his own decisions. You should be proud to have such a compassionate son.”
John spluttered. “I am very proud of my son. I’m questioning your decision making skills.”
Stiles leaned in so he could speak into the phone. “To be fair, Dad, you probably should.”
Peter shoved Stiles away. “Not to be rude, but Stiles does have class, and I promised I’d take him to school. I can’t very well drive and talk on the phone at the same time, now can I?” Peter grinned, as if taking pride in the fact that he’d just used California law against Stiles’ dad.
John made an unappreciative sound. “Let me talk to Stiles.”
“Of course.” Peter relinquished the phone to Stiles.
Stiles pressed the phone to his ear. Before he could say anything, his dad spoke. “I think it’s a good thing I didn’t talk to him last night.”
“Yeah,” Stiles said.
“He’s a real piece of work.” He sighed. “Yet I can see why he appeals to you. Two troublemakers.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.”
John grumbled, but accepted the apology. Stiles exchanged a few more sentences with his dad, promising that he’d stay out of trouble and that everything was fine. They said their farewells, with John tossing in an insult aimed at Peter. Stiles sucked in a deep breath as he ended the call.
“I expect payment for my services,” Peter said.
Stiles glared. “Shove your payment up your ass.”
Peter raised an eyebrow and pointedly stared at Stiles’ crotch. He hummed in thought. “My Stiles, your offers are getting more and more graphic by the hour.”
Stiles flushed. “Can you turn anything into an innuendo?” Stiles stormed to the car and threw open the passenger seat. “Also, I want Chris back. I need an adult.” Really, he just needed Chris.
“I am an adult.”
“You're a bad adult with bad touch syndrome.” Stiles slammed the door shut as he got inside.
Peter joined him in the car, sliding the bag of potions over to Stiles as he got in. “I don’t even have to be a werewolf to know that’s a lie. I have first hand knowledge that you find my touch quite good.”
Stiles let out a noise of frustration. “You’re a creeper.”
Peter dug around in the potion bag and pulled out a jacket belonging to Chris. He smirked at Stiles. “Only for you and Chris.”
Stiles scoffed. “Doubt it.”
Peter handed Stiles the jacket as he pulled out a vial containing a clear liquid—the tracking potion. He removed the bag from Stiles’ lap and put it by Stiles’ feet. He gestured for Stiles’ to lay the jacket between them and popped open the vial. He poured the potion onto the jacket. At first it looked as if Peter had just poured water on the clothing, but a few seconds later the liquid shimmered and then seeped into the jacket and vanished.
Stiles bit his lip, his muscles tensing in expectation. He needed the potion to work—he needed it to so bad, his insides ached. Sneaking around his dad, bantering with Peter, and making the potions had distracted him enough that he could turn down volume of endless worry and guilt about Chris’ capture that shouted in at him internally. Hell, without those distractions he’d be an utter mess. None of it would matter though, if he couldn’t get a simple tracking potion to work.
Stiles glanced up at Peter, and he could see the hunger and desperation in his eyes. He needed the potion to work just as badly as Stiles did—to know that they had not been wasting their time. No, to know that they had not been wasting Chris’ time and putting him through unneeded hours of torture.
The sleeves of the jacket wiggled.
Stiles sucked in a sharp breath.
Slowly, the collar of the jacket rose. The jacket filled out like there was a person inside. Its collar and chest swiveled as if looking about.
“Grab it,” Peter instructed.
The jacket launched at the back windshield.
Stiles yelped and threw himself at the enchanted clothing.
The jacket squirmed, fighting against Stiles. It flailed its sleeves at the back windshield.
Peter started the car and peeled out of the driveway at a dangerous speed that had Stiles accidentally biting his tongue. As soon as the car turned around, the jacket lunged for the front windshield.
“Knock it off!” Stiles swatted at the jacket’s sleeves and felt ridiculous for it. He huffed. “Is there anyway to calm this thing down?”
“I would assume the closer we get to Chris the less it will try to break away and head toward him itself.”
Peter blinked innocently at Stiles, his darker emotions hidden by a façade. “Of course, Stiles. I’ve studied magic, but regrettably I just don’t have the same spark you do, and such a potion is above my skill level.”
The jacket jerked to the right and started flailing at the passenger side.
Peter veered right too fast. The tires screeched and Stiles jolted.
Stiles’ head hit the headrest. It was just a mild bump, but his vision blurred and his muscles slacked. He felt a bone deep weariness and moaned.
The desperate failing of the jacket and his determination to save Chris was the only thing that kept Stiles from turning onto his side and sinking into unconsciousness. He strengthened his grip and hugged it to his chest once again.
Peter glanced at Stiles from the corner of his eye. “Something wrong?”
Stiles shook his head. “Just a little tired.”
Peter frowned, his gaze dropping to the bag of potions at Stiles’ feet. “We did make quite a few. You weren’t showing signs of fatigue until almost three a.m. I had assumed that it was just normal tiredness then, but perhaps I miscalculated.”
Stiles snorted in amusement. “Wow. You’ve admitted I’m better at something than you, and that you have made a mistake. I really must be tired, because I can’t be hearing you right.”
Peter reached out a hand and squeezed Stiles’ knee. “You know the plan. We can wait a few hours for you to rest to implement it.” One of Peter’s facial muscles twitched, giving away how much he disliked the idea. “Are you going to need rest to do you’re part?”
Stiles licked his dry lips and mulled over the question. Yeah, he felt tired and longed to crawl back into bed, but he wanted to save Chris more. He could name a handful of times he’d been exhausted and managed to carry on just fine, and those things had been everyday life occurrence. If he could get out of bed for a math test he could definitely do it to save Chris.
Stiles sat up straighter. “I’ll be fine.”
Peter eyed Stiles. He tightened his grip on Stiles’ knee then released it. “Define ‘fine.’”
“I’ll live.” Stiles plastered on a cheesy grin. “Your body is another definition of the word ‘fine.’”
There was a beat of silence.
“That was the worst pick up line I have ever heard,” Peter said.
Stiles rolled his eyes, but was pleased that Peter went along with the deflection. “Because everything you say is golden.”
“It is, isn’t it?”
If Peter weren’t driving, Stiles would have kicked him in the shin in reprimand, but alas, such was the circumstance. He clung to the jacket as it wiggled and stretched in his arms. He got smacked in the face a few times, and Stiles ended up sputtering each time. From the corner of his eye, Stiles saw Peter grinning at the abuse. The sight steeled Stiles’ determination to swat Peter later on when Peter wasn’t driving and Stiles wasn’t in middle of a wrestling match with an animated jacket.
The drive took them out of town and on the highway. Stiles bit his bottom lip as they passed town after town. He hadn’t considered that the Alpha Pack would take Chris out of state, but with each sign that past, his stomach churned just a little more with worry.
Almost an hour later, Peter drove into a town that looked upper class and had many gated homes. Peter tensed, and suddenly seemed to know where to go before the jacket did.
It took Stiles a few second to figure out how Peter could possibly know where he was going, when a memory of the information Danny had given Stiles came to mind. “This was one of the towns listed to have had an animal attack, isn’t it?”
“Chris and you checked this place out, didn’t you?”
“Right before we delivered the mountain ash to you.”
Stiles gnawed nervously on his knuckle. “Should we be worried?”
Peter scoffed. “We are going up against a pack of alpha werewolves that are notorious for their less than merciful ways. What do you think? Now if what you meant to ask was ‘Will they have a greater advantage by having chosen this spot,’ I would like to point out that the answer is obviously an affirmative. After all, they are choosing the battle ground, and will have had hours to familiarize themselves with its layout.”
Stiles pouted, shoving the jacket down as it slipped upward and forward. “I meant, do you think there is any significance to choosing this place instead of continuing on or choosing someplace they haven’t been? Is there a dungeon nearby, or a set of underground caves they can hide in?”
“They’re werewolves, Stiles—not wolves.”
“Whatever. The point is, I don’t think they chose this place for the scenery or the high-end housing. They want to be found.”
“If they wanted to be found then they would have removed whatever it is that is blocking my ability to smell them out.”
“Unless it is another test or something. They did say they want you in their pack.” Stiles bit his thumb. “If it came down to it, and it was the only way to save Chris, would you—”
“Never.” Peter pulled the car off onto the shoulder of the road at the bottom of a hill. “The Alpha Pack consists only of alpha werewolves.” Peter’s gaze cut to Stiles. “There are no betas, omegas, or humans.” He stopped the car.
“I know you’re going to snap at me, but couldn’t you just… I don’t know—undo the pack thing with Chris?”
The steering wheel shrieked under Peter’s white-knuckle grip. Peter struggled to stave off a sneer. “Maybe if he was just a random member, but he’s more. I also doubt, Deucalion and his minions would just let Chris walk away. If they don’t kill him because of one thing, it will most likely be another.” Peter opened the car door and slid out.
Stiles scurried to follow, grasping Chris’ jacket to his side with one arm and slinging the bag of potions over the other. He cursed. “There’s gotta be something we can do.”
“We’re doing it right now.” Peter rounded the car and popped open the trunk.
“Yeah, but if it doesn’t work—”
Peter snatched the jacket out of Stiles’ arms and threw it into the trunk. He slammed the trunk shut just as the jacket tried to launch out. There was a loud bang as the jacket and trunk collided. “It will work.” He flashed a grin. “It’s my plan.”
Stiles snorted. “My confidence in your plan has suddenly skyrocketed.”
Peter beamed and headed up the hill.
Stiles hurried behind, flailing as he tried to pick up speed. “Hey, wait. Don't you think we should bring the—”
“If Deucalion is as theatrical as I believe, I know exactly where he and his pack are. The jacket would just be a nuisance and possibly give away our position. Same with the roar of the engine. We continue on foot.”
Stiles looked up at the steep hill and groaned. “I’m going to need to double my dosage of the odor eater potion. I’m going to be so drenched in sweat, I will suffocate you with my stench.”
Peter hummed in consideration. Stiles wasn’t certain if the consideration was sincere, but he was already struggling for breath as he climbed the steep hill, and he didn’t want to question it. Apparently joining the Lacrosse team had done nothing to improve his stamina in regards to uphill grades, which was such a rip off. There had to be some way to get a refund for all the time and energy he had put into the sport and had clearly gained nothing from.
As they reached the top of the first incline where it evened out for less than a quarter mile, Stiles took a deep breath to regulate his breathing. “So, where do you think Deucalion and his cronies are hiding?”
Peter rummaged around in the bag for a potion and handed it to Stiles. “The house of the pack that used to live here.”
Stiles nodded as he accepted the potion. “Sounds dramatic enough.” He eyed the vial of purple liquid and grimaced. The odor eater potion. “Do I have to take this already?”
“Soon,” Peter promised. “There is another incline. Once the path evens out after it, you should drink that.” He smirked. “Your scent has gotten quite potent. I’d hate for the others to sniff you out.”
Stiles groaned, pocketing the potion. “I told you.”
Black dots danced across Stiles’ vision and he paused. The worlds swayed, but he remained stationary. He blinked away the dots and shook his head, only to cause more dots to appear. He scowled.
Peter stopped and frowned at Stiles. He took two steps toward Stiles, breeching Stiles’ personal space bubble. Peter swept the back of his hand across the Stiles’ forehead then cupped Stiles’ cheek. He scrutinized Stiles’ face, displeasure growing by the second. “You’re paler.”
Stiles scoffed and batted Peter’s hand away. “Considering where we live and the twisted beauty standards that—”
Peter pressed his thumb to Stiles’ lips and cupped Stiles’ cheek again, effectively and affectionately cutting Stiles off. Stiles huffed in annoyance but leaned into the touch, soaking in the comfort it gave him. His joy was short lived as he looked into Peter’s eyes and saw the calculation there.
Stiles brought his hand up to Peter’s and pried the hand away. “We need to save Chris. I’m fine.”
Peter glared, not trusting Stiles for a moment.
Stiles squeezed his hand. “Hey, I’m not even going to confront the big bad werewolves if everything goes according to plan, which it will, because it’s your plan, remember?”
Peter’s lips twitched as he fought off a cocky grin at Stiles’ words. “Feeding my ego to get what you want? How devious.”
The corner of Stiles’ mouth curved upward and he stepped toward Peter, letting his mouth ghost along Peter’s cheek. “I haven’t even begun to be devious.” He pressed a kiss to Peter’s cheek, smiling into it, then pulled away. He winked and sashayed down the road.
Peter didn’t hurry to catch up with him. Stiles glanced over his shoulder to see Peter enjoying the view Stiles displayed. Stiles internally preened as he sauntered on his way, trusting that Peter would follow. Just as predicted, Peter did, however, he took his time strolling up to Stiles’ side, and his eyes lingered behind Stiles.
They reached the leveled ground and started uphill again, much to Stiles’ displeasure. By the end of the second climb, Stiles was muttering curses under his breath that had Peter snickering.
Stiles grumbled that Peter had no right to take amusement out of Stiles’ pain as he uncorked the vial of the purple potion Peter had given him. He downed it all in one go and shuddered as its revolting taste remained on his tongue. Peter thrust another potion at Stiles. Stiles wrinkled his nose as he accepted the second vial. He recognized it as the potion to speed up the healing process. Stiles pocketed it, as Peter pulled out a duplicate potion from the bag. Peter popped the potion open and gulped it down.
Peter took a few more potions to help with strength, speed, and senses. Each time Peter swallowed a mouthful of potion without shuddering, Stiles felt mildly rankled. Of course he had to drink the one foul potion while Peter got all the normal flavored ones.
Peter passed the remaining potions to Stiles, and folded the bag into his back pocket.
The two potions were for Chris. One was a painkiller that worked within seconds—the healing potion only sped up the healing process, so Chris was still going to be in a lot of pain—and the second one was essentially an adrenaline shot. It would get Chris on his feet and moving. It wouldn’t last long, but it should be enough to get Chris out of wherever he was being kept.
Stiles put the two potions in his hoodie’s pocket.
“We’ll go up one more incline. The path will diverge, but it’s also at that point that we’ll find a trail. If you go right it will wrap around the house where the former pack resided.”
Stiles whistled appreciatively. “You must have really scouted the place out.”
Peter shrugged. “Not really. Some poor bastard clearly unfamiliar with dogs was walking an unruly mutt at the time, and my delicate ears picked up the struggle from behind the house. I’d also seen the trail as Chris and I drove up.”
“So you probably have no idea when I should turn off the trail and head for the house, do you?”
Peter was silent.
Stiles huffed and pulled out his cell phone. He thanked the gods of technology that his cell phone received service up in the hills. “This is why GPS was invented. Do you remember the address of the house?”
Peter listed it off, and Stiles typed it into his phone. As Stiles saved the information, he glanced at Peter and saw the older man frowning. “What?” Stiles asked.
“Perhaps you should take a sip of the healing potion?” Peter suggested.
Stiles shook his head and patted the pocket holding the potion. “And risk Chris keeling over because we were just short of enough potion? No way. I’ve made it this far. I think I’m good.”
Peter didn’t look happy, but he didn’t argue with Stiles either (he didn’t want Chris dying because of something so minor too). They continued towards their destination, Stiles mentally cursing the Alpha Pack with each heavy breath. They reached where the road diverted and the trail temporarily became visible to the road.
Stiles opened his mouth to say witty parting words, but Peter put a finger to his lips and silenced him. What Peter had said about hearing someone walking dog on the trail replayed in Stiles’ mind and he snapped his mouth shut. He nodded in understanding.
He bit his bottom lip, feeling like he should do more than just depart.
Peter rolled his eyes then kissed Stiles hard on the mouth. It was chaste, but was demanding and rough, forcing Stiles to move his lips to Peter’s pace or experience the edge or brush of teeth.
Stiles wasn’t sure who broke the kiss, but he wasn’t ready to let go of Peter just yet. For a few second he just stood there, his hands gripping Peter’s arms. There was an insistent pull in his stomach that demanded he shift forward and hug Peter, but he shoved it down. They’d already done the cliché parting kiss, if he hugged Peter now it would be too much. It’d almost be like he really was saying goodbye for the last time. So he squared his shoulders and forced himself to take a step back.
He took another step back and another, until he stepped onto the trail. The whole time Peter watched him go, but the moment Stiles’ foot hit the trail, Peter took off down the road, not looking back.
For a walking trail the place sure was deserted, but then again, based on the few houses he had seen on the way up, the area only had a few occupants, and most of them wanted to be left alone, if the gates were anything to go by. He wouldn’t be surprised if he found a sign somewhere along the trail telling him to get off the land if he didn’t own property on it.
Stiles glanced at his phone. He wasn’t far from the house now. He could venture off the path at any time and just head straight for the—
A howl pierced the air.
Stiles’ shoulders jumped together as he froze to the spot.
Three more howls followed.
That was the signal to head for the house.
Stiles swallowed the lump and his throat and veered off the path.
Peter could hear the three alpha’s footsteps as they maneuvered through the gated house. There was also the faint and slow thud of Chris’ heartbeat from somewhere upstairs. The air was thick with the coppery scent of blood, and Peter unsheathed his claws in anticipation and with the desire to sink them into the chests of the Alpha Pack.
He pushed open the gate, letting it bang against the brick wall connected to it.
Ennis appeared from around the back of the house just as Kali jumped out from one of the second story windows.
Peter pretended to ignore them and focused on the front door where he knew Deucalion would emerge from. The man appeared in the doorway, letting his cane announce his arrival with a loud thud. He smiled. “Aw, Peter. We were not expecting you for at least another day.” His nostrils flared as he sniffed the air. “No human boy with you today?”
Peter was quick to answer but chose his response carefully, so his heart would not give away a lie. “You think I would be foolish enough to bring a clumsy, teenager who can’t shut up for two seconds with me to kill a pack of werewolves?”
“Kill? Now, Peter, have you really not given any consideration to our offer to let you join our ranks? We only accept the finest.”
“The only thing I’ve considered in regards to your pack, is how much bleach am I going to need to wash out the bloodstains from my shirt.”
With that, Ennis lunged and all chaos broke loose.
Stiles cursed all gated communities and the rich assholes who resided in them, as he lugged himself onto the brick wall that surrounded the house. The tops of the brick dug into Stiles’ stomach as he shimmied forward and swung one leg over the other side. He pushed himself up so he was straddling the fence.
Weeds consumed the backyard, showing the lack of residents in the house—or at least residents who cared about their foliage.
Snarls and shouts and other fighting noises came from the front yard.
Stiles licked his lips and waited to see if any of the noise shifted towards him. When there was no sign that one of The Alpha Pack had noticed him, he carefully lowered himself to the ground so as to make little to no sound on his landing.
Peter must have been doing an excellent job distracting The Alpha Pack, because the sounds of the battle went on without disruption.
Stiles scurried to the glass backdoor. His fingers wrapped around the door handle and he yanked.
His heart fell when the door didn’t budge. He also cursed himself for not thinking to bring a potion that could open locks.
He examined the door and lock. He bit the inside of his cheek when he realized he could easily undo the lock with the help of a giftcard from his wallet. The only problem was, the werewolves nearby would certainly hear the shifting of the bolt. A human heartbeat nearby, or the sounds of footsteps—that was easily white noise to a werewolf and could be ignored with little effort. The distinct sound of a lock being forced open? That was entirely different.
Stiles scanned the back of the house. There were a few windows but all of them were designed to open from the inside.
Stiles internally cursed at his situation as he pulled out his wallet from his back pocket. He took out a giftcard and hovered it over the slit in the door, right where the lock was. He winced and stared at the lock.
Please be quiet. Please be quiet. Please be quiet.
He pushed the gift card through and with a bit of angling got the bolt to out of the lock. Stiles froze, anticipating one of the werewolves to seize him from behind and rip his head off, but when none came, Stiles quickly—but carefully—slid open the door and went inside.
He took one step past the threshold and faltered as his vision went black and his head swam. He clutched the doorframe and bit his tongue to keep from groaning. He waited for his dizziness to pass, before he straightened and pressed on with his rescue mission.
The house was empty, and Stiles wrinkled his nose at it. Seriously, if one is going to commandeer a house, they should at least get one with furniture.
Stiles searched all the rooms on the bottom floor, doing his best to be swift yet quiet. He shifted nervously at the bottom of the stairs as he imagined one creaking and giving away his presence. He shoved down his worries and tiptoed up the stairs, praying with each step that he would give himself away.
He searched the bathroom and one bedroom before he got to the master bedroom. The door to the master room was half ajar, and Stiles poked it open the rest of the way.
Chris dangled from the ceiling fan with his wrist bound by wires leading to a small generator. His shirt had been discard and slashes littered his chest, side, and back. There was more blood than pale skin, and Stiles had to practically shove his fist into his mouth and bit on his knuckles to keep from crying out in shock. He scrambled to the generator and flipped it off.
He hurried to the generator and switched off the electricity. He scrambled to Chris’s side, hands raised to grab him—touch him and reaffirm that he was in fact there and alive—but he stopped himself. He didn’t want to risk hurting Chris any more than he already was.
Stiles’ eyes roved over Chris’ face. The man was unconscious.
Stiles wrestled with what action he should take next. He needed to feed Chris the potions he’d brought, but he didn’t want to startle Chris awake and have him accidentally alert The Alpha Pack to Stiles’ presence.
There wasn’t much he could do about that though.
Bracing himself for what was to come, Stiles scanned the room for anything that could help him lower Chris to the ground, or at least get him high enough that he could reach the wire around Chris’ wrists. He found a nightstand tossed aside, and brought it over to Chris. Stiles used the small generator as a stepping stool to help him climb onto the nightstand. Once perched on the nightstand he found himself torn as to what to do again.
He was face to face with Chris and could see the deep cuts under one of his eyes and across his forehead. Stiles’ fingers itched to give Chris the healing potion.
He cupped his hands around Chris’ face. He massaged Chris’ cheeks with his thumbs, trying to draw Chris back to the wakeful world, but Chris remained unconscious.
Stiles hated the sight so much, his insides burned with loathing. He pulled out the healing potion and uncorked it. He tilted Chris’ head back and pressed the vial between Chris’ lips, forcing the liquid down.
Chris jerked—suddenly awake. He kicked the nightstand.
Stiles squeaked, but the sound was drowned out by Chris’ pain-filled groan of agony when Stiles instinctively and accidentally latched onto Chris to keep his balance.
As Stiles clung to Chris, he glanced at the floor and saw the splatters of potion Chris had managed to spit out. It triggered something in Stiles—something desperate and determined, and before he could think any better of it, Stiles poured what remained of the potion in his mouth and pressed his lips to Chris.
Chris still struggled, but Stiles kept his hold. He knew the exact moment Chris realized it wasn’t one of The Alpha Pack holding him and kissing, but Stiles. Chris’ body went utterly limp, but his mouth press harder against Stiles’. Stiles mimicked the action, silently trying to communicate to Chris that he needed him to open his mouth. Chris did so, and Stiles passed the potion onto Chris. Chris wrinkled his nose at the act, and Stiles smiled into the open mouth kissed.
He pulled away, and nuzzled Chris’ check, wincing when Chris flinched because Stiles had brushed against the slash in his cheek.
There were so many things Stiles wanted to say just then. He wanted to scream at Chris for taking his place and also kiss him silly between declarations of love and concern.
Instead he pulled out the painkiller potion and held it up for Chris to see before giving it to Chris.
Chris swallowed it. The corner of his mouth upturned in a barely concealed sneer, but it was enough to make Stiles’ happy. If Chris could still sneer at something so foul tasting then he wasn’t beaten just yet. Also, there may have been a tiny part of Stiles’ that was delighted he hadn’t been the only one subjected to horrible tasting potions.
He pulled out the third potion—the one that would give Chris back his energy and strength for a short time.
Chris raised one eyebrow in question.
Stiles rolled his eyes and gestured at the vial. There wasn’t exactly a good way to mime: this thing in my hand will give you energy. Oh sure, Stiles could imagine a few ways of doing so, but he could also imagine most of those ways ending with him falling on his ass.
He pressed the third vial to Chris’ lips and Chris drank it down. Stiles pocketed the empty vials and reached for the wire holding Chris up. He tugged on it and gritted his teeth as the wire scraped the underside of his nails. He wished he had brought a pair of clippers or something to cut with.
After a few more tugs and fiddling, Stiles loosened the wires hold, but didn’t break it.
He met Chris’ eyes.
Stiles released the wires.
Chris dropped to the floor, just barely catching himself from falling face first.
Stiles grinned and mentally did a victory dance. He lowered himself to his knees onto the nightstand. He maneuvered himself to step backwards onto the floor when the stark colors of the room swirled and his head became as light as a cloud. He felt more than heard himself moan as he slouched forward. Hands reached for his shoulders, but he slipped past them, and slammed head first into the floor.
His vision went black with only starbursts of light.
Someone was tugging him up—Chris. Stiles groaned, grabbing something soft—maybe Chris’ arm as he blinked up at what he thought was the ceiling.
There was a loud crash and scrambling sound coming from the stairs.
A piercing howl erupted from outside.
It was all too easy.
Peter smirked as he dodged Ennis’ dive, and blocked Deucalion’s arm. Kali came in for a kick, and with a twist, Peter kicked Ennis into Kali’s would-be blow.
Stiles’ potions were quite remarkable. His enhanced senses let him predict where his opponents were coming from just as they decided their next move. His speed let him block and dodge whenever he slipped up, and his strength…
Peter chuckled at the work he’d made of Ennis’ face. He’d be blind for days, if not weeks. Kali was also sporting a broken arm, and although Deucalion carried on much the same, Peter knew he’d heard the distinct crack of the man’s ribs breaking.
He had a few scrapes and bruises too, but Stiles’ healing potion combined with his own sped up healing was working miracles. He felt like he was fighting a troublesome pack of betas, not alphas.
There was a subtle thump from inside the house that the alpha’s either chose to ignore or were too distracted to hear.
Peter dodged a few more attacks from the trio. He snagged Kali by the hair and flung her into the brick wall. The wall crumbled on impact.
Ennis snarled and charged at Peter.
Stiles groaned and a loud thunk stopped everyone in their places.
Peter’s muscles tensed as realization dawned on The Alpha Pack, but instead of fury on their faces, all of them looked amused and victorious.
Suddenly Ennis was no longer charging at Peter, but barreling through the front door, destroying what was left of its pathetic remains.
Peter didn’t think; he lunged. He felt his muscles and claws shift, his human form transforming into his beta form. He saw Deucalion reach for him and jumped over the arm and dashed into the house.
Ennis was on the stairs.
Peter pounced and tore into Ennis’ back. Blood splattered everywhere, claws digging through flesh and vitals, stabbing and ripping everything apart until Peter knew with certainty that Ennis was dead.
Kali’s howl ripped through the house.
Peter only had a second to recover before the wild woman was on him, her only good arm aimed for his throat.
Her claws got their tips into his skin, just before he seized her hand and backhanded away her with his fist.
She retreated two steps then moved as if to lunge at him again, only to halfway through kick his feet out from under him.
She pounced on him and from there it devolved into a wrestling match—one Peter was surprised he actually had trouble with, considering Kali’s condition. The woman was fierce though, and her strength lay in her lower half and not her upper. She’s find ways to pin him with her thighs and knees.
She got her teeth into his shoulder and ripped out a chunk of flesh.
Peter roared, seized the banister, ripped it off, and slammed it into Kali’s head.
She rolled away.
Peter didn’t give her time to recover, chasing after her with strike after strike, until he cornered her and rammed the broken banister through her gut and the wall.
Kali gasped and instinctively reached for the chunk of wood impaling her.
That was Peter’s opening.
He rammed his claws through her chest and ripped out her heart, crushing it in his hands.
Utter joy and contentment warmed his insides as he admired his handiwork.
The sound cut through Peter’s victorious haze. The sound had come from outside.
Deucalion was also missing.
Stiles squeezed his eyes shut and tried to will his eyesight back to normal as the brawl on the stairs grew louder. Chris was holding him up, running a soothing hand up Stiles’ back and cradling his head.
Stiles pushed himself away from Chris, blinking as he vision remained spotty and his head continued to feel lighter than a feather.
They couldn’t take the stairs, but they had to get outside some way.
Chris’ hand wrapped around his, and Chris led Stiles out of the room. He lumbered with effort, but he showed no signs of pain. He took Stiles to one of the bedrooms and guided him towards a window.
He yanked the window open and pushed out the protective screen. The screen scrapped and slid against something as it fell. Stiles craned his head out the window and knew instantly why Chris had lead Stiles to the room. The window lead out to a side yard and just below it was an awning.
Chris gestured for Stiles to go through first, but Stiles shook his head and pointed out the window for Chris to go. He’d come here to save Chris, he was not letting Chris go last on the random chance that one of the alpha’s would grab Chris at the last second and kill him. Chris had to go first.
Chris continued to gesture for Stiles to go, but when Stiles’ remained adamant, he finally clambered out of the window, but didn’t go far. He offered a hand and helped Stiles lower himself onto the awning. They cautiously moved to the edge of the awning and sat on it.
Chris lowered himself first, falling about four feet before landing. He turned and waited for Stiles’ to mimic him.
Stiles put his hands on the ledge. He was about to shove off when from the corner of his eye he saw movement.
Stiles sucked in a sharp breath, as out of nowhere Deucalion emerged and rammed his arm right through Chris’ chest.
To be fair, I gave you guys warning on Tumblr.
...Okay, maybe the warning could have been a little better.
Stiles was immobile.
It just wasn’t possible. He’d just saved Chris. He had magic! There was no way—
Deucalion’s clawed hand wrapped around Stiles’ ankle.
“No!” Stiles shouted as he was yanked off the awning. His head and back slammed into the ground. He saw stars and gasped for breath.
He didn’t even see the blow coming, but he rolled onto his side, just in time to miss Deucalion lunging at him. The man’s claws sank into the ground right where Stiles’ neck would have been.
Stiles rammed his elbow into Deucalion’s face, throwing all of his weight into it.
He cried out in agony as he felt a chunk of bone shatter.
Deucalion seized Stiles by the collar of his shirt. His nose had flattened and his ears had lengthened and sharpened. His eyes were a burning crimson, and he pierced Stiles’ with them. He opened his mouth to reveal his fangs.
Stiles’ shuddered. Deucalion wasn’t going to kill him.
Deucalion was going to turn him.
Multiple gunshots rang out, and Deucalion jerked forward. He howled in pain and whirled.
John Stilinski stood twenty feet away and had his gun aimed for Deucalion’s head. There was only a second of shock on his face before he pulled the trigger.
Deucalion hurled Stiles away and jerked his head just out of the bullet’s path.
A shadow appeared over Deucalion, and a second later Peter landed on him. Peter launched his claws into Deucalion’s throat and ripped out his jugular. He flung the organ aside.
Deucalion hit the ground.
John aimed his gun at Peter.
Stiles threw himself in front of Peter. “Dad, no!”
John yanked his gun away from Stiles. “Stiles, what the hell—”
“I can explain later, I gotta save Chris. Don’t shoot Peter!”
At Chris’ name, Peter’s head snapped in the direction of Chris’ body. He stiffened and the crazed look in his eyes was clouded over with too many emotions to be discernable which they were.
“Peter? You mean that thing—”
Stiles ignored whatever his dad had to say. He dropped to his knees in front of Chris and rolled him over onto his back. He felt for a pulse and listened for a breath he knew wasn’t there.
The corner of his eyes prickled with tears. His chest constricted like Deucalion from beyond the grave was grappling with Stiles’ heart. Every breath stung.
He felt Peter kneel beside him—from the corner of Stiles’ eye he saw that all claws and fangs had vanished. He couldn’t focus on that though. He couldn’t pay attention to how composed Peter was trying to look, but the crinkles at the corners of his eyes and the way he fisted his hands gave away his internal struggle.
“I can fix this,” Stiles stuttered out.
He saw Peter reaching for him and jerked away. “He drank the healing potion! He just needs a little extra help.”
Footsteps came toward him, and Stiles knew soon he’d have his dad to contend with too.
Tears trailed down his face.
He smashed his lips to Chris’. He pleaded with all the power in the universe for Chris to come back. There were so many stories about magical kisses, and there were myths about breath and passing life force through those breaths. One of them had to be true. It couldn’t just all be made up crap!
It was a hand on his shoulder that made Stiles’ pull back.
Chris didn’t stir.
The hand on his shoulder tightened its hold. Stiles recognized the grip as his father’s.
“Stiles, he’s—” John started.
Stiles whirled on Peter. “You too. Maybe it’s gotta be you too.”
Peter bowed his head, and the claws that he’d withdrawn were out again, piercing his palms. His eyes kept flickering from red to blue. “It doesn’t work like that, Stiles. Something like this…it requires preparation and ritual. Preparations that would have to have been done before this.”
“You have to try! There are so many stories—”
Peter growled and whirled on Stiles. “It won’t work! That’s not how magic works! That is one myth that humans have made up entirely!”
Stiles shook his head.
His father tugged on his shoulder and tried to get him to stand. “Stiles, I have no idea what is going here, but please, listen to me. You’re in shock. We need to get you to a hospital and call in what happened to…” John couldn’t complete the sentence.
“No!” Stiles yanked his shoulder out from his dad’s hold and threw himself over Chris’ body. “No! I’m not giving up! I promised I would save him!” He rolled Chris over onto his stomach, revealing the hole where Deucalion had rammed his hand through.
Stiles pressed his palm to the wound and gritted his teeth.
He’d made that healing potion, damn it, and it was going to work.
His hands were shaking.
Stiles shoved his hands against the wound.
A shudder went through Chris’ skin, and suddenly the slashes marks were scratches and the hole in his back shrank.
John jerked back a step.
Peter leaned in closer, his eyes darting between Stiles and Chris. His eyes widened as the hole shrank more and more and the scratches vanished completely.
Stiles could smell blood—and not from Chris, or Peter who was drenched in it. He could taste it a little too.
“Stiles!” His dad’s hands were back on him. John was crouched near Stiles, just slightly in front of him.
Hope and panic warred on Peter’s face as his sight locked onto Stiles’ face.
Something thick and wet was dripping out of Stiles’ nose.
He licked his upper lip where the liquid had fallen and tasted blood.
Oh… That explained it, he thought distantly. Everything was becoming distant—numb. He knew his dad was talking at him, but he couldn’t understand what the words were, like they were ancient Greek or something equally archaic and foreign.
The hole was sealed.
Stiles closed his eyes and kept pushing at his “spark.”
Chris’ chest rose. He gasped for breath.
There was a stupid beeping sound by Stiles’ ear. He was going to destroy the cause of it the moment he could move his limbs. He groaned. He thought he’d moved his head, but realized he hadn’t.
Crap. Atonia. Was he in REM sleep again? He frickin’ hated waking up in the middle of REM sleep; it sucked so much. He did not begrudge anyone in the past for blaming it on Inucbi.
Oh god. Did Incubi actually exist?
“Stiles?” A shadow fell over Stiles.
He frowned as he tried to place the voice. Scott, right? But what the hell was Scott doing in Stiles’ room? Except, no, Scott being in Stiles’ room was okay. He was just being weird about it. By now Scott should be jumping on him or doing something to wake him up.
Scott tentatively touched Stiles’ shoulder and shook him gently.
Stiles groaned. He could feel his finger move, and took two deep breaths, forcing his chest to move. He blinked, and felt himself gain control of his muscles again.
His head lulled to the side and he opened his eyes to see Scott staring at him like he was about to cry.
Stiles plastered on a smile. “Hey, buddy, what’s up?”
“Stiles!” Scott practically jumped on Stiles. He wrapped his arms around Stiles’ neck, almost choking the life out of Stiles. He babbled on about aneurism, comas, and numerous other things that Stiles would be happy to hear about later. All he could focus on right then was that he wasn’t in his bedroom, but in a hospital room, one of his arms was in a cast, and someone had put him in one of those damn gowns that don’t close in the back.
“Bro, move your hands to my back, I’m freezing.” Stiles shuddered for emphasis.
Scott burst with laughter and did as instructed. “You scared me to death, man. I was visiting my mom when your dad and soul mate brought you in.”
Memories rammed into Stiles and he almost choked on the panic they caused. He pulled back from Scott and looked him straight in the eye. “Chris is alive?”
Scott frowned. “Of course he’s alive.” Scott grinned and his eyes twinkled with mischief. “He carried you in here like a Disney Princess.”
“You know, Disney is working very hard to strengthen and empower their princesses.”
Scott looked skyward and huffed, but the amusement still showed on his face. “Whatever. He came in with your dad and checked you in.” The frown returned to Scott’s face. “Peter was only a few minutes behind them, but he came in sopping wet, like he’d jumped into a pool or sprayed himself with a hose. What the heck were you guys doing?”
“My memory is hazy,” Stiles answered. Peter had been drenched in blood, Stiles last saw. He could only hazard a guess as to why there was no blood but Peter was wet. It was a highly accurate one, but a guess nonetheless.
Scott nodded. “The doctors said that might be the case.”
“So I should probably call a doctor and let them know—” Scott began to retreat, but Stiles’ seized his wrist.
“Not right now. I need a minute…or an hour.”
Scott gave his best bitch face, but it really was an impossible endeavor. “Dude, you need get checked. What if this is only temporary and you go back into a coma—”
Stiles sat up straighter. “Dude! I was in a coma? You don’t just drop a bombshell like that. Or if you’re going to do it, at least do it at the beginning.”
Scott pouted. “I did.”
Stiles huffed. “I’m fine, Scott. I feel great. Mostly.” He gestured to the cast hugging his arm and making it impossible to move his elbow. His soul mark peeked out from the edge of the cast and his chest constricted with worry and longing. He brushed his fingers against the mark, and wished that he could see Chris right then to reaffirm what Scott had told him.
Scott watched Stiles. He let out a frustrated breath. “You really want to see them, don't you?”
“You know they’ve been here everyday.” Scott scrunched his face in distaste. “They were both really standoffish at first.” A smile twitched on his lips. “Chris is cool though. Peter’s an asshole. I’d say I don’t know what you see in him, but I think that’s probably why you like him.”
“Are you insinuating something about me?” Stiles acted mock offended.
Scott snickered and pulled away again. “I’ll get them, but if anyone asks, when I left you were still unconscious.”
“I think I am about to have a bout of amnesia,” Stiles said.
Scott froze halfway to the door, looking serious.
“Go.” Stiles waved for Scott to leave.
Scott hurried out of the room.
Stiles sighed and sunk into his lumpy bed. He pouted and wiggled as he tried to find a more comfortable spot. Soon he just wiggled to keep himself occupied while he waited for Peter and Chris. He knew he shouldn’t be scared—Scott wouldn’t lie to him—but that didn’t stop the gnawing worry in his gut.
The door opened again, and Stiles held his breath.
Chris popped in first. His face was pinched with worry, but he had a thin smile on his face as he entered. The moment he saw Stiles though, the thin smile strengthened and the lines marring his face disappeared. He took a few more steps into the room, his hand stretched behind him and attached to another hand, one that was white knuckling Chris.
Peter trailed in behind Chris, his gaze zeroing in on Stiles in nanoseconds.
“You’re awake,” Chris greeted.
Peter took control and dragged Chris over to Stiles’ bed.
Stiles reached out with his good arm and made grabby motions. “Get your ass over here so I can make certain you are alive!”
Chris chuckled in amusement, as a small grin played on Peter’s lips. Peter sank into the bed, sitting next to Stiles’ knees. His free hand reached out and rested on Stiles’ thigh, kneading it.
Chris stood in front of Stiles’ and wrapped his arms around Stiles’ shoulders. Stiles leaned into the embrace and used his good arm to return it. He closed his eyes and buried his face into Chris’ chest. He breathed in Chris’ scent of gunpowder and musk, enjoying it probably more than society would deem he should, but damn it all if didn’t make him happy. Even the rise and fall of Chris’ chest was comforting. Stiles found himself loving each breath.
Stiles choked up and he cursed under his breath. He buried his fingers in the back of Chris’ jacket as a few tears gathered in his eyes. “I fucking hate you.”
“He’s lying,” Peter said.
“Fuck you, Peter,” Stiles shouted, burrowing his face deeper against Chris’ chest. “Just because you have super powers, doesn’t mean you get to call me out on my shit every single time.” He tilted his head back and glared at Chris. “And you! You don’t get to die on me, okay? You don’t get to be all heroic and die!”
Chris smiled softly, but his features soon hardened. He squeezed Stiles tighter. “All right, but then the same applies to you. What you did almost killed you. There will be no bringing people back to life.”
“At least not without the proper ritual,” Peter added.
Chris glared at Peter.
Peter shrugged, then smirked. “You know, it’s actually quite amusing that Stiles brought you back to life, considering your name. Christopher. Christ. Jesus.”
Chris groaned in agony at the biblical reference.
“Does that make me God?” Stiles piped up.
Chris huffed, and ruffled Stiles’ hair.
“So how many days have I been out? I hear I was in a coma.” Stiles pointedly told himself that he was not going to freak out about that—not one bit. Or if you he was, it would be at later point when no one was looking.
Peter’s hand on his thigh stilled in its kneading. Peter switched to rubbing soothing circles along Stiles’ thigh. “I believe this would have been day four.”
Stiles throat went dry. “And my dad?” He must have had questions. Hell! Stiles had questions, like what had his dad been doing at the house? Had he followed Stiles’ there or somehow tracked him?
“I’ve talked to him,” Peter said.
“That sounds ominous.”
Peter smirked. “The conversation was actually quite pleasant.” He glanced at Chris and reached out to touch Chris’ side, letting his fingers linger. “Comparatively, that is. There was a gun held to me at all times, but not once was I shot.”
“Until he tried to convince your dad that you should stay with us after you are released,” Chris interjected.
“The sheriff is busy. I, on the other hand, work from home, so I would be able to care for Stiles at all hours.”
Stiles gaped and glared at Peter. “You better not have said that to my dad. That’s low. He tries so hard, and you would consider throwing that he can’t be there all the time in his face?”
“He did say it,” Chris said.
Stiles glowered. He looked between the arm he had wrapped around Chris and Peter. “You are so lucky I’m enjoying my Chris cuddle-time or I would smack you right now.”
“I suppose I will have to thank Chris later for his thorough distraction then.” Peter’s hand drifted to Chris’ waist. His fingers slipped through the belt loop and he tugged Chris closer. He kept his hold on Chris, leering up at Chris expectantly.
It hit Stiles right then that something was off. Peter was a very physical person, but he was physical with intent. Every touch was a brief flirtation, a comforting guide, or the lead in to a kiss. Holding hands like Peter and Chris had as they entered the room wasn’t normal for Peter.
There was also the hand on Stiles’ thigh that had stopped its ministrations and was just resting there.
Realization dawned on Stiles, and he bit the tip of his tongue as he mentally chastised himself for not realizing it sooner.
Peter had almost lost both of his soul mates.
The sheer panic and desperation that had filled Stiles when he’d thought Chris was dead and been horrible. He couldn't imagine what Peter had been thinking, let alone what he’d felt as he watched Stiles almost kill himself to revive Chris in an attempt that might not have worked.
Peter frowned and cocked his head. “What?”
Stiles blinked and realized he was staring. “Well, don’t I get a kiss for surviving?”
Peter feigned an irritated growl and scooted closer. He cupped his hand around Stiles’ face and pulled him in. “Little brat,” he muttered. He pressed his lips to Stiles’ in a rough, deep kiss that had Stiles’ toes curling and his mouth smiling.
When Peter pulled away, Stiles smirked at him. “But I’m your brat.”
Peter wrapped his hand around the back of Stiles neck and pressed his forehead to Stiles. “Chris, I want a refund.”
Stiles let go of Chris long enough to swat Peter.
Chris chuckled, while Peter’s eyes sparkled with mischief.
Peter’s grip on Stiles’ neck tightened. “No, no. I suppose we’ll keep him. He is mine after all.”
“Peter, share,” Chris playfully chastised.
Peter huffed, pulling a little away from Stiles but keeping his hold on him. “Fine. He’s ours.”
“Only if you’re both mine too,” Stiles teased.
Peter looked mock affronted. “I thought that was already pretty obvious.”
Stiles wished he could have spent more time with Chris and Peter, but shortly after they’re reunion, Peter heard a nurse on her way to check on Stiles, and the two men had to leave the room before they got caught. Once the nurse found Stiles’ awake, she ran some tests and called for a doctor, who ran even more tests. It was hours later when he was declared fit for visitors.
His first “official” visitor was his dad.
There was nothing like the silent treatment and the disapproving look on his father’s face to make Stiles feel like he was seven years old again and broken the neighbor’s lawn gnome.
“I was going to tell you about werewolves,” Stiles said uncertainly.
John hit Stiles with a deadpanned stare. He grabbed the chair propped against the wall and put it next to Stiles’ bed. He plopped himself in it, never breaking eye contact with Stiles.
Stiles smiled sheepishly. “I love you?”
“You were running around with a werewolf and werewolf hunter, and trying to kill other werewolves,” John said with a straight face. “You are also Harry Potter.”
“I wish I was Harry Potter,” Stiles said.
Stiles winced. “To be fair, I only knew about the Harry Potter stuff for maybe sixteen hours before you found me.”
“And you almost got yourself killed in that amount of time.”
Stiles smiled and shrugged.
“If it wouldn’t be contradictory, I would kill you right now for almost getting yourself killed.” John smacked the back of Stiles’ head.
“Ow!” Stiles flinched. “Hey, injured person here!”
“The doctors said your head was just fine.”
“Yeah, for basic functions, not to be your punching bag!”
John pinched the bridge of his nose and took a deep breath. “Never in my wildest dreams, Stiles…” He shook his head.
Stiles’ heart fell. He felt like he had failed his dad somehow, but what could he have done differently? The werewolf and hunter secret were Peter and Chris’ to tell. Stiles really had just learned about magic too. Also, it wasn’t like Stiles could choose his soul mates. “Sorry.”
John shook his head and sighed. “Don’t. It’s not your fault, and as much as I wish you had told me sooner, I can’t blame you for keeping these things a secret. However,” John’s tone switched to authoritative mode immediately, “that does not mean it was okay for you to confront a pack of murderous werewolves on your own.”
“I had Peter.”
“You should have called the police.”
“And what would I have told them?”
“That Chris had been abducted.”
“Right, and the police, which regularly carries wolfbane bullets would have overpowered the murderous werewolves.”
John grabbed Stiles’ good hand and squeezed. “Stiles, just humor me here.”
Stiles swallowed hard and nodded.
John took a deep breath. “I know there is no way I can stop you from being involved in this weird fantasy,” John gestured at the air, “thing. Even if you didn’t have magical powers,” John made a face, “you’d still be involved because of Peter and Chris. I can’t ask you to give up your soul mates, however, I can ask you to stay safe.” He leveled his gaze with Stiles’. “Do you promise?”
Stiles sucked on his bottom lip. He knew his answer was important to his dad; he couldn’t lie. “Before I answer, can I ask one question? How did you find me?”
John smiled. “Well, when the attendance office called from your school, I used the GPS on your phone to track you.”
Stiles groaned. “Foiled by my own technology.”
“Now what about your promise?” John pressed.
Stiles took a deep breath and squeezed his dad’s hand. “I can’t promise I’ll stay out of everything, but I’ll try not get myself killed.”
Stiles smiled. “And I’ll let you know, if I’m ever in trouble.”
“Good.” John pulled Stiles’ in for a hug.
It was the best hug Stiles had with his dad in weeks. It also felt like the first time in almost a month that everything was going to be okay.
Stiles hugged his dad tighter.
All right buddies, I just want to take a moment and point out the rating. Since this fanfic started it has been "M" and (after much debate) it has now been switched to "E". Fair warning.
As always, feel free to chat with me on Tumblr.
Two weeks later and Stiles’ doctors were calling his recovery a miracle—not the coma part, but his broken bones. His arm should have been in a cast for months, but with a little help from a recreation of the healing potion he’d made for Peter and Chris, Stiles’ had quickened his recuperation. His dad had given him a knowing and disapproving look, to which Stiles pouted. His father’s stern expression cracked and with an exasperated sigh, he kept quiet about the “miracle” and supported Stiles throughout the doctor’s continuous prodding and disbelieving questions.
Once everything was finished, he had his dad drive him home and then immediately hopped in the jeep. His dad shook his head at him, but a small smile played on his lips as he entered the house and left Stiles to his own devices.
Stiles drove toward Chris and Peter’s home. His fingers tapped out a constant beat as he drove. As he came to a stop at a red light, he glanced at his formerly injured arm and grimaced. His arm was covered by his hoodie, but he knew beneath the soft material was his discolored and smelly arm. Definitely not the most attractive sight—not even sexy, but he’d been anticipating his freedom for weeks. He had plans and he wasn’t going to let a little thing like an ugly smelling arm get in his way.
The light turned green and Stiles sped off.
He reached Peter and Chris’ home in record time. He jumped out his car, flinging the door shut behind him as he ran up to the front of the house. He kept his keys out, fiddling with them so the key to Peter and Chris’ house was ready for use. He unlocked the door and sauntered into the house.
It was still too early in the afternoon for Chris to be home, but Peter should have been home.
Stiles frowned. If Peter was home though, then he would have meet Stiles’ at the door.
Stiles thought back to the driveway as he ventured deeper into the home. He hadn’t paid it much mind, but he was positive he’d seen Peter’s car there, so…
Stiles stopped in the middle of the archway into the living room.
Peter snoozed on the couch. One arm rested protectively over his diaphragm, while the other threatened to spill over the edge of the couch.
Stiles grinned wickedly and tiptoed over to the sleeping werewolf.
He had no idea what he was going to do specifically, but he was going to play a prank on Peter. Maybe draw on Peter’s face? He wondered if Peter would be more insulted by a dick or a rainbow on his forehead.
Stiles was just inches from Peter.
Peter’s blue eyes flew open, and a fang-revealing grin engulfed his face. He seized Stiles by his shirt and flung Stiles on top of him, caging him in with strong arms that would make a python envious. “I see you’re up to no good.”
Stiles wiggled against Peter and punched him in the arm. “You tricked me.”
Peter hummed happily, brushing his nose against Stiles’ neck.
Stiles huffed and slumped against Peter. “You’re such an asshole.”
“But I’m yours.” Peter pressed a kiss to Stiles’ neck.
Stiles squirmed from the ticklish sensation. “That was cuter two weeks ago.”
One of Peter’s hands trailed up Stiles’ arm, not the least bit dissuaded by its lackluster coloring or less then pleasant small. His fingers traced the soul mark on Stiles’ wrist. “I see you’ve been practicing your magic.”
Stiles huffed. “I was not going to spend two to three months wearing that cast. It itched!”
“Hm.” Peter’s fingers trailed up Stiles’ back, massaging sore muscles that Stiles’ hadn’t realized he’d had. “Poor baby.”
“Not a baby.” Stiles scoffed.
“Whatever you say, darling.” He captured Stiles’ lips in a kiss, moving fast at first, but then slowing the kiss down into something both lazy and sensual. Stiles sank into the kiss, enjoying every unrushed second of it as he explored Peter’s mouth and Peter his. After so many rushed and panicked kisses, this slow one pleased and warmed Stiles in such delicious ways, he became a puddle on top of Peter.
When the kiss broke, Stiles let his head fall on Peter’s shoulder and closed his eyes.
“Don’t tell me you’re about to fall asleep on me? We haven’t even had sex,” Peter teased.
“Shh. I’m relaxing. Wake me when Chris gets here.”
“I’m not your pillow.”
Stiles grumbled and burrowed closer to Peter.
Peter heaved a sigh, but didn’t push Stiles away.
Stiles dozed lightly. It felt like only minutes had passed when he heard the front door open. He felt Peter shift under him and sit up. Stiles blinked as he pushed himself up and onto his knees so he straddled Peter.
Chris entered the room and stopped, his eyes subtly widened in surprise. A second later the surprise vanished and he greeted Stiles warmly. “So the cast is gone.”
Stiles showed off his arm in victory and beamed.
Chris nodded in approval. “So are you staying for dinner?”
Stiles flushed and his gut twisted with indecision and embarrassment. He’d had plans, all right, but sadly in his plans he envisioned himself already in the middle of a heated make out session with Peter and Chris when he’d announce his intent. He didn’t want just put it out there and have things be awkward.
Granted, his delayed answer was already making things awkward.
Chris had frowned and was coming toward Stiles.
Peter had raised an inquiring eyebrow and was eyeing Stiles.
Stiles gulped. “Well, I wasn’t exactly planning on dinner, but I’m not opposed to it.”
Chris and Peter shared a look of suspicion.
Chris took a seat on the opposite end of the couch. “All right. So then why did you come over?”
Stiles flushed and rubbed the back of his neck. “What? I can’t just come over to spend time with my soul mates?”
“Not when it makes you reek of nervousness,” Peter answered.
Stiles glared at him. “I do not ‘reek,’ and I’m only nervous because you guys are…” Stiles bit his bottom lip and huffed. There was just no easy way to go about it. No, scratch that—there was an easy way to go about it; it just wasn’t as cool and suave as Stiles’ had envisioned. Oh well, when had any of his fantasies ever been accurate or come true?
Stiles took a deep breath, grabbed Chris by the collar of his shirt, and yanked him in for a kiss. Their teeth clashed and Stiles accidently bit his tongue, but it got the point across.
Stiles broke the kiss and looked at Chris’ lips then at Peter’s crotch, which Stiles was still straddling. He licked his lips. “I’m ready.”
Peter’s eyes lit up and suddenly his hands were on Stiles’ thighs, gearing up to pull Stiles closer.
Chris’ hand landed on Peter’s and stopped the movement. His steely, gray eyes met Stiles’, displaying utter seriousness. “You’re ready for what?” There wasn’t an ounce of wonder or curiosity in Chris’ voice, just determination to hear Stiles speak in no uncertain terms.
Stiles took a deep breath. “I’m ready for sex… with both of you,” Stiles tacked on the end bit when he realized Chris might want him to state that too. Stiles wiggled with uncertainty, and he felt Peter’s body respond to the movement. Peter’s reaction sent a thrill up Stiles’ spine and warmth pooled in Stiles’ lower regions. “I, uh just don’t know how to go about it. I mean, it’s like what I said with my dad.” Stiles winced, knowing he’d just killed the mood a little. “I want to be with both of you, but I don’t want it to be just one person gets a blow or rim job while the other two…” Stiles trailed off, flailing as he tried to find the right words. “I mean, I know hand jobs and all that stuff still count, but I don’t want there to be any doubt about how or who I…” Stiles groaned in frustration, any pleasure he had found prior, utterly eradicated by his inability to communicate.
Suddenly Peter’s weight under him shifted, and with a squawk of surprise, Stiles found himself falling backwards against Chris’ chest and into Chris’ arms. Chris’ arms wrapped around Stiles’ torso, holding Stiles’ close.
Peter’s hands settled on Stiles’ shoulders, pushing Stiles and Chris down against the armrest of the couch. He straddled Stiles as he grinned from ear to ear. “Stiles, if there is one thing you don’t have to worry about, it’s that Chris and I will always give you exactly what you want.”
Chris’ arms unwound from Stiles’ torso and slid to Stiles’ hips. Chris’ thumbs slipped under Stiles’ shirt and hoodie and massaged the sensitive skin above his waistband, just centimeters from Stiles’ ticklish zone. “He’s right.” Chris kissed the back of Stiles’ neck.
Peter’s hands drifted to the button of Stiles’ jeans. “Understood?”
Stiles moaned. He reached behind himself and grabbed Chris by the back of the neck, pressing himself farther back into the hunter so he could feel just how much Chris was enjoying the position. “Just have sex with me already!”
Peter chuckled and he cupped Stiles’ clothed dick. Stiles craned his head and groaned into Chris’ neck. His jeans were becoming rapidly too tight.The pull of the unyielding fabric and the drag of the zipper against his boxers worked in tandem with Peter’s fondling. He wanted more of the sensation and he chased it.
His hips ground into Chris’.
Chris grunted, and his interest became more prominent against Stiles’ back. They were still fully dressed and Stiles’ could feel the tip of Chris’ cock pushing against the seam along crack. Stiles’ mouth watered at the thought of just how big Chris would be once free from his clothes.
He circled his hips again and pushed down harder against Chris, loving the feel.
Chris kissed Stiles’ temple. His hands slipped under the shirt.
Stiles bit his lip to contain a giggle as Chris’ hand glided over his stomach to rub a thumb over one of Stiles’ nipples. That was new. He'd never been much for pec fondling, but there was difference between Stiles experimenting with himself and someone else touching him. Where Stiles' fingers were slender and soft, Chris' were rough with callouses that teased Stiles' sensitive skin.
A sharp sound caught in Stiles’ throat at the foreign, yet delectable sensation. He buckled and closed his eyes for a second.
His forehead bumped Peter’s. Peter smirked, his eyes lingering on Stiles’ belly, right where he was ticklish. Stiles could see the gears turning in Peter’s head, and tensed in anticipation of an attack.
Peter’s lips latched onto Stiles’. The sweet, tender kisses of the past were gone, and replaced with Peter’s mouth moving so strongly and assuredly against Stiles’, that Stiles couldn’t help but melt against Chris and let his mouth fall pliant to Peter’s ministrations.
The combination of the heady kiss and the anticipation of a tickle attack, left Stiles’ unprepared for Peter’s hands diving into Stiles’ jeans and fisting Stiles’ cock, his thumb swirling over Stiles’ slit and spreading his pre-cum.
Stiles gasped into the kiss, jerking away from his two soul mates.
Chris’ hand came up to Stiles’ head, gently guiding Stiles’ back to him so he could pepper kisses along Stiles’ shoulder, up his neck, and ending with a playful nibble of Stiles’ earlobe.
Chris’ hand that hand been toying with one Stiles’ nipples moved on to play with the other as Peter’s firm strokes aided by pre-cum took Stiles’ higher and higher, until his body shook with heat and desire.
Stiles’ grabbed Chris’ thigh for purchase and gritted his teeth. “Stop, I’m going to come.”
Peter kissed the corner of Stiles’ mouth. “So?”
Stiles’ free hand gripped the collar of Peter’s shirt. He scowled. “’So?” He repeated. “So I told you, I want to do this together. I want—”
Peter’s hand stroked from the base of Stiles’ shaft to the tip where he gave it a glorious twist that left Stiles’ choking on his words. Peter leaned in so his cheek brushed Stiles’. He hummed in thought and delight, as Chris leaned over Stiles’ shoulder and they shared a brief but deep kiss.
Stiles’ shuddered as he watched the interaction.
Peter looked at Stiles’ from the corner of his eye, amusement radiating off him. “A little extra orgasm isn’t going to end our plans early, Stiles. If you’re worried though…” He delivered a peck to Stiles’ cheek, then slid down Stiles until his head hovered over the tent in Stiles’ pants.
Stiles panted. He could practically feel the edge of his orgasm—the pressure of his brain chemicals and muscle building up for release. There was barely enough room in his head for one question: Was Peter about to give him a blow job?
Peter’s hands rested on Stiles' hips. He tilted his head up and grinned wickedly up at Chris. “You’re going to enjoy this.”
Peter’s hands slid up Stiles’ waist, pushing Stiles’ shirt and hoodie up to reveal a pale expanse of skin.
Peter lunged and scattered kisses all round Stiles’ stomach.
Stiles howled as his nerves were sent a flutter, but not in the wonderful orgasmic way he had been hoping. He twisted and writhed and lashed out at Peter. He bit his lip so as not to laugh. “You fucking asshole!”
Peter laughed, holding Stiles’ hips steady as he continued his assaulted on Stiles’ sensitive area.
Chris’ arms wrapped around Stiles, pressing Stiles’ flat against Chris’ chest and yanking Stiles’ away from Peter. Chris spread his legs, so Stiles’ fell between his, and raised his legs so they bracketed Stiles’ sides.
“Peter,” Chris growled in warning. He knocked Peter’s head away from Stiles. He ran soothing hands over Stiles’ side.
Stiles breathed deeply and slumped against Chris. His abdominal muscles were sore from his thrashing, and tears were in his eyes from fighting his instinct to laugh.
Chris cursed under his breath. He dragged Stiles’ up along his chest, so Stiles’ head rested in the crook of his neck. He grumbled something as he pressed a kiss against Stiles’ temple.
Through his blurry vision, Stiles saw Peter kneeling on the couch cushions. His hands rested on Chris’ knees and he was studying Stiles’ with a perturbed frown.
It hit Stiles’ then what the scene probably looked like from Chris and Peter’s points of view. He groaned in aggravation at himself. “I’m fine!” He huffed. He grabbed Peter’s hand and squeezed it. He kissed the underside of Chris’ jaw. “No nervous break down. I just wasn’t expecting to be tickled right then.”
Chris leaned forward so his chin rested on Stiles’ shoulder. He scrutinized Stiles as he brushed away a stray tear with his thumb.
Stiles could sense what Chris was thinking. He rolled his eyes. “Come on, like you’ve never seen someone cry when they’re being tickled.
Peter scooted forward. “He’s not lying.” Peter ducked his head down and a pressed a soft kiss to Stiles’ mouth.
Stiles smiled into it, knowing it was Peter’s way of apologizing.
Chris begrudgingly nodded his head. His beard brushed against Stiles’ cheek.
Stiles’ nuzzled into that cheek, loving the rough and coarse texture. He pushed himself off Chris’ chest and twisted himself around so he could kiss Chris. He moved his mouth languidly against Chris’ and let his hands slid under Chris’ shirt. Firm yet soft muscles met Stiles’ fingertips. Any hardness Stiles had lost due to his surprise tickle attack was regained.
A soft sound caught in Chris’ throat. He slumped against the couch’s armrest as his hands went to Stiles’ hips.
The reaction sent a thrill through Stiles, and he craved more of Chris’ responses. It felt fantastic to know that he could cause Chris to melt with just a kiss.
Hands that didn’t belong to Chris were at Stiles’ back, pushing his shirt up again.
Peter pressed a few kisses to Stiles’ back. The light touched sent shudders of delight through Stiles. Peter’s lips curved as he kissed the top of Stiles’ spine, then dragged his lips down, with just the hint a fang against Stiles’ skin.
Stiles fumbled in his kissing, and hugged Chris’ shoulders for purchase.
Peter pulled away with a soft chuckle.
One of the hands pushing Stiles’ shirt up wrapped around Stiles’ middle and guided him away from Chris. A second later, Stiles found his arms raised above his head and his shirt and hoodie yanked off. He shivered against the chilly air, before Chris reached forward and wrapped Stiles up in his arms.
Peter flung Stiles’ shirt and hoodie away. He kissed Stiles’ bare shoulder as he stood. “Don’t have too much fun while I’m away.”
An unbidden whine escaped Stiles.
Stiles tensed and threw his hand over his mouth, not that it did him any good since the sound had already come from his throat. His face heated up with embarrassment.
Peter grabbed Stiles’ head and smashed their lips together so vigorously, Stiles could barely breath. He panted as Peter broke their kiss, but kept their foreheads together.
“Lube,” Peter huffed.
It took a second for Stiles’ brain to piece together what Peter was saying. He felt even more embarrassed for from the noise he’d made earlier. “Oh. Right.”
“Can't have you in pain now, can we?” A teasing light danced in his eyes. “I also prefer not to go without, although I admit, I could probably handle it better than you.”
“Wha?” Stiles understood the first half of what Peter had said, but the second was throwing him a little. He was lucky to be able to comprehend anything Peter was saying at all though, because Chris’s hands were kneading his ass, and Chris' mouth was taking advantage of the uncovered skin of Stiles’ chest.
Peter smirked. “You’ll see.” He sashayed off, ass shaking as he went, and Stiles enjoyed every second of watching it go.
Stiles mewled and arched as Chris’ warm breath ghosted over a nipple. “Fuck!” He closed his eyes and leaned his head against Chris’. “I’m doomed, aren’t I? I almost came once already, I’m reacting to the foreplay of the foreplay like a porn star.”
“Don’t worry about it.” Chris’ mouth brushed against Stiles’ ear, tickling him once again with warm breath.
Stiles trembled with want. He groaned and pulled away, only for his groin to bump with Chris’ and send sparks dancing up his spine. His toes curled, and Stiles bit his bottom lip.
Chris bucked under him, and Stiles’ couldn’t hold back the wanton sound that passed through his lips.
He glowered at Chris and fisted the man’s shirt. “Not fair.” He bunched up the fabric and yanked, knowing that his poor angle would do little, but hoping Chris would take the hint and help him.
That special eye-twinkling smile that Chris possessed consumed his face and paused Stiles’ thoughts. Chris hooked his fingers under his shirt and lifted the article of clothing off unhurriedly.
Stiles’ eyes dropped to Chris’ well-toned stomach and traveled up to perfect pecs.
The sight was both mouth-watering and insecurity-inducing. Stiles glanced down at his stomach and covered his belly button with his hand. He didn’t have an “ugly” stomach—whatever that was, but he didn’t have the perfectly sculpted ones that Chris and Peter had. Of course, when he noticed those differences, his brain couldn’t help but supply him with a litany of other differences, like how gangly Stiles was, how uncoordinated he was, his lack of experience, and—”
Hands gripped Stiles' hips. Stiles yelped in surprise as he flipped onto his back and pinned under Chris on the couch. His heart beat wildly in his chest, and Stiles’ breathing labored as he meet Chris’ penetrating gaze. The corner of Chris mouth curled and he leaned down so only inches separated their faces. “Now, I’m sure you’re smart enough to know how attractive you are without me voicing it.”
Stiles opened his mouth to adamantly deny that he needed any sort of verbal affirmation, when Chris’ tongue plunged into his mouth and his hips rolled into Stiles’. Stiles groaned and gripped the back of Chris’ head, demanding the kiss be deepened.
Chris enthusiastically obliged.
“You know, if it weren’t for Stiles’ request, I would sit back and enjoy the show,” Peter purred. “We’ll have to endeavor to put on such performances for each other later.”
Stiles broke the kiss and craned his head toward Peter, only for his hips to stutter against Chris’ at the sight.
Peter was naked and leaning against the wall, his erection on full display, and it was huge.
Stiles’ wondered if that was a side effect of being an alpha werewolf.
Stiles licked his lips. “I think I want to try blow jobs after this.”
Chris guffawed into Stiles’ shoulder, whereas, Peter just smirked and sauntered over to the two. An unopened bottle of lube was in Peter’s fist. Peter held up the bottle and hummed thoughtfully. “I fetched this, but now that I think about it, perhaps I should have just carried you upstairs, Stiles. I never did check if you were partial to having your first time on the couch.”
Stiles threw his head back in frustration—the good kind though. “I don’t care, just get to the good stuff before I explode.”
Peter looked mock offended. “Did you hear that Chris? Apparently this,” Peter gestured at Chris and Stiles, “is not the ‘good stuff.’”
A wicked gleam that could rival Peter’s entered Chris’ eyes. Chris adjusted his pose so he sat just below Stiles’ thighs. He drew a finger down Stiles’ stomach that had Stiles’ quaking with tension and desire. His finger trailed over the button of Stiles’ jeans, down the zipper, then back up to rest on the button. “Perhaps we should kick this up a notch?”
Stiles nodded his head vigorously. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
Chris and Peter shared a look that put Stiles on edge.
Big hands grabbed Stiles’ hips as Chris leaned down and—
Stiles inhaled sharply as Chris’ teeth clamped onto the fabric of Stiles’ jeans, right where the button connected. With an expert tug, Chris popped the button free. His mouth went to the zipper. Chris held Stiles’ gaze as he dragged the zipper down with nothing but his teeth.
Stiles gawked. “That… I think that’s the sexiest thing that’s ever been done to me.”
Peter and Chris both let out amused sounds.
The hands on Stiles’ thighs yanked, and suddenly Stiles’ jeans and boxers were at his knees. Stiles groaned and arched as Chris sucked a bruise just outside of Stiles' inner thigh. Chris used the movement to help him ease the jeans and underwear off of Stiles.
Peter’s hand cupped Chris’ face, guiding Chris away from Stiles’ thigh. Stiles bit his inner cheek to keep himself from whimpering at the loss of the wonderful sensation.
Peter kissed Chris briefly. He looked at Stiles, and Stiles could see a scheme in Peter’s eyes. “It’s not exactly fair, is it, Stiles?” Peter nodded at Chris. “Both of us naked and him clothed. We should correct that mistake.”
The movements that followed were so fast and unexpected, Stiles missed the details of what happened. All he knew was that one moment Chris had been on him, and the next, Peter had flung Chris onto the ground and had Chris pinned.
Peter’s hand crept under Stiles’ knee and pulled Stiles’ a few inches off the couch. “I will require your assistance.”
It looked like Peter had everything under control, but Stiles’ was so aroused, Peter could probably tell him to go to the kitchen and make a sandwich, and Stiles wouldn’t question the mundane task. He dropped to his knees beside Peter.
Peter brought a hand up to Stiles’ face, and brushed his nose along Stiles’ jugular. He sniffed and a pleased rumble poured out of Peter.
Chris’ hands moved as if to touch Peter.
Peter let out a playful growl, seized Chris by the wrists, and pinned his arms out wide. He nuzzled the side of Chris throat, then pulled back. He grinned at Chris then at Stiles. “I’ll hold him down, while you dispose of his pants.”
Stiles’ eyes travel down Chris’ chest to his clothed crotch. In their current position, Chris and Peter’s cocks pressed up against each other.
Stiles swallowed and licked his lips. There was no way he was getting Chris’ pants off without brushing up against at least one of them.
He reached for Chris’ jeans, but stopped as he remembered the show Chris had given him. He didn’t have the skills to replicate the effortlessness that Chris had put into the action. Even if he did, he couldn’t get a good angle with Peter straddling Chris. He wanted to do something special for Chris besides take his pants off though.
Stiles’ lowered himself onto his side and scooted close to Chris. His chest pressed against Chris’ flank, and Stiles shudder at the skin on skin contact, loving every second of it. He plastered his hand to Chris’ chest. He ran his finger up and down the warm, smooth skin as he trailed kisses along Chris’ side.
Chris let out a hiss and bucked.
Peter lunged forward and swallowed Chris’ hiss with his mouth. More sounds came from Chris, but Peter devoured them all.
Stiles slid down Chris’ side. His mouth moved closer to the edge of Chris’ jeans. He wrapped a leg around one of Chris’ and humped.
A groan forced its way out from between Chris and Peter’s lips. Chris pushed against Stiles.
It was unexpected, and sent a white hot flash through Stiles. He smashed his mouth against Chris side, his teeth just pinching the skin there as he mewled and writhed.
Stiles’ hand wandered down to the clasp on Chris’ jeans, and with a few fumbles he got the button undone.
He’d only gotten the zipper away half down when Peter reached down to help Stiles.
With one of his hands free now, Chris pulled Stiles’ up so they were face to face. The carpet’s drag against Stiles’ skin was a pleasurable burn, and he clung to Chris.
Chris locked their lips together. His kiss was fevered and sloppy, and Stiles loved every moment of it.
He felt Peter pushing Chris’ jeans off, and lifted his leg long enough for Peter to remove the material. Once Peter was done, Stiles latched his leg back on Chris and rolled himself against Chris.
He cried out in protest when Peter pried him off of Chris.
Peter shushed him, nuzzling Stiles’ cheek as he kissed the corner of Stiles’ mouth. He wrapped an arm around Stiles’ shoulders, pulling Stiles against his side. He leaned their backs against the couch and held up the bottle of lube he’d brought. He wiggled it in front of Stiles’ as a mischievous expression overtook his features.
Peter popped the cap off with his thumb and held out the bottle to Chris. He propped one leg up and out and bent it at the knee, giving Chris an eyeful. “If you’d do the honors.”
Stiles brain stopped working. All he could do was stare as Chris took the bottle and generously poured a large amount onto his fingers. Chris kneeled in front of Peter. He grabbed Peter’s propped leg, and tugged on it so Peter was closer and angled better. Chris teased Peter’s crack then inserted one finger. He stopped at the knuckle for a second to gauge Peter’s response, then let the finger sink in.
Even though it was Peter being penetrated, Stiles let out a loud moan at the sight, and slumped against Peter.
Peter buried his fingers in Stiles’ hair and massaged his scalp. He hummed contentedly and turned Stiles’ head so Stiles faced him. He kissed Stiles slowly and deeply, drawing out high-pitched sounds from Stiles.
Through half closed eyes, Stiles saw Chris insert another finger.
Stiles squirmed, imagining what it must feel like for Peter.
Peter broke their kiss and laughed. He reached off to the side and grabbed the bottle of lube that Chris must have put aside after its first use. The arm around Stiles’ shoulder tugged him closer, so Peter would have an easier time lathering his fingers with lube. Once his fingers were covered, Peter kissed Stiles’ temple.
Peter’s arm dropped from around Stiles’ shoulder, and suddenly his fingers were stroking between Stiles' cheeks.
Stiles jerked and clung to Peter.
“Calm down,” Peter spoke softly, as he stroked Stiles’ again.
Stiles buried his face in Peter’s neck. Each slow touch sent his mind reeling with anticipation, brought his temperature up by degrees, and had his dick achingly hard. “Can’t. Too good.”
Peter gave him a few more strokes, before he pulled away to apply more lube. Peter didn’t return to his previous ministrations right away though. He spent time coating Stiles torso with hickies. He kneaded Stiles’ ass cheeks, and then finally slid his finger into Stiles.
Stiles choked on a breath and closed his eyes. Peter’s finger was only to the knuckle, but already the sensation of having someone else’s finger in him was so much different from the few times Stiles had experimented on himself.
Chris had finished prepping Peter, but kept pumping his fingers in.
Peter tensed and bit down a sound of pleasure when Chris hit the perfect spot.
The sight of Peter in ecstasy stole Stiles’ attention, and Peter used the distraction to slip his finger all the way in.
Stiles ground against the intrusion.
Stiles gasped as Chris’ hand went to Stiles’ balls and fondled them. Stiles wiggled in delight, stretching himself on Peter. Peter stilled him long enough to slip a second finger in.
Stiles needed more of a distraction after that or he’d never stop squirming. He fisted Peter’s hair and forced Peter to kiss him. He plunged his tongue into Peter’s mouth as he rubbed against Peter’s leg.
Peter growled into the kiss as Chris fingered his prostate. Peter’s eyes flashed red. “Keep that up Chris, and I’ll ride you until you weep for release.”
Chris smirked. “I believe that goes against the plan.” Chris prodded Peter again.
Peter’s fingers twisted inside Stiles and found Stiles’ sensitive bundle of nerves.
Stiles lurched into Peter. His fingers threatened to claw into Peter’s back and side where he clung.
Peter got a third finger inside Stiles, and once again pushed against the amazing spot that sent fireworks off in Stiles' head and had him gasping for more into Peter’s ear.
Stiles glared at Chris. “God, if he is even feeling half the stuff I am when you do the same thing, you’re a fucking asshole for teasing.”
Peter chortled, only to be interrupted by his own moan as Chris rubbed his insides again.
Peter’s dick was just as red and thick, and drenched in as much pre-cum as Stiles’.
Once again the lube was in Peter’s hand. He squirted a glob onto his palm. He nudged Stiles to raise his arm, and Stiles’ complied. Peter squirted the last of the lube on Stiles’ hand. The substance was cool on contact but warmed in seconds.
Peter pushed Stiles’ toward Chris. “Lube him up.”
Stiles looked at Chris’ dick and saw he was equally hard as diamonds an equal in Peter's size.
Stiles once again knew he was going to have get his mouth on at least one of them and see just how much of them he could take. For the moment, he scrambled closer to Chris and wrapped his hands around the man’s length. He started with slow, testing strokes.
Chris yanked Stiles’ closer, and sucked on Stiles’ clavicle. “Tighter.”
Stiles’ complied, and earned a satisfied grunt from Chris.
Stiles was caught utterly off guard when Peter’s hand reached around and dragged down Stiles’ cock, ending with a twist at the head.
Stiles practically fell onto Chris, as he momentarily lost all control of his muscles. Each stroke to his dick earned a moan more louder than the one prior. Stiles’ mimicked the actions used on him, and soon Chris was arching against him and pulling him closer.
Just a little more and Stiles’ would be finished.
Peter stopped his ministrations, and pulled Stiles’ hand off of Chris.
Stiles tried to protest, but Peter covered Stiles’ mouth with his, and pulled Stiles onto the floor.
They lay on their sides, with Peter keeping Stiles’ mouth busy.
Chris slid down behind Stiles and wrapped an arm around Stiles’ waist. His chest was pressed flush along Stiles’ back and his dick teased Stiles’ entrance. Stiles only had a moment to marvel at the sensation before Chris slid inside him, slowly and only with the tip.
Stiles groaned in delight, the sound muffled by Peter.
He knew there was more to come, and he waited for Chris to sink in deeper.
Peter threw on leg around Stiles, and the next thing Stiles knew, his dick was swallowed up by Peter’ hole.
Stiles hips jerked, smacking into something soft inside Peter.
Peter growled. He broke their kiss and gripped Stiles’ tighter. “Right there!” He slammed himself down on Stiles and let out a groan as Stiles’ cock made contact with the soft bundle in Peter.
Stiles gasped at the delicious friction and slide of Peter on him. He cried out in utter pleasure when Chris slowly sank into him.
He felt so full and so perfect.
Chris littered kisses and nips along Stiles’ back as he withdrew and dove into Stiles. Each thrust was slow and steady at first, then picked up its pace as Stiles’ body adjusted.
Stiles panted. He could feel the warm curl signaling his approaching orgasm. He squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head, not wanting things to end.
Chris hands roved over his stomach and chest, minding Stiles’ ticklish zone and playing with Stiles' nipples.
Peter was unyielding, pulling Stiles closer and closer as he plunged himself onto Stiles’ dick and attacked Stiles’ mouth.
Chris angled his hips just right, and Stiles’ vision went completely white.
Peter let out another growl, and Stiles knew he’d hit Peter’s prostrate again.
Chris hit Stiles in that delicious spot that sent explosions off in Stiles’ head. Stiles’ saw stars as he felt his dick hit Peter in the same place.
It was perfect, and with one more perfect hit from Chris and plunge from Peter had all his muscles and nerves singing out in joy as pure ecstasy rolled through Stiles’ body, warming him like a furnace and sapping him of his energy.
Peter and Chris both let out moans upon Stiles’ release, and continued their actions.
It felt good, almost too good to the point of being a little painful, but Stiles loved that extra edge of sensation.
Chris came next, unloading in Stiles, and Stiles shuddered as he was filled.
Stiles found the energy to wrap his hand around Peter’s dick and coax an orgasm out of him. Peter ground against Stiles as he rode out his orgasm.
With the three of them satisfied, they fell limp and into silence.
Clean up, Stiles brain managed to remind him, and he groaned in agony at the thought having to move when he felt so thoroughly used and good. He couldn’t possibly lift his limbs.
Peter dislodged himself from Stiles, and Stiles frowned as the cool air touched his spent dick.
Peter picked himself off the floor and left the room. Distantly, Stiles heard the sounds of cupboards being open and water being run.
Chris pulled out of Stiles, but kept his arms wrapped around Stiles.
Stiles rolled over in Chris’ embrace, and snuggled into his chest.
“Good?” Chris kissed the top of Stiles’ head.
Stiles grinned. “Awesome.”
Chris chuckled and delivered another kiss.
Peter sauntered into the room with a stack of soaked washcloths. He beamed. “Well, if you two have already recovered, I say we forget the clean up for now, and move on to round two.”
Chris yanked one of the cushions off the couch and hurled it at Peter. “Give the humans some recovery time!”
Peter chuckled and kneeled behind Stiles. He pressed a warm towel to Stiles’ backside. “I have a feeling it won’t take you two too long.” Peter leaned down and kissed Stiles’ shoulder.
Peter was right; it didn’t take Chris or Stiles long to recover at all.
“We only got a few more weeks, before the house is up for rent, we have to decide now and buddy up with the landlord if we don’t want to get bought out by a bunch of douche bag seniors.” Stiles tapped the screen of his phone, looking at the floor plan of the house he’d been eyeing since he’d decided on what college he’d attend in the fall with Scott and Kira.
“Dude, it’s graduation! Stop talking about the house!” Scott shouted over the boisterous crowd of parents and Beacon Hill High School graduates.
Stiles blinked as he looked up from his phone. His eyes skimmed the crowd for anyone important. His father was headed towards him, but he still had at last thirty seconds before he’d be forced to participate in group photos.
Stiles yanked off his cap and stuffed it under his armpit. He scrolled through pictures of the house on his phone and showed them to Scott. “C’mon man, look at this! It’s beautiful. Now imagine living in it. You and Kira would have your own room together. You could have all the sexy times you want, and you won’t have to worry about pesky roommates.”
“No, just a pesky housemate, and his two soul mates when they visit.”
“Speaking of which, since I have two soul mates, I think I should get he bigger room since I’ll need a bigger bed for when they visit.”
“That’s my boy,” John Stilinski said as he enveloped Stiles’ in a hug, either not hearing the conversation Stiles was in the middle of, or not caring. “I’m so proud of you.”
Mrs. McCall appeared a second later with a camera. John and Mrs. McCall got about ten pictures in before Kira and her parents showed up. Stiles lost track of how many photos were taken after that—all he knew by the end of it was: if he ever saw another flash again, it would be too soon.
The parents discussed dinner plans while Stiles showed Kira the pictures of the house for rent and Scott groaned. Scott’s tune suddenly changed though when Kira mentioned she loved the view from the backyard bay window.
It was as Stiles was discussing his payment plan for the rent that he looked up and saw Chris and Peter off to the side. Chris smiled with pride while Peter kept looking around like there was a pesky bug buzzing around his head (probably the cacophony of sounds were wreaking havoc with his senses).
Chris grabbed Peter’s wrist and tugged him toward Stiles, breaking Peter out of whatever mental state he was in. As soon as his gaze was on Stiles’, Peter cocky attitude was on full on display.
Stiles’ passed Scott his phone. “Here, check it out. I’m going.”
Scott opened his mouth to ask “where” when he spotted Chris and Peter. He snapped his mouth shut and shook his head. He sent a weak glare Peter’s way.
Stiles grinned and wondered how Scott would react if he knew Peter was a werewolf. Peter, Chris, and Stiles had discussed letting Scott in on the secret, but had agreed to keep Scott in the dark until Scott either learned to like Peter or some catastrophic event forced them to tell him.
Stiles was betting on the latter.
Stiles met Peter and Chris halfway across the field.
Chris wrapped Stiles up in a hug tight enough to rival a bear’s. “We’re both proud of you,” he said as he pulled away.
Peter nodded. His hand slipped behind Stiles’ back, resting on Stiles’ cradle. “Yes, we are. You are now one step closer to surpassing Chris in education.”
Chris glared at Peter. “Why haven’t I shot you yet?”
Peter leered knowingly at Chris. “I believe you know why, Chris. You absolutely adore me.”
“I think you need to go back to school, Peter, because ‘adore’ …’I don’t think it means what you think it means.’”
Stiles burst out laughing, his hand reaching out for Chris’ as he leaned into Peter’s side.
“Do you see what you’ve done to Stiles? He’s in hysterics,” Peter exclaimed.
“I think it was your poor understanding of your vocabulary that did that to him,” Chris rebuked.
Stiles continued to laugh as Chris and Peter bantered and bickered, both enjoying themselves immensely. Stiles pulled Chris closer so he could wrap his arm around Chris’ waist.
He had Chris on one side and Peter on the other. They drove him crazy and were flawed to the point of absolute ridiculousness.
And he loved them both and wouldn’t trade them for anyone or anything.
Wow. This is it buddies. It's the end. Four months, and I want thank all of you for showing your support and appreciation. While not without faults, this piece has definitely been a fun one to write, and I hope all of you have enjoyed reading it too (flaws and all).
Until (hopefully) next time, good luck.