- Character Bashing
- Discussion - Other Trigger Topics
- Discussion - Rape
- Discussion - Torture
- Dubious Consent
- Explicit Sex
- No Beta
As much as Peter hated the comparison, he was indeed pacing like a caged animal inside the mountain ash-lined room. The combination of the ash, the pervasive scent of wolfsbane and gun oil, and the forced separation from his mate had him teetering on the brink enough for control over his eyes and claws to slip.
It didn’t matter that he’d been the one to suggest the basement – it had reinforced walls that he wouldn’t be able to break through easily if he lost total control – he was never going to be comfortable in a space without large windows and multiple escape routes. He’d been claustrophobic after the fire and so many years trapped in his own mind, but it was much worse after the most recent torture at hunters’ hands. He supposed he should be grateful Chris had an area where he could confine him that had an adjoining bathroom. He purposely didn’t think of the blood and other substances the hunters had probably had to wash off in that very room after their hunts.
Peter stopped suddenly when he heard the door to the basement open and footsteps start down the stairs. A glance at the small alarm clock next to the camp bed he’d been sleeping on told him that it was late afternoon – far too soon for Chris to be returning if Stiles (and his father) hadn’t refused the mate bond entirely.
As Chris came closer, Peter could scent both Stiles and Noah Stilinski. His wolf howled mournfully in the back of his mind. Just as Peter was hoping the hunter would be as merciful as he’d promised and make Peter’s death swift, he realized he could smell his own scent from the other side of the ash line too.
What the hell?
Curiosity propelled him to the door of the room and the very edge of the invisible wall keeping him trapped.
“So is it to be a bullet to the head, or did the Sheriff demand something more creative to repay me for thinking I could put my hands on his innocent boy?”
Chris snorted and rolled his eyes, tossing Stiles’ backpack through the door. “You’re such a drama queen.”
Peter automatically caught the bag and realized that was where his and Stiles’ scents were coming from. He pulled back the zipper and was perplexed to see his own clothing inside.
“Sorry it took so long. I had a long conversation with both Stilinskis, and then Stiles insisted on getting you clean clothes despite my telling him that you’d brought your own.”
Peter’s head snapped up, and he stared at the man in shock.
“Your mate,” Chris emphasized, “said to tell you that you’re going to smell enough like stress and mountain ash that he wants you to take a shower, shave, put on those clothes, and then come to him at your place.” Chris nodded toward the bag. “Apparently, if you didn’t want him in your home, you shouldn’t have made it so easy to figure out where it was… or so he said.”
Peter could hardly hear Chris over the wolf’s triumphant yips and howls.
“Also, Stiles said, and I quote, ‘I’m not a turtle; I’m batman, thank you very much!’ Frankly, I think your mate is more wolf than most of that rag-tag Pack, but I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that.”
Peter laughed at that statement and at Stiles’ demand that he shave. Stiles knew werewolves well enough to understand Peter was probably going to end up rubbing his face all over Stiles’ body to scent mark him. He must not want the beard-burn.
“Stiles’ father knows? You’re sure?”
“He’s not thrilled, as you might imagine, and you’d better be prepared to ‘put a ring on it’ to make everything legal in the human world too, but yes. He knows and isn’t going to stand between you.”
Peter could hardly believe it, even though his senses told him Chris was telling the truth.
“Once you told me you weren’t going to talk to Stiles without his father being present, I honestly expected Sheriff Stilinski to ask you for the wolfsbane bullets.”
Chris bared his teeth in a distinctly wolf-like grin, the corners of his eyes crinkling.
“Oh, he did. If I were you, I’d do everything I could to keep Stiles happy, or I’m certain his father won’t hesitate to use them on you.”
Fair enough. If the elder Stilinski was anything like the son, any pain Peter caused Stiles would be revisited upon him threefold. The wolf in Peter approved of that level of protectiveness.
“Do you want me to break the ash line now or after you’re showered and dressed?”
Peter considered it for a moment. He wanted the line broken sooner rather than later, but he knew himself well enough to know that he wouldn’t be able to hold back the wolf part of him long enough to do what Stiles had requested.
“Give me ten minutes.”
Chris nodded sharply. “I can do that. Be sure to come up for air long enough to let Stiles call Noah in the morning. He’s going to worry until he hears from him.”
Peter heard the warning behind the instruction and agreed before waving off Chris and heading toward the bathroom.
The door to the apartment was locked, which Peter had expected. After all, if Stiles could get past the doorman downstairs and the dual deadbolt and electronic code locks, then someone else could as well. Peter was glad his mate was being cautious.
Dropping his bags inside the door, Peter made sure it latched and the electronic lock reengaged, then breathed in through his mouth, savoring the scent of his mate in his territory. He tracked Stiles through the living room, past the library-slash-office and the two spare bedrooms, and into the master bedroom. Unless he was mistaken, Stiles had actually run his hands along the walls, leaving a scent trail behind. It pleased the wolf to no end that their mate was literally guiding them to him.
The young man was sitting tailor-style in the middle of the bed, leaning back against the mountain of pillows as he either played a game or texted on his phone. Best of all, Stiles had bathed using Peter’s bath products and, from what Peter could see, he was nude under Peter’s deep green bath robe.
“Stiles,” Peter purred, wolf and man more in harmony now that they were here and about to claim their mate.
Stiles’ head jerked up. He flailed, sending his phone flying, and only Peter’s speed and agility allowed him to catch it before it smashed against the bedside lamp. Then it fell to the floor anyway because Peter was catching Stiles as he launched himself off the bed and into Peter’s arms.
“Careful, darling. I can still smell your pain.”
“Peter!” Stiles ignored Peter’s cautioning and clenched his fingers in Peter’s shirt, practically climbing him in an attempt to get closer. “Why didn’t you tell me, you moron?”
Peter rumbled lowly and buried his face in his mate’s neck, rubbing his cheek against the soft skin and scent marking him while breathing in Stiles’ own scent. Though not a wolf, Stiles had picked up enough of Peter’s behavior that he was automatically doing the same to him. Just as Chris had said, Stiles was more wolf than the majority of the actual werewolves in Beacon Hills.
“Couldn’t,” Peter growl-purred. “Had to give you the choice.”
“You’re such an idiot,” Stiles pouted. “Though at least my dad knows and…. Well, he doesn’t exactly approve, but he isn’t mad at either of us.”
“You realize your Alpha is hardly going to feel the same way.”
Peter didn’t want Stiles to change his mind, but he had to make sure the young man had considered the consequences of mating with him. He could only hope that Chris Argent had kept his word and hadn’t told Stiles of the consequences to Peter if he declined. He didn’t want a mate who would grow to resent him for guilting him into a relationship he didn’t truly want.
Stiles made a rude noise. “He’ll live with it, or I’ll find some hunter willing to lock him in a torture chamber for a couple of weeks. It shouldn’t take much: I think Chris is the only half-decent one on the planet.”
Peter found himself chuckling bitterly as he toed off his shoes and coaxed Stiles back on the bed. The wolf rumbled in the back of his mind, pleased at getting their mate not just in their den but in their bed and smelling willing if a little nervous.
He drew back and kissed Stiles’ forehead.
“Honestly, darling, no matter how much I love it when you’re ruthless, I don’t think you could leave your friend to go through what we did.”
Stiles shuddered and cuddled into Peter again, rubbing his cheek against Peter’s chest.
“No, probably not.”
Peter ran his hands over Stiles’ back and side down to cup his ass through the thick robe.
“You’re sure about this?”
Stiles huffed and raised his head to glare indignantly. “Yes. Don’t be more of an idiot than you already have been.” He dropped his gaze to the hollow Peter’s throat as he blushed. “I’m – uh – I’m ready. You know. Physically.”
Peter raised one eyebrow and tilted his mate’s chin up.
“What do you mean?”
Stiles blushed harder, his cheeks and forehead going pink, and his scent taking on a sharp, metallic undertone.
“You know,” he mumbled. “Chris said he wasn’t sure if your wolfy side would have the patience to, uh, prep me, so….”
Peter growled. The mental image of Stiles with his fingers in his ass, working himself open to prepare to take Peter’s cock was utterly delicious. He nuzzled Stiles’ cheek and hummed.
“As appealing as the thought of you with your fingers inside yourself is – and it is very appealing, believe me – never fear that I will hurt you.”
“I have the internet. I know it’ll burn the first time even if you’re able to control the wolf enough to go slow.”
Peter wanted to claw Chris’ face off for worrying his mate, though he supposed he was a little at fault for telling the hunter that he wouldn’t be able to control himself if Stiles rejected him. However, being rejected and being accepted but needing to go slow with an inexperienced mate were entirely different things. Even when he’d been mad with rage and grief, neither man nor wolf had been able to bear the thought of harming Stiles.
“As long as you don’t reject me entirely, I can go as slow as you need,” Peter assured, brushing his thumb over Stiles’ hot cheek. “It might hurt a little, but I will never hurt you. Do you understand?”
If Peter had his way, it wouldn’t hurt at all. What good was the ability to drain pain if he couldn’t ensure his mate had a perfect first time?
Stiles licked his lips and considered that. “Yeah, I think so,” he finally said.
“You want this; you want to mate with me?” At Stiles’ frown, Peter said, “I have to know. I have to be sure you’re not going into a life with me willingly but expecting to regret it at some point in the future.”
“Oh. No. I mean yes. But no.” Stiles snapped his mouth shut in frustration, then tried again, his brown eyes earnest. “I’m sure I want to mate with you, Peter. Do you… do you want me? I mean, you-you, not just your wolf-you?”
Reassured by the steady beat of Stiles’ heart as much as his words, Peter found himself relaxing. He cradled Stiles’ face in his hands and smiled.
“I offered you a mating bite once before. Do you remember?”
Stiles blinked in surprise. “In the parking garage? I thought you just wanted to turn me.”
“I wanted both,” Peter admitted, tracing Stiles’ eyebrow with gentle fingers. “Even in my insanity, my I recognized something special in you. I wanted you, and my wolf wanted you from the moment you challenged me over Lydia. I admit that I hoped to wait until you were a bit older so I didn’t have your father ordering wolfsbane bullets from Chris Argent, but I always wanted you, Stiles.”
Peter eased his knee between Stiles’ legs and let him feel his arousal against his thigh, proving the truth of his words that way, since Stiles couldn’t hear his heartbeat to know he wasn’t lying.
Stiles’ breath caught. He lowered his lashes like he was embarrassed, but he was smiling and smelled pleased, sweet citrus replacing the earlier sharpness in his scent pile.
Peter smoothed his hand down Stiles’ back and nuzzled his cheek again.
“Come now, darling. Did you really think I’d let your brilliant mind, wolf-like loyalty, and exquisite viciousness be wasted on someone else? And that’s before I even get started on how gorgeous you’ve become. I’ve been plotting to make you mine all along.”
Stiles snickered, the tension finally leaving his muscles. “I should have guessed you’d have an ulterior motive.”
“Yes, you really should have,” Peter teased lightly.
He was delighted to feel Stiles sliding tentative fingers beneath his t-shirt. It wasn’t exactly a bold declaration, but it was an unprompted first move nonetheless.
Peter touched two fingers under Stiles’ chin and tilted his head up once more.
“May I kiss you?”
Stiles licked his lips again, glancing from Peter’s eyes to his lips and back. He nodded.
Peter was glad he wasn’t standing because the first taste of his mate surely would have sent him to his knees. Stiles tasted sweet from whatever candy and soda he’d been drinking, but under that was something that was indescribable but utterly Stiles. His lips were soft and clinging, and he parted them to allow Peter’s to dip between, eagerly tasting Peter’s tongue with his own.
The sweetness of Stiles’ scent deepened and turned musky with arousal. Peter reveled in finally being allowed to taste Stiles and learn exactly what made him gasp, what made him clench his fingers in Peter’s shirt and strain against him as he fought to get closer. Stiles was a little awkward at first, but as with all things, he was an apt pupil.
Peter wasn’t totally surprised when Stiles rolled them so he could sit astride Peter’s hips and take charge, if only for a little while. Peter would have reacted poorly to anyone else on top of him after what he’d endured, but all his instincts said Stiles was safe: he would protect Peter and his wolf just as they would protect him.
That pleased Peter too, since he and his wolf saw no benefit in having a weak mate. Man and wolf both wanted an equal who would challenge and push them to be better, to be more than they were now.
“Can we get rid of this?” Stiles panted, pulling at Peter’s t-shirt.
Peter smirked and flicked out his claws. Less than a second later, the shirt lay shredded on the floor.
Stiles’ jaw dropped, and his pupils dilated. “Fuck, that’s hot. Why is that so hot?”
Peter didn’t get a chance to answer before his mouth was otherwise occupied with kissing his mate… not that he minded. His wolf preened at the back of his mind, pleased that Stiles wanted them both, not just the human form.
Peter gently kissed Stiles’ bruises, drained the pain from his aching ribs, and soothed muscles and still-aching joints.
After that, it was easy. It was easy to rid them of the rest of their clothing and flip Stiles to his back, settling between welcoming thighs. It was easy to touch him, learning his body and cataloguing every response in a way he hadn’t allowed himself to think about before. Peter had thought Stiles might be shy or reluctant, but he should have known better. His mate was utterly perfect, eager and unrestrained in his responses. He moaned when Peter sucked a bruise at the join of neck and shoulder; he squirmed when Peter nipped at his nipples, and he whined at the first touch to his cock.
“Lie still,” he ordered between kisses as he began stroking Stiles’ cock in a quick, firm rhythm, the copious precome providing adequate lube for the moment. “I don’t want you to hurt your ribs more than they already are.”
Stiles half laughed, half groaned and shoved his dick into Peter’s hand. “My ribs are the last thing on my mind right now, believe me.”
Peter huffed a laugh against Stiles’ neck, delighted by his enthusiasm though not by his disregard for his injuries. He might have chastised him, but he could tell Stiles was too excited to last long anyway.
Peter propped himself up on one arm so he could watch Stiles’ face as he came. Despite being used to Stiles’ normally expressive features, he was enthralled by his flushed cheeks and parted lips. Stiles’ eyes went distant as he focused on the rising pleasure within him, and he panted harshly. His lashes fluttered closed as he neared the precipice, but Peter wanted to see his eyes, wanted to see into his soul at the moment of orgasm.
“Stiles!” he growled.
Stiles’ eyes shot open and locked on Peter.
“Look at me, that’s it.”
Peter could feel his teeth elongate and own eyes flash as the wolf part of himself came forward. Rather than being put off, Stiles made a high keening noise, shuddered and came.
“Oh, you like that do you?” Peter purred as he stroked Stiles through the aftershocks. “You like seeing my wolf?”
“Duh,” Stiles dragged Peter down for a kiss, body languid. “Who wouldn’t?”
Stiles rolled his eyes. “Dumbasses.”
Peter merely hummed his agreement.
It didn’t take long before Stiles was recovered and was ready for more. When Peter reached to open the bedside table drawer, Stiles slid one hand beneath the pillows and presented Peter with a tube of lube.
“I like this kind better than the one you have.”
Peter smirked and took the small tube. “Already checked, had you?”
“Of course,” Stiles gave him a mischievous look from beneath his lashes. “Besides wanting to make sure we had the kind I wanted, I finally got to give in to my curiosity about your apartment. I’ve known where you live for months now, Peter, but I couldn’t let myself in because I knew you’d know that I’d been here. Do you have any idea of the kind of restraint I’ve shown? You better believe that after I showered, I put my scent on everything I could. I’ve even been in your ridiculously huge closet. I rubbed myself on all your fancy clothes in there. I even wore your favorite blue sweater around for a while just to make sure it smells like me.”
Peter sucked in a breath and felt his grip on his wolf grow shaky again. His eyes flashed, and he had to drop the tube of lube before he punctured it with his claws. He growled and pinned Stiles to the bed, taking his mouth in a hungry kiss.
“I take it you don’t mind?” Stiles smirked smugly once Peter backed off to let him breathe.
Peter grinned, a bit of the glee his wolf felt shining through. “Darling, you are a magnificent wolf, even if you are still human.”
Stiles laughed, his eyes sparkling with happiness, and his scent going spicy like those Red Hot candies he loved.
“I might be human, but I’m your mate. I know you and your wolf.”
“Yes, mine,” Peter growled.
He had thought that he’d be lucky if Stiles agreed to be his mate at all. Even if he did, Peter had thought their first time together would be serious and full of anxiety if not outright reluctance. He hadn’t dared dream that Stiles could be as joyful, as enthusiastic as he was, but it seemed he’d underestimated his mate yet again.
Peter demonstrated his own happiness by worshipping Styles’ body and pushing him higher with every touch until Stiles was urging Peter to hurry up, to get inside him now.
“Are you sure you’re ready?” he asked, carefully twisting the three fingers he had inside Stiles’ tight channel.
“Ohmygodyes!” Stiles wailed as Peter teased his prostate yet again. “Don’t make me go home and get my vibrator. So help me, I’ll do it if you don’t hurry up!”
Peter snorted. Wasn’t that a lovely thought? Of course Stiles would have experimented with toys: the young man’s curiosity knew no bounds. No wonder it was easier to get him relaxed and ready than Peter had anticipated. They were going to have so much fun later on, but for now, Peter simply eased his fingers out and carefully positioned himself between Stiles’ thighs, the head of his cock brushing against Stiles’ opening.
“You want it like this, on your back?”
Stiles nodded frantically and clutched at Peter’s shoulder and hip, arching his back, trying to pull him closer with his legs.
“Yeah, wanna see you. Get inside me now, Peter. Now!”
Peter held his breath as he pressed inside his mate for the first time and watched his face avidly. Stiles looked dazed, his parted lips red as he panted and focused on what he was feeling.
“Oh!” he breathed when Peter bottomed out.
“Alright?” Peter gritted. He didn’t think there had been any pain, but he had to be certain.
“Fuck, this is so much better than plastic,” Stiles declared, shifting his legs on either side of Peter’s hips. “Move now. Fuck me.”
“As you wish, darling.”
Peter withdrew and carefully slid back inside.
“I’m not delicate.”
“No, but your ribs are. Just let me take care of you this time. When your ribs are healed, we can be as wild as you want.”
Stiles opened his mouth to protest, but Peter found his prostate again, and he ended up making a soft, whining noise instead.
“Hnnnn. That’s so good,” Stiles moaned as Peter repeated the move. “Do that again. If you get it right enough, I think I could come just from that. I—”
Peter cut him off by kissing him even as he started rolling his hips, driving his cock into Stiles’ slick heat. There was only so much he could take hearing before he lost control and came, and he wanted to make sure Stiles came again first.
Stiles was so tight around him, was so vocal in his pleasure that it was all Peter could do to hang on to his control. As it was, he didn’t realize he’d been chanting mine, mine, mine until Stiles countered with, “Yes yours. You’re mine too. My mate. My wolf.”
Peter’s control slipped again, and the wolf came to the fore, changing his eyes and sharpening his teeth to fangs. His claws sliced through the mattress as he growled.
Stiles’ eyes went wide. He gasped, tensed around Peter, then curled forward and bit into Peter’s shoulder as he came all over himself without a single touch to his cock.
The minor pain from the bite and the intense pleasure from the tight muscles clenching around his cock sent Peter over the edge. He snarled and snapped his hips against Stiles’ ass, forcing his cock as deep as he could as he came.
Eventually, he was able to force himself to separate from Stiles enough to drop onto the bed beside him.
Eyes closed, Stiles hummed contentedly. “So. No knot, huh?”
Peter raised his head from the pillow enough to stare incredulously. “What the hell have you been reading? I know that wasn’t in any books I gave you.”
Stiles rolled on his side and gave him a wide grin. “The internet is a wild, crazy place.”
“Well, stay away from that kind of madness, please.” Peter paused. “Though there is a sort of imperative to stay inside our partner longer than most humans are comfortable with. I assume that comes from the wolf.”
“Yeah, I noticed.” Stiles snickered and stretched his arms above his head before carefully shifting his legs to check for strained or sore muscles. “I think I like it, though, so don’t stop on my account.”
His gaze shifted to the drying blood on Peter’s shoulder.
“Uh, sorry about that.”
Peter smirked. “I’m not.”
He twisted his head until he could bring his shoulder up to see the spot Stiles had bitten him. It looked odd, so he licked his thumb and rubbed at it. Much to his shock, there was a perfect bite pattern scarred into his skin.
“I think it scarred.”
“Wait, what? Let me see.”
Stiles pushed Peter’s hand away.
He got a perplexed look and stammered, “I—uh—I gotta—I mean, I want to….”
Stiles shot Peter an apologetic look, then leaned over and licked the blood away from the scar, much like Peter had done after he’d given Stiles the mating bite weeks before.
“It scarred. How is that possible?” he murmured while tracing the outline with one finger.
“I suppose it has something to do with the magic inherent to being a werewolf,” Peter told him. He was pleased he would wear his mate’s bite, but his wolf was delighted. “We scar when we give each other mating bites, so it makes sense, actually. Besides, you’re a Spark, a beign with your own magic.”
Stiles held up his wrist with the mating bite with a frown. “Did I do it wrong, though? I thought it had to be here.”
Peter seized Stiles’ hand and pressed a kiss to his wrist.
“No, not at all. Mating bites used to be given in private and not in a specific location. It was only when our mating traditions blended with human wedding customs that the bites were standardized to the wrist. No werewolf would want his beloved to bare a private bit of skin in front of a big group of people, after all.”
“Huh.” Stiles sat up and pressed Peter back to the bed so he could lean over him and get a better look. As he traced one finger around the scar again, he cocked his head and closed his eyes. “I think I feel something. It’s in my head, but not really. I can’t explain….”
Peter watched, fascinated. He almost jumped when he felt Stiles nudge their mating bond.
“You can feel the bond now?” he asked in surprise.
“Is that what that is?”
Peter’s lips curled in a gentle smile. “Yes, that’s our bond. I’ll always be able to sense you, and, it appears, vice versa.”
Stiles beamed. “Cool.”
If Peter’s wolf had been delighted before, now he was utterly elated. He was yipping and prancing at the back of Peter’s mind.
Stiles licked his lips, his gaze trailing down Peter’s body. The musky scent of arousal intensified once more.
“So how much time do you need before you’re ready to go again? Do you think I could ride your dick this time? A lot of my favorite porn has the guy bottoming from the top, and I’ve been dying to try it. Those dildos with the suction cups at the bottom don’t work as well as you might think. In fact, the one I—!”
Stiles squawked when Peter surged up and pinned him down on the bed once more.
“Darling,” he growled, letting his eyes shift beta-blue just so he could hear Stiles’ breath catch again, “It’s not my refractory period we need to worry about. I think you’ll be lucky if you can walk by the time I’m through with you.”
Stiles didn’t back down. Instead, he laughed and raised one eyebrow. “Oh yeah? I dunno; you’re kinda old. I think you better prove it.”
Stiles looked over at his mate and grinned wickedly. “Ready for this, oh wolf-of-mine?”
“Always,” Peter purred back.
“Not in front of the old people, please,” Noah protested from behind them as they stepped into the elevator and pushed the button for Derek’s loft.
It was the first Pack meeting they would be attending after mating and then a quick trip to Vegas to get married, and Stiles was half dreading, half excited to have it all over with. The weight of the platinum-and-diamond ring on his finger was a comfort either way.
“It could be worse, believe me,” Chris muttered bitterly, crossing his arms over his chest.
“True,” Noah agreed, discretely bumping his shoulder against Chris’.
Stiles wasn’t sure if the Pack bond the two men had established with him and Peter could account for all the casual touching they had started doing recently, but he was smart enough not to ask. There were just some things a guy didn’t need to know about his dad and the only sane hunter in existence.
Scott and Allison were officially back together, though they’d added Isaac to the relationship. Stiles had no idea how that worked and was happy to remain ignorant after all the oversharing Scott had done when he’d first gotten together with Allison. Stiles knew Chris wasn’t so lucky, since neither werewolf was particularly good at using his senses to make sure they weren’t going to get walked in on while in the middle of sexy times.
Peter laced his fingers with Stiles’. “Kindly stop talking about things likely to make me vomit. I just had these shoes polished.”
Stiles snorted, and he knew Peter could feel his amusement. Their bond had only strengthened over the last weeks, and they both suspected they’d eventually be able to send brief thoughts or images along it.
The doors opened, and Stiles found himself automatically scanning the room for threats. The loft was still pretty spartan, though someone must have brought in some furniture from somewhere. Scott, Allison, and Isaac were more than cozy on a sofa, while Jackson and Lydia were on a love seat. Deaton stood in an empty space between the sofa and loveseat, his arms crossed over his chest and an inscrutable look on his face. There was a big, La-Z-Boy chair, which Derek was in with Cora sitting on one of its wide arms. The blond murder twins were hovering and trying to look like they were a part of the Pack.
Stiles pressed his lips together. The twins were yet another instance of Scott’s idiotic policy of always forgiving the psychos. He had no doubt the twins would eventually be a part of the True Alpha’s Pack despite the fact that they had admitted to killing Erica, had helped kill Boyd, and had attempted to kill the rest of them at one time or another.
“Stiles!” Scott exclaimed, bouncing up to greet him with a big grin… only to stop short and scowl when he noticed Peter. “Peter. What are you doing here?”
“Hello to you too, Scott,” the Sheriff said wryly, stepping forward to stand next to Stiles.
Scott’s expression slid from irritated to wary. “Oh, um, sorry, hi. Hey, Mr. Argent.”
It amused Stiles to no end that Scott still had to call Chris by his surname instead of his given name, unlike Stiles, Noah, or even Peter, of all people.
Scott focused back on Stiles and frowned again. “Stiles, what are you doing with him? Why would you want to be anywhere near him after what he did to you? Ugh, why do you smell like him?!”
Stiles wondered if Scott thought Peter couldn’t hear him even though he was standing right there, or was he just that rude?
Peter snarled, but Stiles squeezed his fingers and sent soothing emotions along their bond.
He and Peter had discussed it, and Stiles was aware he was likely going to lose Scott’s friendship – such as it was – over bonding with and marrying Peter. While Stiles wasn’t happy about it, he also wasn’t as upset as he might have been once. He and Scott had been changing, and not in ways that would allow them to remain the close friends they’d been during childhood. Honestly, they hadn’t truly been close since Scott had fixated on Allison to the exclusion of everyone and everything else.
“Scott, Peter didn’t do anything to me. As for why I smell like him, everything we’ve done together has been completely consensual. I know that’s hard for you to understand, but you need to accept it because this is the last time I’m going to tell you.”
Lydia rose and paced toward them, a dangerous look in her eyes. “What do you mean, consensual? What are you talking about?” Her eyes locked on his wedding band. “Are you married?”
That got the whole group out of their seats. Even Jackson seemed interested, though probably only for material he could use against Stiles later. Derek and Cora were the only ones who got close and, weirdly, tried to sniff them.
“Hey, now! Back the trolley up. Personal space, sourwolf, sour she-wolf. I know you’ve at least heard of the concept.”
“They’re mated,” Cora stated bluntly as she backed away and pulled a shocked Derek with her.
And then there were glowing eyes and growling all around. Peter did try to shove Stiles behind him, but stopped when Stiles leveled a glare at him that could have frozen a volcano.
“Enough!” Chris shouted over the top of the noise, a gun in his hand.
Stiles didn’t feel threatened; he just assumed that being surrounded by growling, glowing-eyed, fanged werewolves had Chris reverting to his training. He couldn’t really blame him. Even Peter was snarling at the other ‘wolves rather than the hunter in the room.
“Alright, everybody calm down!” Noah barked out, hands propped on his utility belt and his tone the same one that demanded – and received – obedience from everybody from criminals and the drunk-and-disorderly to ninety-year-old great grandmothers. “Stand down, people – humans and werewolves both. Sit down, shut up, and listen for once. You all owe Stiles that much.”
That got the teens moving back to their original positions, albeit slowly. Of course, Scott and Lydia were the last to back off.
“What do you mean, we owe Stiles?” Lydia tossed her hair over her shoulder. “No offense, Sheriff, but I don’t owe him anything.”
A low growl came from Peter, and Stiles looked over to see his mate with a mouth full of fangs, snarling at Lydia.
“Ignore her, Peter,” Stiles said calmly without bothering to lower his voice. “I don’t care what she thinks of me… not anymore.”
“That’s enough out of you, little girl,” Noah snapped. “I don’t give a damn how brilliant you think you are, you’re not too old for me to put over my knee. Maybe if your own father had done more of that, you wouldn’t be such a brat now.”
Lydia squawked indignantly, but backed away and sat back down.
“No, Stiles. I’ve had it. This room is full of entitled, selfish, insecure children, and I’m beyond done putting up with it. If they want to be treated like adults, then they need to start acting like adults.”
“You can’t talk to us like that!” Jackson objected, though Stiles thought it was funny that he didn’t bother getting up or posturing in front of Noah. “I’ll tell my father you threatened Lydia. Let’s see how fast he can have you arrested!”
“’Wait ‘till I tell my father,’” Peter mimicked in a mocking, high voice, then drawled, “Oh, do shut up, Draco Malfoy.”
Stiles nearly choked.
Peter gave him an innocent look. “What? It’s not like you weren’t thinking it.”
“True,” he admitted with a snicker.
Not able to handle not being the center of attention, Scott slammed his hand down on the table coffee table, cracking it, and demanded, “Would somebody please tell me what’s going on?”
“Don’t,” Stiles said before Peter could do more than draw in a breath.
“Fine,” he pouted.
“Dad?” Allison asked warily, still standing in front of the sofa.
Stiles was surprised to realize that Chris hadn’t spoken to Allison about their situation. He must not have believed she’d be able to keep it from her boyfriends.
“Just have a seat and let them explain, alright, Allison? This isn’t anything bad.”
Allison frowned, but nodded and re-took her seat in the middle of the sofa next to Isaac.
Stiles cleared his throat. “Right. So you all know that Peter and I were captured by hunters. What we didn’t tell you guys is that the hunters wanted to kill me because they didn’t think I was important enough to keep alive. Peter and I only had one way to change their opinion, so I asked him to give me his mating bite. We didn’t know if it would work, but it was our best chance.”
Derek stared at Peter, his expression blank. “You bit him, Peter?”
“It was to save him at the time, but I can’t say I’m not immensely pleased with the outcome.”
Derek frowned. “But….”
“Derek,” Peter said in a gentle tone the other man probably hadn’t heard since before the fire, “After we got out of there, I made sure he understood and had a choice. The Sheriff knew too. Stiles has been and always will be safe with me.”
The lightbulb went on, and Stiles realized Peter was probably referring to Derek’s past and assuring him their situation was nothing like Derek’s and Kate’s had been.
Still frowning, Derek looked at Stiles. His chin went up, and his nostrils flared, and Stiles wondered what he smelled from them. Whatever it was, it must have reassured him because he nodded slowly.
“Okay, that’s it,” Scott declared. He pointed an accusing finger at Peter and growled, “You’re a menace, and I’m not letting you stay in my Pack. I’ll give you twenty-four hours to get out of my territory, and then I’m going to look for a permanent solution.”
“No, Stiles! I’m the True Alpha, and this is my territory. He needs to leave before he hurts anyone else I care about.” Scott tried to give him a sympathetic look. “Don’t worry, I’m sure Dr. Deaton can find a way to undo whatever Peter did to you. You don’t have to be afraid of Peter ever again.”
“What the fuck?”
For a moment, Stiles thought he’d been the one to say it, but it turned out it was Cora, of all people.
“My uncle saved your best friend’s life, and your first impulse is to throw him out of the Pack and out of the territory that has belonged to my family ever people have been recorded as living in this area?”
Scott crossed his arms and glared. “We can’t know that was the only solution. Besides, it’s not like it’s permanent.”
“It is,” Stiles countered. “Peter and I are mated, and it’s forever, Scott. If you kick Peter out, that means I go with him.”
Scott’s jaw dropped. “You’d really choose Peter over me, over your best friend?”
Stiles snorted. “Are you kidding me right now? How can you even ask that? Even if Peter hadn’t been the one to save my life first through the bite, he definitely saved it by getting both of us away from those psycho hunters. What were you doing all that time we were being tortured, huh, Mr. True Alpha? Oh, that’s right. You were trying to negotiate with them. Well, let me give you a clue, Scott, you don’t negotiate with sadistic fucks who get off on torturing other people!”
Scott threw his hands in the air as if he thought Stiles had lost his mind. He looked to his mentor.
“Deaton, does he have that Russian syndrome? Stockholm or whatever?”
Lydia rolled her eyes. “For the love of – Stockholm syndrome would mean Stiles developed an attachment to the hunters holding him captive, not to Peter.”
“It’s more like Scott has Sunnydale Syndrome – the tendency to jump to irrational conclusions in the face of obvious evidence,” Chris muttered.
In spite of the seriousness of the situation, Stiles smirked. Obviously, making the hunter watch the entire first and second seasons of Buffy had paid off.
Wary of the energies in the room, Deaton offered, “It’s possible the darkness in the nemeton I warned you three about before you did the ritual to find your parents has taken root in Stiles. I can see no other reason why your friend would suddenly take up with a murderer.”
Scott was already nodding. “That makes sense. Plus all that stuff you were telling us about how you could tell someone had been in contact with the nemeton again.”
“Oh, for Pete’s sake!” Noah exclaimed, closing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose.
Peter smirked, but refrained from pointing out the Sheriff’s unfortunate phrasing.
“You warned them, did you? And then you had children – including my daughter – perform a deadly ritual that opened them up to that darkness anyway?” Chris snapped. “I’m not so sure you’re not on the left hand path yourself, Deaton. What’s more, the Druidic Council agrees, including the Druid Adept they sent to cleanse the nogitsune from the nemeton. He finished yesterday, by the way, and snapped all your corrosive lines into it at the same time.”
Stiles glared at the vet. “I don’t even want to think about what would have happened if a chaos demon had gotten lose in Beacon Hills.”
Deaton looked as if he’d been hit with a brick, and Stiles couldn’t help but feel like they’d dodged a bullet by calling on Chris’ connections with the Druidic Council rather than going to the vet-cum-druid to discuss the nemeton and the warning the man had given them.
Noah, Chris, and the druid had all nearly lost their minds when Stiles had explained exactly what ritual Deaton had had the teens perform. Apparently, it would have opened all three of them up and made them susceptible to possession by any entity.
Stiles, and Peter as his bonded mate, had spent more time in cleansing rituals than he cared to think about. The upside was that Peter was more integrated with his wolf than he had been since before the fire. That made it worth the hours spent inhaling weird smelling herbs and drinking nasty potions, not to mention sitting in a bath tub with special salt and crystals with water up to his neck. Stiles had been concerned his fingers were never going to unwrinkle again.
“If there was something wrong with the nemeton, it wasn’t Deaton’s fault,” Scott protested stubbornly.
“Yes it is,” Cora retorted. “He’s a druid. It’s his job to know if something is out of balance in nature. It’s his job to fix those imbalances if at all possible. If he didn’t know there was a fucking chaos demon in the nemeton, he’s inept. If he did know and didn’t do anything about it, he’s not a druid but a darach.”
Derek moved to stand beside his sister, opposite Deaton. “Either way, he’s officially no longer welcome on Hale land.”
“You can’t do that!” Scott protested.
Cora smirked. “Oh, I think you’ll find that we can. No matter who the Alpha is, this is Hale land, by blood and magic. Alan Deaton, I cast you out and name you an enemy of the Hale Pack.”
“Agreed,” Peter growled. “As the last of the Hales and the third necessary for the casting out, I Peter Hale cast you out, Alan Deaton. You are no longer welcome on this or any other Hale land. Let it be so now and forever.”
Deaton looked furious, his usual calm and all-knowing expression completely erased. “Very well. I will go, but you will regret this the next time some magical monster comes through Beacon Hills. You won’t survive a year without me.”
Peter bared his teeth in an expression that bore little resemblance to a smile. “All your knowledge comes from the books you took from the Hale library, books which you will leave behind.”
“Or what?” Deaton snapped.
“Or I won’t bother going through the official system to have you charged with theft,” Peter returned smoothly. “There are always those willing to retrieve stolen items and exact penance from the thieves when one has enough money… and believe me, we do.”
Scott had watched in bewilderment, but at the realization that Deaton was really going to leave, he turned on Stiles again, a snarl on his face.
“How could you do this to me!? I’m the True Alpha! I’m your best friend! I worked for Deaton! What am I going to do for a job now?”
“The depths of his selfishness really is breathtaking, isn’t it?” Peter stage whispered to Chris.
“Breathtaking,” Chris drawled, eyes narrowed.
Stiles had to wonder how long Scott would be dating Allison if the way even she was looking at him was any indication.
“I didn’t do anything to you, Scott—” Stiles began.
“Yes you did!” Scott lost control and shifted into beta form. “This is all your fault!” he hissed through his fangs. “If you hadn’t made me go to the woods that night, none of this would have happened!”
“Hey, now,” Noah interrupted, “Just calm down, Scott.”
“Stop.” Stiles sounded oddly calm, detached almost, as if another power was guiding him. He stepped toward his wolfed-out former friend. “You still think being a werewolf is a curse? You blame us for what you are?”
“Yes!” Scott hissed.
Stiles nodded. He reached out and put his palm flat on Scott’s chest, freezing the ‘wolf in place.
“Then we take back the gift you were given. The wolf spark is always a gift, no matter the intent of the giver, but it is no longer one you will be permitted to use and then blame for your own poor judgement.”
Stiles somehow reached inside Scott’s energy and pulled. When he withdrew his hand, Scott gasped and fell to the floor, coughing and wheezing, and Stiles held a bright red, pulsing light in his palm. He turned to Peter and pinned him with his gaze, probably not knowing his own eyes were glowing white.
Stiles moved to stand mere inches from Peter. “Do you want this?” he asked softly.
“That’s the Alpha Spark?” Peter returned just as quiet.
Peter’s heart was racing. After all the cleansing rituals they’d undergone, Peter was confident whatever was influencing Stiles wasn’t evil, but that didn’t mean it was benign either.
The room was silent, almost as if everyone was holding their breath.
“What will it cost me?”
Stiles tilted his head and smiled slightly. “And if I said it would give you a Pack, it would make you strong in a way no one could take from you, but you would lose your mate bond?”
Peter stared into the entity that looked out at him through Stiles’ eyes. It might have been tempting, but he had learned his lesson: power wasn’t everything.
“I want the Alpha spark, but I want Stiles more. If being the Alpha means losing Stiles, then I don’t want it. Give the Alpha spark to Derek,” he said resolutely. “I’ll teach him what he needs to know to be a leader like his mother.”
“Well chosen,” Stiles murmured.
Without warning, he pressed the Alpha spark gently into Peter’s chest.
Peter gasped and braced himself, but instead of being the painful burn of power Peter remembered from when he had taken the spark from Laura, the Alpha power flowed through him like liquid sunlight, warming and healing as it went. He could feel his wolf calm and merge with his human self until they were a single entity once more.
As good as it felt, Peter reached for the mate bond as soon as he could think. He breathed a sigh of relief when he found it as strong and healthy as ever.
Opening his eyes, Peter searched out Stiles and found him standing before him, smiling happily, all sign of otherness vanished.
Peter made a soft sound and pulled him into his arms, holding him as tightly as he could without hurting him.
“Aww, c’mon!” Stiles complained, laughing. “You’re gonna make me do it for you, aren’t you?”
“What?” As much as he adored Stiles, that didn’t mean he always understood him.
“Oh, Fine.” Stiles drew back just enough to look into Peter’s Alpha-red eyes and adopted a deep, faux-serious tone. “You’re the Alpha now.”
Then he burst into laughter.
Peter seized his mate’s laughing mouth in a fierce kiss, hardly able to believe it was real. Doubtless, there would be any number of trials in the future, but with Stiles at his side, Peter was starting to believe anything was possible.