kyrene_writes: (TW: stiles)
[personal profile] kyrene_writes
Title: Some Flowers Look More Vibrant On an Overcast Day
Author: [personal profile] kyrenekyorl
Pairings/Characters: Deucalion/Stiles Stilinski, Talia Hale, reference to other Hale family members
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 16,514
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Warning: underage
Summary: The thing about Talia Hale was that she only knew the old Deucalion, the man he had once been. And Deucalion was very good at pretending. It wasn't as though he was a monster. He was simply in it for himself and no one else.
Author's Note: alternate universe, Stiles adopted by the Hales, underage, previous Peter/Stiles, one-sided Derek/Stiles, some emotional coercion, but Stiles pretty much knows his own mind, not a happy ending for Talia (sorry Talia)


"Some Flowers Look More Vibrant On an Overcast Day"
by kyrene


Some Flowers Look More Vibrant On an Overcast Day
by kyrene

Deucalion had been a good man once. A good werewolf. A good Alpha. A good person. But then Gerard Argent had destroyed his pack and burned all the goodness out of him. Argent had tried to take Deucalion's eyes as well, and failed, but he'd succeeded in killing everyone that Deucalion cared about and had left Deucalion empty and uncaring.

An Alpha without a pack was a tragic thing. An Alpha who didn't immediately start rebuilding a pack was a curiosity at best, suspicious at worst. But Deucalion had needed a period of mourning and by the time that was done he'd been so burned and blackened on the inside that he knew he'd never dare to open himself to caring about anyone else again.

The thing about Talia Hale was that she only knew the old Deucalion, the man he had once been. And Deucalion was very good at pretending. It wasn't as though he was a monster, no matter what Argent had screamed and frothed on about. He was simply in it for himself and no one else.

That wasn't why he accepted Talia's invitation to dinner when he passed through Beacon Hills on his way elsewhere, but this selfishness was why he decided to get a hotel room and stay after seeing her family.

Or, rather, one particular member of her family.

Deucalion had met Stiles Hale before, of course. The pale, scrawny little human boy that Talia had adopted after both his parents had passed away, naming her in their will. Stiles had been about ten the last time Deucalion had seen him, obnoxiously happy, healthy despite his skinniness and natural human frailty, and as at home in his adopted family as his older siblings were. Deucalion had mostly ignore him, and Stiles had done the same, not at all interested in an "old" friend of his mother's.

How much difference six years had made, then. Not only in Deucalion, who was now ash and char on the inside, but also on the adopted Hale boy.

The first thing Deucalion noticed as he entered the Hale house and reacquainted himself with the family members who were there, was that Stiles -- who must be about sixteen now -- had grown into himself quite neatly.

He was still gangly and coltish, true. But he was easily as tall as Deucalion now, and his broad shoulders and muscle-corded forearms bore out the promise his large hands and feet had offered even when he had still been prepubescent. His large brown eyes, upturned nose, and parted red lips no longer looked cute; rather his overall appearance was an affecting mixture of beauty and handsomeness. This was aided by the stark cheekbones that now graced formerly chubby cheeks, and the thatch of soft brown hair that had replaced the buzz-cut he'd sported as a child.

In fact, Deucalion hadn't recognized Stiles at first, mistaking him for a boyfriend of one of Talia's daughters or something, until he had turned those thickly-lashed doe eyes on Deucalion and realization had struck.

Realization and recognition and... something more. Because when Stiles had stared at Deucalion in turn, something hot and dark had sparked in the boy's gaze and his eyes hadn't left Deucalion for pretty much the whole rest of the night.

Oh, he was subtle about it. Deucalion didn't think anyone outside himself noticed. Talia certainly didn't, and everyone else seemed to be ignoring Stiles. The human boy sat in silence, he ate in silence, and he hovered at the edges of the conversation with wide brown eyes, still in silence.

That was a far cry from the rowdy child Deucalion had known six years ago, and this combined with Stiles' new attractiveness intrigued him enough that he decided to get a hotel in town and stay a bit longer. Talia offered him a guest room, but while this would have gotten him closer to Stiles, Deucalion didn't like feeling locked in or beholden to anyone. Not since having his independence forced upon him by the unthinkable decimation of his pack.

Besides, in a house full of werewolves there wasn't really any such thing as privacy. Talia's mostly-soundproofed study was the closest to privacy there was in the Hale house. And while Deucalion had no idea what he might do with Stiles and some privacy, he knew he wasn't mistaking the heat in Stiles' eyes as he had watched him.

It hadn't been anger or resentment. It hadn't been curiosity, really, not the way Deucalion felt curiosity about the human boy. But neither had it been indifference or dismissal. No one stared at another person for close to five hours if they didn't want something from them. And while he wasn't sure of exactly what Stiles wanted, Deucalion knew he wasn't misreading the situation. He could clearly read the desire scrawled all over those angular features.

Well. Deucalion wasn't stupid. He did have something of an inkling as to what it was Stiles desired. But he couldn't be sure, and though the boy was insanely attractive and smelled delicious, Deucalion wasn't about to approach him first. He was Talia Hale's son, after all, and if Deucalion mis-stepped, Talia would either kill him or make the remainder of his bleak life even more miserable than it already was.

It wasn't that Deucalion was miserable, not really. See, that was the one good thing about not caring anymore. He was aware that he should feel miserable, that he was a subject of pity and horror to others who hadn't gone through his loss. But after so much had been taken from him, it just didn't hurt anymore.

Thankfully, pleasure was still left to Deucalion; he hadn't lost that. And he had enough interest left in life to be curious about Stiles Hale. That was why he was staying in Beacon Hills, stalking Talia's adopted son, and making half-baked plans in his head that involved long, lean bodies and the enticing scent of anise that seemed to be a part of Stiles' biological makeup.

Deucalion wondered if Stiles would taste of anise as well.

Since he'd made some excuse about staying in town but had declined to stay at the Hale house, Talia readily invited Deucalion to dine with the family whenever he felt like it, and he took her up on that offer. After all, what better chance to stalk Stiles in his own territory?

In fact, it didn't really require stalking, considering that as soon as his second meal in the Hale house was finished, Stiles sat down next to Deucalion in the living area and engaged him in conversation without hesitation or shyness.

Deucalion was pleasantly surprised to find that he was interested in the things that Stiles had to say, both of them talking quietly together while the rest of the family moved around them in the easy flow and ebb of a normal evening.

The better part of two hours passed before Talia approached them, a fond smile on her face as she looked at Stiles.

"Sweetie," she said, bending and palming Stiles' angular cheek and jaw in one elegant hand, "I'm glad that you're talking to our guest, but you really shouldn't monopolize Deucalion like this."

"I don't mind in the slightest," Deucalion protested calmly, watching with secret fascination while Stiles shrank into himself as though he'd been abruptly deflated.

"Sorry," Stiles choked, unclear as to whether he was apologizing to his mother or Deucalion, then he ripped himself away from Talia and raced upstairs, presumably to shut himself in his bedroom. Deucalion could hear his heart pounding, hard and fast, and knew Talia could too.

He was one-hundred percent certain that Talia Hale was a firm but loving mother and that there was no way she was abusing Stiles, either verbally or otherwise, and yet Stiles had reacted as though he feared his own mother.

Stiles hadn't actually been fearful, though, despite his involuntary cringing away from Talia. It was more as though he had been mortally hurt by her words. There was something there, and it certainly wasn't any of Deucalion's business, but he had no shame and he intended to make it his business.

Talia seemed to agree. She silently tilted her head and then led him into her study, closing the door behind them both.

"Is he all right?" Deucalion asked, quirking a brow as they seated themselves in the uncomfortable leather chairs Talia insisted on keeping in the room. He didn't care, couldn't care, but he was curious about the answer and it was a good way to get Talia talking.

"Yes, and no," she replied cryptically.

Deucalion frowned.

Talia sighed, and folded her hands on her knees. She wanted to tell him, needed to discuss her troubles with an outsider, Deucalion could tell, and so he schooled his features to mild curiosity and nothing more.

"It started a few months ago," Talia said softly, keeping her voice down even though the room was fairly well soundproofed. "We've been a big happy family ever since Stiles came to live with us, and while I miss his parents, I'm pleased to be raising such an intelligent, brave, and loyal young man under the name of Hale."

Deucalion nodded, trying to keep the impatience he was feeling off of his face.

"Things have changed recent, somehow," Talia continued, her handsome features twisting into a mournful expression. "Possibly because my youngest children are teenagers now? I don't know."

"What happened, though?" Deucalion prompted, keeping his voice smooth and soothing, completely ignoring the fact that this really wasn't any of his concern. If Talia wanted a sympathetic ear, Deucalion was perfectly willing to fill that role. At least until he had found out more about Stiles.

"It was Cora, really," Talia said, naming her seventeen year old daughter. Cora was the one who was closest to Stiles' in age, but the two of them apparently did not get along... at least not if Talia's dark hints were actually headed anywhere.

Talia sighed again and shook her head, dark hair sliding over her shoulders. "I must have walked into the end of the argument. I don't know how they reached that point, but as I came into the kitchen Cora was telling Stiles that he wasn't a 'real' Hale, that he was a drain on my time and money, and a waste of my love. I don't..." she spread her hands, her eyes wide and confused, "I don't know where she got any of that, much less thought that it was okay to say to her brother!"

Deucalion nodded, trying to appear thoughtful. None of this surprised him in the slightest.

"I told her what was what right away, of course," Talia continued. "And punished her, for all the good it did. It won't change her wrongheaded ideas, but it should make her aware that I violently disagree."

"And how did Stiles react to what she was saying?" Deucalion prodded, though he already suspected the answer when taking Stiles' response to Talia's gentle chiding into account.

Talia looked deeply unhappy. "Stiles didn't say a word to defend himself. He's always had a touch of low self esteem, even though I've done my best to make sure he felt as loved as the children I gave birth to, and tried not to treat him differently just because he's human."

"Do you think that was an isolated incident?" Deucalion asked, already pretty sure he knew the answer to this question as well.

"Probably not," Talia groaned, covering her face momentarily with her hands before looking up at Deucalion in entreaty. "I don't know where I went wrong...."

"They're teenagers," Deucalion soothed, saying nothing to assuage her of the blame but offering her empty words of comfort. "Emotions run strong at that age, and stronger in werewolves."

Talia didn't look comforted.

"What about the other family members?" Deucalion asked. "Where do they fall in this situation?"

Talia actually looked more guilty, rather than less, intriguing him. "Well, Laura is busy with work, you know, and has her own place now. Derek is off at college, in Seattle. He and Stiles used to get along very well, but now Derek is focused on his classes and a part-time job and a new relationship. I honestly don't think Stiles has heard from him since the last time he came home. I can't even nag at Derek about it; he already has so much on his plate. And then there's Peter...."

Talia looked as though she had bitten into a lemon, and Deucalion found himself actually hanging on her next words.

"Stiles and Peter were... getting close," Talia said in careful tones. "Peter was filling the empty spot Derek had left in Stiles' life, I suppose."

"So what was wrong with that?" Deucalion queried. He'd never liked Peter Hale. Not only was the man smarmy and sleazy, but he came too close to seeing Deucalion for what he was now, what he had become when his pack had been destroyed. Which was ironic, because Peter had never lost anything, the little shit.

Talia was still grimacing, which was mildly amusing because Deucalion didn't think she knew she was doing it. "They were getting too close," she murmured. "In ways I was deeply uncomfortable with. I couldn't make any accusations, but I did pretty much order Peter to accept a job offer in New York. And I don't regret it. Their scents were too closely mingled."

"Hm." Deucalion tried to sound judging rather than delighted, though that was good news as far as he was concerned. It seemed that Peter Hale, for all his annoying personality traits, had done some of Deucalion's work for him already.

"Sorry for dumping on you," Talia said, and he wanted to grin at her and tell her it was more than fine, but he knew that would only send up alarm bells in her head. She was a smart woman and a brilliant Alpha. He didn't dare to take any chances. After all, Peter had been careless and had wound up exiled to New York.

"So Stiles is alone and sad," Talia concluded, looking sad herself. "And I don't know how to make it better. I suppose as his mother, I really can't."

Deucalion nodded silently, waiting for it.

"Do you think... I hate asking but Stiles definitely warmed up to you tonight and spoke more than I've heard from him in the entire last month combined," Talia said, giving him an entreating stare. "I know you're only visiting for a short time, but do you think you could spend a little extra time with him? Maybe you can get a better idea of what I can do to fix things."

Deucalion reached forward and clasped Talia's hands in his own, meeting her eyes levelly.

"Trust your son to me," he instructed softly. "And I'll see what I can do."

If he'd still been a good man, the look of relief that flooded Talia's features would have made him feel guilty....

But then again, if he'd still been a good man, he wouldn't have been making the plans for Stiles Hale that he was already making, even as he smiled reassuringly at the boy's mother.

Deucalion was a broken Alpha and a very bad man, but he was very good at pretending. And he definitely had Talia Hale fooled.

He just wondered whether her son would be able to see him for what he was.

###

Now that he essentially had Stiles' mother's blessing, now that he knew Stiles enjoyed his company, Deucalion felt as though he could step up his game.

This was best case scenario come to pass, and unlike Peter Hale, Deucalion wasn't going to be careless and screw things up. Slow and subtle was the way to go. Fortunately, he could be patient when he was on the hunt, the more so when his prey was so very tempting.

The only problem was that ever since Talia's gentle chiding, Stiles had taken to avoiding Deucalion.

He couldn't say he blamed the boy. Part of what made him so vulnerable was the same thing that he fiercely protected himself against. Not that Deucalion could blame him, and he wouldn't have had him any other way. Still, it was something of a problem....

And that was where having Stiles' mother on his side came in particularly handy. While Stiles had managed to escape up to his bedroom immediately after dinner the first two times Deucalion was a guest after his go-ahead from Talia, the third evening went a little differently. Due in large part to Talia Hale, who was a force to be reckoned with. Deucalion never let himself forget that, even when he was playing her.

On the evening in question, Cora was spending the night with a friend. Whether that had been Talia's design or a beneficial happenstance Deucalion neither knew nor cared. What mattered was that with Cora gone, half the tension lifted from Stiles' shoulders and he actually smiled at something Deucalion said to his mother three times during dinner.

Talia noticed the shift in Stiles' mood, Deucalion could tell, and it clearly made her as much sad as happy, but it also made her more determined.

Deucalion wasn't sure what she was planning, but he had his own idea. Once they were close to finishing, he spoke up.

"I feel bad eating here so often without offering anything in return. Tell me I can do the dishes for you tonight, Talia."

"That would be generous of you," she smiled, picking up the ball easily. "And I'm more than happy to say yes. But you don't know where we keep things in the kitchen. Stiles, you can help Deucalion with the dishes, okay? And then after you're done you should both go for a nice walk. It's a lovely evening."

Stiles was squinting at Talia suspiciously, but he didn't protest.

"I'd love a chance to see some of the property by moonlight," Deucalion said, keeping his tone carefully pleasant and friendly when it wanted to go slightly menacing. Stiles would have been fine with hearing the darkness in his voice, he thought, but he didn't want to tip Talia off. She still thought of him as being the Alpha he had been before his pack had all died. Back when he'd been an Alpha in actuality rather than name only.

Stiles was staring at him, which was a moderate improvement from the way he'd been avoiding his gaze the last couple of days. The suspicion had shifted to speculation, and Deucalion allowed himself to smirk at the boy, a little quirk of his lips on the side facing away from Talia. Stiles flushed and turned his eyes down, but he got up and silently helped clear the table, then took over rinsing and drying the plates and utensils as Deucalion washed them in water hotter than delicate human flesh would have been able to stand. He liked the sting, though; it reminded him that he was alive.

"You know, we have a dishwasher," Stiles finally said, after the silence had stretched between them for a good five minutes.

"True," Deucalion acknowledged, nodding once. "But I like using my hands."

He could feel the warmth of Stiles' blush, could see it from the corner of his eye, fair cheeks growing blotchy and pink, and he could smell the sudden upswing in intensity from the boy; not quite arousal but not far from it. Thank God his mother was in the living area, far from them both.

"Do you really want to go for a walk?" Stiles asked after a couple more minutes, beginning to put the clean dishes away since the drying rack was full. "We don't have to. Mom was just suggesting, not ordering. You're an Alpha too; you don't need to be polite."

Deucalion grinned, finishing the last plate then rinsing and drying it himself. "I actually think it's a good idea, if you're up for it," he replied, draining the sink and turning to watch Stiles move gracefully around the kitchen. "Getting out of the house, away where we can talk without anyone overhearing... it sounds delightful to me."

Stiles was staring at him, those tempting red lips hanging open, and he probably should have looked like a halfwit but instead he just looked delicious. Deucalion wanted to slide something into that gaping mouth... and he wasn't talking about his thumb or even his tongue.

"Oh," Stiles said breathlessly, flushing even more deeply. The strong smell of arousal rolled off of him, the spice of teenage boy, sweat and heat and that delicate hint of anise. Deucalion was even more grateful that Talia wasn't in the room. "Okay, then."

Stiles hurried to put the last of the forks in the drawer, then scampered upstairs to get a warmer top and change into walking shoes. Deucalion was delighted and amused when Stiles thundered back down wearing a bright red hoodie. From the challenging look he gave Deucalion, the choice had to have been deliberate.

"Ready?" was all Deucalion said, keeping his expression calm and his tone easy.

Stiles swallowed tightly and nodded. "Let me grab a flashlight, though," he said, ducking into the hall closet and thrashing around in there, evidently graceless now that he was no longer in the kitchen. "Not all of us can see in the dark."

Talia met Deucalion's eyes as he walked past the living area entryway on his way out of the house after Stiles. She smiled and nodded encouragingly.

Deucalion smiled back and continued making his own secret plans to debauch her beautiful teenage son. He had no shame; he knew that he was a bad, bad man. Now he just needed to make sure that Stiles realized this fact... and that Talia never did.

It really was a gorgeous night. Clear and cool, but not cold. The air was crisp and filled with the scent of green growing things, and the Hale house was built on acres and acres of protected property. There were stars overhead and the moon was low on the horizon, still only half-full.

Nothing could have surprised Deucalion more than the sensation of Stiles' hand crawling into his as soon as they were out of sight of the house. Stiles twined his long, lean fingers through Deucalion's equally long but stronger digits without a moment of hesitation and clung tight.

If he had wanted to, Deucalion could have simply squeezed and crushed all the bones in Stiles' fingers like so many brittle twigs. But he didn't. Causing Stiles pain and physical damage would afford him no gain... not to mention he was actively trying to win the boy's trust.

So, instead of crushing the delicate hand in his own, Deucalion continued walking, breathing in the sharp, pleasant scent clinging to Stiles' skin and feeling the moist warmth of the boy's palm against his own as Stiles' knuckles flexed; restless but never withdrawing.

Stiles was behaving with confidence, but he was nervous, Deucalion could tell. He did calm a little when Deucalion didn't rip his hand away and ask him what he was doing. In fact, he shifted closer, so that their forearms were also pressed together, their shoulders occasionally brushing.

They followed clear-cut trails that had probably been on the property since before Stiles had been born, and despite his words, Stiles was steady on his feet, his flashlight hanging loosely in his free hand. Deucalion amused himself by picturing Stiles jogging this way every morning. He was pretty sure it happened, even though he hadn't been lurking on the Hale property, only around the school and near Deaton's place, where Stiles worked twice a week in the afternoon.

Deucalion let Stiles lead the way, plotting the course of the path in his mind. While he couldn't stand outside Stiles' bedroom window without Talia or another family member catching him, he could waylay Stiles deep in the forest, far from prying eyes. And he surmised that the way Stiles was taking him tonight was more than likely the path he took while jogging.

In fact, there was no reason not to confirm; it might save him some time, and while Deucalion could be a patient man, he didn't like wasting time or energy.

"Do you jog this path in the morning, before school?" he asked, brushing the pad of his thumb lightly over the bony bumps of Stiles' knuckles.

"Have you watched me?" Stiles challenged, pointed chin rising, peering at Deucalion through the darkness.

"Not yet," he purred, giving the boy a smirk more suggestive than he had yet allowed himself to display, now that they were far from Talia. "I'm trying to work out a viable timetable."

"Oh." He could smell the rising heat of Stiles' flush... and the salty sharpness of his arousal. It was gratifying to know he hadn't misread the steamy looks he'd been fielding ever since that first evening. "Um, yeah, I go this way around six every morning."

"Such discipline for one so young," Deucalion murmured, actually mildly impressed but playing it up in order to bolster Stiles' ego.

Rather than being flattered, however, Stiles got irritated. "I'm not that young," he spat, and that sounded like the tail end of an argument he'd been having with someone else.

It wasn't Deucalion's argument to make, but he had never shied away from speaking his mind.

"You're quickly becoming a man," he informed Stiles, giving him the once-over from the thick hair atop his head to the toes of promisingly large feet. "And you're smarter than anyone in your family. But you're still a boy by human standards."

"Not by werewolf standards," Stiles grumbled, not much placated, though his scent had switched around to arousal again under Deucalion's appreciative gaze.

"But you're not a wolf," Deucalion returned. Then curiosity caught him. "Do you want to be?"

"Mom won't take the chance," Stiles replied, leading Deucalion a little off the path, to a large, dry, spongy deadfall that made an excellent bench. The tangy scent of the pine under and around them mingled well with the sharp tang of anise clinging to Stiles' skin. They sat side-by-side and Stiles reluctantly tugged his fingers free. Deucalion let him, because he had him hooked with words now, even though he missed the warmth of his hand.

"You're young and strong," Deucalion pointed out. "You would probably survive the bite just fine."

Stiles shrugged. "Pretty sure no parent is going to do something that might kill their kid, no matter how small the potential for death, unless the kid's life is actually in danger."

"What do you want, though," Deucalion asked smoothly, leaning slightly toward Stiles. "I know about the discord between you and Cora. And I know that you're bullied and ostracized at school. You're relegated to second string in lacrosse despite being an excellent athlete, for a human. Don't you think all this would be easier if you got the bite?"

Stiles was staring at him, mouth hanging open again. Deucalion wondered if he was even aware that he was doing that. His eyes were wide and his pulse had picked up, but he wasn't fearful... exactly. More as though he was abruptly wary. And being wary around a predator was never a bad thing. As Deucalion had just mentioned, Stiles was a smart boy.

"You've been creeping around the school?" Stiles said accusingly. "That's...." He sputtered for a moment. "What.... Why do you care?"

That last was asked a bit plaintively, and Deucalion smiled at the boy, knowing Stiles could see the sharp white curve of his teeth even through the dark of the night.

"You intrigue me, Stiles. I'm not going to lie about it."

"Do you want to give me the bite?" Stiles asked, his heartbeats suddenly pattering as he shrank back. Now he actually was afraid. Curious.

"Not unless you tell me you want it," he reassured the boy. "And you have yet to answer my question."

"Um." Stiles bit his lower lip, relaxing a little, though his hands were twined nervously together in his lap. "No, not really. I mean, thanks for offering, I guess. And it's not because I wouldn't want to be your Beta, even though I hardly know you. But I like being human."

Deucalion tilted his head, staring at this strange human child, on the verge of manhood, beautiful and intelligent and brave and completely overlooked by all who should have noticed how special he was. Even his own mother really had little idea of his potential, or of his worth now.

"I mean," Stiles hurried to add, "Not that you offered! Because you didn't! I mean, you wouldn't, right? Why would you want me as your Beta!"

Deucalion reached over as Stiles let out an anxious little laugh completely devoid of humor, and settled his hand on the back of Stiles' neck.

Stiles went still, an instinctive reaction that might have saved his life if Deucalion had been at all hostile. Honestly, though, he was about the opposite of hostile right now, no matter how dangerous he could be, no matter how dangerous he was.

"I didn't offer," he said, ignoring the way Stiles flinched at his words, "But I might have done if you'd expressed interest."

Turing his head away to look up at the rising moon but leaving his hand where it was, Deucalion continued.

"I respect your decision. Unlike some -- especially born wolves, or stupid ones who've been turned -- I don't find that humans are the weaker race."

Stiles was nodding. "Because a human destroyed your pack," he mused, before clearly thinking better of it as Deucalion turned back to him, claws slightly pricking the nape of his neck, not enough to break the skin but very definitely felt. "Eep! I mean--"

"No, it's true," Deucalion replied, willing himself to calm. His nails were blunt again, but he left his hand where it was. Someone needed to rein this amazing child in and his family had no clue. "Though it would take a large stretch of the definition to label Gerard Argent as human."

Stiles shuddered, and it seemed to be in sympathy, not because of the fingers clasping his neck just a little too tightly. "I'm sorry," he said. "For mentioning it. For what he did. For all of it."

"It happened when you were still a child," Deucalion replied, the last of his remembered rage slipping away. "And they're all dead now, so it doesn't matter."

That was more than he had ever exposed to Talia Hale or anyone else, ever. Stiles now had a glimpse, however tiny, into the burned black heart of him. Deucalion didn't mourn his dead pack anymore. He felt as though he couldn't. The man who had once grieved over the deaths of his pack members was as dead as his pack was now. The Deucalion sitting here, a lone Alpha without a pack, was all that was left.

"Well, I'm still sorry," Stiles mumbled, peering at him uneasily through the darkness. "My parents died so long ago I only have fuzzy memories of them, but it still hurts sometimes."

"Talia has been a good parent to you?" Deucalion sought confirmation, figuring it was time to turn the conversation away from himself and around to Stiles again.

Stiles nodded, without hesitation but with seeming reluctance. "Yeah...."

"But?" Deucalion prompted.

Stiles shrugged, and Deucalion thought about removing his hand from the boy's neck but decided he liked it there. It felt good. It felt as though he possessed the boy, however briefly. It was a promise of the way he might possess Stiles in the future.

"Is it because she hasn't done anything about the trouble with Cora?" Deucalion hazarded when Stiles didn't seem inclined to enlighten him. "I know that's still on-going. So does Talia, even though she doesn't know what to do about it."

Stiles hunched into himself, but still didn't reply.

"I know you're having trouble at school," Deucalion murmured, leaning in closer to speak right into Stiles' ear. "I don't think Talia knows about that. But the situation at home is just as bad, isn't it. Your own sister...."

"Cora is not my sister," Stiles suddenly spat out, whipping his head around to scowl at Deucalion. It was adorable, like a puppy, only he could see the very real pain and rage colouring the boy's features. "She's just my mother's daughter!"

There was that, then. Deucalion smirked a little and nodded. He certainly understood that distinction. Especially when Cora had made it so clear to Stiles that she didn't consider him family either. Deucalion wondered idly which bond had broken first, but he didn't really care. Instead, he wanted to poke at the other familial bonds and see how firm they held. When he had visited before, back when Stiles had been ten, the boy had been very close to his two older siblings, the two other than Cora, that was. Maybe a bit overly attached.

"What about Laura, then?" he asked, relaxing his fingers and gently stroking the delicate flesh to either side of Stiles' spine, right up where it met his skull, then down to where his hoodie hid his broadening shoulders.

Stiles was still for a moment, then answered. "She's... okay. She doesn't care about me anymore, though. You know? She doesn't live at home and she's got her own life."

Deucalion's smirk grew wider, but he didn't think Stiles could see it through the darkness surrounding them. This was even more perfect than he had hoped. Stiles truly did feel alone.

"And Derek?" he asked next.

In response to that name, Stiles suddenly flooded the air around him with the unmistakable scent of arousal. That was not something Deucalion had been expecting, and he filed this snippet away with something approaching glee.

"Derek's got a girlfriend," Stiles said bitterly, not even working to hide the negative emotion in his voice, probably well aware that his body had just betrayed him to Deucalion's enhanced senses. He did live with werewolves, after all. "Paige. The entire family loves her and they're all so happy for him."

"Well." Deucalion grinned and massaged the abruptly tight muscles of Stiles' neck. "Not the entire family."

Stiles growled at him. The little shit actually growled, and Deucalion had to bite back a delighted laugh. Stiles would make an amazing little Beta, he was certain. If not for the fact that he didn't want or need a pack, Deucalion might consider turning him now and just taking his chances with Talia Hale.

But he had plans, he had more discord to sow and bonds to stretch to breaking if possible. It helped that the work was very nearly all done for him already, but he didn't intend to rush things.

He wanted Stiles to come to him of his own free will. And he had no real intention of giving him the bite, especially if he had not asked for it.

If Stiles ever did ask, that would be something different. Then Deucalion would have to think about it. But right now he clearly wished to remain human.

"But then, you're not family, are you?" Deucalion asked smoothly, speaking lightly so that Stiles could read it either as sarcasm toward Cora or a pointed barb aimed right at his heart. Actually, he probably took it as both.

"Mom thinks so," Stiles replied, his voice dull and flat. "She's just about the only one that does anymore."

Instead of prodding at this gaping wound, Deucalion decided to stick his claws into another one, one that might potentially drive more of a wedge into the one healthy relationship Stiles still had in his family; his relationship with his mother.

"What about Peter?" he asked. "I know Talia sent him away. Do you know the reason?"

Stiles reeked of crimson in the darkness of night. Blushing blood in his cheeks, pounding blood in his heart, and the ache of pulsing blood between his thighs, hardening his prick against the front of his jeans.

"I know the reason," Stiles ground out, glaring at Deucalion like a fierce little wolf pup. "Do you?"

"I know what Talia told me," Deucalion said, doing his best to keep his lips from curving into a predatory grin, fighting the instinctive urge to grab Stiles and take him, here and now. He had more control than that, and he was playing a longer game. "What she thought was going on."

Stiles snorted. "Mom's got a perverted mind."

Deucalion raised one brow, even though Stiles couldn't see the expression in the dark. "But is Peter Hale a pervert; that's the real question."

"It is?"

"Well, it's the question I'm asking."

"You are?" Stiles seemed to be enjoying their banter as much as he was deflecting. At least he didn't seem horribly embarrassed by the subject at hand. "You've got a strange way of going about asking."

"Are you going to answer me?" Deucalion was enjoying their banter as well, but he wasn't about to let Stiles distract him.

"Are you going to ask?" Stiles challenged.

"I already did."

"Hm." Stiles thought about it for a moment, probably replaying the exchange in his head. He had a sharp mind, and Deucalion got more pleasure out of conversing with him than with anyone in the last decade or so. "I guess you sort of did," Stiles allowed. "In a roundabout way."

"So what's the answer, then?"

Stiles flushed again, and his cock was still hard inside his jeans, tempting Deucalion mightily even though the boy probably didn't realize it.

"I suppose by Mom's standards Peter was being a pervert," Stiles replied, sounding more annoyed than bitter now. "It was just nice... it was nice to feel like someone wanted me, you know?"

And things could not have been more perfect, Deucalion thought smugly. The Hale family had set Stiles up so flawlessly that Deucalion could only be blamed if he didn't pluck this low-hanging fruit.

"Plus, he was hot like burning," Stiles added, bold as a minx now, giving Deucalion the side-eye and a smug little smirk. "That didn't hurt any either."

Stiles didn't seem overly emotionally attached to the dear, exiled Peter Hale, Deucalion mused. If anything, his heart seemed to have fixated on Derek Hale. The fact that he was willing to settle and to experiment with his uncle -- adoptive or not, Stiles had been raised as a family member from a very early age -- in lieu of his brother bode very well as far as Deucalion was concerned.

"You're not gonna tell Mom, are you?" Stiles asked, suddenly anxious. "Peter is safe from her in New York, but I just hate for her to know she was right."

Deucalion chuckled. He couldn't help it. The boy had surprised it out of him. "Anything you say to me tonight will be held in the strictest confidence," he assured Stiles. "And I hope that you will extend me the same courtesy."

"Well, yeah," Stiles replied immediately. "Of course. You haven't said anything really questionable yet, though."

"Not yet," Deucalion agreed cheerfully.

Stiles turned a speculative look on him.

"So, do you like older males, Stiles?" Deucalion murmured, leaning in close again. Not close enough to touch, but he could feel Stiles' body heat, could smell the tangy scent of his skin and his undeniable arousal. "With a mother who's an Alpha, maybe you feel the need for a strong male presence in your life."

Stiles was staring at him, meeting his eyes evenly, and his expression was more amused and speculative than anything else.

"Peter isn't an Alpha," was all he offered.

Peter was a lot of things, Deucalion knew. Sneaky and duplicitous. Also, willing to debauch a teenage boy who was family even if he wasn't related by blood. Bold, then, but he'd shown his belly and moved across the country when confronted by Talia. And he was most definitely not an Alpha. In fact, he'd be lucky if he didn't sink to Omega status in New York.

"No, he's not," Deucalion agreed, not feeling the need to share any of these thoughts with Stiles. "But I am."

Stiles sucked in a sharp breath, his eyes going wide, those luscious lips falling open again. Honestly, his mouth was open more often than it was not, as though he was scenting the world around him constantly. Deucalion knew from his lurking around the school that some of Stiles' classmates had made disparaging remarks about this tendency, but he didn't find it to be off-putting. It just made him want to do something about it.

Not right now, though. It wouldn't do to return Talia's son home reeking of her guest. Deucalion would lose all his Stiles privileges, and he'd be lucky if Talia didn't tear him a new arsehole.

"I guess I never really thought about it," Stiles said slowly, and bless the darling boy, he actually was thinking about it. "Peter was just... there. He was gorgeous and he kissed me and he told me he wanted me. I mean, do you know how many people have actually said they wanted me? One." Stiles frowned a little, then pulled a face. "Well, two, really, because Mom always wanted to make sure I felt wanted, but that's a complete boner-killer right there, thinking about my mother."

"Indeed," Deucalion hummed, withdrawing his hand. "Speaking of your mother, however, we should probably return to the house soon, to avoid suspicion."

"Suspicion of what?" Stiles challenged. He stood when Deucalion did, stepping into his personal space, the material of his hoodie brushing against the front of Deucalion's shirt. "Mom doesn't think you're a pervert, the way she thought Peter was."

"And he was," Deucalion pointed out with a little chuckle.

Stiles shrugged jerkily. "Yeah. What about you, though? Are you a pervert?"

Deucalion wasn't surprised that the boy had come out and asked. He would have been disappointed if he hadn't, in fact.

Leaning in close, he stopped when his mouth was just a hairsbreadth away from those tempting red lips.

"I guess you're going to have to find out," he murmured, then smirked as he pulled away.

Stiles let out a grumpy little sound of protest, but fell easily enough into step beside Deucalion as he headed back to the house. They both walked in silence, not holding hands this time, and Deucalion knew that Stiles was lost in thought.

He was thinking some thoughts himself... but he'd have bet just about anything that he wasn't anywhere near as confused as Stiles Hale was.

###

Stalking Stiles when the boy was aware of the fact was actually even more fun, Deucalion discovered. As well as being more rewarding.

He still stayed away from the house except when he was invited over for dinner. Talia Hale might be blind to certain truths about her adopted son and his personal interactions, but she would never have overlooked the presence of another Alpha lurking around outside the house, peering in windows.

Even though Deucalion would have dearly loved to get a peek into Stiles' bedroom; especially when the boy was in it.

He did, however, join Stiles on his morning runs, at a spot far enough from the house that no one else would see. He admired the boy's drive and determination and the fact that Stiles spent nearly an hour jogging around the property, soles of his shoes slapping on the dirt track, sweat shining on his forehead, breath rasping hard but steady... well, it only said good things about Stiles' stamina.

Deucalion wondered, often, how far Peter had gone with his nephew. He sort of wished he'd had a chance to work that into their conversation that night in the woods, but that time had passed. There would be another opportunity, he would make sure of it. They were silent while running. Stiles seemed to need it, and Deucalion enjoyed the peace as well.

Hanging out around the high school without being pegged as a predator -- in the human sense rather any supernatural sense -- was a bit more challenging, but Deucalion was up for it, and the rewards were worth the effort. The more he saw of how unhappy Stiles was, the more ammunition he was going to have when the time came to make his push.

He actually was a little surprised that Stiles was being bullied. But then again, maybe not.

Deucalion saw the beauty in Stiles, shining bright and enticing, but high school students could be remarkably blind and stupid. It was more than likely that Stiles would do well in college, but Deucalion wasn't concerned with that. He was interested in the sixteen year old boy right now.

Cora Hale, naturally enough, was the ringleader, but she wasn't even the worst offender. She had three little friends who were also werewolves, though not members of the Hale pack. Deucalion didn't know how that worked or where they had come from, and he didn't really care. All he cared about was that they were doing much of his work for him, making Stiles' life here in Beacon Hills nigh on unbearable.

There was Cora, of course. Then another girl, one with long golden hair, wearing tight leather skirts and too much makeup. They were the two most forceful personalities, not surprisingly. Then there was a tall boy with pale curls and a hardened beauty to his face. It might be fun to crack him open and see what was inside, but doing so would leave him ruined and useless, and he was nothing to compare to Stiles and his flawed human beauty, Deucalion thought scornfully. Rounding out Cora's little high school pack was a large young man with dark skin and eyes that saw too much. He rarely acted against Stiles, but he ignored him, which was probably even worse.

The other three tending to threaten Stiles verbally and mock him endlessly rather than physically assaulting him, though that happened as well. Deucalion knew Stiles was sporting bruises under his baggy clothing, from having been pushed into lockers or deliberately tripped while walking down the hall.

Stiles handled it with pinched lips and silence when the attacks were physical, and sharp words when the attack was verbal. He could hold his own that way, even though the werewolves had greater strength than he did.

Cora and her followers, though, weren't the ones who hurt Stiles the most. There was another group, completely separate and all human, who managed to make Stiles retreat in silent despair, and while Deucalion was coming late to the game and was limited to what he could see and hear largely from outside or behind doors in empty classrooms, he suspected he knew the reason for this.

It was a pretty wisp of a thing with fire-touched hair, wearing ridiculously high heels who could do Stiles the most damage with her stinging tongue and casual disregard. Deucalion thought that at one point Stiles had felt some form of human puppy-love for this girl, and that must be why she was able to cut him so deeply without even really trying, the way Cora and her thugs worked so hard to do with less effect.

This red-head had a male mate, a boy too pretty to be real, symmetrical and flawless and completely hollow on the inside. His assaults were more physical than verbal, largely because he was a fraction as intelligent as the girl or Stiles, and they were far more personally meant.

Deucalion thought there were two things at work here, driving the hatred that the pretty boy clearly held for Stiles. One was undoubtedly the feelings Stiles had once harbored for his girlfriend, which Stiles wouldn't have made any secret of. And the other reason, which the boy might be unaware of himself, was likely to be the physical attraction he felt toward Stiles.

That last might just be Deucalion projecting, but from the way the boy would shove Stiles into the wall of the locker room and press up against him, making idle threats that never came to anything, he didn't think it was all in his imagination.

Overall, Stiles was not having a pleasant high school experience. It might be different if he had a close friend or two, but aside from those who picked on him regularly, Stiles seemed to be invisible to the entirety of the rest of the student body.

After three days of observing Stiles from a distance and spending time with him in the Hale kitchen, doing the dinner dishes, Deucalion reported to Talia. She tried to hide it, but she was growing impatient, and to be honest, Deucalion was growing equally impatient, though for different reasons and with a completely different goal.

He started off by telling her about the bullying at school, not sugar-coating it where her daughter's involvement was concerned. He wasn't here to spare anyone's feelings and he felt the need to punish Talia for being so unaware of the way her son was being hurt. He was being constantly bullied by those he should have been able to consider family, and Talia had done nothing to stop it at any point.

Of course, he carefully kept every trace of judgment out of his voice, instead speaking as though he was a concerned friend who only wanted to help. Talia was so appalled by what she was hearing that she didn't even question why he had taken it upon himself to haunt her son, to watch him while he was at school.

Maybe she assumed that Stiles had told Deucalion these things. As though the boy would go telling tales, even about those who had hurt him. Stiles was more noble, more stubborn than that.

Stiles had his pride, and Deucalion respected that. He was sharing this with Talia as much to force Stiles' hand as he was doing it to punish the boy's mother.

"I can hardly believe it," Talia said, in tones that meant she completely believed it, no matter how stunned she might be. "I knew Cora was being unkind to him, but I never thought it extended so far and had gotten so bad. I thought I raised her better than that."

Deucalion nodded silently, still judging, and let Talia stew for a few moments before he continued.

"There's a teacher, as well. A Mr. Harris, who has outright told Stiles he has a vendetta against him.... I believe for something the boy's father did while he was alive?"

Talia snarled a little. "That man shouldn't be allowed to teach," she snapped, the name evidently known to her. "He's helped Hunters in the past, which isn't something I can really bring to the Principal's attention, but he's definitely unfit to mold young minds."

Deucalion listened attentively, because he actually didn't know much about this Harris, other than his hatred toward Stiles and Deucalion's desire to rip his throat out as much for being as smarmy bastard as for the former.

Talia's nostrils flared, her expression stormy. "He was taken in for questioning years ago, by Stiles' late father, and he was completely guilty even though they couldn't make anything stick. The fact that he's holding a grudge over being questioned about something that he actually did and is taking it out on the innocent child of the man who couldn't even hold him for his crimes...." She snarled again and this time there were fangs involved.

Deucalion was treated to the sight of something very few had seen before; Talia Hale losing some of her rigidly held control. He was fascinated and secretly delighted. It was gratifying to see her growing so angry on Stiles' behalf, but it really was too little too late, as far as he was concerned.

It was too bad Harris wasn't here right now, Deucalion thought. It would have been amusing to watch Talia eviscerate him, though it would have made quite a mess in the nice study.

"Most of the school's teachers are varying levels of hostile or incompetent," Deucalion added, shaking his head in actual disgust. He didn't give one shit about any of the students of Beacon Hills High -- outside of Stiles, of course -- but the school really was a disgrace and ought to just be razed to the ground with fire or possibly napalm.

Talia sighed. "So I heard from both Laura and Derek before they graduated. I suppose I should have listened and not just assumed they were indulging in teenage hyperbole." Her lips pressed together in a thin line. "Still, it's Harris who really concerns me."

It was easier to focus on the teacher bullying Stiles than her own daughter, Deucalion thought cynically. Not that he didn't understand. But understanding didn't mean absolving Talia from any of the blame she deserved. He did hold his tongue, however. His plans were reaching fruition; he couldn't afford to muck it up now.

"Thank you for bring all of this to my attention," she said to him, calming quickly. "I'll see what I can do about the situation."

Deucalion nodded and then politely bowed his way out of the conversation and the house, headed for his hotel room. He'd played his hand and now had only to wait. The next move was not his to make.

The fact that it began to rain on the way was something that he took as a good sign rather than a bad one. Rain could be cleansing and it facilitated growth.

And colour him a hopeless romantic, but Deucalion was hoping for both of these things for Stiles.

###

The rain was really sheeting down and night had fallen when there came a pounding on the door of Deucalion's hotel room.

He opened it, already well aware of who was on its other side, and stepped aside to allow a sopping wet, clearly enraged teenager entrance.

Stiles stormed inside, seeming to carry half the downpour in on his clothing, his hair plastered to his skull. He was shivering even at the same time he was vibrating with anger, his face pale except for two hot spots of crimson highlighting his stark cheekbones.

Deucalion didn't even bother asking how Stiles had found him; he knew not to underestimate the boy's intelligence or resources. He also didn't ask whether he had made it here on foot; from the largely innocuous conversations they'd had while doing dishes in the Hale house, he knew that Stiles' old Jeep was in the shop.

What Deucalion did do was grab a pair of sweatpants and a jumper out of his luggage, holding them in one hand as he chivvied Stiles toward the bathroom with his other.

"Hot shower," he instructed, setting the clothing on the counter beside the sink. "Then put these on."

He left Stiles to it, and was gratified to hear the water come on within one minute of his exit. He hadn't been sure the boy would do as instructed, but evidently Stiles had decided it was in his own best interest to get warmed up and into dry clothing.

Deucalion sat on the edge of his bed, checking his phone. There were no calls, no texts, nothing from Talia. If she had missed Stiles yet, she hadn't thought to contact him. Which was perfect, actually.

Even more perfect that Stiles had come straight to him. No matter if the boy was upset with Deucalion or not, he was here. That had been the thing he had been the most uncertain about, and he set aside his phone, smiling softly to himself. Things were coming together just as he had planned.

It wasn't long before Stiles emerged from the bathroom, looking even younger and more slender than he actually was in Deucalion's oversized clothing. His flush was a little more uniform and healthy now, his hair still wet, and his eyes were sparking with powerful emotion.

He glanced at the phone on the bedside stand, then glared at Deucalion.

"Did you call my Mom?" he asked harshly, hands balling into fists where they were nearly lost in the sleeves of the navy coloured jumper he had on.

Deucalion shook his head, remaining where he was, and answered honestly.

"If she doesn't care enough to know where you are, she doesn't deserve to know where you are."

Stiles blinked rapidly, his mouth open, his chest heaving, and for a moment Deucalion thought he might break down into tears. He wondered if Stiles would get angry at him for his words.

He was mentally and physically prepared for nearly any reaction, but what he hadn't expected was for Stiles to pad across the room in bare feet and abruptly straddle his lap, knees digging into the mattress to either side of him, hands clasping together at the back of his neck, leaning in close enough that Deucalion could smell the mingled rainwater and hotel chlorine fighting it out with the natural scent of Stiles' skin.

"I locked my door and went out the window," Stiles informed him seriously, his dark brown eyes fixed on Deucalion's paler eyes, his bangs a damp fringe across his forehead, dripping on the tip of his own nose.

"And do you think your mother can't listen for your heartbeat inside your room?" Deucalion asked, brow quirking.

Stiles shook his head. "Not when she left the house right after our 'talk'.... Which, thanks for that, by the way."

Deucalion smirked at the enraged tone of Stiles' voice, rather than expressing any remorse he didn't feel.

"You're welcome. How did it go?"

Stiles sat back, scowling at him. In doing so he settled more of his weight on Deucalion's thighs, his flanks corded with muscle. He was still chilled beneath the warm clothes he was wearing, and so Deucalion brought his hands up with absolutely no shame or hesitation to rest his palms on the boy's waist.

Stiles was wearing his clothing now, and so he no longer had to imagine how their own personal scents would blend together. It was a heady mixture, smelling strong and pleasant. The only way it could have been better, Deucalion thought, would be if he could taste the tang of Stiles' skin.... And the way the boy was practically wriggling in his lap bode well for that possibility.

"Mostly it was a lot of Mom asking why the hell I didn't tell her," Stiles said, sounding remarkably put out that someone who loved him was so concerned for his well being. "As if I was going to be a whiny baby about everything. It'd only get worse if word got out that I was a snitch, anyway."

"Ah, playground rules," Deucalion reminisced. "Remarkably similar to prison-yard rules, don't you think?"

Stiles snorted, but he had calmed down considerably in the last few minutes, and he looked at Deucalion with more curiosity in his gaze than resentment. "You didn't tell her anything about Peter?"

"To be fair, you didn't tell me anything about Peter," Deucalion countered. "Not anything specific. Besides, I gave you my word I wouldn't."

Stiles' generous mouth was curving up at the corners, a growing smile he didn't even seem to be aware of, and he sounded almost amused as he asked, "But you told her about all the assholes at school. Even Cora. Even Harris."

Deucalion inclined his head in a brief nod. "I informed her of what I had seen, not anything I'd been told."

"Creeper." Stiles sounded almost fond. "And why were you watching the school?"

"I was watching you." There was no reason not to response honestly. Stiles had to already know the answer.

Stiles flushed. His body temperature had risen to about normal, now, and he smelled deliciously edible. "Okay," he murmured, staring fixedly at Deucalion. "So then, why'd you tell Mom? You know she won't be able to fix anything. She's only going to make it worse."

Deucalion met Stiles' gaze steadily. "I could feed you a line about how she's your mother and she deserves to know, but we both know that's utter bull."

Stiles nodded, fingers flexing restlessly at the back of Deucalion's neck, otherwise remaining still. Alert. His thighs were tight on Deucalion's thighs, his waist solid under his hands. Deucalion shifted his grip down to those stripped-hard hips, palming the bones, fingertips teasing at the upper swells of Stiles' arse cheeks as though the touch was completely incidentally.

"Then why?" Stiles wanted to know, ignoring the way his face was heating up. His skin was growing blotchy with his flush, but for some reason Deucalion found this to be charming rather than off-putting.

"I wanted to punish her," Deucalion told Stiles seriously. He could have spun sweet and possibly convincing lies, but he rather thought Stiles would have called him on anything other than the whole truth. "For not already knowing how hard things have been on you."

Stiles frowned. "I don't need her protection, and I don't need your pity."

Deucalion responded by lifting one hand and digging his fingertips into a spot at the base of Stiles' spine where he knew there was a nasty bruise. He'd watched the pretty boy -- Jackson Whittemore, Talia had called him -- push Stiles up hard against a railing near the parking lot the other day, and it had to be tender. He could almost smell the blood right there under the skin, thick and dark, and he definitely smelled the pain as he mercilessly pressed at the bruise.

"Ow!" Stiles jolted away, twisting closer to Deucalion until they were chest to chest. "Asshole!"

"You don't have my pity," Deucalion told him firmly, shifting his hand down to unabashedly cup one of those firm arse cheeks. It was just as glorious a palmful as he'd expected. "Though you do have my attention."

Stiles scooted back a little so that he could meet his eyes, thick lashes fluttering, and he let out a guttural little noise when Deucalion flexed his fingers.

"Are you... actually interested?" Stiles asked, cheeks going a more uniform shade of pink, tongue flickering out to wet red lips. "I thought... I kind of thought you were... that night we went for a walk... but then you never did anything."

"Only talked to you about your uncle fucking you," Deucalion pointed out with a sharp grin.

Stiles squeaked and blushed more brightly. "You never did! We never did!" he sputtered. "I told you we kissed! And, okay, there was some inappropriate touching.... But Mom sent him away before we could do anything more, and he just went. He left me."

There was a tone of real distress in his voice that he didn't even try to hide, but instead of grating on Deucalion's nerves, he simply made use of it.

"You don't have to be alone anymore, Stiles."

He met Stiles' eyes steadily as the boy looked at him. Stiles' brain was working away behind those blank features, and Deucalion trusted he would reach the right conclusion or near enough to it.

"You never did answer my question that night, you know," Stiles finally said, licking his lips again. "About whether you were a pervert."

"Yes, I did," Deucalion reminded the boy. "I told you that you were going to have to find out."

"Oh." That red mouth rounded, and then Stiles' angular young face firmed in determination. "Okay then."

The next moment he had leaned in and mashed his lips against Deucalion's, heavy and damp and warm. It wasn't a studied kiss, despite the fact that Peter would surely had trained some finesse into his nephew. What it was, Deucalion thought, was a question and an answer both at the same time.

Sliding the hand not holding onto Stiles' arse cheek up to the boy's shoulderblades, fingers spread and palm pressing to urge his body closer, Deucalion ran the tip of his tongue along the crease between Stiles' lips where they were pushing into his own. Of all the times Stiles might choose to close his mouth, Deucalion mused with no small amount of humour... but then Stiles was responding beautifully to the nonverbal instruction, allowing Deucalion in and slithering his own nimble tongue around Deucalion's in a sensual sort of greeting.

And there was the skill that he would have assumed Peter would have instilled in his nephew... or maybe it was Stiles' natural talent. Either way, the boy was one hell of a kisser, shifting with a low purr of happiness, slanting his head so that their mouths slotted together more closely, and allowing Deucalion to lick his way into his hot-humid mouth, giving back as good as he got.

Deucalion kissed Stiles breathless before breaking away and examining the pretty picture before him. Stiles' lips were pressure-bruised crimson and shiny-wet with their mingled saliva, his eyes heavy-lidded and heated.

"So what's the verdict?" Deucalion asked, smirking at Stiles.

And, bless the boy, he actually gave a studied response.

"Um.... Well, I'm only sixteen," Stiles replied huskily, nipping at his lower lip with white teeth, tempting Deucalion terribly. "So this is kind of illegal. But I'm fully informed and consenting. And I'm not an idiot. You're not taking advantage of me when I don't know better. Considering I've been wanting to jump on you pretty much since the first time I seen you."

Deucalion's smirk widened. "So I rank all right in the 'hot like burning' assessment as decided by one Stiles Hale?"

Stiles tipped his head to the side, pretending to consider Deucalion's features. He loosed a hand and traced one of the lines creasing Deucalion's cheek, ran the pad of his thumb along his forehead, then grinned broadly.

"Not as pretty as Peter," he proclaimed decisively, "But just as hot. And something tells me you'll be less selfish in bed."

Deucalion couldn't help but laugh, amused by this assessment. He doubted Peter Hale would appreciate being called "pretty", though he probably wouldn't argue the "selfish" appellation. Not convincingly, anyway.

Not that Deucalion ever wanted to discuss sex with Peter. In all honesty, he didn't care for the man at all, even though he'd evidently gotten Stiles warmed up nicely for him.

"Shall I do my best to prove you right, then?" Deucalion murmured, sliding his hands up under Stiles' borrowed jumper and leaning in to reclaim his pretty, pouty mouth. The skin of Stiles' torso was smooth and soft under his palms, the pads of his fingers tracing over firm muscles. Stiles was in very good shape, which was even more impressive considering that he was human and had to actually work for his physique, unlike werewolves who came by their perfection naturally.

Stiles leaning into him, whining into the kiss, one hand clenching in the collar of Deucalion's shirt at the back of his neck, fingers of the other hand sinking into his hair. Deucalion graciously allowed this familiarity, enjoying the rough tug at his scalp, though he did make a mental note to get shed of his clothing as soon as possible when Stiles twisted his collar just a little too tightly.

He ran his hands over Stiles' chest, stomach, and back with no hesitation, learning his body by touch alone, for right now. He was torn; on the one hand, Stiles wearing his over-large jumper was doing things for him on both a visual and olfactory level... but on the other hand, he wanted to see Stiles bared, wanted to lave his saliva on Stiles' practically virgin flesh, wanted to taste him at the same time he marked the boy as his....

Deciding that the best course would be having his cake and eating it too, Deucalion broke their kiss and lifted Stiles up off his lap, plopping him down on his back on the mattress before he could object.

"What?" Stiles yelped, wriggling as Deucalion shoved his jumper up to bunch under the boy's armpits, exposing his entire torso without removing the article of clothing.

"Wouldn't want you to catch a chill, now would we?" Deucalion murmured, his fingers dark against pale skin where they stretched over Stiles' belly, stroking the jut of sharp hips right above the loose waistband of the sweats he was wearing.

"I'm not really that fragile," Stiles snarked, a little breathlessly, rolling his eyes, "Even if I'm only a weak little human."

"Hardly weak," Deucalion scoffed, shifting to kneel over Stiles' legs as his hands played over taut muscles. "You may be human, but you're in prime condition."

"Really? So you like what you see?"

Stiles had clearly tried to sound teasing and possibly seductive, but Deucalion could hear the uncertainty and insecurity in his voice, knew how to interpret the slight quaver in the words. Stiles was only sixteen, and Deucalion knew damned well that he never got a kind word from any of the kids at school. Usually the complete opposite, in fact. He was sure Talia had told her son he was beautiful, but getting compliments on one's looks from one's mother wasn't anything to truly bolster the old self confidence.

"I do," Deucalion confirmed, making sure to match his actions to his words as he bent and reclaimed Stiles' mouth again. He might have tried to convince Stiles of his attraction, of the beauty of his features, but he was afraid that might not go over well, and he didn't want any hiccoughs here, tonight. There would hopefully be time and opportunity to stroke Stiles' ego later, if he worked this right.

"I guess you are a pervert," Stiles sighed, squirming happily against the mattress once Deucalion had finished kissing most of the self-consciousness out of him. "But luckily for you, I happen to like that in an older male."

Deucalion chuckled at hearing his own words thrown back at him like a ball they were exchanging. He had no more desire for witty banter, though. Not right now, when he had Stiles stretched out before him like a delicious meal.

So instead of replying, he lowered his head and lapped at one of Stiles' nipples. Perky was a word that sprang to mind; he'd been tempted more times than he could easily recall, seeing them poking through the material of whatever shirts Stiles wore, and now he was finally able to do something about it.

Stiles made a sinfully arousing sound of surprise, fingers sinking into Deucalion's hair, and there was no other word for it as he gracelessly flailed underneath the larger body pinning him to the bed.

"Oh my God!" he choked out, hips flexing under Deucalion, his chest heaving as though they'd been jogging for hours, his spine arching and bowing as he tried to decide whether he wanted to move away from or toward the stimulation. Evidently he was more than a little sensitive here.

Deucalion traced the tip of his tongue around the areola then closed his lips around the captured nipple to suck at it, gently because Stiles was making almost pained noises, but without hesitation. He caught the other nipple between thumb and forefinger, dragging the pads over the delicate flesh as he twisted ever so softly, teasing it to full stiffness.

Stiles' nipples weren't the only things coming to full hardness, Deucalion noted with amused approval as he switched his ministrations, suckling the new nipple, tweaking its saliva-damp, pebbled twin, then sweeping the flat of his tongue over one, then the other in turn, soothing and titillating at the same time.

The boy had been sporting a partial hard-on since clambering onto Deucalion's lap, but now Stiles was fully erect, his eager cock punching up the front of his borrowed sweatpants, the worn grey material already growing damp at the head. He was getting no friction, with Deucalion perched over top of him the way he was, but he didn't seem to be aware of the way he was mindlessly humping at the air, most of his focus undoubtedly being on the pleasure being teased from his chest.

"So responsive," Deucalion murmured approvingly, raising up to kiss Stiles again, briefly, as the boy panted for breath. He could have spent longer playing with his new toys, but there were other pleasures to be had.

"Definitely a pervert," Stiles managed to say, and he was smiling, eyes bright above red-brushed, sweat-damp cheeks. His hands slid from Deucalion's hair to cup his jaw and he urged him down again, demanding another kiss.

Deucalion went with this easily enough, allowing Stiles to lick into his mouth for a moment before he drove his own tongue into the boy's mouth in turn, fucking it with a fierceness that had Stiles whining and writhing beneath him in moments.

With one quick nip at Stiles' chin on his way down, Deucalion kissed his way along the arched line of Stiles' neck, biting at his throat, not being shy about leaving red marks even though they wouldn't heal and fade for days. Stiles arched against the mattress, clutching at his shoulders rather than his hair now, his fingers digging into the muscles of Deucalion's upper back, one of his legs kicking out involuntarily. He made soft broken sounds as though he was crying, but it was all pleasure, his scent made this clear.

Stiles tasted as delicious as Deucalion had expected. While the tang of anise still teased at his nose, the only flavours that broke over his demanding tongue were the rich musk of teenage boy and the fresh salt of swiftly-springing perspiration.

He licked at Stiles' neck, bit his collarbone sharply enough to drag a strangled cry from the boy and when this also forced a burst of pre-ejaculate from Stiles' prick that hit Deucalion's nose like a slap to the face, he bypassed the boy's puffy pink nipples entirely in favour of rearing back and peeling down the straining sweatpants that were stained and slick at the crotch.

Deucalion paused a moment, taking in the view. Stiles was tense all over, but was still sprawled easily enough back on the bed, not seeming to mind being exposed this way. His eyes were heavy-lidded and dazed, staring at Deucalion without really seeing him. His hair was drying in mad clumps atop his head. His long lashes were starred with wetness, his cheeks flushed dark pink. His temples and upper lip were beaded with sweat. His throat was marred with patches of red where Deucalion had worried at the skin, and there were tooth marks rising purple along the ridge of his clavicle.

Lower, his chest was blotchy with his flush, those tempting nipples standing up boldly, almost looking irritated they were so dark. There was a thin but very dark trail of coarse curls leading down from Stiles' navel to his thatch of pubic hair, and this glory surrounded one of the finest young pricks that Deucalion had ever seen.

Stiles was circumcised, which Deucalion thought was a shame. Clearly the boy's birth parents had gotten to that before he'd been adopted into the Hale family. He would never understand the human predilection for the genital mutilation of their male children... but despite this, Stiles still had a very nice cock. It was still somewhat slender, as he was only sixteen, but it was long and stood up straight and bold, the shaft smooth aside from some pulsing veins, its head the same rosy red as Stiles' lips.

Since Stiles was still lying there looking lost in pleasure, one hand fisting the sleeve of the jumper he still had on, the other spread over his collarbones, fingertips pressing at the bite mark Deucalion had left in his pale skin, Deucalion took it upon himself to divest the boy of his sweatpants.

He shifted to one side, kneeling beside Stiles as he stripped him below the waist. The jumper could stay; Deucalion liked seeing Stiles wearing it, and most of his attention was now focused on that fine young cock. It wasn't an exaggeration to say that his mouth was watering, and his own hard-on was pushing insistently at the front of his jeans, leaking even more copiously than Stiles' was.

Stiles' eyes sharpened as Deucalion moved to stand beside the bed, but any protest died on his lips as he watched Deucalion strip off his shirt and divest himself of the remainder of his clothing in short order.

"Damn," Stiles breathed, one hand still on his collarbone, the other sliding down his flat belly to wrap around his hard prick, holding on and jacking it lazily. "You're in even better shape than Derek."

Deucalion smirked, taking the compliment for what it was, even though he didn't particularly wish to be reminded of Stiles' unrequited feelings for his adoptive brother right now. "I'm older and wiser and stronger," he instructed, moving smoothly back onto the bed and kneeling between Stiles' spread legs. "I'm an Alpha."

Stiles licked his lips, gaze fixated on Deucalion's hard prick where it bobbed between his solid thighs. He was uncut, of course, and he reached down almost casually to pull the foreskin back, sweeping his thumb over the wet head. Stiles' pupils dilated, eyes going dark, and Deucalion shifted forward to press the pad against those red lips. Stiles opened his mouth immediately and allowed Deucalion to settle his thumb on his tongue, sucking with every evidence of pleasure.

Retrieving his hand, Deucalion reached down to wrap his fingers around Stiles' hard-on in turn, being careful about his grip, especially since his hand was dry, feeling the blood hot and pulsing in the taut flesh cradled in his palm. Stiles let out a helpless little whine, head slamming back into the mattress under him, his hips jerking up toward the stimulation, and his prick throbbed in Deucalion's hand, heated pre-ejaculate trickling down over his fingers and knuckles, ticklish and tempting at once.

With no reason not to and every desire to do so, Deucalion bent at the waist and ran the flat of his tongue over the slit at the head of Stiles' erection. This, of course, resulted in another blurt of his juices, which broke over Deucalion's taste buds in a heady rush.

It was an added sweetness knowing that if Stiles wasn't lying to him -- and his heartbeat hadn't faltered when he'd spoken about Peter earlier -- Deucalion was first one getting this, the first one to touch Stiles so directly, the first one to get this gorgeous prick in his mouth.

Which was exactly what happened next. Stiles let out a strangled cry, heels digging into the mattress, hands slapping to either side of him before his fingers clenched in the bedcovers, his entire torso jolting upward in shock and instinctive reaction as Deucalion slid his lips down around the shaft of the boy's cock.

If he had his tongue free, he'd have told Stiles it was okay to sink those long, lean fingers into his hair again, Deucalion thought, but he wasn't about to give up this mouthful now that he had it. Stiles felt good and tasted even better as Deucalion went down until his nose brushed the bristly hairs of his groin, the head of Stiles' cock sliding over his tongue, then butting up against the back of his throat.

As he set about giving Stiles an actual, real blow job, Deucalion had to grab a hold of his narrow hips and hold him mostly still with his supernatural strength, or else the boy would have very likely writhed his way off of the bed entirely. He did allow Stiles to flex his lower torso, the muscles bunching as he awkwardly fucked Deucalion's mouth, but most of the action was on Deucalion's end, his mouth doing a majority of the work.

Not because Stiles wasn't eager. Or because he was too eager, though his flailing was more awkward than helpful. But Deucalion was the one with experience here, and he was the one who was in control of the situation.

That wasn't to say that he wasn't swept up in the rush of arousal and sexual pleasure too. He most certainly was. Stiles made the most delicious noises, his body moved around Deucalion's in the most enticing ways, and his prick tasted so good that he felt he could suck it forever.

That, of course, was not in the cards. Stiles was a sixteen year old virgin, after all, receiving his very first blow job. In fact, Deucalion was a little surprised he lasted as long as he did -- almost three whole minutes -- before popping off in his mouth.

Normally Deucalion didn't swallow. The again, normally he was on the receiving end of any given blow job. But Stiles was special, in more ways than one, and Deucalion wasn't about to waste this offering, even if the non-romanticized meaning of this was that he swallowed a mouthful of spunk.

It was Stiles' spunk, though. Young and fresh and all for Deucalion. Not for anyone else.

Stiles had coiled tightly into himself when he had come, and his body was slow to relax even once he had finished. Deucalion pulled off his prick with one last lick at the tip, then shifted up to rest propped on his side next to Stiles, pulling the shuddering boy into his arms and rubbing his back soothingly, murmuring nonsense words about how well he had done and how good he had tasted.

It wasn't really an act, he actually did mean his words. Stiles had been bold enough to make the first move and he'd just reaped the rewards. He'd been mostly a virgin just an hour ago, and now he was most of his way to being not a virgin. In fact, depending on who one asked and how they counted virginity, he probably shouldn't still be considered a virgin now, since he'd just come inside someone else's body. Deucalion was inclined to think of Stiles as being a virgin until Deucalion got his own cock buried in the boy's tempting little arse, but that wasn't hopefully going to be too far in the future.

Not right now, though. Not for Stiles' first full sexual experience. Besides, after giving Stiles a blow job and holding him as he shuddered his way through orgasm, Deucalion wasn't inclined to wait long to take his own pleasure. His balls were heavy and his own woefully neglected prick was aching with need.

While the idea of asking Stiles to reciprocate was tempting, seeing if that obscene mouth lived up to its potential promise of hot humid pressure, Deucalion didn't have the patience needed to coach Stiles through his very first blow job. He wanted to come, and he wanted to come now.

There was a tube of lubricant under his pillow, because ever since he'd first seen Stiles and had decided to stay in Beacon Hills he'd had needs. It took only a matter of moments to get that in hand, roll Stiles back onto his back, straddle the boy's lean thighs, and close his own lube-slicked fingers around his throbbing erection.

Stiles was still wallowing in his post-coital bliss, Deucalion could tell, but he struggled up onto his elbows, eyes coming back into focus, staring at the hard-on Deucalion was fisting with growing vigour. His mouth fell open as he stared, and maybe he'd meant to say something, but no words emerged. He just watched in fascination as Deucalion jerked himself off, and Deucalion in turn focused his gaze on those parted lips, the dark red inside, the pink flutter of Stiles' tongue behind white teeth, and he imagined sliding his needy prick right in there, smooth as silk, hot and tight as a cunt, or maybe Stiles' own arsehole, though he didn't yet have any experience with that. Yet.

With this visualization in mind, not to mention to taste of Stiles' spunk in his mouth and the spicy anise scent of the boy's skin in his nostrils, combining with his own arousal to haze his senses, his ears filled with the sound of Stiles' heavy breathing and the wet slide of his own hand around his cock, Deucalion honestly wasn't going to last any longer than Stiles had. Nor did he. He didn't even bother trying to prolong it.

Deucalion grunted as he came, hand clenching painfully tight around the shaft of his prick, and he made sure to spunk all over Stiles' belly and chest where it exposed by the jumper still rucked up under his armpits.

"Gross," Stiles moaned, in a tone that said he found this anything but, his own mostly-flaccid prick jumping a little where it was resting between his thighs.

Deucalion huffed, squeezing the last of his come out and then smearing it into Stiles' pale, delicate skin. The boy was going to reek of it, even after bathing. Which was what Deucalion wanted, but this also meant he'd played his last hand and now had to abide with the consequences.

Whether he would be doing so alone or not, though, was entirely up to Stiles.

For the moment, though, he was going to enjoy his afterglow, and allow Stiles to enjoy his. Wiping his hand off on the bedcovers, Deucalion tugged the jumper down to cover the spunk smeared into Stiles' torso, and then collapsed beside him again, pulling the boy into his arms.

"Dude, this is nasty," Stiles grumbled, wrapping his arms around Deucalion without hesitation and raising his chin for a kiss. One of his bare legs hooked over Deucalion's, and he could feel Stiles' prick against his thigh, hot and still damp, vulnerable and somehow unbearably sensual.

"I'll get you in the shower again soon," Deucalion murmured against Stiles' lips and chin, licking lightly at the corner of his mouth. "And join you. But for now, let me enjoy holding you close."

"I smell like jizz," Stiles grumped, even though he was squirming closer.

"Correction; you smell like my jizz."

"Oh." Stiles pressed his mouth against Deucalion's for a moment, not really a kiss, just a considering moment of pressure. "Well, I guess that's okay, then."

And what could have made the moment more perfect?

###

"I'm going to have to leave," Deucalion said, about two hours later, as the rain pattered against the window of his hotel room. His phone was still silent on the bedside table, but he knew that it was only a matter of time now. "Or else your mother will do worse than banish me to New York."

They were curled on the bed again, under the covers this time, both of them naked and spent. Deucalion had come once more, in the shower, and Stiles had gotten off twice, the second time with Deucalion's tongue in his arse. They were warm and it was comfortable, but Deucalion was well aware that he was on a timer, and eventually Talia was going to come looking for her son at his hotel room.

"Oh. Okay." Stiles scooted back a little, his lips going thin, which was like an actual crime, his eyes hardening as Deucalion watched. "Fuck and run, huh?"

Deucalion tugged at his tense body and brushed their mouths together. "I'd very much enjoy the opportunity to debauch you further, and far more thoroughly," he informed Stiles earnestly.

Stiles frowned at him, mouth softening even though his gaze did not. "But you just said...." He trailed off, his mind clearly working away at this puzzle. "Oh!"

His eyes and mouth both rounded now, and it was only by reminding himself of the threat of Talia Hale's wrath that Deucalion managed to refrain from rolling the boy over into the mattress again.

"Did you want to come with me, Stiles?" he asked, just to be sure that they were both clear on what he was offering.

"I...." Stiles' mouth hung open and he blinked rapidly, then his jaw slammed shut and he nodded. "Sure. Yes. Yeah, I wanna come with you when you go. And you're going right now. We're going right now."

Deucalion arched one brow, making no move to leave the bed yet, even though Stiles was suddenly zinging with energy.

"That's a big decision to make so quickly," he said mildly, because even though Stiles had said what he'd wanted to hear, he needed to be sure that the boy had meant it, that he knew what he was getting himself into. "I'm not going to be back this way... well, ever."

Stiles snorted. "Are you kidding? I hate this place! I would've flown to New York to be with Peter in a heartbeat if I didn't think he'd ship me right back to Mom." He pursed his lips and tilted his head, considering, then gave Deucalion a wide grin. "I'm glad I never did, though, because then I wouldn't have met you."

That took care of most of his concerns, Deucalion had to admit, but he had to be certain. Stiles was very young and stealing away the son of a powerful Alpha was an extremely bold move. Some might say suicidal, but Deucalion was an Alpha too, and he had no morals to get in the way of taking what he wanted and keeping it.

"You're certain?" he prodded, cupping Stiles' bony face and brushing the pad of his thumb over the boy's plump mouth. "You have to be certain."

Stiles licked at Deucalion's thumb, then nodded, rising from the bed and stretched unabashedly, his long, lean limbs shivering. He was a magnificent young creature, even as a human, and Deucalion felt a surge of possessiveness jolt through him. Stiles could be his. Stiles would be his. In fact, so long as he didn't change his mind, Stiles already was his.

"Honestly?" Stiles said, grabbing a teeshirt out of Deucalion's luggage without asking and tugging it on. "I dreamed about you taking me away from all this." He waved a hand toward Beacon Hills at large, outside the confines of the hotel room. "But I never thought it would happen in real life, you know?" He smiled and shook his head, a wondering look on his face. "I never thought you'd be interested enough in me to want to take me with you."

Deucalion rose and palmed Stiles' waist through the material of the shirt he'd just put on, pressing his face to the sweet-smooth line of the boy's neck and inhaling deeply.

"Have I made my interest sufficiently clear yet?" he asked, lifting his head a little and brushing his lips against the lobe of Stiles' ear, causing the boy to shiver in his firm grip.

"Y-yeah," Stiles stuttered, hands coming to rest on Deucalion's chest. Then he pulled back a little and stared down as he spread his fingers. "God, you're nothing but muscle."

Deucalion smirked. "Don't discount the brain," he chided. "That's what's going to keep us safe once we're on the run."

"I know," Stiles assured him, though he was very clearly distracted. In order to break him out of his intense focus, Deucalion swooped in and claimed his mouth, just a little too roughly. Which Stiles evidently liked, considering that he locked his arms around the older man's neck, clinging to him and moaning into the kiss.

Unfortunately, there just wasn't time to take this clinch to its logical conclusion, so Deucalion reluctantly pushed Stiles away, breaking the hold the boy had on him.

"Finish getting dressed," Deucalion instructed, enjoying the view before him, Stiles wearing nothing but an oversized teeshirt. His oversized teeshirt. "If you really do want to come with me, that is."

"Fine." Stiles grabbed a pair of boxers and stepped into them before Deucalion could stop him. Not that he would have. It gave him a renewed surge of possessiveness mingled with arousal to know that Stiles was wearing his under-things.

"Ugh," Stiles grumbled, squirming back into his own jeans, which made sense because they fit him a fair sight better than Deucalion's jeans would have done. "They're still wet."

"Damp," Deucalion corrected, smirking when Stiles shot him a dirty look, then getting dressed himself.

Speaking of Stiles' clothing, though, they were going to have to do some shopping. As much as Deucalion liked seeing Stiles in his things, that wasn't going to cut it for when they were out in public. And with that in mind....

"Is there anything at the Hale house that you'd cry if you never saw again?" he asked Stiles as he finished packing and closed his suitcase. The spunk-stained jumper went in the front pocket for future laundering.

"You mean besides my Mom?" Stiles asked, his lips quirking in something that wasn't a smile.

"Yes." Deucalion nodded. This was the make or break moment. For all his bold declarations, could Stiles really leave behind the woman who had raised him? "Besides her."

Stiles drew in a deep breath and then shook his head. "No. Not really." His arms were wrapped around his torso defensively, but his chin was lifted and his eyes were bright and clear. His heartbeat hadn't faltered for a moment. He smelled a little sour, but that might have been any number of emotions, and his overall stance was one of certainty.

"You don't have to come with me," Deucalion offered. "You could go home, deal with the fallout for sneaking out and having sex with me, then talk to your mother about maybe attended a private school...."

Stiles reached over and smacked Deucalion in the chest, then winced and shook his hand. "No taking it back," he said. "Not unless you don't really want me."

"I want you."

Stiles stared at him for several long, intense heartbeats, attempting to read the sincerity in Deucalion's face. "You really want me?" he asked in a tiny voice, practically throbbing with anxiety and vulnerable hope.

"Enough that I'm willing to risk your mother's wrath by taking you from her," Deucalion said, stating the obvious with ease.

Stiles' eyes went wide and he sucked in a breath. But that was both the truth and it was what he wanted to hear. After all, the boy had responded to Peter Hale's advances in large part because he wanted to feel wanted. It was too bad that so far in his life he'd been overlooked and abused by those who ought to care about him... but it had certainly worked in Deucalion's favor.

"Okay."

When Stiles only spoke that one word, without a clear indication of what he meant by it, Deucalion added;

"You know that we won't be able to contact her once we're gone. Are you all right with not seeing your mother again?"

Stiles seemed to be considering the question seriously. "I love my Mom," he said slowly. "But she has Laura and Derek and Cora.... They're all her actual kids and they're werewolves and they're all successful. I'm weak. I get good grades, but I'm second-string and everyone at school either hates or ignores me. My own family either hates me or ignores me. I know Mom loves me, but that's not enough. I need something for myself. She sent Peter away and now I have nothing. I can't... I can't keep living with that. You actually want me, at least for now. That's more than I've gotten from anyone ever before."

Deucalion could hardly argue with that logic. Not to mention, it was exactly the scenario he had been angling for, the one he had hoped that Stiles would be intelligent enough to see for himself.

And see it Stiles had. Deucalion was so proud of the boy, and so pleased to have gotten his way.

"So you're still coming with me?"

Stiles nodded firmly. "I'll go with you until you get bored with me." He smiled sheepishly. "Then I'll go home and deal with the fallout."

Deucalion raised both his brows. "And what if I never get bored with you?" he asked.

"Well," Stiles bit his lower lip and blinked at Deucalion with dark eyes. "Then I guess I'll never go home."

"Or you can build a new home with me," Deucalion murmured, tugging Stiles in for another kiss, this time far more gentle and sweet.

"I like the sound of that," Stiles sighed happily, and if they didn't leave now they weren't going to leave for another hour or more. And as tempting as that was, it could all too easily lend itself to complete disaster.

"Let's go get in the car." Deucalion grabbed his luggage and led the way, Stiles right beside him. The rain had finally stopped and the night was clearing up, cool and crisp. Everything smelled clean and there were stars in the sky.

If Deucalion was still a good man, it was possible he'd have felt a pinch of guilt as he stole Talia Hale's adopted son away from her... but all the decency had been burned out of him years before.

Stiles made him feel alive again, and he didn't intend to give that up.

As they roared away from Beacon Hills, Stiles fell asleep in the passenger seat and Deucalion mused on what their future might hold.

Maybe Peter Hale would hear of his "abduction" and be jealous enough to come after Deucalion from New York.

Maybe Derek Hale would drag himself away from his girlfriend and his peachy-sweet life in Seattle and try to hunt his adopted brother down, proving that he really did care.

Maybe Talia Hale would find them, castrate and kill Deucalion, and drag Stiles home.

But Deucalion was wily and his boy was smart. As long as Stiles wanted to stay with Deucalion, he instinctively knew, Stiles would do whatever it took to keep them both safe and free. And Deucalion would be doing the same in turn. Deucalion had the experience and the werewolf powers, but Stiles knew his family, knew how they thought and hunted. Deucalion just had to make sure his boy was happy with him... and that he could do.

That he would most definitely do.

He might still be a lone Alpha, but with Stiles by his side, he would never be lonely again.

And so maybe it wasn't only Stiles who was getting the fresh start here.

Then again, Deucalion was absconding with an underage boy, one that he'd just screwed into exhausted slumber, which he was pretty sure still made him a very bad man.

Fortunately for himself and Stiles both, he just didn't care.

Stiles sighed in his sleep and that soft sound was all the approbation Deucalion needed.

Deucalion smiled to himself as he drove into the night, heading northeast and wondering how long it would take Talia Hale to come after them.

Whatever happened next, though, one thought rang true; it was totally worth it.

Stiles was worth it.

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