First, I want to apologize for how long it took to update this. I struggled with writing this chapter and I lost count of the number of times I started, stopped, deleted, rewrote, get the idea. I hoped to get this posted sooner, but it needed some serious polishing up before it was ready. Also, many of you may know that I am also in the Glee fandom and we suffered a devastating blow this week when Cory Monteith was found dead, so writing took a back seat while my Glee family and I grieved together. Thank you all for your patience.

Thanks goes to my darling beta Sies for doing her part in trying to keep me honest with POV changes and the like and for popping my hands when I needed it. Thanks also go to my beloved Shelley for cheerleading, talking me down from the ledge, reading over and making suggestions, talking me down from the ledge again, helping me figure my way out of a wet paper bag by giving implicit instructions, once again talking me down from the ledge, and for reminding me to have fun and for god's sake, get off the ledge...

Derek swallowed heavily as the door swung open. Even though it had been several years since since he'd last seen him in person Derek instantly recognized Maksym Stilinski. The Sheriff's gentleness and understanding in the days immediately following the fire, coupled with the integral part he had played in Kate's prosecution had left a favorable impression on all the remaining members of the Hale family, and Derek suddenly found himself wishing that he'd taken the time back then to express his gratitude.

Now that they were meeting again under much different circumstances Derek wanted to prove to Makysm that he was no longer the broken boy that no doubt lived in Maksym's memories, but a fully competent Dom capable of providing and caring for a submissive. The fact that the submissive in question happened to be Maksym's own son and just happened to be in possession of the most sinful mouth that Derek had ever seen was merely extra motivation for Derek to make a favorable impression.

"Maks!" exclaimed Peter jovially, holding out a hand and greeting Maksym as if they were old friends who had happened to run into one another in the frozen food section of the grocery store as opposed to the head of their households sitting down to discuss a contract that would alter the course of all their lives.

Maksym Stilinski took the proffered hand and shook it. "Good to see you again, Peter," he replied. His gaze moved to Derek and he eyed him shrewdly before holding his hand out to him, "And here's Derek, all grown up now. Welcome back."

"Thank you Sheriff," Derek said politely as they shook hands. It didn't escape him that Maksym's grip was just bit tighter and he held on just a tad longer than strictly necessary or that his pale green eyes seemed to look right through him, the calculating assessment leaving Derek with the vaguely horrifying thought Maksym was aware of each and every impure thought Derek had already had about his son.

"Please, come in. Make yourselves comfortable." Maksym said as they entered into the pleasantly worn looking living room. He motioned to the couch, indicating for them to sit.

Peter sat easily, leaning back comfortably, while Derek bypassed the couch altogether in favor of the plush armchair recliner that smelled strongly of Maksym. He fought back a smirk as Maksym narrowed his eyes at him speculatively from across the room. Peter looked as though he was fighting back laughter, making Derek contemplate sprinkling wolfsbane powder in his silk robe later as revenge for this whole situation.

"The steaks are ready. Stiles is putting the finishing touches on everything and he'll call us when it's time to eat," Maksym said. "I made two of them rare, if that's okay. If it isn't, I still probably have time to cook them longer."

"No, no, rare is perfect, isn't it Derek?" Peter assured, not waiting for Derek's nod of agreement as he sniffed the air appreciatively. "Dinner smells good, Maksym. I haven't had a good steak in quite some time so this will be a pleasure. Is that chocolate cake I smell baking?"

"Yes. Stiles decided to make his mother's chocolate lava cakes for dessert. It was always a favorite recipe of his," Maks said conversationally as he walked to a small wine cabinet. "Wine? I've got a nice Cabernet Sauvignon that will go nicely with dinner."

Peter nodded. "Please. I do enjoy a good Cabernet. Derek?"

Derek shook his head. "None for me, thanks."

Maks studied him for a moment. Derek knew by the look on the man's face that whatever was coming next was going to a be a test of some sort, and a moment later he was proven right. "It's okay, Derek. I promise you it's safe. The only thing I have laced with wolfsbane is my special cache of bullets, just in case they're ever needed." He poured a glass and held it out, looking steadily at Derek.

Never one to back down from a challenge, Derek accepted the glass of wine from Maksym. He took a leisurely sip, not breaking eye contact, slowly licking the wine from his lips and savoring the taste before giving Maksym a wolfish grin that was more a baring of teeth than a smile. "I hope you're a quick draw, then, Sheriff. Bullets only help when you get the chance to fire them." He lifted the glass in mock salute before shooting a scowl in Peter's direction, letting him know he hadn't missed the hastily smothered snort of laughter.

Screw wolfsbane in Peter's robe, Derek was going to dust the entire contents of his underwear drawer. The bastard was enjoying this far too much.

To Derek's relief, Maksym's lips quirked up in a small smile and he nodded. "Yes, you'll do just fine." He poured himself a glass of the rich wine and sat on the smaller sofa that matched the couch. "I spoke to Stiles," he said, looking at Derek first and then Peter, "He says he'll agree to the claim."

Derek felt a tension he hadn't realized he had inside him relax at Maksym's words. Peter had been right; despite all of his reluctance to take on a submissive, he couldn't deny that he wanted this one more than anything he'd ever wanted before, nor could he explain why since he didn't know himself. All he knew was that no matter how much he desired Stiles, no matter how much his wolf demanded him, had Stiles refused their offer, Derek would have had no choice but to deal with it. It would have been torture. His wolf paced restlessly just below the surface of his skin, which agitated him even more.

He was torn between the conflicting desires to impress Stiles' father and leaving the two older Doms to find the boy that now belonged to him and claim him. He was suddenly taken with a fierce need to see his new submissive, to speak to him and gaze into those magnificent eyes. Derek squirmed in his seat, feeling ridiculously like a teenager with a crush, impatient to be in the presence of his heart's desire.

Maksym looked at him steadily over the rim of his wineglass as he calmly took a sip of his wine, taking a moment to appreciate the flavor before swallowing it down. He chuckled as he leaned back, settling comfortably into his seat. "Stiles is in the kitchen, if you'd like to go say hello," he said, gesturing toward the vicinity of the kitchen with his wineglass.

Derek blinked at him for a moment before he realized that he had finally been given permission by Stiles' dad, his Dom, to approach him. It was all he needed to hear. Derek rose gracefully to his feet, determined to remain cool and not appear too eager. After all, in just a short time he would be the Dom calling the shots when it came to Stiles, and he felt like that was understood now. "Thank you, Sheriff," he said.

Maksym inclined his head. "Let's dispense with the formalities, shall we? I think at this point you can call me Maks. The kitchen is back and to your right."

"Okay, then. Thank you, Maks," Derek agreed with a slight smile. He knew Maks was trying to set him at ease and thought maybe he hadn't been quite as successful at hiding his nerves as he'd hoped. Reminding himself once again that he was an experienced Dominant, he straightened his shoulders and made his way in the direction Maks had indicated.

As he exited the living room Derek was so focused on spending time with Stiles that he failed to pay any attention to the Doms he'd left behind, completely missing when Maks leaned over into Peter's personal space and demanded in a furious whisper, "Have you told Derek the Argents are back?"

Stiles puttered nervously around the kitchen. He had been tasked with finishing the last minute dinner preparations while his father went into the living room to prepare for the arrival of their guests. Stiles was grateful for the distraction since the busy work since having to something focus on kept his anxiety at bay. Stiles had readied the potatoes, piling the foil wrapped spuds high on a plate so they were ready to be served, set the table with his mother's good dishes and silverware, even going so far as to pull out linen napkins and fold them into elegant swans. The salad and been prepped and placed onto the table alongside his homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing in its glass cruet, and the sour cream, shredded cheese and crumbled bacon had been placed in the condiment bowls. Warm rolls had been placed in the breadbasket, a new stick of butter adorned the porcelain dish in the middle of the table and his father had the steaks ready on a large serving platter.

The cakes were nearly done and kitchen filled with the heavenly scent of chocolate as Stiles chewed nervously on a thumbnail, keeping on eye on the timer and an ear out for the arrival of their guests. When he finally heard voices in the living room he felt a sharp twist in his stomach and his heart began to race

"It's okay, Stiles," he coached himself aloud. "You've been waiting for this day to come, no need to freak out. Even if your Dom happens to be incredibly hot. Smokin' hot, even. Sex on legs. Oh, god, sex, you're going to be having sex with a guy that looks like that and Jesus, how is this even my life?"

Stiles gasped as he grabbed the countertop with both hands and squeezed down hard enough to make his fingers ache. The dull pain brought him back down and he could feel the brief panic begin to recede

"There you go, man, you got this," Stiles congratulated himself as his breathing returned to normal. The timer on the stove dinged, signaling that the lava cakes were ready. Stiles grabbed a potholder and opened the oven, letting the warm chocolaty scent waft over him as he leaned down and sniffed appreciatively. He was so engrossed in his work that he didn't notice the shadow in the doorway.

"Perfect every time," Stiles said happily, carefully pulling out the cookie sheet with the ramekins on it to place it on the stove top and completely unaware that he had an audience. He left the pans in the stove to cool and went to the cabinet to grab the powdered sugar the cakes would be dusted with before they were served. He then went to the refrigerator and pulled out a container of raspberries and placed them on the counter. After thinking about it for a moment he went back to the fridge and pulled out a container of strawberries and set them down next to the raspberries, contemplating them both. "One of you is going to be sacrificed to the pagan god of Lava Cake, which one will it be?" Stiles mused.

"I like strawberries," said a low, gruff voice behind him.

Stiles startled at the deep, rich voice coming from behind him and accidentally brushed his forearm against one of the hot ramekins resulting in a small burn. He yelped in pain and dashed to the sink to run cold water over the gradually reddening spot. Stiles froze when Derek joined him at the sink and gently took his arm to inspect the burn.

"Are you alright?" Derek asked.

Stiles gaped at him for another moment before regaining his wits. He hastily pulled his arm out of Derek's loose grasp and stepped back. "Dude! Not cool to sneak up on me like that! Creep much?" he snapped, flinging his arm in emphasis and wincing when it tugged the burned area. He nearly cringed when Derek raised a brow at him and took his arm again to take a closer look at the smarting injury.

"Are you alright," Derek repeated, the concern in his voice wrapping Stiles in a pleasant cocoon of warmth.

"I-It's nothing. I can totally rub some dirt on it and walk it off," Stiles tried joking but the pained whimper that escaped his lips when Derek pressed down on a particularly tender spot ruined the illusion of bravado.

Stiles saw Derek's mouth tighten into a disapproving line and then the Dom placed two fingers under his chin, forcing Stiles to meet the Dom's eyes. "Can you hold still for me?" Derek asked quietly.

Even though Derek hadn't given him a direct order and been careful not to let command enter his voice, Stiles felt an overwhelming desire to do as Derek had asked and found himself nodding his acquiescence as he stared into his Dom's eyes.

His Dom was even better looking up close. Strong brows topped green eyes that were trimmed with long lashes that could hardly be legal. His cheeks were covered with a heavy stubble that Stiles found himself wanting to rub his own face against, to feel the prickle and burn it would cause as it passed over his skin. Derek's lips were a dark pink, and Stiles realized belatedly that they were moving as Derek spoke to him.

"You should be more careful," Derek scolded lightly. "Your well being is important to me. I don't like seeing you get hurt."

Stiles' cheeks heated in a dark flush as he dropped his gaze to the floor. Crap. Not even officially claimed and already he's screwing up and disappointing his Dom. He was surprised at how much he already wanted to please Derek, to show him how well he could obey and submit, be a good boy, his good boy. "I'm sorry, Sir," he said in a near whisper, the title slipping out without his realization. "I didn't mean to. But in my defense, I only hurt myself because you startled me. I didn't know you were there."

"I apologize. It wasn't my intention to frighten you," Derek murmured as he gently covered the red welt on Stiles' arm with his palm.

"That's o-hey, what are you doing?" Stiles asked, instinctively trying to pull away but getting distracted instead by the warm tingle that had nothing to do with the burn. He watched in fascination as small black lines appeared on Derek's hand. The stinging ache began to dissipate as it was replaced with a euphoric sensation that rushed through him, flooding his entire body in a wave that warmed and cooled him simultaneously. Stiles felt himself smiling foolishly. He felt awesome. Better than awesome. This was the best thing ever in the history of best things, way better than that one time he and Scott swiped a bottle of his Dad's liquor when Scott had been depressed because he was sure Allison would never claim him since she was a hunter and he was a werewolf. Stiles had gotten cataclysmically wasted, which had been totally fantastic until the next morning when his body rebelled and tried to turn itself inside out. Scott, that asshole, had been perfectly fine because it turned out werewolves couldn't get drunk on regular booze.

"I'm taking away your pain," Derek explained, keeping his hand firmly in place and concentrating on drawing out the pain and replacing it with healing energy.

"Huh," mused Stiles dreamily, caught up in the endorphin-like haze of the pain exchange. "Can any werewolf do that? Because I'll be pissed if Scott's been holding out on me and he could've been doing the touchy-takey-away-the-pain thing all this time. Or is this something only Dominant wolves can do? Can you do it in other ways?"

"Other ways?" Derek asked.

"Yeah, like can you do it with your mouth maybe?" Stiles asked blissfully before he realized what he was saying and stopped, looking momentarily horrified at himself. "I mean, not that what you're doing is bad, because, hey, no complaints about magic fingers, like at all, and a little pain isn't necessarily a bad thing, and oh my god," he groaned as he realized how his last sentence could be interpreted.

Derek's mouth lifted at one corner in a half grin. "Are you asking me to kiss it and make it better?"

Stiles' eyes widened and looked panicked for a brief moment. "No! Yes? I mean, well, I might be, if it were okay, maybe, and-ohhhhhhhh, my god..." he trailed off as Derek's grin became predatory.

Derek had been taken aback initially by how bold Stiles appeared to be but then again considering the first time he had ever met him the boy had sassed Peter, perhaps he shouldn't have been.

It hadn't been Derek's intention to startle Stiles but when he'd walked into the kitchen and found the boy so engrossed in his dinner preparations he had wanted to take advantage of the opportunity observe the young man that would be his submissive. He had been amused and rather entranced with watching and listening to his boy chat with himself about fruit.

When Stiles had burned himself Derek had been overcome with an intense need to help. His dominant instincts had taken over to where all he could focus on was the fact that his submissive was in pain, and the thought of Stiles suffering was simply intolerable.

Derek had wanted nothing more than to order Stiles to stand still and allow Derek to tend to him but he knew that it would be both poor form and a violation of trust to dominate Stiles outside of their claim, so he had been careful keep command out of his voice and make sure that Stiles knew that he was given a choice of whether or not to comply and not an order he had no other recourse but to obey.

When Stiles had let the title of "Sir" slip from his lips it had almost been Derek's undoing. His control had been further tested when Stiles had placed himself in Derek's hands and allowed Derek to leach his pain. Stiles staring at him, those perfect pink lips parted ever so slightly, perfect trust and the promise of complete submission shining in his eyes had pushed Derek ever closer to the edge. He had been mesmerized by the warm brown of Stiles' eyes and found himself helpless against his need to lean closer and breathe in the boy's scent. All of his senses had exploded as Stiles' scent washed over him, filling his nostrils with the clean smell of soap combined with an underlying essence of fresh fallen rain in the forest that Derek knew would be unique to Stiles. He felt it tickling his skin and could taste it on his tongue. It was as though it had entered his bloodstream and spread throughout his body, saturating him from the inside out, intoxicating him fully.

He'd been startled to feel the telltale stinging sensation in his gums as his fangs had threatened to drop and the tightening in his fingertips as his claws had begun to form.

The partial shift had been enough to shock Derek back into some semblance of control. He hadn't had an involuntary shift since he had gone through puberty and the fact that he'd experienced one at the first scent of his submissive shook him to the core. That Stiles could unwittingly elicit such a strong response from both Derek and his wolf had him had been unexpected.

Derek probably would have been able to steady his heartbeat, will his fangs back into relaxation and walk away while still firmly on the right side of the line of propriety, but Stiles' remark about other ways to draw out pain proved his undoing.

If his boy wanted him to kiss it and make it better, then who was Derek to refuse him?

Derek lifted Stiles' arm slightly as he bent over to slowly trace his lips over the fading burn. "Is this what you want?" he teased, feeling inordinately pleased when he heard Stiles' breath hitch. He felt Stiles tremble and heard the rabbit fast, rapid beat of his heart. His hold on Stiles was loose, allowing him an escape if he wanted it, but Derek knew, they both knew Stiles wanted no such thing. There was no scent of fear coming from his boy. Derek could smell his nervousness and confusion but was delighted to also smell the keen interest mixed with the faint underlying scent of arousal that had been emanating from Stiles from the moment they touched and was steadily growing stronger. Stiles melted and relaxed into the sensations and Derek thrilled at how responsive Stiles was to his touch, creating pictures in his mind's eye of how much they'd both enjoy just how receptive to Derek Stiles seemed to be.

Derek peeked at Stiles from beneath his lashes as his tongue darted out to trace the fading burn on Stiles's arm. He smirked when Stiles swallowed a moan and bit down on his bottom lip. "Nuh uh," Derek said, taking his thumb and gently removing Stiles's lip from in between his teeth. "Let me hear you. Don't be afraid to tell me what you want," he purred encouragingly as his entire body thrummed with confident dominance and desire.

It hadn't been an order but Stiles responded beautifully, his eyelashes fluttering shut and his lips parting on a soft whimper of submission that went straight to Derek's cock. Derek felt Stiles shiver when he scraped his teeth lightly over the sensitive skin but he was wholly unprepared for the boy to tip his head ever so slightly to one side, baring just a hint of the vulnerable curve of his neck to the Dom.

Derek felt a low growl rumble deep in the back of his throat as his wolf responded on the most primal level. Did Stiles even realize what he was doing, offering his neck like that? Did he have any clue what he was doing to him? It would be so easy to take what was being offered to him. He felt his fangs growing again and his vision swam for a mere breadth of a second before sharpening and he knew his eyes were glowing. He leaned forward and slowly and tantalizingly ran his nose up the curve of Stiles' neck, paying special attention to a spot just behind his ear that seemed particularly sensitive, taking mental note of the goosebumps that Stiles got in response before retracing his way back down, scraping his cheek lightly against warm, soft skin, his wolf rumbling in satisfaction now that Stiles smelled like a mixture of both their scents. He felt Stiles quiver in response, his low gasp audible to his sensitized hearing, and wanted to howl his triumph.

"Well, now, isn't this simply adorable? How very interesting," an amused voice drawled from the doorway.

Derek whipped around with a snarl, his face transforming as he pushed Stiles back to stand protectively in front of him. Reacting on pure instinct, he bared his teeth and flashed his eyes at his uncle.

"Oh, do relax, Derek. You've nothing to be worried about from me," Peter said with a grin, not batting an eyelash at his nephew's ire. "Not that it hasn't been delightfully diverting, but I believe Maks gave you permission to come and say hello to Stiles, not rub yourself all over the poor boy like a Were in heat. It's probably a good thing he can't hear or smell what's been going on in here."

Derek knew that technically his uncle was right, but damn the man for enjoying it so much. He snarled at him again, just on general principle but found himself on the receiving end of his Alpha's ire.

"Careful now, remember your place," Peter admonished with false gentleness as he let the Alpha red bleed into his eyes. "Get yourself under control. Remember that Maks doesn't have to let you have Stiles tonight, seeing as we don't meet with the magistrate until tomorrow."

The combination of the rebuke and the reminder was enough to have Derek shifted from his Beta from back into his human features.

His uncle nodded his approval just as Maks walked into the kitchen.

"Are we ready to eat, Stiles?" Maks asked.

Derek groaned internally as he realized what the scene must look like from the older Dom's point of view: Derek and Peter facing each other down with a slightly flushed, obviously flustered Stiles tightly pressed between Derek's back and the kitchen counter.

"Is there a problem?" Maksym questioned warily, frowning in concern.

"No sir," Derek answered calmly.

"I believe I was asking Stiles," Maksym stated, peering around Derek and making eye contact with his son.

Stiles stepped from behind Derek and instantly the werewolf wanted to drag him back.

"Dad! Hey! No, nope, everything's great, hunky dory, peachy keen, nothing to be seen here, why don't we get that dinner going. Let me go fix the plates, you know, salad in the bowls and potatoes ready to eat. You already showed me which steaks were the rare ones. When you come in, I'll get you seated and we can get started, okay? Give me five minutes." Derek winced as he heard the slightly breathy, overly bright tone in which Stiles answered his father before beating a hasty retreat out of the room. If the man hadn't been suspicious before he sure as hell would be now.

Derek could tell by the narrowing of the Sheriff's eyes that he wasn't entirely buying what Stiles was selling, but thankfully the man decided to let it go.

"This way gentlemen," Maksym said as he led the way into the dining room. Derek followed, hoping that he would manage to make it through dinner without either killing his uncle or throwing Stiles down and mounting him on the dining room table.

Derek entered the dining room and watched as Maksym took his place at the head of the table. He waited patiently as Stiles showed Peter to the chair opposite of Maks' and then led Derek to the chair placed across from his own. Once the two werewolves were seated, Maksym nodded his permission for Stiles to stand next to his own chair before formally addressing Derek and his uncle.

"Alpha Hale," Maksym intoned respectfully, "Dom Derek Hale, you are both welcome to our home. I'm pleased to have you join us in fellowship for dinner before I let my son go with you in agreement to a claim between him and Derek. As is custom, I've had Stiles prepare the plates already. He will continue to serve us as needed during dinner, but as you can tell, I don't make him kneel at meal time."

"That won't be an issue," Derek assured Maksym. There were most definitely times and places he would have Stiles on his knees, but during meals would not be among them. He would have preferred sitting next to Stiles, rather than across from him, but he would comply with the arrangement Maks had set up. "I know some dominants insist on the more old fashioned notion of their submissives kneeling at all times, but my family has never kept with that custom. Peter doesn't make his subs kneel at meals and I have no plans to require Stiles to, either."

Maksym nodded his head once and the relief etched across his face made Derek hopeful that the man was gaining confidence in the claim and growing more secure with the idea of entrusting Stiles to Derek.

"Thank you. I'm glad to know that, actually," Maks said, his voice drawing Derek out of his thoughts. "There are those who would call me liberal in my upbringing of my son, but it's been just the two of us since he was eight. It wasn't always easy for me to raise a submissive son on my own without his mother to counterbalance, so I'm aware that some are of the opinion that Stiles is maybe a bit on the willful side at times. We can discuss things further while we eat, though. Stiles, you can sit down." Derek watched with sharp eyes as the man reached out and gave his son an encouraging squeeze to his neck and sat down, Stiles quickly taking his seat after his father had settled.

Derek had known from his previous dealings with Maksym that the man was compassionate and fair but seeing in his own home, with his own submissive son had only deepened Derek's respect for him. Derek had no doubt that were a great many men in Maksym's place that wouldn't have had the patience or the inclination to be a single parent to a submissive, but Maksym had risen to the challenge and Stiles seemed to have thrived under his father's care.

Peter and Maksym made small talk but Derek hardly registered their voices. He was so focused on Stiles that it took him several moments to realize that Maks had been speaking to him.

"I'm sorry, Maks, would you mind repeating that?" Derek asked.

"You seem a bit distracted, son. I asked if everything was to your liking. Do you need anything? Steak sauce or something?" Maksym explained.

As Stiles jumped up from the table, presumably to go into the kitchen to get the steak sauce Derek hurried to reassure him. "No, it's okay, I don't need any," said Derek quickly. He didn't want Stiles leaving his sight. It was far too easy to get distracted by those long fingers and what they might be capable of doing, or of that flawless neck that begged for him to mark it. Seeing the pink skin where he had rubbed his face against it only made him want to do it more.

"I'm fine as well, thank you," Peter put in, as he popped a bite of steak in his mouth and chewed, the barely contained glee on his face making it plain to Derek that his uncle was enjoying the scene immensely.

"It's no problem, I assure you. Stiles can easily grab the A-1 from the refrigerator," Maks said with a genial smile.

Stiles was halfway out of his seat when Derek halted him again. "No, Stiles, it's okay, I don't want any." Stiles froze, the indecision written plain as day across his face. Derek suddenly realized it had to be confusing for his young submissive to get conflicting information between his father, who had always been his Dom, and Derek, who was about to be his Dom in his first claim, and decided he needed to take charge of the situation so that Stiles could be set at ease. He took a calming breath and then smiled in apology. "I wasn't intending to slight this excellent meal, I promise. I was just lost in thought. I don't eat sauce on my steak so there's no need to trouble yourself on my account." To his relief, Stiles sat back down. He tried to ignore the knowing look Maksym was giving him but felt his ears burning and was sure they were red.

Things settled after that and Peter and Maksym chatted about the latest developments in a murder case involving a famous athlete while Derek and Stiles snuck glances back and forth across the table. Even though the meal was excellent, Derek spent most of his time pushing food around his plate, utterly distracted the sight of Stiles' pink lips wrapping around his fork each time he took a bite or how he kept looking at him from beneath lush lashes. When Stiles began fidgeting with his fork, running his fingers along the handle in a way that was practically obscene, Derek nearly groaned out loud. He grimly swore to himself that if he survived this dinner without somehow embarrassing himself, he would consider it a triumph.

As dinner came to a close Stiles sought permission from his father to serve the dessert. After disappearing into the kitchen for a few moments Stiles came back into the dining room with the lava cakes. Derek hid a smile and felt a warm frisson of pleasure go through him when he realized that Stiles had taken his tastes into consideration and chosen to decorate the tops of the decadent looking cakes with ripe strawberries.

Custom dictated that Stiles was to serve the agent of his Dom first. Derek watched as Stiles took the first plate to Peter, dropping to his knees next to his uncle and presenting the plate to him. "With your permission, Alpha."

Peter nodded and accepted the plate. "Thank you. That's a good boy," Peter praised, grinning and giving the boy a quick rub of approval on his neck. Derek stiffened and barely resisted the urge to growl. He knew what the custom was, but seeing his submissive kneeling for another Dom didn't sit well with him regardless, especially when the Dom in question was his uncle. He knew that Peter was merely making mischief, but the idea of another dominant touching Stiles raised the hackles of his wolf and stretched the tethers of his control. Only the fact that Stiles' father was sitting there kept him in his seat. He didn't want Maks terminating the claim before they even got to start it because he was concerned he might be giving his son into the care of a lunatic with anger management issues. Lashing out at Peter like that might also frighten Stiles and the last thing he wanted was for the boy to fear him. Derek grit his teeth and gave his unrepentant uncle a look that promised retribution at another time.

The next person to be served as per custom was the dominant parent of the submissive. Stiles dropped to his knees next to his father and presented the plate of cake to him. "With your permission, Dad."

Derek felt the man's pride as Maks smiled and accepted the plate from his son. "Thank you, Stiles. You did well, son."

It was now time for the submissive to serve his Dom. Derek noted the small shake in his hands as Stiles removed the plate from the sideboard and made his way over to Derek. He heard Stiles' heartbeat ratchet up as he knelt by his side and saw the quick flash of his tongue as it darted out to lick over soft pink lips. "With your permission, Sir," Stiles said as he presented the plate to Derek.

Derek took the plate from Stiles and placed it on the table. Unable to keep his hands off his submissive for any longer, he ran a gentle hand through Stiles' hair to rest at the base of his neck and leaned forward, resting his forehead against Stiles' and breathing deeply of his scent once again. "Good boy," he whispered.

Derek smiled in satisfaction as he heard the small hitch in Stiles's breath and saw the warm flush on his skin indicating his pleasure at receiving the touch and praise of his Dom. His long lashes swept over his cheekbones as they fluttered shut and Derek sat transfixed by the sight. They sat there like that for a moment, caught up in a world that consisted only of the two of them and completely unaware of their surroundings.

And then Peter, because of course it was Peter, shattered the moment.

"Ahhh, first claims. There's just something magical about them, isn't there?" he chuckled.

Stiles' eyes flew open and he jerked backwards, nearly falling on his ass. Derek reached out a hand to steady him and glared daggers at Peter. As annoyed as he was with his uncle he couldn't help but be charmed by the adorable blush that stained Stiles's cheeks and wonder just how far down the delicate pink flush went.

Custom dictated that the dominants not eat until the submissive had been seated so once Stiles got his plate and joined them at the table everyone took up their forks.

"Oh, my god, Stiles, this is incredible," moaned Peter around a forkful of warm lava cake. "You'll have to make this for us again."

Derek's exasperation with his uncle's antics were cut short at the sight of Stiles beaming from the praise.

"That would so not be a problem," he heard Stiles answer his uncle. " This is one of my favorite things to make and eat." Derek smiled as Stiles looked hungrily at his cake and licked his lips with relish. "Mmmmmmm. Come on, gorgeous, get in me!"

Derek nearly choked on his intake of air. Christ, this boy was going to kill him, and he didn't even seem realize he was doing it. He heard Peter snicker softly and managed not to throw his fork at his head, instead using it to cut into the cake. The mouth watering aroma of warm chocolate grew stronger as the gooey center began to ooze out. Derek took a bite and closed his eyes. The cake melted in his mouth with a velvety smooth explosion that circled his tongue like a silk scarf and danced over his taste buds like musical notes.

Holy mother of god.

"So," said Maksym as they were savoring the last of the rich dessert, "I think it's time we address the issue at hand. Does anyone want coffee or anything before we start?" Derek and Peter both declined and Maks nodded. "Okay then. As I mentioned earlier, I've spoken to Stiles about your interest in a claim between him and Derek. Stiles has agreed to enter into this claim, and I am giving my permission. I do, however, have some conditions."

Derek quirked an eyebrow and noted that Stiles seemed to be taken aback by the mention of any conditions being placed on their claim. While it wasn't unusual for provincial claims to have stipulations, typically they were included as part of the contract. Derek was intrigued as to what amendments Maksym might want to make on their claim that he hadn't gone over with his son first.

"What would those conditions be?" Derek asked quietly.

"First of all, I believe I've mentioned that Stiles is all I have," Maks began, answering Derek. "His upbringing might have been a bit unconventional at times, but he's smart and quick. He takes medication for ADD to help him focus, but it's not always that easy. He also has a tendency towards stubbornness and can be mouthy. I know that punishment and reward is an important part of a claim, but I don't want my son injured. If the urge to kill him becomes a regular thing, I want him back. No questions asked."

"I assure you rumors of Derek's homicidal tendencies have been greatly exaggerated," Peter said smoothly. "Also it does bear mentioning that Stiles is our top submissive student. I have every confidence that he'll do just fine. And if he gives Derek a run for his money, all the better. Builds character." Peter smirked at Derek from across the table and Derek stifled the urge to stab his Alpha with his dessert fork.

"I understand that. I also understand that humans don't have the supernatural strength and healing ability of werewolves. I'm looking out for the well being of my son," Maksym said firmly.

Peter started to say something but Derek cut him off. He was plenty capable of speaking on his own behalf. "You have my word, Dom Stilinski. I don't foresee any problem, but I agree to your request. I also want you to know that harming Stiles is the last thing I want to do. We Hales don't have the reputation of being submissive abusers."

Maks cleared his throat pointedly. "Understand I mean no offense. My son's well being is my top priority."

"And now it's mine," stated Derek, matching Maksym in his intensity.

"That's what I needed to know," Maks said approvingly, then continued, "Now, the only other condition I have on this claim is no cubs. Not unless you make this a permanent claim and even then not until he's older."

Derek's eyes grew wide at the bold declaration but before he could gather his wits Stiles reacted.

"Da-a-a-ad!" squawked Stiles, throwing both arms up to grab his head in embarrassment. "How much whiskey did you have before dinner? We're both guys! That's not possible!" He paused and then looked at the two wolves suspiciously. "Is it?"

Derek couldn't find his voice but Peter apparently had no such problem. "I can see we need to enroll you in a werewolf claim class at school," he chuckled before turning serious. "To answer your question, Stiles, there actually are documented cases of male couples procreating. It's extremely rare, but it has happened. The good news is that it has yet to happen in a wolf/human couple. So far it appears that human males aren't carriers, but I assure you, we are able to take preventative measures that won't affect you in the slightest. We take the same precautions with every provisional claim as humans do, and my family is no exception." Having stunned Stiles into silence, Peter turned to Maks. "You have the word of the Alpha, Maks."

"Thank you," replied Maks with an incline of his head. "I don't believe I have any other concerns at this time." He breathed out a heavy breath, and then stood, followed by Peter and Derek.

In accordance with custom, Peter spoke first. "Dom Maksym Stilinski, as Alpha of the Hale pack, I present my nephew, Dom Derek Hale, and I am here as his agent. In accordance to the law, we formally make an offer for Derek to claim your son as his submissive in a provincial claim with all the regulations that go with it, which will be discussed in full at time of register. We agree to your conditions. If you are agreeable, then we will meet with the magistrate at the time of your choosing to legally register this claim. I also respectfully remind you that as per our previous conversation, we would like permission to have him return to our residence tonight so as to get him accustomed to our household."

Derek could tell by the stunned look on his face that his submissive had been unaware that he'd be leaving so soon. He tried to give Stiles a supportive smile but wasn't sure it registered with the flustered young man.

Maksym must have sensed his son's surprise as well, because when he spoke next Derek noticed that the older Dom had a reassuring hand on the young man's shoulder. "As dominant and only living parent of submissive Aurélien Stilinski, called Stiles by his request and my permission, I give my approval for Dom Derek Hale to claim my son as his submissive in a provincial claim. As is decreed by law, my son has been applied to for his agreement to enter this claim, and he has done so of his own free will. I hereby request the presence of the Alpha, Dom Peter Hale, and his nephew, Dom Derek Hale, to join me at the magistrate tomorrow evening at 5:30 to register this claim and make it legal. As agreed to in prior communication with the Alpha, I consent to let my son go to the Hale household tonight in order to try to make his transition as a member of the household as easy and smooth as possible."

Derek released a breath he hadn't realized he was holding at Maksym's words. It was done, then. Stiles was his and he would be taking him home tonight. A prickle of something that felt almost like utter happiness built up in his chest until he felt nearly lightheaded with it.

"Stiles," Derek said gently. "Go get what you'll need to get you through the night, and this weekend we'll work on getting you packed and moved. I know that this must seem like it's moving incredibly fast for you and that things are a little confusing right now but I promise you, things are going to be just fine."

Stiles gave Derek a shaky attempt at a smile before shooting a quick, nervous glance at his father. "Wow. Okay, tonight then," the boy said. He paused and motioned to the table. "Shouldn't I clear the dishes and clean up first?"

Derek's eyes slid to Maks, knowing that it was his father's reassurance Stiles needed. Maks shook his head. "I know you normally take care of clean up, but not this time. I've got it, you go do as Derek said so that you can get to your new digs and start getting acclimated."

Derek reluctantly watched Stiles turn and walk towards the stairs. Without thinking, he called out, "Do you need any help?"

Stiles looked back and Derek ached to take the pads of his fingers and smooth away each and every anxious line he saw on his boy's face. When Stiles declined his help and thudded up the stairs Derek swore he could feel the growing distance between them like a physical discomfort in his chest. Strange, especially since they weren't officially claimed yet.

Stiles shut the door to his room quietly behind him and leaned heavily against it, gasping in a deep breath before sliding bonelessly to the floor. His chest had just started aching and he rubbed at it absentmindedly while his thoughts raced through his head. So he would be leaving his home tonight, not tomorrow after meeting the magistrate. Instead of going to sleep in his own bed one last time, maybe enjoying a little Stiles time and jerking off to thoughts of his hot Dom before succumbing to dreamland, he would actually be in a bed with his hot Dom.

Jesus Christ.

He would not have a panic attack right now. He would not.

Grabbing his phone, Stiles tapped out a text to Scott.

I may or may not be freaking out right now

What's wrong? : /

Looks like I've got myself a hot Dom

That's awesome, dude! Congrats! Why the freak out? Did something go wrong?

Not exactly, more like oh yeah, hey Stiles, by the way, you're going home with the big bad wolves tonight. Have a great night!

Lol, your dad said that?

Not funny, dude, I am dead serious. The legal claiming with the magistrate is tomorrow but I'm supposed to be packing right now for my first grown up slumber party. This is NOT a drill!

But what's wrong? Are you afraid of him? Don't be.

Stiles stopped to think. Was he afraid of Derek? He hadn't given him any reason to be scared, had he?

No, I'm NOT afraid of him.

Except maybe he was. Maybe he was afraid of how Derek already made him feel. Maybe he was afraid of not being a good enough submissive. Fantasy was one thing, reality was altogether different, and going home with his Dom tonight was both exciting and terrifying all at once.

I can hear your brain working from here. Just relax and let yourself enjoy it, okay? Enjoy being taken care of by your Dom. Everything's gonna be ok!

Sure thing. Gotta go, they're waiting for me. I'll see you tomorrow.

Stiles puffed out his cheeks with a deep sigh as he drug an old duffel bag out of his closet. He quickly packed clothes for school tomorrow along with a pair of comfortable flannel pajama pants and an old Sacramento State t-shirt that had been his Dad's back in the day and was faded and soft from repeat washings over the years, perfect for sleeping in. Unless, of course, Derek didn't allow him to wear clothes to bed. Stiles shrugged and packed the clothes anyway. Better to be prepared. Clean underwear and socks were tossed in on top of that. A quick run across the hallway to the bathroom to gather together his toiletries came next. He packed his laptop in its bag and made sure to toss his phone charger in as well. He started to zip the bag closed but stopped to pack his bottle of Adderal. His pillow was the last thing he grabbed. He was sure Derek had plenty of pillows, but he still wanted his own. That way if he drooled in his sleep or anything it wouldn't be quite as embarrassing.

Stiles looked over his room to make sure he wasn't forgetting anything. It was a bittersweet moment. His room looked a little forlorn already, and he had only packed an overnight bag, for crying out loud. He was not going to get emotional over his bedroom. There was always moving out for that. Heaving one last sigh, Stiles shouldered his duffel bag and computer bag on one shoulder and grabbed his backpack and lacrosse bag as well before stuffing his pillow under one arm. He managed to make it down the stairs without wiping out and injuring himself or breaking anything. When he stumbled into the living room, Peter and Derek were standing by the door with his dad.

His dad gave him a smile of encouragement that held a hint of sadness. "Got everything you'll need for the night?"

Stiles nodded breathlessly. The weird ache in his chest had gone as suddenly as it had appeared, but now his stomach felt all twisted in knots. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm good to go."

"The car is ready when we are," Peter said.

Stiles gave his dad a shaky smile. "So I guess this is it, then. Goodbye and all that."

His father placed his hand on Stiles' shoulder and squeezed it. "I'm just a phone call away if you need me. No matter what." He waited for Stiles to let his bags fall to the floor before pulling him into a bone crushing hug, holding him tightly for several moments. He heard Stiles sniffle and whispered, "You're going to be fine. I love you, son."

"Love you too, Dad," Stiles replied in a broken whisper as he let go of his dad and wiped his eyes. Straightening his shoulders and blowing out a quick breath, he looked at Peter and Derek. "I'm ready."

Derek reached for Stiles' bags to help him carry them to the car but Maks held up a hand. "You'll help him if he needs it from here on, young man, but this time I will." He picked up Stiles' bags and motioned to Peter to lead the way.

Peter opened the front door and walked to the car. The driver opened the trunk and jumped out, hurrying to assist, but Maks waved him off. He placed Stiles' bags in the trunk and slammed it shut before leaning against it while the driver opened the door to usher Peter into his seat.

Derek held a hand out to Stiles. "Are you ready to go?"

Stiles swallowed heavily and nodded as he accepted Derek's outstretched hand. As soon as their hands touched, a jolt like electricity passed through him and he swore he felt Derek's hand tighten on his as though he felt the same thing. As they walked out, he closed the door quietly behind him. His boyhood home was behind him and a car was waiting to whisk him to his future dwelling, the dividing lines of his life seeming almost surreal.

"It's okay, I've got you," Derek said softly, startling Stiles out of his reverie.

"W-what?" he stuttered.

"I can hear your heartbeat, it's about to pound out of your chest," Derek said as they reached the car, where the driver waited with the door held open. "Stop worrying."

Stiles gave his dad one more tight, lingering hug before allowing himself to be led into the car, followed by Derek. Peter was sitting across from him and gave him a bright smile.

"Ready?" Peter asked cheerfully.

Stiles gave him a weak lift of the corners of his mouth in return and was surprised when Derek pointedly put an arm around him, the possessive action causing Peter to chuckle softly. It had been an emotional day and Stiles was mentally exhausted. Feeling a little lost and out of sorts, he turned and leaned into the protective warmth being silently offered by his Dom. He lay his head against Derek's chest and closed his eyes as he listened to his steady heart beat, slowly relaxing and quietly dozing off.

Derek tightened his arm around Stiles, holding his sleeping submissive close. His breath caught when Stiles snuffled adorably and cuddled even closer. Touch was a basic submissive need; they craved it, sought it out, even while asleep, but there was always a matter of trust involved. The fact that already his boy trusted him enough to sleep in his arms even after he had been uprooted from the home he had always known made Derek's heart want to sing. It was becoming harder to remember why he didn't want to claim a sub. When Stiles sighed softly in his sleep, causing his lips to part ever so slightly, Derek began to realize that he just might be in serious trouble.


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