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Stiles is about to give up on KinkConnect when Peter messages him. He’s been on the site for a couple of months and he only ever seems to meet two types of people. The first is people telling him he’d look pretty on his knees which, yes, he does, but read the switch part of his profile before messaging him please. The second are guys who want to be cucked which Stiles is so not interested in, he even adds that detail to his profile, and yet still the messages come. He begins to dread logging in and seeing that he has messages. Then one day his luck changes.

SubCub I see you also appreciate rhyming.
SubCub You have the most beautiful eyes.

After the graphic and presumptuous messages he usually receives, this feels like being courted. Intrigued, he clicks on SubCub’s profile.

Name: Peter
Age: 42
Role: submissive
Status: In a relationship
Occupation: Kept man
Looking for: Poly. Switch. Male.

Well if those aren’t three words that describe Stiles perfectly. He feels a swell of hope. He enlarges the profile picture, an artfully taken photograph of an arched neck, head thrown back, collarbones pronounced. It doesn’t actually show anything, but it still manages to look pornographic.

Stiles clicks through his other photos and this guy is drop dead gorgeous with a body that Stiles would actually give his life for. There’s a couple of selfies, some casual shots that all seem to feature V-necks, and then some more suggestive pictures that look like they’re genuinely taken during a scene, not faked. There’s nothing explicit about them, but the neediness in his eyes looks real. It feels like such a vulnerable thing to put out there.

The last photo is of Peter and his partner, Chris. It looks like it was taken on a hike, a beautiful vista behind them, and they are such a ridiculously good-looking couple that it is ticking all of Stiles’ boxes right now. Chris’ hand is around Peter’s waist, gripping his side firmly and tugging him in close, a subtle show of dominance, and fuck if Stiles doesn’t want them both.

SwitchBitch Thank you. Every part of you is beautiful.
SwitchBitch And I like your name, it makes me want to pet you.

Stiles presses send and then immediately wants to headdesk. He’s being as condescending and presumptuous as all those Doms who cold message him.

SubCub I like being pet so that would be appreciated.
SubCub I usually like to get worn out first, but it’s not a prerequisite.

Stiles smiles at the screen, feeling his cheeks heat as he leans in closer. He flicks back to Peter’s profile, checking out his list of likes. There’s certainly a lot there that would wear a person out. Stiles intends to go back through to his messages and respond, but instead he ends up looking through Peter’s photographs again, staring shamelessly at the more provocative ones.

When he gets a message notification he feels like he’s been caught in the act. He’s been silent for way too long. He clicks urgently back through to the message window. If his one-track mind loses him the only quality person he’s met on here, he’s going to be so mad at himself.

SubCub Cub is my husband’s petname for me.

Stiles smiles, putting his fingers back on the keys.

SwitchBitch That’s really cute.
SwitchBitch You guys are married?

SubCub We are. 50% for legal security, 50% to irritate my family.

SwitchBitch They don’t approve?

SubCub They love Chris, they just like to micromanage my life. I’m the runt of the litter.

SwitchBitch As an only child, I am simultaneously the runt and the one with all the expectations on their shoulders.

SubCub Puts an interesting question on nature versus nurture as far as our preferences go.

SwitchBitch You make a good point.

SubCub Would Chris and I being married be a problem for you?

SwitchBitch No. Just curious.
SwitchBitch I wouldn’t mind being with a married couple, but I am looking for something more serious than a threesome, so I guess it would depend on what you guys are looking for.

SubCub Much more than a threesome. We can get those at BDSM clubs and we enjoy playing there but I’m on here looking for an extension to our relationship, not just a bit of fun. I’m hoping it will be fun though.

SwitchBitch That sounds like something I might be interested in.

SubCub I’m glad to hear it.

SwitchBitch Do you go to clubs a lot?

SubCub It’s more of a special occasion thing, but it’s something we both enjoy.
SubCub He likes to show me off.

SwitchBitch You’re not into cuck, are you? It’s not in your profile but I seem to attract them and I am not here for it.

SubCub Sweetheart, I prefer to be worshipped.

SwitchBitch I can get behind that.

SubCub I certainly don’t mind working for it though. And I enjoy showing off, it’s very empowering to me.

SwitchBitch That’s a great attitude, I like it.

SubCub Much as I enjoy all those things, I assure you that this is nothing like those nights. This is something Chris and I have talked about for a long time.
SubCub Our marriage was never about monogamy. We love each other and we intend to be together for the rest of our lives, but we’ve always agreed that we’d like that to include other people. We’re looking to make a long-term commitment to somebody, we would be as serious about them as we are about each other.
SubCub I know that a married couple can be daunting, you’d be coming into our space, but I assure you you’d be very welcomed by us both.

SwitchBitch That all sounds a little overwhelmingly wonderful.
SwitchBitch You’re the first person here who’s actually said something that’s on my wavelength.

SubCub Can I tell you what we’re looking for?
SubCub It’s not a list of requirements by any means. It’s just an opportunity to see how many of our boxes you tick and how many of your boxes we tick, and then we could work from there.

Stiles stares at the screen, chewing on his thumb. This was all moving so fast. They’ve only just started talking and now they’re getting ready to hammer out the details. This is the reason Stiles is here though, he reminds himself. Peter seems like someone he can relate to, and he and Chris are both hot as sin. Stiles wants in on that. And talking it through is smart. He’s not committing to anything by listening to what Peter has to say.

SwitchBitch I’d love to hear.

SubCub Great
SubCub And then you’ll tell me what you’re looking for, right?

SwitchBitch Deal

SubCub OK, Chris and I are engaged in a total power exchange dynamic, which can sound scary to a lot of people but it’s not all that extreme and it doesn’t mean I’m on my knees all day or he treats me like I’m subservient. It means he makes all the decisions, like what we eat for dinner, or what clothes I wear if we’re going out, or sometimes if we’re staying in, and what movie we go and see. We like the same things though, we’re in sync, and sometimes I have to go see a shitty movie, or I’m in the mood for pizza and he wants to cook some three course French shit, but he knows what I like and he gives me plenty of it.
SubCub He’s also in charge of when we play and how we play and I’m not allowed to ask. I have a safeword, which he’s very responsive of, though we’ve rarely needed it, and I can use the phrase “I need…” like “I need you to fuck me already” or “I need a hug” or “I need you to stop fucking around with that food and order me a pizza.” Usually I get it. I’m not allowed to use “I want…” though. I like that distinction, it makes me look at things in a different way, quantify my own desires.
SubCub Just to be clear, none of this would apply to you, whatever role you were playing in. You’ll make you own rules, whether you’re being dominant or submissive, we are more than happy to be accommodating.

SwitchBitch I like the sound of your dynamic, and I’m jealous of your certainty, but I bet something like that takes a long time to build up to.

SubCub It definitely does. A lot of time and trust and communication. We’ll bring you in on the ground floor and we’ll work it out from there.
SubCub What are you uncertain about?

SwitchBitch Nothing specific. I’m just still learning and figuring things out. I’ll be honest, I don’t have a huge amount of hands on experience. I’ve had some threesomes through grindr which were fun but vanilla. And I’ve played with Doms who told me that I’ll grow out of being a switch, I should just submit, so they were assholes.

SubCub They were total assholes.
SubCub Give me their names, I’ll have them killed immediately.

SwitchBitch You just made me smile so wide.
SwitchBitch I don’t know how I feel about you.
SwitchBitch Shit, that came out wrong, I *like* you.
SwitchBitch You’re just so fucking smooth and in control and there’s a part of me that wants to submit to you and that is so not what anyone here is signing up for.

SubCub Sweetheart, relax.
SubCub There will be a lot of talking before anyone signs up for anything.
SubCub And I may be a cocky brat, but I very much like being put in my place. I’d like us to share something else though, when you were feeling submissive. I think there’s something very special about sharing submission.

SwitchBitch I’ve never done that.
SwitchBitch But yeah, I’d like to.

SubCub Something Chris likes to talk about is getting me a friend. Someone I can play with without the heavy dynamic. Someone I can say “I want…” to.
SubCub Sometimes something softer’s good.
SubCub But definitely when you’re in the mood you can do all the filthy things you want to me.
SubCub And trust me, Chris would adore playing with you. He’s really strong, physically and mentally, and he’s just so calm and he’ll kill you with kindness, he’ll reduce you to syrup if you want, you’ll love it.

SwitchBitch This all sounds amazing.
SwitchBitch I’m not even going to front.

SubCub Please don’t. I appreciate your honesty.
SubCub Can I share our conversation with Chris when he comes home from work?

SwitchBitch Absolutely.
SwitchBitch Hi, Chris ;)

SubCub He has an account at SilverHunter if you want to check it out. There’s not much there, he’s letting me wade through the muddy waters to find the gold, but he might be in touch.
SubCub He tends to make the arrangements for basically everything in our lives.

SwitchBitch I’ll look forward to it.

SubCub Until then, I think we should keep talking. Unless you have something you need to be doing.

SwitchBitch I’m supposed to be doing college work, so no, please keep talking to me!

They keep chatting, about how Stiles ended up doing a master’s in social work and what his placement is like. Peter tells him about what he studied and how he and Chris met in college, don’t listen to the people who tell you these relationships don’t last. They talk about their interests, mostly non-kinky, but they don’t shy away from the topic if it comes up. Stiles loves how natural it feels.

Peter informs him when Chris comes home from work, but he never mentions whether he shares the messages with him or if Chris has any comment on the matter. Stiles has to leave not long after for a study date with Lydia so he never finds out.

He sits across from Lydia in the library, his mind on anything but the work in front of him. Eventually, Lydia gives a huff at his vacant staring and demands that he spill. He tells her he might have found a couple he likes and Lydia starts packing up her things, dragging him off to a coffeeshop to hungrily eat up every detail. She doesn’t see gossip as a commodity anymore, but old habits die hard.

He exchanges messages with Peter every day, the kind of messages you might send to a crush, good morning and I saw this and thought of you and flirty banter, and sometimes more serious discussions about what they want, from life and maybe from each other. There’s an openness and honesty about it that’s a prerequisite for this type of relationship, but Stiles can’t believe how easily they’ve clicked.

He still doesn’t know much about Chris though. That’s not true, Peter talks about him all the time, making him feel like a natural part of their relationship. Stiles likes him already. He still hasn’t heard from him though and Peter doesn’t offer him any feedback on whether Chris ever actually read their messages until he drops it on Stiles one afternoon.

SubCub Chris really likes you.

SwitchBitch Oh yeah?

SubCub Not to be creepy but we talk about you a lot.

SwitchBitch I can relate. You two are my main topic of conversation with my best friend.

SubCub I’m glad to hear it.
SubCub Would it be alright if Chris messaged you this evening?

SwitchBitch I would love that.

SubCub Great.
SubCub He just got back from work, he’s making dinner, but I’m going to let him know.

SwitchBitch Sooooo, does this mean we’re at the serious planning phase?

SubCub Would you like to be at the serious planning phase?

SwitchBitch That’s a shitty way to answer a question.
SwitchBitch But yes, I would like that a lot.
SwitchBitch I would maybe be living for it.

SubCub We would definitely like that a lot too.

SwitchBitch Great, tell him I’m looking forward to it.

He chats to Peter for a while longer until Peter goes to eat his dinner and then he waits around not so patiently for Chris to get in touch with him. He pretends that he’s doing research, but really he’s just staring at his laptop, willing the message chime to sound. After an hour, he starts to wonder how long eating can possibly take, but maybe they’re civilised people and they don’t eat leftovers in front of the TV. Is he completely out of his league here? He can be a grown up, he just doesn’t usually have the energy between class and his placement.

When he hears the now familiar chime he switches windows, finding a brand new conversation.

SilverHunter Hello, Stiles.

SwitchBitch Hey
SwitchBitch It’s nice to finally meet you.

SilverHunter You too. Peter has told me a lot about you. He’s very smitten.

SwitchBitch That’s sweet. I like him a lot too.

SilverHunter I hope you don’t mind, I know Peter asked your permission, but I read through your exchanges. I enjoy your humour and your honesty with yourself. You seem to have a similar mindset to us, I feel like this could be a very good fit for all involved.

SwitchBitch Thank you. I’m a big fan of you both. Peter talks about you like you’re a god so I guess you’re pretty good at what you do and I am here for that.

SilverHunter Yeah, Peter talks like that, he doesn’t treat me like that.
SilverHunter But I am certainly very interested in exploring this further. Would you be interested in joining us for dinner one evening that suited you? We could get to know each other a little more in person and discuss terms for a possible arrangement going forward if it was something we still felt comfortable with.
SilverHunter I know this all sounds incredibly clinical, I promise you I’m much warmer in person, I just take ground rules and clear communication very seriously when approaching something like this.

SwitchBitch I definitely appreciate clarity.
SwitchBitch You saw I’m new to this, right?

SilverHunter Experience has nothing to do with it, you just need to find shared comfort zones and then you play together in them.
SilverHunter I’m looking forward to it. Your listed likes all tick boxes for me. I can’t wait to explore in more detail with you. I’d like to send you a list to rate. Would that be OK? Peter and I will fill them out too and we can compare.

SwitchBitch That makes sense.

SilverHunter Does it sound overwhelming?

SwitchBitch How do you get that from an affirmative line of text?

SilverHunter If I were in your position, I think I might find it a little daunting. I don’t want you to think of us as a couple, I want you to think of it as three people sitting down together, that’s what it is.

SwitchBitch Yeah. Thanks.

SilverHunter Take a deep breath, sweetheart, you’re doing great.

SwitchBitch I’m literally writing words, how are you doing this?

SilverHunter Did you take a deep breath?

SwitchBitch Yes.

SilverHunter Thank you.

Stiles smiles to himself, feeling warm and cosy from the attention. If it’s like this over the internet, imagine what it’s like being in a room with the guy. No wonder Peter seems to respond to him like a drug.

SilverHunter Peter is kneeling at my feet right now.

SwitchBitch Oh yeah?

SilverHunter He’s told me a couple of times about how he wants to kneel for you. He’d really like that.

SwitchBitch I would definitely be into that.

SilverHunter He’s a good boy. He’d be so good for you.

SwitchBitch I’d like to see that.

SilverHunter You will.
SilverHunter Stiles, would you mind if I sent you explicit photographs? No offence will be taken if you decline.

SwitchBitch No, I’d like that. I can return the favour.

SilverHunter I’d just like to show you something if I may.
SilverHunter Give me a few minutes to get Peter into position.

SwitchBitch np

If Stiles thought he was impatient before, the anticipation nearly kills him this time. The minutes tick by and he fidgets restlessly on his couch, wondering what Chris is doing to Peter, wondering what he wants to share. He feels like he’s getting a sneak peak and already from what’s in his imagination he wants more.

He hears the notification chime and flicks back to the window to see a photograph that makes his eyes go wide and his cock go hard. It’s Peter, still on his knees, topless at the very least, possibly naked. Chris’ hand is in his hair, tipping his head back, Peter’s eyes closed in bliss and his lips spread wide around Chris’ cock which he’s taken to the root.

Another one follows shortly afterwards, labelled For context. It’s Peter in the same position but this time his mouth is open around nothing, Chris’ cock resting against his cheek, glistening with saliva and precome. He’s big. Really big. Stiles is certain he couldn’t take all that, not in his mouth, but Peter looks like a pro, clearly taking it all the way into his throat and looking like he’s having a religious experience while he does it.

SwitchBitch Woah.
SwitchBitch Congratulations to you both.

SilverHunter When I told him it was for you, he was extra enthusiastic.

SwitchBitch He told me he likes it when you show him off.

SilverHunter He does. We both enjoy it.
SilverHunter His excitement on this occasion was specifically for you though.

SwitchBitch I’m honoured.
SwitchBitch Tell him he looks beautiful sucking cock.

SilverHunter He’s in no position to respond, but he blushed and his eyes went very soft.

SwitchBitch That sounds gorgeous.
SwitchBitch Also, your cock is amazing and I want to sit on it.

SilverHunter I am certain that can be arranged. I’d feel incredibly honoured.
SilverHunter I have a question for you though.

SwitchBitch Sure.

SilverHunter Do you think that I should come down his throat, or pull out and make a pretty mess on his face?

SwitchBitch Come on his face.
SwitchBitch Please.

SilverHunter I’ll tell him it’s from you.

Stiles shifts on his couch, hard as a rock in his pyjama pants as he waits for two other people to get off, and yet he feels so included in it. Imagine what it will feel like when he’s actually there. He thinks about getting off too, scrolling back up to the photographs, but he doesn’t want quick and rough right now. He wants the luxury of time. He still stares at Peter’s face though, at Chris’ cock, squeezing himself through his pants and enjoying the thrum it sends through his body.

The message notification startles him and he scrolls back down to find the new message. It’s a photograph of Peter, mouth gaping, eyes open, come splattered over his lips, his chin, his cheeks, his eyelashes. He’s looking right at the camera with those beautiful blue eyes, so sated, a distant look that Stiles recognises as submission. He squeezes his cock, wishing he were there, wanting to hold Peter and feel him give in his arms.

SilverHunter He says thank you.

SwitchBitch Tell him he’s welcome.
SwitchBitch Tell him he’s a good boy.
SwitchBitch Tell him he made me really hard.

SilverHunter Do you want to get off?

SwitchBitch I will later, if that’s OK.

SilverHunter Just let us know if you ever want any inspiration.

SwitchBitch You’ve given me plenty.

Another picture comes through, this one of Peter relaxed as he sits on the floor, his legs unfolded from under him. The come on his face is smeared and he’s licking at his fingers, clearly eating it.

SwitchBitch He is a thing of beauty.

SilverHunter He doesn’t even know we’re looking at him right now, that’s him left to his own devices. I left him there to come back to the computer.

SwitchBitch Give him a hug.

SilverHunter I’m going to wrap him in a blanket.

SwitchBitch Good.

SilverHunter Then maybe we can discuss a night for dinner.

Stiles smiles in anticipation. Chris sends him another picture a little later, Peter snuggling up against Chris with a blanket, eyes closed, Chris’ hand in his hair. It doesn’t make Stiles jealous. He feels included in the moment. Peter’s face is clean now and Stiles can’t help but wonder exactly what method they used.

He and Chris choose a day the following week that works for all of them and Chris sends him a link to a yes/no/maybe checklist for him to fill out with his experiences and wants. Chris and Peter will each fill one out as well and they can discuss their results when they meet. They also talk about safe sex and getting tested and Stiles agrees to make an appointment, which Chris immediately offers to pay for, but Stiles feels weird about accepting money from him, especially for something like that. He doesn’t want to feel indebted to him before they even start.

The form is long and Stiles feels instantly overwhelmed, but he knows that this is important and it’s kind of calming to get his thoughts in order before he throws himself into this. He’s already feeling anxious about the meeting, no matter how much he wants it. But over the next few days he works his way through the list, noting how much experience he has, giving each act a number from 1-5 to express how much he’d like to do it. It soothes the analytical part of his brain to have it all laid out like this.

He keeps talking to both Peter and Chris, their conversations shifting to text messages as they exchange phone numbers, and he always feels like they’re both so fond of him, and so excited to meet him. It’s a very special feeling that is nearly as overwhelming as the checklist. Chris makes sure that Stiles has all of their information before their date, as he calls it, their address and their full names, encouraging him to tell his friends where he’s going. Stiles goes one further and has Lydia drive him there.

“Have fun,” she tells him as he climbs out of the car, and Stiles loves her for never judging him. Her acceptance gives him confidence.

He heads up the walkway, skipping up the steps to the porch and knocking on the door. He clasps his hands in front of himself as he waits, trying not to let any of his anxious ticks show. He wants to look sane for at least the first thirty seconds.

Chris opens the door, Peter by his side, and they are exactly as good looking as their photographs but real and genuine and smiling warmly at him. He smiles back, wanting to fall into them. Chris holds his hand out for a formal handshake instead though so Stiles goes with it, feeling weak in his firm grasp.

“It’s a pleasure to have you here, Stiles,” Chris says.

“Yeah, thanks for having me,” Stiles responds.

“Stiles,” Peter greets, sticking out his hand. Stiles accepts it, but instead of shaking, Peter lifts Stiles’ hand to his mouth, placing a kiss on the back of it, eyes locked with Stiles the entire time. Stiles feels himself blush, holding onto him a little tighter.

“You’re such a cliché,” Chris mutters, but there’s so much affection behind the words. He looks behind Stiles to Lydia’s car still idling at the curb. “Is that your friend?”

“That’s Lydia,” Stiles agrees, finally catching himself and letting go of Peter’s hand.

“I’m going to go say hi,” Chris announces, stepping down from the porch.

“Oh, okay,” Stiles says.

“He’ll be nice,” Peter assures him.

“I wasn’t worried about Lydia,” Stiles responds. He turns back to Peter. “You have a lovely house.”

Peter just smiles at him, something so soft in his eyes. “I’m so glad you’re here. I’ve been looking forward to this all week.”

“Me too,” Stiles says, feeling himself start to relax.

He looks back at the car to see Lydia taking a photo of Chris on her phone before they share a brief exchange and Chris is walking back towards the house. Lydia waves at Stiles and he waves back, watching her drive away. It’s real now.

“I like your friend,” Chris says as he steps back onto the porch. “She has your back. If anything happens to you, I don’t think they’d ever find our bodies.”

“She’s way too smart to get caught for murder,” Stiles agrees.

Chris smiles widely at him. “Shall we go inside?” Stiles nods, Peter guiding them inside. “I’m nearly done with dinner, I won’t be long, I’ll leave you in Peter’s capable hands.”

“Would you like help with anything?” Stiles asks.

“You’re our guest,” Chris dismisses. “Relax, take a seat, I’ll be back soon.”

“Can I give him the tour?” Peter asks.

“Dinner first,” Chris says. “Then we talk.”

Peter pouts but relents, flopping dramatically down onto the soft cushions of the couch, curling his legs up under him. Chris gives him an indulgent look and then goes through to the kitchen.

“Sit,” Peter says, propping his elbow on the back of the couch. Stiles sits down, a little away from him. Peter just looks at him for a moment. “Your eyes are even more beautiful in person.”

Stiles feels himself melt, smiling softly. “Thanks.”

“And now you say my everything is even more beautiful in person,” Peter says.

“And that I want to pet you,” Stiles says, blushing as soon as the words are out of his mouth.

Peter smiles, shifting closer, but it’s more a restless movement than an actual attempt to bridge the gap. “Do you want to make out? I really want to make out.” His eyes flick to the kitchen. “I mean, he’d kill me, but worth it.”

Stiles frowns, looking at the doorway behind him.

“Not because he doesn’t want us to make out,” Peter adds quickly. “He definitely wants that, whether he’s watching or not. But we’re supposed to first. Set down the ground rules. It’s smart, but making out is vanilla.”

“Yeah,” Stiles says, not even sure what he’s agreeing to. All of the above.

Peter sighs, melting back into the couch. “He’s cooking French food. Again. He has ancestry. Not that I’m complaining, he takes me to France and he speaks to the locals in this gorgeous accent.”

Stiles’ mind is caught on the phrasing, he takes me, as though Peter isn’t included in these decisions, he just gets a ticket bought for him, maybe even a bag packed for him, and he's swept off his feet. It sounds nice, but Stiles knows he would hate it if that was all he ever got. He needs to feel like he’s in control of his life, even if he enjoys the act of giving that control up sometimes. That’s a kind of control too.

“Hey, can I ask you a question?”

“Sure,” Peter responds easily, and Stiles is fairly certain he’d answer literally anything.

“What do you actually do all day?” Stiles asks. “I’d like being a kept man in theory, but I’d get restless.”

Peter smiles conspiratorially. “Do you want to know a secret?”

“Okay,” Stiles agrees.

“This is my house,” Peter says, looking around. “I mean mine. I bought it. With cash. Chris and I like the kept man label, and he brings in a good wage so we never touch my savings. He likes taking care of me. I like him taking care of me. It works for our dynamic. But I’m not dependent on him. My sister threw a fit when we got married because I didn’t make him sign a prenup. ’Peter, he could take you for every cent.’ Which he couldn’t, he could take me for half, but I know he wouldn’t do that anyway. He’s the most honest man I’ve ever met. My sister can be fiercely protective though. Chris calls her Mama Bear. That’s why I’m the Cub.”

“That’s really cute,” Stiles says. “And it’s nice that your sister’s worried about you, even if it’s misplaced.”

Peter nods. “I work for her. Her publishing company. I work from home and it’s not really work, it’s just something to do. I’m the first line of defence against terrible manuscripts. I get the unsolicited submissions to sort through. She used to have interns do it, but I’m better. I like to write mean things all over them and send them to her.”

“I bet you’d be good at that,” Stiles says.

“I’ve never said anything mean to you,” Peter responds, his eyes full of teasing affection.

“So you’re not really a kept man,” Stiles says. “That’s part of the fantasy?”

“I’m kept,” Peter says. “His wages put the food on the table and I don’t get paid for reading manuscripts, I insisted. If she put me on the payroll I’d have to be professional about it. I’d also have to put it first and answer to deadlines and I only answer to Chris. And you. If you want. I’d answer to you.”

Something changes in his eyes, still shining and clever, but subdued as well. Waiting. It lights up something inside Stiles.

“Thank you.”

They stare at each other, a deep connection starting to take hold before Chris walks into the room. It doesn’t break the spell though, just widens that radius of what they’re sharing. Peter looks up at Chris and Stiles can tell that Chris can see that thing in his eyes too. He must recognise it more than Stiles does.

“Dinner’s ready,” Chris says, smiling warmly at Stiles. “Do you want to come through?”

“Thanks,” Stiles says, standing up.

Chris goes over to Peter, placing a hand on the back of his neck and squeezing. “Come on, Cub,” he says, voice firm and clear. “On your feet.”

Peter makes a little noise, standing with Chris’ hand still on his neck, looking up at him. He blinks. “You said no playing until after negotiations,” he says, almost petulant but mostly seeking.

Chris considers him and then nods, taking his hand away. “You’re right. We shouldn’t let you go under now. Clear eyes, clear head.”

Peter swallows, his eyes going over to Stiles, looking almost wistful. “I want to kneel for him.”

“I’m sure he’ll let you,” Chris says. “But that’s something to discuss, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” Peter agrees. He smiles at Stiles, giving him a self-deprecating look. “He keeps me teetering constantly on that edge.”

“That sounds amazing,” Stiles says honestly.

Peter looks at Chris with adoration. “It really is.”

“We should go eat,” Chris says decisively.

Stiles wasn’t sure what to expect from French cuisine but the food is delicious, the sauce rich and flavoursome. Chris apologises for the lack of alcohol on offer, but explains that they can’t negotiate if any of them are under the influence, even if it’s only a single glass of wine. The measure makes Stiles feel safe, knowing that they’re taking this seriously.

They stick to vanilla topics while they eat, school and work and hobbies. He listens to Chris talk about his carpentry business and can’t help imagining him in the workshop, building things with those strong hands, leaning over his workbench, all sweaty and manly. It’s quite the mental image. Then he starts talking about hunting, apparently he’s been doing it since he was a teen and he’s quite adept, but he only ever kills for food. There’s just something so capable about that, it ticks a box Stiles didn’t even know he had.

The conversation flows easily as they finish their meals and it feels nice. It feels like a real date, even though there’s three of them. It’s kind of all that Stiles has ever wanted.

“Chris?” Peter says, something in his voice Stiles hasn’t heard before. “May I use the bathroom?”

“You may,” Chris agrees conversationally, as though the request is perfectly normal.

Peter leaves the table, Stiles watching him go before turning to Chris. “Does he always have to ask?” He shakes his head. “I’m sorry, that’s rude, it’s none of my business.”

“You can ask,” Chris tells him. “It’s encouraged. I don’t want you to have nagging questions or doubts.” He turns more fully towards Stiles in his chair. “Yes, he asks permission to use the bathroom. It’s not really kinky, it’s just a matter of respect. He mentioned we share a total power exchange. That’s one of the things we agreed we would both enjoy me being in control of. I don’t deny him, though I might ask him to be patient sometimes, and it’s not about humiliation. We have subtle ways for him to request if we’re in public. If I’m not with him, he’s free to use his discretion, though sometimes he texts me while I’m at work if he needs it.”

Stiles nods, mulling it over. It’s such a basic, every day thing, one of the first things you learn control over when you’re a baby, and Peter handed it away to Chris. Stiles feels himself pulled in the direction of having someone nurture him that much, but the thought of being committed to it 24/7 makes his skin feel tight. He can never settle on one thing for too long. He likes to have options. That’s why this set-up has always felt perfect for him, and now it might just be in his grasp.

“I don’t want you to be worried about anything Peter and I share,” Chris says. “We like things a certain way between us but that’s something that’s been built up over a lot of years and with a lot of negotiation and trial and error. I wouldn’t want you to be just like him anyway, even when you are feeling submissive. There’s no fun in that, right? We just want you to be you. We like you.”

“It’s not scary,” Stiles dismisses. “I mean, that’s not for me. But I respect it. And I get it. It’s like I can feel his headspace and there’s a big part of me that craves that. Sometimes I feel like it would be easier to just choose one thing or the other.”

“Absolutely not,” Peter says, coming back into the room. “Don’t put yourself in a box for the sake of somebody else’s comfort. Indulge your whims. We’ll indulge them with you.”

“Speaking of which, why don’t we clear the table and then we can begin to discuss our checklists,” Chris suggests, pushing his chair back. Stiles picks up his plate but Chris leans across to take it. “You’re a guest, stay there.” He gets to his feet. “Peter,” he says pointedly.

Peter gives Stiles a little smirk and then stands up, starting to gather the dishes. “Are we sitting at the table to do it?” he asks Chris.

“It would be a fitting location,” Chris responds.

“It’s a bit formal,” Peter says. “And hard.”

“And you, of course, want to spend your life curled up on that couch,” Chris says knowingly.

“It’s an expensive couch, I’m just trying to get your money’s worth,” Peter says. “And it might be a little more comfortable.” His eyes flick to Stiles. “A little more relaxed.”

“It would be more pleasant,” Chris agrees. “But if you so much as slouch, you can kneel on the floor.”

Peter nods, agreeing to the terms.

“And it’s not the time for snuggling,” Chris tells him. He turns back to Stiles. “Peter is incredibly tactile, which is a lovely trait to have and I appreciate it greatly, but there’s a time and a place.”

“I get it,” Stiles says. “I’m pretty tactile too. I like showing affection.”

Peter smiles, moving closer to him, and Stiles can tell that he wants to touch. He recognises that little twitch of the fingers.

“I’m going to come home to you two in a puppy pile, aren’t I?” Chris comments. He takes hold of Peter’s wrist, guiding him towards the doorway. “Talk first, then do.”

Stiles follows them back through to the living room, sitting in the same spot on the couch because that seemed to be okay last time. Peter sits down beside him, resisting the urge to fold himself into the cushions this time. Chris goes to a drawer, taking out his and Peter’s checklists and brings them over to the couch, sitting on the other side of Peter as he puts on a pair of glasses. He looks like some kind of sexy professor. Stiles is into it. He reaches for his bag that he left by the side of the couch earlier, pulling out his own list and clutching it in his hands, unsure what to do with it.

“Would you feel comfortable if we placed our lists on the coffee table where we could all see them?” Chris asks.

“Yeah,” Stiles agrees, swallowing around his nerves. This is real and he’s about to literally lay every fantasy he has out on the table. This is a safe place though, he reminds himself. He trusts these people. He likes them. He wants to share it with them. That’s why he’s here.

Chris places his and Peter’s lists down carefully side by side and Stiles leans forward, placing his own beside them. His eyes scan over their lists, too much information for him to really take in, especially when he’s painfully aware they’ll both be staring at his. They know everything about each other, they’re only interested in reading his deepest, darkest desires.

“Chris,” Peter whispers urgently and with a complete lack of subtlety. “Stiles put 3 down for receiving an enema.”

“I think Stiles might want to share that fact himself,” Chris says pointedly.

Peter turns to Stiles with glee. “Chris has had giving an enema as a 5 since the first time we did one of these but I’ve always been stuck on a 1.”

“3 is maybe, right?” Stiles asks, feeling the panic start to claw at him. “3 is curious.”

“It is,” Chris assures him. “And even if you’d put it at a 5, that doesn’t mean you’d be obligated to do it. It’s just an expression of interest. We’re just talking. You don’t have to act on any of it.”

Stiles nods, staring down at his own list, the numbers written in carefully with his best pen like a high school homework assignment. It doesn’t make him want to shy away though like he thought it would. He wants it out there. He’s not going to waste this opportunity.

“I’m sorry if I embarrassed you,” Peter says, his head slightly bowed now, and Stiles can tell Chris must have silently instructed him to apologise, but he can still tell it’s genuine.

“It’s okay,” Stiles says. He leans forward to see Chris better. “I don’t know that I’d want to do it. Or that I’d want to do all of it. I like the idea of having it administered, of being taken care of and overwhelmed and filled up. I want those sensations. But then the other part. When, uh… afterwards.”

“You’d like to be alone to release,” Chris supplies for him.

“Yeah,” Stiles agrees, smiling at being understood.

“I’d be happy to allow that,” Chris says. “And that still doesn’t mean we’re any closer to actually doing it. But we have an idea of how we might do it, and that’s all we need today.”

Stiles nods his head, looking back down at the lists. “Okay.”

“And you can absolutely change your mind at any time,” Chris says. “Something that feels like a 2 most days might suddenly feel like a 5 and you want to try it out right that second. Or something that’s usually a 5 might be a hard limit for you on a certain day. All that matters is how you feel in that moment. That goes for your dynamic too. Say you’re in a dominant mood and we’re both working on Peter and you think that looks fun and want to try it, you can take on the submissive role and I’ll happily work on you both. I want this to be fluid. I want you to do whatever you’re comfortable with in the moment.”

“Okay, you’re going to make me cry and that would be really embarrassing,” Stiles says, trying to hold himself together. “How are you guys so amazing?”

“We’re not, you just ran into a lot of assholes because you’re pretty and men are entitled,” Peter says.

Stiles looks up, smiling at him. “No, you’re really great.”

Chris leans forward, picking up Stiles’ checklist and then sliding Peter’s to the side. “How about we put you in the middle?”

“Okay,” Stiles agrees. He watches as Chris nestles his paper between his own and Peter’s. He likes it there.

“Swap with me,” Peter says.

Stiles moves into the middle seat of the couch, bracketed in just like his checklist is, and he swallows around the lump in his throat.

“It’s okay to feel emotional about this,” Chris tells him. “Acceptance can sometimes be overwhelming. It’s okay to embrace that if you want to.”

Stiles takes a deep breath, sitting up straighter. “I feel like such an idiot.”

“Please, don’t,” Chris says. He shares a look with Peter and then leans forward, consulting Stiles’ checklist. “I haven’t touched you beyond shaking your hand because I wasn’t sure what would be welcomed and I didn’t want to overstep any boundaries before we’d had a chance to talk through comfort levels and limits. But I can see your body boundaries section is pretty much all 5s.”

“I’m affectionate,” Stiles agrees. “Tactile.”

“Would you like to be held now?” Chris asks.

Part of Stiles wants to just fold into those strong arms, but he doesn’t think he’d ever come out again and he really wants to get through this tonight. “Maybe just… you could put your hand on my thigh?”

Chris reaches out, placing a firm hand midway up Stiles’ thigh, fingers curling around towards the inseam. “Like this?”

Stiles nods. “That feels nice.”

“What can I do?” Peter asks, moving closer to him.

Stiles smiles at him, considering him for a moment, his utter softness, and then he leans in, resting his head against Peter’s shoulder. Peter relaxes into him, resting his own head on top of Stiles’ as he threads his arm over Stiles’, hand resting idly on his forearm.

“Is that okay?” he asks quietly.

“It’s good,” Stiles agrees.

“Okay,” Peter whispers back.

Stiles places his hand over Chris’, looking up at him to confirm that it’s okay, and he doesn’t think he’s ever felt safer.

They go through their checklists, Chris suggesting that they focus on Stiles’ 5s and see how they compare to Chris and Peter’s lists. It feels like a pretty safe place to jump off from and they have a lot in common. There’s power dynamics and discipline and impact play that they all enjoy, though Stiles is more drawn to spanking while Peter enjoys implements. Chris is happy to wield either. Bondage is another tick for all of them and Chris talks about his skills in rope bondage and how he sometimes likes to take his time on intricate work, and Stiles cannot wait to learn about that, both with the ropes wrapping his own body and with him helping Chris to put them on Peter.

Stiles asks some questions about some of the higher numbers that Peter and Chris have in common that he doesn’t know much about and they’re both happy to talk things through with him and discuss details of their dynamic that are so intimate between them, but there’s no secrets between the three of them. Stiles is a part of this. They’ve accepted him.

“We’ll redo these regularly and make time to sit down and go through them,” Chris says as he starts to gather the lists to put them away. “Communication is extremely key, as is evaluating your own enjoyment and desires. Peter and I know ourselves and each other very securely now but we still make time at least once a year to go over things and check in with each other in a more formal way. It might sound clinical, but it’s important to always ensure you’re on the same page.”

“And actually, sometimes it’s really hot to talk about these things plainly and you end up getting a really good fuck out of it,” Peter says, giving Stiles’ arm a squeeze.

Chris leans forward to give Peter a look, raising his eyebrows pointedly. Peter sighs.

“Yeah, I know, I’m not getting laid tonight,” he says huffily.

“I didn’t think it fair that Peter should enjoy himself when we’d have to send you home without a treat today,” Chris says. “I think we should let things settle before we play. Make sure we’re all happy with our choices.”

Stiles nods. “Yeah, that’s smart, I’m totally on board. I’m so jerking off once I get home though, so you guys enjoy yourselves.”

Chris lets out a laugh, rough but joyful sound, and Stiles looks up to see him grinning. He hesitates.

“Is that okay?” he asks, wondering if he sounds like some kind of newbie.

“You don’t have to ask my permission,” Chris assures him. “You absolutely can, if you want to. It’s not required though.” He nods towards Peter. “He, on the other hand, gets what he’s given.”

Peter squirms beside Stiles, holding his arm a little tighter, but Stiles can tell it’s more for comfort this time. He leans into him, encouraging it, but he really likes this look on Peter. He wonders if he’ll ever be able to make Peter react this easily to him. It makes him feel a little giddy to find out. He turns back to Chris.

“I’m going to get off when I get home,” he says boldly.

“Me too,” Chris agrees. “Looks like it’s just you with the blue balls tonight, Cub.”

Peter pouts but he doesn’t comment. Stiles kind of feels sorry for him, but orgasm denial was a 5 on his list. Stiles likes delay, but denial doesn’t really interest him. Kink might be about more than sex, much more, but he still needs that full stop at the end of a session. His anxiety doesn’t like leaving things unfinished.

“Well,” Chris says, getting to his feet. He takes his glasses off, stretching his arms above his head. “How about we give you a little tour now. We want you to feel at home here. It’s very important us.”

“Sure,” Stiles agrees.

Peter seems to perk up at this, sitting up straight again. “Our bedroom is amazing.”

“We keep it vanilla downstairs,” Chris says. “Upstairs is for us.”

“You have a playroom?” Stiles asks.

“It’s our bedroom,” Peter says. “We sleep in it. You never know when the mood might take you.” He stands up, tugging Stiles with him. “You’ll see.”

“Listen, as far as I’m concerned, you’re not consenting 24/7, you’re consenting when you consent,” Chris says seriously. “You don’t have to worry about anything happening that isn’t discussed and agreed. You’re safe here, I want you to feel safe.”

“I do,” Stiles agrees.

Chris nods. “With Peter, I can tie him up in his sleep, that’s a given for him, and he loves that. But that’s not for you.”

“I do love it,” Peter says, leaning into Stiles again, but it feels flirty this time.

“Do you want to see?” Chris asks.

“Yeah,” Stiles says. “I’d love to.”

Chris leads the way and Peter slips his hand into Stiles’, walking beside him. It feels really nice. Chris points out rooms as they go, his study, the downstairs bathroom, family bathroom, guest room, and then finally to their bedroom. They step inside and it’s not immediately obvious, it doesn’t hit you in the face, but when he starts to look at the details he can see that the kink is everywhere.

“Chris made this bed,” Peter says proudly, pulling Stiles closer to it.

It’s impressive, made of solid wood, a four poster that has eyelets screwed into it in various places with sockets for more that fit in smoothly with the padded headboard, ready for any configuration. There’s a bench at the end that has straps on it and as he looks up he sees that the top of the bed which looks like it should hold a canopy instead has an open space with a series of pulleys at the edges.

“It’s for suspension play,” Chris tells him.

“Huh,” Stiles says, still checking it out. “So that’s a common thing with you guys? I saw you both had it at 5, but…”

“It’s more a once in a while thing,” Chris says, and Stiles is aware that Peter is holding onto his hand a little more firmly. “But we like it so I figured, why not build it in there? Be prepared.”

“Boy scout,” Peter says.

“You can watch me do it to Peter some time if you like, see how it all works,” Chris says. “If you want to know what it feels like I can put you in it, fully clothed, just for the sensation. I had a friend do it to me while I was learning about it. I wanted to know what it felt like before I tried it on Peter. It was so out of my realm of experience, I didn’t want to inflict it on him without understanding it myself.”

“He’s amazing, right?” Peter says lowly to Stiles. “He’s going to treat you so right.”

Stiles feels himself blush. “And teach me how to treat you.”

Peter’s eyes take on that hazy look again. “Yeah,” he breathes.

Stiles turns, not wanting to start something he can’t finish, not tonight anyway. The wall opposite the bed has all of their toys out, or a great deal of them anyway. They wouldn’t be seen if you were glancing in the doorway from the hall, but Stiles guesses they keep the door carefully closed out of habit anyway.

Mounted on the wall are some impact play items, a couple of designs of paddles, crops, floggers and canes. Beneath there’s some shelves made from the same wood as the bed filled with various restraints and sex toys, all within easy reach.

“One of Peter’s weekly chores is to keep all this in order,” Chris says. “Make sure everything is disinfected and not gathering dust.” He turns to Stiles. “I’ve bought plenty of condoms which we’ll use on any toys you might want to try out, as well as all of us being safe while we play, until the STD results are confirmed.”

Stiles nods. “Yeah, that’s good. Thank you.”

“But we start out wherever we start out and we take it from there,” Chris says. “These things are available to you. None of them are a requirement. I say we start out with just the three of us and see where it takes us.”

“I’d like that,” Stiles agrees.

Chris smiles at him. “What do you say we have a coffee? Let things sit for a bit.”

“Sure,” Stiles says.

Chris leads the way again, Peter still holding onto his hand as they go back down the stairs.

“Peter, why don’t you go make us those coffees,” Chris says, and Stiles can tell it’s not a suggestion. “Stiles, how do you take it?”

“Black, two sugars,” Stiles says.

Peter gives a nod and a sigh, letting go of Stiles’ hand to go through to the kitchen.

“Thank you, Cub,” Chris calls after him. He sits down on the couch beside Stiles. “I don’t want you to feel any pressure or obligation about this, because there certainly isn’t any, but I know that Peter would like to kneel for you. We said no play today, so if you’re not comfortable with that, just say the word. I wanted to put it out there, you seem as fond of him as he is of you.”

“I’m fond of both of you,” Stiles says earnestly. “But yeah, I’d like that. If he wants to.”

“I can read him like a book,” Chris says confidently. “He’s desperate to.”

When Peter comes back through with the coffees, placing the small tray down on the table, Stiles finds himself watching him closely, the way his head stays bowed and his movements are unsure. Stiles can relate to that feeling. He recognises it keenly. Peter sits on the other side of Chris, leaning into him, Chris easily lifting an arm to let him slip beneath.

“Do you have something you’d like to ask Stiles, darling?” he prompts. Peter looks up at him, something silent passing between them. “Go ahead,” Chris says gently.

Peter leans forward, still bracketing by Chris’ arm. “Stiles,” he says. “May I kneel for you?”

“I’d like that,” Stiles agrees. “Thank you.”

Peter shares another little look with Chris before sinking down to his knees, moving past Chris to get to Stiles. He places his knees between Stiles’ feet, settling himself back on his heels, head bowed, resting on his thighs. Chris leans forward, petting his hair before leaning in to kiss his temple.

“You’re a good boy, Cub,” he says gently.

“Thank you,” Peter breathes out.

As Chris sits back, Stiles lifts his hand and then stops himself, looking at Chris. Chris gives him a little nod and Stiles reaches forward, playing his own fingers through Peter’s hair.

“You’re so good.”

A little shiver goes through Peter, his eyes flicking up to meet Stiles’ for a moment, and there’s so much vulnerability there. He edges closer and then checks with Chris.

“Go ahead,” Chris says.

Peter rests his cheek on Stiles’ knee, closing his eyes as Stiles’ fingers still play through his hair. He looks so peaceful. After a moment, Chris leans forward, retrieving both of their coffees and passing Stiles’ to him. Chris shifts closer, his body pressed to Stiles’ from knee to hip, warm and solid. He places his arm along the back of the couch and Stiles leans into it, grateful when Chris drops it down and just holds him. Stiles drinks with one hand and pets Peter with the other as they all sit in silence, Peter’s own coffee forgotten behind him.

When the coffees are gone, Stiles reluctantly takes out his phone, texting Lydia to come and pick him up. As much as he might like to stay wrapped up in this forever, the evening has been intense and he needs some time to decompress.

Chris slips his arm from Stiles’ shoulders, leaning down to Peter. “Cub,” he says gently, nuzzling at the top of his head. “Stiles has to go.”

Peter whines, squeezing his eyes shut tighter.

“I know,” Chris soothes. “I’m going to take care of you. You have to let him get up now.”

With a sigh, Peter lifts his head, blinking his eyes open. They’re so soft and glassy. Stiles can hardly bear to leave him.

“Go steady,” Chris says, moving to help him.

In a way that’s carefully practiced, Peter gradually gets to his feet, a little bit at a time, Chris there to support him. Stiles stands, grabbing his bag, not sure how they’re supposed to part. He moves forward on instinct, wrapping Peter up in a hug, Chris’ hand still firm on the small of Peter’s back to hold him steady. Peter is so soft and pliable in his hands. Stiles kisses his cheek and then he brushes his lips over Peter’s mouth. Peter responds, but Stiles doesn’t feel right about doing more than that. Peter seems like he’s pretty out of it and Stiles doesn’t want to risk taking advantage.

“I like you,” Peter slurs.

“I like you too,” Stiles agrees with a smile.

“But I might just stay here,” Peter says, looking longingly at the couch.

“I think that would be a good idea,” Stiles says, moving with Chris to ease him down. Chris presses a kiss to Peter’s temple and then turns to Stiles.

“I’ll walk you out.”

They go through to the entrance and Stiles looks out to see Lydia’s car outside. “Well,” he says. “This was amazing.”

Chris grins at him. “I couldn’t agree more.”

Stiles licks his lips, hesitating. “I really want to kiss you,” he admits. “For real. But is that even okay?”

“It’s very okay with me,” Chris says. “If you want to.”

“I want to,” Stiles nods.

“Okay,” Chris agrees, closing the space between them.

Stiles finds himself enveloped in Chris’ arms, all warmth and strength, craning himself upwards as their mouths press together. Lips part and Chris’ tongue slips into his mouth, licking over him, making him feel weak. He lets his jaw go slack with a sigh, lets Chris take his weight, lets himself be kissed. Maybe it’s just the culmination of everything, but he goes dizzy, feeling so small wrapped in that big body, his hands gripped in Chris’ shirt.

As they part, Stiles gazes up at him, feeling so dumb and so happy. “You’re really good at that.”

“I’m even better at everything else,” Chris says confidently, easing his arms away. “Wait and see, sweetheart.”

Stiles gives a little laugh. “I should go.”

“Okay,” Chris says, stepping back. “Text me when you get home.”

“I will,” Stiles agrees, feeling so loved. “Take care of Peter.”

“He’ll be fine,” Chris assures him. “But I will.”

Stiles hesitates a while longer, not wanting to leave the warmth of Chris’ gaze. He takes a breath, giving a decisive little nod before opening the door. He can feel Chris’ eyes on him as he walks to Lydia’s car, turning back to wave as he climbs in. Chris waves back, closing the door, and Stiles imagines him returning to Peter.

“How was it?” Lydia asks as he pulls on his seatbelt.

“I think I’m in love,” Stiles says honestly.

Lydia grabs his cheek, looking in his eyes. “You are gone.”

Stiles pushes her off. “Just drive.”

“I want all the details,” Lydia says as she puts the car in drive, pulling away from the curb.

“Later,” Stiles says. “I want to stay in my bubble right now. But they’re perfect. They’re so perfect.”

“Good,” Lydia says in a clipped tone, and Stiles knows she would kill anyone who wasn’t. He feels like his love is going to overflow.