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Perception

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Chris smiles when he gets home and sees Stiles’ jeep parked up in the driveway. Stiles had text him earlier today to tell him he was coming over, but he likes seeing that blue jeep there as he pulls in beside it, showing Stiles is a real part of their household. His favourite thing is coming home to them both.

He goes inside the house, finding them laid out on the couch together, tangled up so intimately. Stiles is sat at one end, turned sideways, one leg tucked under him, the other stretched out between the back of the couch and Peter’s body. Peter’s head is at the other end of the couch, laid out across the length of it, his feet in Stiles’ lap beneath the text book he’s reading. There’s an icepack resting on Peter’s head, making Chris raise an eyebrow.

“What have you two been up to?” he asks, reaching down to stroke Peter’s forehead.

Peter tilts his head back. “Stiles was playing rough.”

Stiles rolls his eyes. “Don’t tell half a story, Cub,” he says, nudging him with his foot. “I can kick you off this couch.”

“Yeah, don’t tell half a story, Cub,” Chris mimics, giving Peter a look.

“I asked him if I could kneel for him while he did his work,” Peter admits. “I wasn’t going to disturb him. But I did say that he could drag me onto his cock if he felt like it. So after a while, he dragged me. Hard. His grip strength is impressive and he held me right where he wanted me the whole time.”

“So you got exactly what you asked for, then,” Chris says.

Peter grins at him with soft eyes, looking almost drunk. Chris wonders how long ago they finished. Peter is definitely still fuzzy around the edges.

“Yeah,” Peter says. “It was amazing.”

Chris shakes his head. “You’re such a drama queen.” He kisses him on the forehead, straightening up.

“My scalp is tender,” Peter says, clearly fishing for more sympathy and petting. “And he didn’t even let me come.”

“Don’t be ungrateful, Cub,” Chris warns him.

“I’m not,” Peter says, his voice serious. He lifts his head slightly to look at Stiles, nudging his foot against his crotch to make him look up from his text book. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Stiles says. He looks up at Chris. “Though I still don’t really get it.”

“I know,” Chris says.

Orgasm denial is a huge deal breaker for Stiles, he doesn’t understand why Peter would want to be uncomfortable and unfulfilled, but that’s not how it feels to Peter. Chris knows that he likes the true surrender that comes from someone else being in total control of his body. It’s about trust, about giving up every tiny shred of power, of understanding that not getting what you want doesn’t mean you’re any less loved. In fact, it often comes with more attention than a single orgasm would gain him. And he likes that a scene can stay with him longer, his Dom in his mind every time his arousal starts to climb again, his cock getting hard just from pressing against the seam of his pants in a certain way, his balls swollen and sore and begging for release. It’s all so inescapable, his body not his own and his mind constantly on the person under his skin.

Stiles knows all that as well, the three of them have open communication between them, but he doesn’t understand it. To him, giving someone an orgasm is an expression of affection and a reward for pleasing his Dom. Being denied would only ever feel like a punishment to him and fuel his insecurities of not being good enough. But he understands Peter enough to deny him sometimes, therefore giving him what he craves. Chris has a feeling he’s going to find a way to make Peter come before he leaves for the night though. He’s good at striking a balance and he hates to leave things unfinished.

Chris unfastens his boots, toeing them off and walking around the couch. He lifts his socked foot, nudging Peter’s legs. “Shift.”

Peter groans dramatically, sitting up and placing the icepack on the coffee table, clearly not needing it anymore. He loves to milk a situation. Stiles pulls his leg in as well, the two of them clearing a space for him to sit between them. As soon as his butt hits the couch cushion, Peter is curled into his side like a limpet, Stiles leg extended out over his lap. It’s so perfectly cosy. Chris holds Peter close, fingers stroking up and down his arm, his other hand resting just above Stiles’ knee. He looks at him, focused on his text book.

“Did this little hellion let you get any work done today?”

“Yeah,” Stiles says with a little smile. “I was on a break when I fucked his throat and he shut up again once I gave him the icepack. I got through a lot actually.”

“Good,” Chris says.

Peter squirms beside him, undoubtedly thinking about said throat fucking. If Chris reached down he’d find him at least half-hard but he decides to leave him be for now. He just got home, he wants to relax for a while.

“Do you mind if I put the TV on?” he asks. Stiles shakes his head, looking down at his text book. “Cub, pass me the remote.”

He can feel the moment of hesitation when Peter thinks about arguing but he just reaches forward, handing it over. Chris places a kiss on the top of his head as a thank you, turning on some home renovation show.

“Are you staying for dinner?” he asks Stiles.

“What do you think I’m going to do, go home and cook some ramen?” Stiles asks, giving him a little smile.

Chris smiles back, squeezing his thigh. He looks down at Peter curled up against him and then over at Stiles buried in his book. His boys. He feels so perfectly content between them. He adores all the things that Stiles is, his intelligence and humour and affection and receptiveness. Peter goes through life protected by his sister and his husband as though he’s oblivious to all the dangers around him, coddled and sheltered. He knows that in reality, Peter is much more resilient than that, even if he’d much rather have people believe otherwise. The bear cub analogy fits him so well.

And then there’s Stiles, who has learnt to be self-reliant and astute in place of trusting that other people will pick him up. Chris has a great deal of respect for him and he’s forever touched that he and Peter are the people he’s willing to truly let his guard down with. His obvious caution the first time they met has long since been abandoned. They’ve gained his trust and Chris hasn’t seen a hint of skittishness in him for a long time.

“How about Kit?” he asks, considering Stiles.

Stiles looks up at him. “For dinner? What is that? French?”

Chris gives a little laugh. “It’s a baby fox. And it’s not for dinner. I’m thinking about your pet name.”

“Oh,” Stiles says. He frowns slightly. “A baby fox?”

“You’re not really a baby like him,” Chris says, nudging Peter. “But Kit sounds cute, and baby foxes and still cunning and determined.”

“I like that,” Stiles says.

“My Kit and my Cub,” Chris says, trying it out. “And kits like to play rough,” he adds, raking his hand through Peter’s hair.

“Ow,” Peter complains petulantly.

“You’re being dramatic,” Chris says, placing a kiss against his temple.

“Yeah,” Peter agrees. “But I’m a baby.”

“Mmmhmm,” Chris says, pulling Peter further into him. He watches Stiles reading his book, a little smile playing over his lips, and it’s far more compelling than the TV. It’s more than enough to hold his attention until it’s time to go make dinner.