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Old Friends, Old Problems

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As one of only two omegas in the Van der Linde gang, John knew his responsibilities.

Having to satisfy the thankfully few alphas in the gang whenever they got the itch meant getting out of most of the other chores in the gang, though he was still expected to do his share where contributions were concerned. And he knew he was lucky that it was Arthur who’d won the right to claim him. Arthur was a good provider. Under his violent, gruff exterior, he was kind and considerate to the people he liked. And he also had a big cock that John liked far more than he should. It was sheathed inside his cunt now, all the way deep. As John clenched down and moaned against Arthur’s collar, Arthur only let out a small noise. An exasperated one.

John bit down on a groan and dropped his forehead against Arthur’s shoulder. He was riding Arthur on Arthur’s cot in their new camp near Rhodes, his back to the others. This was common enough that nobody even blinked an eye now, though sometimes John would get a bit of ribbing from the campfire afterward about how he was only loud with Arthur. John didn’t see why that was weird. He might of let the other pack alphas fuck him when they had to, but it was Arthur he wanted.

Just his luck that it was Arthur he could never seem to please. Yeah, Arthur would cum in him, fuck him, but Arthur also was the only alpha who seemed to treat it like a boring chore. Even now, Arthur was just fucking into him in lazy snaps, his breaths harsh but soft. John swallowed a miserable sigh.

Not well enough. “You’re in a funny mood,” Arthur murmured against his ear.

“So you’ve noticed,” John said. He ground down all the way against Arthur’s amazing cock and squeezed down. Arthur didn’t even make a sound, even with the head of his cock pressed tight within John’s cunt. God, they fit so well.

“Something up?” Arthur asked casually, as though they were just talking by the campfire, rather than John sitting bare-assed and impaled on his lap.

“I know I ran away from the gang for a year,” John said, lowering his voice, “but c’mon. I was. I came back, didn’t I?”

Arthur snorted. “Yeah, you did.”

“So why d’you still hate me over that?”

“If you weren’t an omega you wouldn’t have been allowed back in,” Arthur said, nudging up his hips. “We done talking?”

“No.” John scowled. “Why’d you claim me then?”

Arthur shrugged. John had asked this question before and Arthur had never given him a straight answer. “C’mon, boy. Move. Don’t have all night.”

“You don’t even want me,” John muttered. This got him an incredulous look and a rough thrust that made him whine loudly. There was a laugh behind them that they both ignored.

“This feel like I don’t want you?” Arthur sounded annoyed.

In response, John nodded over at the shore. The O’Driscoll kid they’d caught and let into the gang was also an omega. Probably why he’d been let into the gang in the first place—omegas were rare, even rarer than alphas. Kieran was holding on to a rock, bare-naked and on his knees, his mouth gagged with a rag as Bill pounded into him from behind, grunting loud enough to be heard in the camp. John didn’t envy him, not entirely. John loathed Bill, and was glad that Bill never seemed inclined to exercise his right as a pack alpha where John was concerned. But—

“What?” Arthur had followed his stare and was scowling. “You want Bill instead?”

“No!” The word left John so instantly that he flushed a little in embarrassment. “Just. You… you never fuck me like that.”

Arthur shot him an incredulous look. “You want me to? Just like that? On the beach with you on your knees on all that gravel?”

“Well, not exactly like that. But. Nevermind.” Trust Arthur to take things literally. John gave up. He tried to rock on Arthur’s cock and hesitated as Arthur caught his hips, narrow-eyed.

“What’re you trying to tell me?”

John looked away, nibbling on his lower lip. The new scars on his face stung. He’d been glad that Arthur had claimed him before that had happened. Nobody called him a pretty face now. “I wish you didn’t just, y’know. Fuck me just to scratch an itch. Like you don’t even really want to. Like you kinda. Regret that you claimed me.” John grit his teeth quickly until his jaw ached. He hadn’t meant to blurt out that last bit.

Arthur sighed. “Get off.”


“G’awn. Get off me.” Arthur shoved at John’s legs.

“But you’re… Jesus, Arthur. I’m sorry, all right? Sorry I said anything,” John said desperately. Shit. Just like him to piss Arthur off by running his mouth. He’d been aching for Arthur to come back to camp. Arthur had been gone a week on God knew what business, returning with cash for the tin and the carcass of a buck. Glanced at John after he’d handed the carcass over to Pearson and nodded slightly. John had been strung up with excitement waiting for night time. Now he squeezed down as tightly as he could over Arthur’s cock, trying to get Arthur to change his mind. “C’mon, Arthur.”

Arthur set his jaw. “I said. Fucking get off.”

“Okay. Fine. Jesus.” It killed him to do it, but John reluctantly levered himself off Arthur’s lap. “I could. Could use my mouth instead.”

“Naw, you’re no good at that. Put your pants on. We’re gonna go for a ride.” Arthur was already hitching up his own riding jeans, buckling up, arousal and all. Couldn’t be comfortable. Bemused, John followed suit, wincing.

“Where’re we going?”

“Out,” Arthur said curtly. “Saddle up.”

John’s horse whickered curiously as John saddled up, flicking his ears as Arthur saddled up Ghost, the white Arabian that he’d caught out near Lake Isabella. Ghost shot them both an imperious look of disdain as her master got her saddle over her back. They rode out into the woods, leaving the light of the camp behind.

“Where’re we headed?” John asked warily.

“Shut up and ride.” Arthur sounded pissed. John bit down his irritation and bowed his head.

Wherever Arthur was taking them, it was a couple of hours out. They eventually pulled up at what looked like a boarded-up old house within the woods, next to a river. Arthur muttered to himself under his breath as he hitched Ghost up by the trees and didn’t look back to see if John was following him. The back door looked nailed in, but opened easily when Arthur pulled at it.

John was expecting rot and mildew. Inside, the house was neat and tidy, just like Arthur’s tent over in the camp. There were shelves of canned supplies and lockboxes. There were weapons in boxes and a cot tucked to one side. This was a safehouse. One that Arthur had set up and hadn’t told the camp about.

“Uh,” John said, looking around. Arthur had taken him here and John didn’t know what to feel about that. Hell, he often didn’t know what to feel about Arthur.

“Siddown,” Arthur growled, gesturing at the cot. John obeyed, trying not to squirm. His slick had gone tacky over his thighs in his pants. Worse, the safehouse smelled like Arthur, and it was making him wet all over again. Even sniffing Arthur’s pillow could get him slick, some days. Maybe Arthur noticed—he was scenting the air. He scowled. John averted his eyes.

“So.” Arthur sat down on the cot beside him, stretching out his legs. “Mind telling me why you ran away from the gang for a year?”

“I said—”

“You said you wanted some time alone, yeah, I fucking heard you, didn’t believe you the first time neither.”

“Goddamn it, Arthur.”

“Think you ran away when Dutch told you what omegas in the camp had to do,” Arthur said slowly. “For the good of ‘pack dynamics’, or whatever Hosea called it.”

John twisted his fingers together nervously. “I. I don’t mind what I got to do. Ain’t too bad and I get to say no if I ain’t feeling up to it.”

“So why’d you run?”

What the hell. Arthur had already guessed around the truth anyway. “Bit much innit? When you’re what, seventeen goin’ on eighteen and Dutch tells you you’re gonna have to fuck a quarter of the camp? I didn’t sign up with Dutch to be a bed warmer. I can fight as well as the rest of you.”

Arthur snorted. “Yeah, told him that wasn’t gonna go down well. So why’d you really come back? You can make the dumbest decisions sometimes, but you’re a great shot. Could’ve struck out decent on your own as a bounty hunter.”

John eyed him warily. “You ain’t gonna believe me.”

Arthur stared up at him impassively. God, he was handsome. Big all over like a true alpha. His broad shoulders stretched out his black scout jacket, a dark rambler's hat fitted over trimmed brown hair and days' old stubble. John pressed his legs together. “Try me,” Arthur said.

“I came back for you,” John said. Arthur laughed, and John flushed angrily. “Fuck you. I told’ya. You don’t believe me.”


“Whatever,” John said, and was appalled to hear his voice crack. He looked away hastily and flinched as Arthur touched his knee.

“Hey, hey now.” Arthur patted him gently. “Sorry. Shouldn’t have laughed. You ain’t kidding?”

“Did I come back after a year because I just missed you so damn much I had to see you? Yeah. Come back to… to sleep with people I didn’t really want just so that maybe, some nights, I’d get to fuck you? Sure. Like you said. I make the dumbest decisions.” John glared at Arthur, daring him to call bullshit again to his face. “Why’d you claim me? If you think I’m so dumb? Wasn’t there that beta lady, what’s her name, Mary?”

“Mary was a long time back and it didn’t work out.” Arthur scratched his jaw absently. “And Dutch said he talked to you about who you’d prefer and you said me. So I thought I might as well put my hat in the ring.”

It’d come down to Arthur, Bill, and Javier, and Arthur had decked the two of them easily. Not that he’d really looked like he’d wanted to, even when he’d given John the claiming bite later in their tent.

Of course. So that was it. John’s shoulders slumped. “I see. Surprised you bothered, given you don’t like me.”

“I don’t dislike you, John.” Arthur sighed. “I just. Guess I just hadn’t easily forgiven you for disappearing on us for a whole year.”

John looked at Arthur, but Arthur was staring up at the ceiling. “Why’d you take me here? We could’ve talked at the camp.”

“With everyone listening in? Dutch right by? Nah. Didn’t think you’d talk.” Arthur studied him carefully. “Didn’t actually think you seriously liked me that much neither.”

John’s jaw dropped. “Come the fuck on. Sure I like you. A… a lot. Isn’t it obvious?”

“No? We hardly talk. I don’t often even see hide or hair of you ‘round the camp.”

“I ride out too. Try to do my share,” John said defensively. “I just keep thinking. Maybe if I prove myself, you’d take me along sometimes. Not just when Dutch tells you to.”

Arthur was silent for a while, watching John. John should’ve felt panicky about it but he was relieved, like he’d shrugged off a weight that’d been pressing down over his chest. He’d let it all out into the air for better or for worse. Besides, claiming bites were permanent. Technically, John already got what he wanted. Wasn’t like Arthur could do worse now than ignore him.

“Get your pants off,” Arthur said abruptly.


Arthur rolled his eyes. “You want me to fuck you like Bill was fucking Kieran? Then take your pants off, Christ.”

“I…” John hastily bit down his words. “Right.” He fumbled with his belt and boots, clumsy over the buckle. Arthur merely watched, impassive all over again. Didn’t do much other than unbutton himself once John was crouched self-consciously on the bed and pull John onto his hands and knees.

Arthur grunted when he pushed back inside John, a slick and easy slide that made John arch his back with a moan. “Yeah, that’s right. Be loud for me,” Arthur growled. He kissed John on the back of his neck, over the claiming bite. John startled—Arthur never kissed him—and whined as Arthur pressed a thrust against his ass. “Best you hold on to something,” Arthur said pleasantly as he gripped John's hips hard enough to bruise.

John hastily grabbed for the metal frame of the bed, barely in time. Arthur started pounding into John so roughly that the cot started to shake, shoving John up a little against the bed each time, not bothering to wait and see if John needed to adjust. John wailed with each thrust, trying to rock back against Arthur’s rhythm. It was punishing. Hurt a little, even. He loved it. “God… yes… yes!” John cried out with each thrust, “Oh, Arthur, harder! Arthur, oh God!”

Arthur laughed. In that rough and hungry sound there was something of the cough of a hunting cat. John sucked in a thin gasp and tried to breathe. Everything about Arthur made John dizzy like this sometimes, light-headed like he was high on something. Arthur fucked John right into his first orgasm and kept going, fucking John until John was moaning brokenly and trembling against the bed, fisting John’s cock as it flagged until it stirred back up. By the time dawn broke, John was lying on his flank, sweaty and soiled and hoarse. Arthur was still fucking into him in tiny thrusts, chuckling against John’s ear. As John shook into his fifth orgasm, dry, Arthur grunted and finally ground deep with a rumbling groan. He started to pulse, spilling into John in hot streams, his knot swelling and locking them together.

“Shit,” Arthur said, breathing hard. “You all right?”

“That…” John cleared his throat but managed only a weak whisper. “That was fantastic.”

Arthur smirked and settled down against John’s back. “Yeah, don’t get used to it.”

“I love you so much,” John said sleepily, and dozed off, oblivious to how Arthur tensed.


“Everything all right between you and Arthur?” Dutch asked. He was buried between John’s thighs, John holding on to his desk of crates as Dutch thrust into him from behind. Dutch’s cock was thicker than Arthur’s, but not as long, and it always made John breathless.

“Uh… uhm… yeah? Why?” John wheezed.

“Just wondering. You two were away for a couple of days.”

“Oh. Right.” John clenched down involuntarily, just thinking about it. Arthur had spent those two days roughly fucking John over every surface in that safehouse. Then he’d taken John back to camp and wandered off to check out something near Fort Wallace, according to what John overheard from Hosea. Something about a bear and unfinished business. John had been blissfully sated for days.

Dutch chuckled. “So that’s what happened. Thought something like that was up. Didn’t seem like you guys were out on a job.”

“N-nah,” John gasped.

“That good, huh? Can feel you getting wetter.”

When John didn’t answer, blushing, Dutch laughed again and thrust roughly into John until John was shaking against the table and letting out little yelps of pleasure. Then Dutch went still with a grunt, pumping into John as his knot swelled up. He sat down on a crate and settled John on his lap without bothering to touch John’s cock. Of the other alphas in the camp, only Charles and sometimes Arthur cared whether John got off. Like everyone else, Dutch usually lost interest once John was knotted tight, reading ledgers or letters until the knot went down. Dutch didn't bother to strip down. His only real concession was leaving his round hat on a crate, maybe rolling up his sleeves. Dutch's red vest was still buttoned up over his powerful frame. John usually sat quietly and waited for his own erection to go down, if he had one. If it wasn’t Arthur it didn’t feel like he was missing out anyhow.

Today Dutch patted John on a knee. “Need you to do something for me, son.”

“What d’you need sir?” John asked, still catching his breath and trying not to sound surprised.

He didn’t mind fucking Dutch, not only because Dutch was the pack leader of the camp, but because Dutch was all business. He knotted John for pack harmony—alphas sharing omegas kept things mellow. Especially in a pack like Dutch’s, which had several alphas, all of them quick on the draw with their killing instincts. Besides, Dutch wasn’t cruel about it. Nor did he ever make John do much more than spread his legs and take it. And he looked fine enough, John supposed. Not as big a man as Arthur, but with that striking mustache and his charisma, John could see why Molly was jealous that Dutch sometimes bedded down with John.

“Arthur’s been pretty restless since Blackwater. Hell knows I can’t blame him, but he’s starting to make mistakes that he shouldn’t of. Like in Valentine. Think maybe you should pay him a bit more attention, huh? He’s your alpha. Could be good for him to let off more steam now and then.”

“Oh.” John hoped his ears weren’t burning up. “I ain’t so good at that. Getting Arthur to do anything for me.”

Dutch chuckled. “You got him to take you to one of his bolt holes and fuck you sideways for two days and you say you ain’t good at getting him to do what you want? Yeah, right.”

“He wanted to talk someplace quiet.”

“Yeah? About what?” Dutch asked, concerned. “You guys OK?”

“The usual. Why I left the gang, stuff like that. I’m serious, Dutch. He thinks I’m an idiot. Probably regrets claiming me too.”

“Nah,” Dutch said, after a long pause. “That he doesn’t. Trust me. You could talk to the girls. Like Mary-Beth and Abigail. If you need advice.”

“Advice about what?” John asked, bewildered, but Dutch merely sniffed and playfully cuffed John’s ear.

“You need to ask me about that? Shit. Maybe you are dumb as a post.”


In the end, John asked Tilly, because she was the least likely to laugh in his face or blab it around the camp. Besides, Tilly had clearly been nervy about something ever since they moved to this camp, and John rather doubted it really all was because she was the only coloured woman in the camp and the pack had run this deep into country with long memories about slavery. Maybe John could help her out in exchange. Or something. He bribed her with some chocolate to have a quiet talk out nearer the water, and when he’d finished talking, Tilly stared at him for a long moment.

“…What?” John asked.

“You’re seriously asking me how you could get Arthur to like you more,” Tilly said dryly. “Arthur, who gave you that big mark on your neck.”

“Well yeah. He likes you fine. Me, I ain’t so sure. And he only gave me this mark ‘cos Dutch told him to.”

“Sure, he damn near beat Bill half to death ‘cos Dutch told him to,” Tilly said, miming John’s hoarse drawl.

“He thinks I’m an idiot and he hates me for leaving the gang for a year,” John muttered.

“Well now,” Tilly said, grinning, “he’ll get over both of those eventually, I bet. With proximity.”

“Or I might make things worse,” John said. He was resigned to his fate on that point. Most days. “I tend to piss him off.”

“Just ask him kindly if you can ride out with him next he goes hunting his so-called ‘legendary’ animals out in the wilderness. Jesus, the way he and Hosea talk about those poor beasts, you’d think Arthur was fighting dragons or something, not some creature with a different hide. Anyway. It don’t have to be a job.”

“He’ll say no.”

“You ever asked?”

John coughed. “Kinda implied it. Okay. I’ll ask,” he said, as Tilly stared at him steadily.

“Good. And I guess.” Tilly eyed John critically. “Won’t hurt to get a bath and maybe shave, get your hair cut, buy some nice clothes.”

John stared at her askance. “Say what?”

“You look like something a coyote dragged out of a bush, John. A particularly grimy, muddy bush.”

“Fine clothes are gonna cost me money I don’t have.”

“I didn’t say fine clothes. I said nice clothes. And wash. Definitely wash.” Tilly nudged him in the arm playfully. “Thanks, by the way. I'm good, I just don't... don't like being 'round these parts, that's all. And it’s gonna be fine between you two. Everyone knows you’re real sweet on Arthur. Sooner or later he’ll notice too.”

“I guess.” Arthur knew well enough. John had told him straight out in the safehouse. The problem was that Arthur didn’t care.


Attacking the stagecoach by himself had been a real stupid idea, and if John ever survived this he would heartily concede that. He’d spent a few days staking out the area after hearing the rumour of a payroll coach headed up to an oil field. Probably should’ve taken at least Charles along on the run. Charles would’ve split the take fairly and said nothing about what John wanted to do with his bit.

But no. John had to get greedy.

The stagecoach had more guards than he’d thought, and then there’d been lawmen passing by to boot. Just John’s fucking luck. He was bleeding like a stuck pig from a wound in his shoulder and his vision was starting to gray out by the time he couldn’t hear pursuit any longer. Trying to catch his breath, drinking whiskey for the pain, John gave his horse its reins and tried to think. Getting back to camp like this was just gonna cop him an almighty lecture from everyone, particularly from Dutch. He’d have to hole up somewhere, at least until the bleeding stopped and he could hide it under a shirt. Shit. And John hadn’t even gotten away with the lockbox.

Depressed, John wasn’t sure how long the horse wandered, until they came across a road and patch of woods that looked familiar. Spurring his horse along, John breathed out a sigh of relief as he eventually saw Arthur’s safehouse. Hitching up his horse, he let himself in and raided the medical box. Cauterising the wound hurt bad enough that John nearly fainted on the bed, but once it was done and he had some bourbon and health tonic, John curled up wearily on the bed and somehow managed to sleep.

John woke up sharply as the door was shouldered open, groping for his pistol. “There you are, you little shit,” snarled one of the lawmen John had run away from. “Get up. You’re gonna hang for this. Armed robbery and murder? Get up! Hands up!” John put up his hands, wide-eyed.

The lawman abruptly staggered to the side, doing a little circle before he fell over, a knife in his throat. As he gargled and kicked in the dirt, Arthur walked into view, knifing the man through the ribcage and standing back up after wiping his knife on the lawman’s coat.

“Jesus, you look like hell,” Arthur said, scowling. “Should’ve known it was you behind all that fucking fuss.”

“What’re… what’re you doing here?” John tried to pull on his shirt before Arthur noticed the wound, but Arthur glanced at his shoulder, exhaled, and shook his head.

“Saw some lawmen searching the area, something about a botched stagecoach robbery, so I thought I’d follow one of them who was getting real close to my safehouse. C’mon. Dress and mount up behind me. We’re gonna have to move.”

“Sorry,” John said uncomfortably. He’d ruined Arthur’s safehouse.

“Just move.”

Arthur was quiet during the ride, clearly in a black mood. John tried to concentrate on staying in the saddle. Eventually, they started climbing up steeper cliffs, away from the roads, the air getting chilly. Once they left the main trail behind, Arthur said, “Mind telling me what that was all about?”

“Tried robbing a payroll coach and it went wrong,” John said. He’d been braced for Arthur’s inevitable questions and had tried to come up with the least worst answers on the ride up.

“Yeah, I saw that much. Mind telling me why you didn’t ask anyone to come along? Charles and you seem to get along fine. Or Lenny, or Javier, or hell, even Sadie.”

“I got cocky and I’m an idiot.”

Arthur sniffed. “Well, ‘least you understand the problem I guess. Hell, you could’ve waited for me, even. What, you didn’t wanna share the take?” When John didn’t say anything, Arthur shifted in his saddle to stare at him. “Jesus. Is that it?”

“Is what it?” John asked, forcing himself to meet Arthur’s eyes.

“I had a feeling you had some stupid reason for doing what you did and wanted to work that out before we got back to Dutch,” Arthur growled. “What, you doing work on the side? Didn’t want to contribute a cut?”

“I would’ve contributed the gang’s share,” John said, stung by the implication. “I just. Needed the money. Thought I could handle it. Almost did, I just got unlucky.”

“Needed the money? For what?”

“Don’t everyone need money?”

Arthur exhaled loudly, exasperated. He kicked his horse into a faster trot. They eventually came across a log cabin in a small clearing. Like the previous safehouse, the doors and windows looked boarded up. The entry was through a cellar, hidden under crates. As Arthur supported John onto the cot, he said, “This ain’t about you and your need to ‘prove yourself’ to me, is it?”

“Something like that,” John mumbled. Pressed up against Arthur like this, even through the pain, he could feel himself starting to get a little wet. From Arthur’s dark expression, he probably could sense it. Sometimes, John really hated being an omega. “Sorry.”

“Just go to sleep, Marston.”


There was a cold stream closer to the log cabin, thick with trout. After a few days, John felt strong enough to have a wash, gritting his teeth through the chill. Arthur spent most of the day out riding anyway. He came back only near evening with fish or game that he cooked for John, grumbling all the while. John stayed carefully meek and grateful. Arthur didn’t have to nursemaid him here, after all. Could’ve dragged him back to camp and dumped him on the Reverend. Let him cop a well-deserved shellacking from Dutch.

Hell. Maybe Arthur did care. The thought of that made John more than a little nervy. He could only pray that he didn’t roundly fuck this all up.

John shaved with Arthur’s mirror and checked his wounds after, sitting shirtless on the bed. It was healing slowly. Just like the ugly scars on his face. John sat back and eyed his reflection critically in the mirror. He was finally putting on some muscle again after the fever and infection from the wolf bites he'd suffered on the mountain. Still looked like a rangy colt next to Arthur though, with his uncombed hair and rumpled clothes. Maybe Tilly had a point. Making a mental note to sneak Tilly more chocolate, John startled for his pistol at a creaking step. It was just Arthur, coming out from the cellar with a couple of rabbits. He swept John with a cursory glance. “Feeling better?”

“Yeah. Thanks. What’re you gonna tell Dutch?”

“Nothing. Why, what do I got to tell Dutch?”

“Isn’t he gonna wonder why we haven’t been back at the camp…” John trailed off. Dutch wasn’t going to wonder at all. He’d probably have thought that John had done what he’d been told.

“Nah,” Arthur said, with a grunt as he wandered over to the kitchen to clean the rabbits. “Probably thought we went off somewhere quiet to fuck.”

“He told me you had to let off some steam,” John said hopefully. There was a snort from the kitchen, and Arthur went pointedly quiet.

Arthur was a bad cook—he treated food as fuel and usually just seared whatever he caught until it was edible. Sometimes with token herbs sprinkled over the meat. Usually plain. John didn’t complain. After dinner, John tried reaching for Arthur’s belt and got his hand batted away. “What’re you doing?” Arthur asked.

“What does it look like I’m doing?” John knelt down by Arthur’s chair, or tried to—Arthur hauled him up with only a small grunt.

“You even up to that yet?”

“Course,” John said challengingly. Arthur eyed him for a moment then shook his head.

“Strip down then.”

“Everything?” John blinked. Arthur had never asked him to do that before. Nor did the others, generally. Only Kieran got stripped down and fucked. Kieran wasn’t claimed yet and didn’t have any status in the pack, since he wasn’t trusted enough to be taken out on jobs. Dutch was still thinking about whether to let an ex-O’Driscoll gang member got claimed by one of the gang, apparently.

“Obviously everything,” Arthur growled, irritated.

John hastily obeyed. No point being shy, but he still felt a little self-conscious when he finally peeled off even the union suit and stood naked against the table. Arthur had watched him quietly all the while, not even moving to help. “Lie on the table,” Arthur said. John obeyed, wincing as he heard the table creak dangerously under his weight. Arthur pushed up his legs with gun-roughened fingers and looked him lazily over. John swallowed. He was completely open like this, bare for Arthur’s pleasure. Maybe Arthur liked that. He knelt down, and as John stared, confused, Arthur’s stubble grazed his thighs and Arthur—Gods—licked a slow stripe up his cunt.

“Shit!” John flinched.

Arthur laughed, low and smoky as he licked John again, harder, until John started scrabbling and arching on the table. He couldn’t stop moaning even if he tried. No one had ever done this for him before. Arthur held him still, licking him all over, then—Jesus—licking inside him, wriggling his tongue and John was bucking and squealing as he came over his belly and over Arthur’s mouth.

Arthur grunted and drew back, shoving John’s legs wider and up into the air as he roughly unbuckled his belt and freed his cock. He snarled as he thrust inside John, sheathing himself to the balls. It hurt and yet it was so good. John sobbed, trying to brace himself, but Arthur grabbed at his hips and started pistoning into John with hard snaps. When the table started creaking and sagging Arthur scooped John up and slammed him against the closest wall, holding him up as he continued driving up into him, deep enough that he shoved against John’s womb at each thrust. John writhed, clawing at the wall and squealing in pleasure at each thrust. As he started to pant into his second orgasm Arthur abruptly pulled out, turned John around before he could protest, and thrust back inside. John yelled as he came against the wall, shaking as Arthur merely chuckled again and kept fucking him, pounding against him until he shook into his next orgasm. The world maybe went dark around the edges.

When John came to, he was sitting on Arthur’s lap on the cot, bent back, Arthur lapping at one of his tits. As he blinked and moaned, Arthur smirked and slapped his ass. “You up? Good. Ride me, Marston. You say you want me? Show me.”

John rode Arthur with his hands braced on Arthur’s shoulders, trembling from the effort, until his legs gave out and he could only make broken moans. Arthur rolled them over and kissed John hard on the mouth, thrusting roughly a couple of times until John was shaking into his release, Arthur growling in his ear, knotting him tight.

“What d’you feel about carrying my pup?” Arthur asked afterward, pressed against John’s back, and chuckled as John whimpered and felt a fresh gush of slick coat the cock jammed inside him. “Guessing that’s a yes?”

“Now?” Like Kieran, John was on some herb mixture that the Reverend cooked up that prevented them from going into heat. Useful stuff.

“Not right now, no. After.”

“You think we’re ever gonna outrun the law? Find somewhere that nobody will find us?”

Arthur shrugged against John’s back. “Big country. Easy to hide.” He didn’t sound so sure, though. John smiled anyway, the ache in his chest loosening a little.

“If we do? Yeah. I want to.” John relaxed as Arthur started nuzzling his throat. Finally. Something to look forward to. Even if John had a sneaking suspicion, ever since Blackwater, that things were never gonna work out. They were probably going to end up having to run and hide for the rest of their lives. John didn’t care. He’d run forever if Arthur was there.