Actions

Work Header

Promise of Love

Chapter Text

Jace floated home in a deliriously happy daze that evening. Magnus and Alec had been attentive the rest of the picnic, keeping Jace between them and lounging by the side of the lake. Occasionally, Madzie and Max would wander close and sit with them; Madzie hanging onto one of the alphas and listening to them talk until Max dragged her off again to explore. Max clearly doted on Madzie, the young man enjoying the wide eyed enthusiasm she gave him. Isabelle spent her time across the lake, sketching feverishly and giving the triad soft looks. Jace had a feeling that she knew exactly what had transpired and was giving them space to enjoy each other.

Before they left, she cornered Jace and showed him her sketches from the day. Jace was shocked and embarrassed, flushing hotly to see that the focus of her talent was Magnus and Alec indulgently hand feeding Jace strawberries and cream, gazing at him with an intense, possessive love. He calmly asked for the sketch and when she refused, giving him a teasing grin, Jace then proceeded to chase her around the lake while she laughed and screamed. Izzy gave in eventually, hanging onto his shoulder, breathing heavily and tucked the sketch into Jace’s jacket, patting it and giving him a wink. He refused to show his alphas what they had been playfully fighting over and was pleased when they let it go, walking with him back to the Lightwood carriage, one alpha on either side of him, holding his hand the whole way.

Jace had reluctantly parted from them, blushing as the alphas pressed soft, warm kisses to the back of his hands. Jace made Magnus and Alec promise to keep the courtship quiet for now. They seemed concerned, reluctant. Jace had assured them that he was happy but so much had changed for them. He wanted to get used to this new reality, settle more firmly into their courtship before announcing it to the world, luxuriate in their undivided attention. Magnus and Alec had been appeased but Jace had a feeling that it wouldn’t be for long. They wanted to show off their chosen omega to Society and he was sad to say that the thought was terrifying.

Jace had been unable to keep the news of his courtship from Lillian. She had been over the moon about it, bustling around the kitchen to make his favorite cookies in celebration, refusing his offer to help. Lillian insisted that she would continue to chaperone their excursions and Jace gladly accepted.

The perfect end to an unbelievable day did not hold back the doubts once Jace was tucked into his nest that night. He felt nothing but dread at the thought of making their courtship public. He was sure that his low reputation would bring nothing but scorn and censure to Magnus and Alec. Even Maryse, who claimed to love Jace as her son, was opposed to a marriage between Jace and Alec. What would she say now that Magnus was a part of it?

Jace knew exactly what Society would say about him. That he was greedy, wanting two alphas. It wasn’t rare to have triad mates but they mostly consisted of Alpha, Beta and Omega, the perfect combination according to Society, the perfect balance of tempers. Had the Morgenstern reputation not been crushed to nothing, an alliance between Jace, Magnus and Alec would have been the talk of Society, the most auspicious mating in the last one hundred years. Any formation of their triad would have been taken in stride by their families and their peers. Now, though...

They would ask each other what sordid things had Jace done to attract the attention of such high standing alphas. Perhaps Society would think Mangus and Alec were reluctant suitors, forced to marry Jace for some awful reason. Perhaps...they would speculate that Valentine had a hand in this match, that he was forcing Magnus and Alec to marry Jace or face unthinkable consequences. Did Magnus and Alec realize what they were taking on by making Jace their mate? Jace would bring them nothing but struggle and pain. He owed it to them to point these things out, soon, before this courtship went too far.

Jace groaned and rolled over in his nest, burying his face into his thin pillow. Why couldn’t he enjoy even a few hours of bliss? Alec loved him, had loved Jace for years! Jace should be nothing short of joyous, dreaming of spending time with his alphas, the two men who wanted to mate him, have pups with him, give Jace everything he ever wanted. Jace sighed and curled upon himself, a tight ball of misery. Jace knew why, it was because he loved Magnus and Alec that he had to make them see what a mistake they were making. Had they even considered their reputations? Jace was a poison, just like his father. He would destroy all he touched.

***

The first thing Jace did the next morning was send a letter to Magnus, requesting he and Alec see him as soon as was convenient. It was very forward of him, by Society’s standards, to ask that his suitors call upon him instead of waiting to be sought out. Jace had a feeling that the alphas would be charmed by his manner, seeing his request as enthusiasm for their company. It was a true sentiment but more importantly, Jace wanted to clear the air as soon as possible. If his concerns made Magnus and Alec reluctant to continue their courtship of him, Jace preferred that it happened as soon as possible.

He was already in love with Magnus and Alec but at this point, Jace expected nothing from them, content to love them from afar if they decided mating Jace was too much trouble. He would be hurt but how much more devastated would he be if they decided to leave him after a public engagement? After they experienced the condemnation that was sure to follow their association with Jace.

With the letter sent, Jace kept himself busy so as not to annoy Lillian with his frantic pacing. He cleaned his room, helped Lillian around the kitchen and sat down to open the mail. The last letter was addressed to Jace and he felt his heart beat double as he recognized Luke’s hand writing. The money that Magnus was paying him was something that Jace had forgotten about. Was Magnus planning to withdraw his funds now that Jace had accepted the alpha’s courtship? The thought made him feel dizzy with anxiety. The money was the only safety net available to him if this whole mating idea fell through. If Magnus refused to pay him, Jace was back to where he started just a scant two months ago. No funds, no family, no alpha and no future.

Jace took a slow, deep breath, trying to calm his nerves. No, Magnus would not be so cruel. He knew how much this meant to Jace, how Jace coveted the choice to make his own way alone or with a mate. He opened the letter, prepared to face anything and let out a sigh of relief. Luke had only written to tell Jace that the money had been allocated to his new bank account. Luke also gave the information for a reliable accountant that Jace could hire and assured him that Luke was ever available and willing to help with anything, business or personal.

After the relief came guilt. How could Jace think such things of Magnus? Magnus was the most generous and understanding person Jace had ever met, of course he wouldn’t take this away from him. He ran a hand over his face, shoulders slumping. He shouldn’t be so hard on himself. His inner voice assured him that a lifetime of abuse and crushing disappointment doled out by Valentine could not be corrected in so short a time. His distrust was natural, a defense mechanism that made it hard for Jace to accept the good things that came into his life. Jace smiled and folded up the letter, storing it with his other financial papers. He was pleased to realize that his inner voice was starting to sound more like his alphas and less like his father.

***

Magnus and Alec wasted no time in calling upon Jace that morning. They arrived shortly after Jace sent the letter requesting them and he suspected the alphas had planned all along to spend time with him. The thought made an ember of warmth take root in his stomach. Although the lingering kisses to his palm they gifted him could be to blame. The alphas were resplendent, descending from the Bane carriage with innate grace and confidant, intimidating bearing.

Not for the first time, Jace felt small and plain next to them, standing in the worn down foyer, tracing his eyes slowly over their expensive clothing and impeccable manners. Jace’s own clothing was serviceable at best and his manner and bearing were obviously inferior next to Magnus and Alec. If the alphas weren’t so openly honest and loving, Jace would be suspicious of their romantic interest. He needed to air his concerns before he went mad. His smile was more of a grimace and Alec noticed his stilted greeting first, going still, his scent anxious. Magnus laid a hand on Alec’s arm, squeezing but kept his eyes on Jace.

“Jonathan, we wanted to call upon you to take a stroll through the park with us this fine morning. There aren’t many flowers in bloom but it is a lovely day, one we wish to enjoy with our beautiful omega.”

Jace’s smile became less forced and he could feel himself blush at the compliment and even more, at the possessive tone in Magnus’ voice. He was their omega and he hoped, even after their conversation, that he could always be their omega. Alec was still unmoving, his dark, worried eyes gazing unflinchingly at Jace. It made Jace feel watched, hunted and he wanted nothing more than to turn and run to see if his alphas would give chase. Jace took a deep breath, pushing his instincts down. He cleared his throat, forcing his eyes to meet theirs.

“That sounds wonderful, my alphas. I’m sorry but could we speak before we leave? I have some...concerns.”

Alec’s shoulders slumped, most of the tension in his body disappearing, his eyes crinkling at the edges with his relieved smile. Magnus gave Jace a blinding grin and let go of Alec to reach out to Jace, cupping the back of his neck. He didn’t gentle Jace but the gesture made Jace relax as if he had, his body warming at the casual dominance. He would offer the whole of his body to Magnus’ hands if the alpha asked for it. Even two months ago, that thought would have sent Jace fleeing, panicking but now it made Jace feel warm. Was this how it felt to trust someone?

It felt impossible not to let himself melt into Magnus’ embrace but he steeled his nerves, pulling away to lead them up to his room. They followed close behind him and took his offer to sit at the table, stripping their gloves and hats. Jace stayed standing, pacing around slowly while the alphas settled. He ended up in front of the window, finding it easier to speak as he watched the street.

“I can’t help but feel...anxious about our courtship-”

Alec’s voice was fearful, his tone shaking.

“Jace, I promise-”

Jace turned, pinning Alec with a glare. Alec snapped his mouth shut and pouted at Magnus when the other alpha huffed out an amused laugh. Jace couldn’t help but smirk at them.

“Let me finish, please. Just let me say this and then you can reassure me all you want.”

Magnus and Alec nodded and Jace sighed, turning back to the window.

“I love you, both of you. I want this more than I can say. I want to mate you and have a family with you both.”

He could hear one of them stifle a gasp but Jace continued on, afraid that if he stopped to look at them that he would never speak of these concerns again. He slumped his shoulders, pressing clenched fists against his closed eyes.

“I’m no good. The Morgenstern name is a curse to all those who bear it and I’m no different. My reputation is in tatters and I will be a burden to you. I can’t stand the thought that one day you might come to despise me-”

“Stop.”

The command was gentle but Alec’s voice contained enough alpha compulsion that Jace found himself obeying instantly. It shocked him from his emotional spiral and he turned slowly to find Alec right behind him. Alec’s face was thunderous, a deep frown marring his handsome face and Jace trembled, feeling sick to be the cause of Alec’s displeasure. Alec took a deep breath and his expression relaxed slightly, still displeased but not enraged. He grabbed Jace’s arms, large hands squeezing his biceps. It was a struggle but Jace forced his eyes to meet Alec’s, shivering at his smoky scent, like burning parchment.

“Forgive me, omega. I am not angry at you, only at every person who made you feel inferior. Give me their names, my love and I will hunt them down. Make them regret every single lie.”

Alec leaned forward, settling their foreheads gently together, his hands softening on Jace’s arms to more of an embrace than a restraint. Jace closed his eyes, listening to Alec’s voice, willing his mind to believe the pretty words.

“I have loved you for years, Jace. I thought I lost you once and I refuse to lose you again. Nothing will stop me from becoming your mate, nothing. I am willing to forsake my fortune and my family to be with Magnus and I would do no less to be with you.”

Jace could feel Magnus behind him, the warm length of his body pressing into Jace’s back. He turned in Alec’s arms, desperate to see Magnus’ face, to hear similar words of love and devotion. Magnus smiled and brought his hands up to cup Jace’s face. His voice was soft and it brought tears to Jace’s eyes.

“Jonathan, my love, my omega. Don’t you worry about me. I have weathered many a social faux pas in the past. If the scandal caused by Camille and Verlac couldn’t destroy me, nothing will.”

Jace bit his lip, swaying back to lean all of his weight on Alec. Alec’s arms wrapped around his waist and he felt a kiss being pressed on top of his head. He was still tense but their combined scents and embrace was slowly eroding his defenses. Magnus continued, brushing his thumbs on Jace’s cheeks.

“I take your concerns very seriously, Jonathan. I have things well under control. Anyone who disrespects either of you will know my wrath. You’re mine, the both of you. No one will take you from me, understand?”

Magnus’ voice was dark, ominous and the growl laid over his words ran over Jace’s body, raking his nerves and setting them on fire. He felt Alec tremble behind him, the alpha similarly affected, his musky, burnt ginger scent making Jace whine. Magnus growled outright, his eyes flashing alpha red and Jace whined again, taking deep, gasping breaths of alpha arousal.

Magnus crowded closer, flashing his long canines and Jace went limp against Alec, letting his head fall to the side, exposing his scent gland. Magnus growled again, eyes still red, and set his teeth against it, nibbling gently. Alec’s hands on Jace’s hips were tight, bruising and Jace pressed his hips back and then forward, his opening slick and aching. Not finding relief, he squirmed against their hold, grinding his cock against Magnus’, gasping at his length and girth. Magnus’ teeth scraped too harshly over his neck. Jace gasped at the feeling, trying to desperately push harder against those sharp teeth, instinctually wanting them to pierce his flesh, claim him.

Their combined scents had him floating on a cloud of bliss, surrendering to his alphas. He wanted them to press him down, hold him still and fill him full. He wanted them to touch him anywhere, do anything, let him please them. He clutched desperately at Magnus’ waistcoat, aware enough now to feel Alec grinding his own straining cock against Jace’s back. Jace pushed back on Alec, making the alpha gasp and groan loudly, the sound echoing through the room.

Jace heard a crash downstairs and rapid footsteps. The three of them froze before leaping apart just as Lillian, a little out of breath, appeared in the attic doorway, wide eyed and clutching an apron to her chest.

“My word! What is happening up here? I can’t leave you alone for five minutes without you trying to maul poor Jace!”

Despite her words, Jace could see her lips twitch, betraying her amusement. Jace bit his lip against his own smile, watching the alphas shrink under her glare and offer extensive apologies. He opened the window, willing the seductive scent of arousal to disperse, grinning at his faint reflection in the glass.
He was a mess, hair standing on end, clothes in disarray and the beginnings of a bruise on his neck, right over his scent gland. It sent a possessive thrill through him to see it. His alpha had given him that, a blatant sign that Jace was desired, coveted. He had made Magnus and Alec lose control. He felt powerful. That was where he belonged, between his alphas and with their reassurances, Jace would make sure they were never parted.

***

The park was as lovely as Magnus had promised. Magnus had been surprised when Jace had agreed to a stroll in the park, a common courtship practice. Jace knew that appearing in public with the alphas and participating in courtship rituals was a risk. He had wanted to keep their courtship a secret for longer but after their emotional talk, Jace was done with being scared, with being cautious. His heat was only five days away and Jace could feel the change in him starting, the beginning of preheat. The last thing he wanted was to spend this heat alone. Jace was done being alone.

He knew he loved Magnus and Alec, he knew he wanted to mate them, to have pups and spend the rest of his life being their omega. Jace was tired of holding himself back, of not allowing good things to come into his life. He had two wonderful, loving alphas that wanted to make him happy and Jace was going to fight to keep them. Even if he had to fight himself.

Maybe it was time Jace let go and trusted others, trusted his alphas. He knew they were stubborn, strong, that they didn’t give a damn about Society’s opinion. Jace was newly determined that he would not sabotage the greatest thing that had come into his life. If their triad was destined to fall apart, Jace would not be the one to blame. He would dedicate himself fully to their mating and he would tear the limbs off of anyone foolish enough to oppose them. Jace had a new purpose now; protect his mates at all costs and, one day, to protect their pups as well.

Jace’s thoughts had him smiling as they slowly made their way along the path through the park. Tall, strategically placed trees towered over them and the faint smell of orderly flowers wafted on the gentle breeze. The sun was bright and high but there was enough shade to protect them from becoming too hot. There were other courting couple strolling about but the triad was largely ignored. Lillian had accompanied them and she walked behind them, far enough to see them but not clearly hear any conversation.

They walked in silence for a few minutes and Jace enjoyed the wind through the trees and watched geese waddle back and forth across the path, pecking at the grass idly. Jace couldn’t remember the last time he had felt so peaceful. Magnus, walking on Jace’s right side, gave a loud sigh and tipped his head back, closing his eyes against the sun. The wind pulled his hair out of it’s perfect shape, blowing it across his forehead, giving him a soft look that made Jace’s heart swell and his throat close. Magnus was normally distant and unapproachable to people. Jace was only one of the few to see the alpha so open and vulnerable and it endeared him even more to the alpha. Jace felt his heart skip a beat and then speed up. He loved Magnus so much and he would protect him at all costs.

Magnus must have felt eyes on him because he tipped his head to the side, chin still high in the air and opened one eye to squint at Jace. It made Jace laugh and Magnus grinned at him, clearly pleased. Jace reached out and entwined their arms, pulling their bodies closer, inhaling deeply of the alpha’s contented scent. Magnus laid his hand over Jace’s, his thumb caressing Jace’s skin.

Jace felt Alec come closer on his left side and he turned his head. Alec was smiling at them, his look so fond that Jace blushed, ducking his head. Alec chuckled and ran his hand down Jace’s back, from nape to tailbone, making Jace draw in a sharp breath. Alec’s smile turned smug at having affected Jace and he placed Jace’s other hand on his own arm, puffing his chest out when an approaching couple gave them wide eyed looks. Jace bit his lip and fought down his immediate self conscious reaction to the attention. They had come across no other triads in the park and Jace hadn’t heard of any other courting triads this season. They were sure to stand out.

Jace shook off his thoughts and turned his attention back to Magnus, a question burning in his mind.

“Magnus, I received a letter from Luke this morning. He said that the money had been transferred to my new account.”

Magnus hummed and leveled a calculating gaze at Jace, raising an eyebrow.

“Of course, darling. Should I be offended that you sound so surprised?.”

Jace laughed awkwardly but shook his head.

“No, I...I mean why?”

Magnus halted their motion and turned to Jace fully, taking Jace’s hand in his own. Alec tried to draw away but Jace clutched at the alpha, keeping him still. Alec stayed close but silent. Had Jace offended Magnus? He hadn’t meant to.

“Jonathan, that money is yours, to do with as you wish. I’ve made sure that no one else can touch it, not even I or Alexander.”

Magnus raised his other hand up to cup Jace’s face. Jace smiled and leaned into the touch. He let Magnus draw him closer and place a soft kiss to Jace’s forehead.

“I want you to feel secure, my love. Never again will you be helpless. Even if-”

Magnus’ voice broke and he swallowed, taking an obvious effort to continue.

“Even if one day you don’t want me anymore. The money is yours.”

Magnus was near tears at the thought of Jace not loving him anymore and Jace let out a shaky laugh, his own eyes threatening tears. Behind the alpha was a tall row of flowering bushes and Jace looked around them for witnesses. Seeing no one, Jace pushed and pulled both Magnus and Alec until they followed him, walking to stand by the bushes, blocking them from casual observance.

Jace let out another laugh at the twin bemused expressions he received and wasted no time in cornering Magnus, pressing their bodies together from chest to groin. Jace wound his arms around the alpha, embracing him tightly. Magnus’ expression cleared of confusion to be replaced with such a look of open wonder and desire that Jace shivered, eyes falling to half mast as he preened for the alpha. Jace felt guilty that Magnus was so insecure and he vowed to work harder from now on to show both his alphas how much they meant to him. He leaned forward slowly, relishing the anticipation, before he pressed a soft, chaste kiss to Magnus’ mouth. Magnus moaned lowly and Jace leaned back, whispering.

“Alpha, my alpha. How could I ever leave you when you treat me so well? I love you, Magnus. There will never be a day that I don’t love you.”

Magnus whined and brought his arms up to clutch tightly at Jace, hands opening and closing rhythmically on his clothing. Magnus looked desperate, his eyes wide and dark, face pinched and pale. Jace shushed him and pressed their lips together again, trying to soothe his alpha. Had Magnus been so worried about Jace loving him? The alpha seemed shocked with his confession, hesitant to truly believe. Magnus was a fool if he thought there wasn’t enough room in Jace’s heart for both Alec and Magnus. Jace deepened the kiss, parting his lips to entreat Magnus to take control. He would show Magnus how much he was wanted.

Magnus growled low and clutched Jace impossibly tighter, bringing one hand up to take a gentle hold of Jace’s throat. His fingers pressed firmly against Jace’s scent gland, the same one he had been biting at earlier. Jace gasped at the sensation, feeling hormones rush through his brain, making him weak and euphoric.

Magnus chuckled and took advantage, mapping Jace’s mouth with his tongue. Jace whined and Magnus tightened his hand around Jace’s throat and he leaned into it, desperate for Magnus to control him, consume him. Jace’s knees went weak and he slumped against the alpha. Magnus pulled back slowly, winding their frantic kiss down and Jace came back to himself in increments, panting, hard and wet. His eyes fluttered open and Jace looked upon Magnus’ glowing face. The alpha held him securely, taking his weight easily. Jace had never felt more protected.

The longer Jace stared at Magnus in a daze, the more smug the alpha’s face became. Jace blushed but hid his embarrassment, wanting Magnus to see how much Jace wanted him, how much the alpha affected him. He didn’t want Magnus to ever feel inadequate ever again, not about Jace. Magnus turned his smug look to over Jace’s shoulder.

“Not that I don’t want to bask in your affection forever, darling, but someone looks a little jealous.”

Alec growled from behind him and Jace straightened, turning to see Alec, arms crossed, pouting. Jace let out a shaky laugh, still feeling raw from Magnus’ kiss and reached out to pull on Alec’s jacket, fluttering his eyelashes.

“Oh? We can’t have that. See something you like, my alpha?”

Alec was upon him before Jace finished his sentence, backing him up until Magnus was pressed to his back. Alec molded himself to Jace’s front, dipping down to scent Jace’s neck, licking and pressing kisses to the skin there. Jace whined, writhing between them, clutching at Alec’s back, holding him tight. Magnus groaned and ran a hand through Alec’s hair, tugging harshly when Jace whined again.

“Alexander, this isn’t the place-”

Alec lifted his head abruptly, shaking off Magnus’ hand, pushing his body more firmly against Jace, growling and snarling. Jace had a brief moment of fear before he realized that Alec was growling at Magnus, canines bared and eyes red. Was Alec challenging Magnus for Jace?

Jace bit his lip, unsure of what to do. He stood still, barely breathing, afraid to do the wrong thing and exacerbate the situation. Magnus was calm behind him, not at all alarmed and Jace remembered the way he had handled a riled Alec in the maze garden. Was this a common behavior between mated alphas? A push and pull of dominance? Alec’s voice was a deep snarl and Jace’s breath caught at his tone. It was a darkness Jace had never heard from the mild mannered alpha.

“Mine.”

Magnus leaned over Jace’s shoulder and bared his own teeth in a snarl. He kept one hand on Jace’s hip and harshly pulled on Alec’s hair with the other. Alec fought against the hold, bringing his hand to Magnus’ shoulder to push him away. Magnus’ voice was commanding, alpha compulsion strong. It made Jace’s knees go weak again.

“Ours, Alexander. Ours.”

Alec fought Magnus’ hold weakly before going still, trying to stare the other alpha down. Jace could see both of their faces, Magnus’ right next to his, chin resting on Jace’s shoulder. Magnus snarled again, pulling at Alec’s hair and Alec gave a high whine, eyes fluttering shut. His mouth opened and he scented the air. When he opened his eyes again, the red was gone.

“Ours, yes, ours.”

The hands around Jace tightened possessively and Jace gasped when the alphas leaned forward as one and crashed their lips together. It was a vicious kiss, full of dominance and victory and Jace was lightheaded at witnessing it. He moaned against Alec’s chest, pressing his hips back on Magnus hard length nestled against him. This was just kissing. What would it feel like when they mated? When they guided Jace through his heat?

The air was heavy with their pheromones but Jace shook his head to try to clear it. He was loath to interrupt their passionate embrace but out in the open was no place for the triad to keep shamelessly rutting against each other. Society would never let them live it down if they were caught.

Speaking of caught, where was Lillian? The thought of the beta wandering around looking for them, worried made him break apart from his alphas. They broke their kiss, growling and trying to keep him still but he squirmed away, stumbling a few feet from them, panting heavily. He threw a grin over his shoulder and watched their confused frowns turn into embarrassed understanding. Alec blushed a fetching crimson color and stepped back from Magnus, running a shaky hand through his messy hair. Magnus gave the other alpha a smirk and started smoothing out his clothing.

Magnus swaggered up to Jace, smirk still in place and ran a gentle finger over Jace’s scent gland.

“See what you do to us, omega? You’re scent gland...it’s bruising.”

Jace reached up to poke at his gland and winced at how sensitive it was. None of his shirts were high enough to cover any bruising. Jace sighed, thinking of the rumors that were sure to fly when people saw his neck.

“Well, there won’t be any hiding that.”

Magnus’ smirk didn’t waver as Alec came up beside them, hands clasped behind his back. Magnus’ voice held a deep, pleased growl that rumbled through Jace’s chest.

“No, there won’t be any hiding it. Our omega.”

Jace gave them a small, indulgent smile as the alphas preened in front of him. Movement behind the alphas on the path drew Jace’s eye and his breath caught when he saw who was walking towards them. Camille Belcourt, arm in arm with another omega, one that Jace vaguely recognized as one of her sycophants he had seen hanging off her every word at Magnus’ party. She was frowning at them as the two drew nearer, obviously displeased at seeing them until her eyes flickered down to his neck. Jace raised his hand to cover his scent gland but it was too late. Camille, as she passed the triad, was smirking at Jace, a dark twinkle in her eye that made an anxious yawning pit open up in his stomach. It was a look that promised nothing but bad things for Jace.

He hid his reaction, holding her gaze boldly until she passed them. The exchange took a matter of seconds but it felt much longer and Jace was surprised that his alphas had not noticed, too busy putting themselves to rights and reassuring an exasperated Lillian that all was well. Jace pursed his lips and decided not to mention the exchange to them. Camille was probably just pleased that she had juicy gossip to deliver as soon as she got home. Their courtship would surely be all over the Society papers by tomorrow.

He allowed his alphas to fawn over him as they escorted him home. More than once, their fingers would brush over Jace’s bruised scent gland until Jace had to smack their hands away and tell them, laughing, to stop. How much worse would they be with permanent bonding marks? It made Jace warm all over to think on that. He felt so lucky that he could dream of a future with Magnus and Alec as his mates, the fathers to his pups. He shivered at the thought of being bred. His heat was so near…

In the foyer, Jace paused, turning to his alphas, giving them shy looks from under his lashes. He smirked at the avid looks on their faces, watching him with hungry eyes as he teased over his scent gland. Were they imagining sinking their teeth into it? Making him theirs forever? Jace bit his lips before dragging his tongue over it.

“I’m sure you can smell it but my heat is coming soon. Very soon.”

Magnus blinked rapidly, shaking his head, frowning at Jace. Alec hummed, eyes still on where Jace was caressing his neck.

“You’re going to help me through it, right? My alphas…”

Alec choked, bringing a hand up to rub the back of his neck, blushing. Magnus didn’t move but his frown deepened. Jace felt a slithering coldness run through his chest. Had he been wrong? Anger quickly took over his anxiety but he stayed quiet when Alec spoke.

“I...I thought you wanted a slow courtship, Jace? We want to show you how much we cherish you, how much we love you.”

Magnus nodded and Jace huffed, crossing his arms over his chest.

“I know what I want and it’s the both of you. Forever. If you really want a slow courtship, I’m fine with it but don’t do it on my account. I don’t want to suffer through another heat alone. I want my alphas.”

Magnus and Alec exchanged a long look, one that Jace couldn’t read. Finally, the alphas turned back to him, smiling. Magnus came forward and took his hands in his, pressing kisses to each knuckle.

“Jonathan, beautiful omega. We want nothing more than to please you. If you’re sure this is what you want, we would be honored to share your heat. I’ll announce our engagement to Society tomorrow, first thing. Then we can bond during your heat. How does that sound, my love?”

“It sounds like a dream come true.”