Clutching Byleth close, Jeralt bares his teeth at the door, smelling the damn brat trying to fight though the other kids to get to his daughter. His little girl, flushed with heat and half aware, arches her neck toward the door.
“Alpha?” she whimpers softly, looking so dazed and love struck that Jeralt wants to let her go. But, he can’t. Not with the brat half-mad and looking at her like she’s the Goddess. Not when Byleth is still recovering from those five years asleep. Not when hell is on their doorstep, painted in a bloody red.
“No, sweet girl. No,” he shushes her, pulling her face back to his chest, letting her get lulled by his heartbeat. She whines a little, but settles against him with little resistance, tapping along with his heart. He waits until her tapping stops and her breathing deepens before carefully sliding out from under her. Exiting her room, Jeralt isn’t surprised at the snarling, spitting beast that once was the Prince of the Kingdom.
“Sir?!” the pegasus knight cries in surprise, glancing at him from the corner of her eye.
“What the hell are you doing, you old coot?” the swordsman spits, his focus never wavering from the pissed and possessive Alpha before him. Jeralt ignores the barb (honestly, Byleth’s said worse as an observation. He’s never going to recover from her explaining to a bar maid he was trying to avoid due to her wanting sex, that his lack of erection is because he’s old. She was twelve) to thrust his hand between the lance and sword the other two Alphas had pointed at the deranged brat to grip the little shit’s throat.
“Listen here, you idiot,” he snarls, lifting the bastard off his feet. The younger Alpha chokes, kicking at the ground while looking down at him with a wide eye, the other Alphas taking a step back in surprise and awe.
“I’ve fought and killed Alphas claiming that they “deserve” to have Byleth. I’ve slaughtered Alphas that tried to drug, kidnap, and rape my daughter. I’ve even killed one of my own men because he decided that Byleth was his to have. Tell me why I shouldn’t kick your ass,” Jeralt threatens, tightening his grip.
“Be…love…ed,” the fallen Prince chokes, raising his hand toward the door, “Don’t… leave… me…” Jeralt blinks, dropping the younger Alpha when he passes out and taking a step back.
“That… was pathetic,” Jeralt states, thinking about that vulnerability and desperation the young man had while reaching for his daughter. The healer woman hurries over, checking over the brat while Jeralt heads back into Byleth’s room, frowning as his stomach drops uncomfortably. The brat isn’t looking at his daughter as an object to own, he’s looking at her like a life support, like the Goddess herself. That’s much worse.
Jeralt is waiting for Alois and Catherine to finally pause, so he can go check up on Byleth, when the Prince stumbles in, looking like he’s just had an amazing fuck. Jeralt’s eyebrows shoot up, uncertain if he should be glade that the little bastard had found another person to hold his affection or pissed for Byleth’s undoubtably broken heart when she catches scent of the Alpha.
“Holy shit, he had fun,” Catherine comments, grinning wolfishly at the dazed fumbling the young Alpha does as he moves to the preserves counter and ordering something. Jeralt snorts in amusement before freezing. That inhale was enough for him to smell Byleth, even though he knows she wouldn’t have left her room. She’s always curled into her nest, staying happily in her room unless…
“Excuse me, I need to go castrate an Alpha,” Jeralt growls, rising from the table while the Prince’s little friends crowd around him, hissing and snapping at him before covering his mouth. Catherine and Alois just watch as he storms over to the piece of shit, throwing his arm around the Prince’s shoulders to hiss something in his ear.
“I told you this was going to happen,” Catherine chuckles, holding out her hand as the Prince pales under Jeralt’s arm. Alois sighs and hands her the agreed upon money, shaking his head as the Alpha pair leaves the cafeteria while the Prince’s friends watch in terror as their leader is probably led to his demise.
Byleth looks in the mirror with a small frown on her face, turning slightly on the stand to let her dress swish slightly around her ankles. Jeralt watches in amusement as Mercedes and Annette both lightly scold her for playing with the dress, messing up the hard work women put into it, while Ingrid fiddles idly with the flowers.
“He’s head over heels for you, honey. Calm down,” Jeralt tells her, grinning at the unimpressed look on his daughter’s face at the term of endearment (she’s only receptive to such names during her heat, and now from Dimitri). Chuckling, he stands up and motions for her to get closer to him. Despite her nerves and worry, she still follows his orders without complaint, cuddling into his arms when he pulls her into a hug.
“Everything will turn out just fine, Byleth. He loves you too much to leave, and if he does, the Knights of Serios will drag his ass back to you to talk it out,” he murmurs against her hair. She presses her forehead against his shoulder, a silent thanks.
“He might be missing something though,” he semi-jokes, grinning at the pinch she does to his ribs in reprimand. Tightening his hug, Jeralt blinks as he fights back the tears that threaten to fall before the wedding. However, after the ceremony and following celebration, Alois would find him silently crying as he nurses a bottle, mourning how he’s no longer Byleth’s favorite man while swearing to be the best damn Grandfather to whatever child comes from the lovely couple.