Arthur hauled himself into the passenger seat, huffing and complaining as he squirmed into a comfortable position. Alfred knew from the pinch of Arthur’s lips, the sharpness of his movements and the clamminess of his scent that it was going to be one of those days. Temperamental, hormonal, downright cranky, whatever people wanted to call it, Arthur was it. Alfred would rather bolt through a live landmine field and hope for the best than say the wrong thing to his mate, and, knowing him; Alfred would say the wrong thing.
“All ready to go, sweetheart?” Alfred chirped, starting up the engine.
“I wouldn’t be in the car if I wasn’t ready, would I?” the Omega snipped.
He wiggled the seat belt underneath his protruding belly then instinctively smoothed his fingers over the baby bump. Any exasperation Alfred felt towards Arthur seeped away; it wasn’t easy to stay mad at the person carrying his unborn child. Even if said person was being a pain in the ass.
“Are you sure you wanna go? Because we’re not obligated to if you don’t feel up to it.”
Arthur levelled Alfred with a look that had the potential to give the sun frostbite and it was only through years of practice that Alfred didn’t shiver.
“I’m fine, now get a bloody move on. I’ll go into labour before we reach Canada at this rate,” Arthur retorted, shuffling around with a restlessness that only eight months of nurturing and homing a tiny human being could induce.
“Okay.” The Alpha reached across the gearbox to squeeze Arthur’s hand. “I’m just worried about you. Your scent’s really… agitated, it’s making me agitated. Are you nervous or something?”
The Omega blew out a lungful of hair and his muscles sagged with the sigh, causing him to shrink into his seat. Even so, he curled his hand over Alfred’s.
“No, I’m – I’m not nervous.” Arthur’s face warmed with an unexpressed smile. He often did that, smiled without smiling. It was such an endearing trait that he reserved only for Alfred and it always left the Alpha entirely at Arthur’s mercy, dazzled by affection. “I’m sorry for snapping. My hormones seem to be all over the place today. It’s almost as if…,” Arthur hummed into silence.
“Almost as if what?”
The Englishman’s face glinted with unease so briefly Alfred thought it might have been the light casting shadows.
“Nothing, my darling, nothing at all,” Arthur said, his voice placating. “We’d better hurry up or we’ll be late.”
Fortunately, they arrived early.
Living close to the Canadian border meant that the journey to Toronto had only taken around three hours. Arthur had napped soundly for the most of the car ride, he didn’t quite get away with sleeping through border control, and Alfred had amused himself by listening to Arthur’s gentle, rumbling snores, similar to that of a cat mewling.
In truth, Alfred wasn’t happy about travelling to Canada when Arthur was so heavily pregnant though he knew voicing that particular concern would not go in his favour. Arthur had threatened to remove certain appendages the last time Alfred had mentioned it, claiming that he wasn’t incapable because he was pregnant and that Alfred was being overprotective. When they’d learnt it was common for an expectant Alpha to become a tad overbearing, Arthur had exercised a little patience but Alfred still didn’t consider it worth the risk.
Arthur had a likeness to wind-up toy when he was provoked. Once he got going, it was near impossible to stop him.
Alfred blamed his brother for living in Canada, of all places. Honestly, who would choose the land of ugly moose and below-par coffee over good old USA? It was something Alfred had never managed to comprehend, but, as it was Mattie’s thirtieth birthday, a trip to Canada wasn’t much of a choice. Besides, Alfred never missed an opportunity to tease Mattie about being a year older than him.
Pulling into the drive, Alfred scuttled out of the car to open the door for Arthur. The Omega’s exit was inelegant, to put it delicately, but the drowsy smile of thanks Alfred received from his mate stopped him from laughing and he dusted kisses over Arthur’s forehead instead.
The discomfort clouding Arthur’s scent mellowed and turned sweet with his contentment. Alfred would never tire of triggering that reaction in Arthur.
“You wanna get the door and I’ll get the bags?” Alfred suggested but Arthur was already waddling towards the front door, one hand anchored against the small of his back. He was quick to greet Matthew with warm birthday wishes, as well as a polite yet dire request to use the bathroom.
Cool sweat beaded at the back of his neck and slithered under his collar. Arthur repositioned on the sofa again before forgoing sitting altogether and heaving himself on to his feet and almost falling on his face when he rocked forward.
Always forgetting he was front-heavy.
Alfred’s mother spied the movement and jumped up to steady him.
“Arthur, you don’t look well,” the Omega remarked, her mouth drawn with maternal concern. “Do you want to go lay down?”
She touched his brow, mentally measuring his temperature. Arthur was sure she would discover that he was indeed overheated. Hot and uncomfortable and so goddamn frustrated and he didn’t know why. He couldn’t shake the inhibiting sensation of being unsatisfied somehow and he wanted nothing more than to shed off his prickling skin.
“No, thank you; I needed to stand up is all.”
Arthur was struck by an all-consuming ache to be near Alfred, an ache that smouldered strong and fervent, reaching his very bones.
God, he needed Alfred. And he despised his hormones.
His eyes sought out the American and found him in the kitchen, perching on a barstool at the breakfast bar. Alfred had obviously been checking in on Arthur because their eyes met as if Alfred had been watching him. It seemed as though Alfred had had one eye on Arthur since the Englishman had wordlessly presented him with the positive pregnancy test, waiting for his reaction with baited breath.
Of course, Alfred had been overjoyed, bouncing around and swirling Arthur off his feet. Arthur could remember thinking, with exasperated fondness, that the father of his child was a no more than a child himself.
Across the room, Alfred mouthed the question ‘you okay?’ and the bridge of his nose wrinkled with worry.
Arthur excused himself from Mrs. Jones’ company and he hurried to Alfred, antsy with the desire to be next to him. Alfred almost got up from his seat but Arthur beat him to it and snuggled his head into the crook of the Alpha’s shoulder, inhaling the glorious blend of pheromones that was Alfred’s aroma. Fresh, summer-ripened raspberries and dewy forest air and something underlying that Arthur couldn’t label with anything other than ’home’.
“Hey, hey, honey, what’s the matter?” asked Alfred.
A sturdy arm clasped Arthur’s shoulders, pulling him in closer. Alfred drew circles with his hand on Arthur’s back and propped his chin on the Omega’s head, breathing in the scent there, ensuring Arthur wasn’t frightened or in any form of pain.
“Nothing,” Arthur said, his answer muffled by Alfred’s chest.
“Tired of being fawned over?” Alfred chuckled, referring to the Omegas that had flocked around Arthur as if his pregnancy made him some sort of golden fleece or holy grail that Omegas felt compelled to pet and coo at. If only they knew carrying a child wasn’t all glowing skin and bountiful fertility, rather it was every inconvenient and annoying ailment known to man such as indigestion, seesawing hormones, loss of bladder control and swollen ankles.
What a magical experience it was.
“When are you due? Oooh, you must be about ready to pop now! Have you thought about names yet? Is the baby kicking? Can I feel it?” the Alpha teased. Arthur delivered a swift pinch to Alfred’s bicep. “Hey!” he yelped.
“Stop being such a git.”
That earned him another chuckle.
He heard Alfred mutter ‘he’s okay’ and Arthur assumed Matthew or Alfred’s father had enquired about his wellbeing. Alfred was then lured into a heated debate about American and Canadian hockey teams and Arthur was glad to simply lean his weight against the Alpha and nestle up to the warmth his body emitted.
The surrounding conversations lulled in and out of clarity and he seemed to have appeased the sweltering ache.
That was until he glanced down and noticed, idly, that he could see Alfred’s crotch from where his head was resting. And suddenly, suddenly, he knew exactly why he‘d been infuriatingly jittery for the past six hours or so and, the moment he acknowledged this, the ache blazed with a vengeance, weakening his joints and snatching away the oxygen in his lungs.
He angled his body in a way that would conceal what he was about to do.
Feverish, Arthur cupped his palm between Alfred’s legs and the man nearly shot up out of his chair. Luckily, he didn’t but his voice caught in his throat as he was speaking.
Arthur kneaded his fingers against Alfred’s bulge, demanding and urgent and delighting in the hitch of Alfred’s breath and the slow but sure parting of his legs.
“What are you doing?” Alfred whispered, ragged.
“I need you now. I need you to fuck me right now, Alfred. Please, please.”
The Omega added pressure, rubbing his hand rhythmically, feeling Alfred harden and jerk, ever so slightly, into his touch. The sheer temptation to unzip Alfred’s trousers made Arthur’s head reel with electric lust but he wasn’t yet dizzied enough to forget Alfred’s father and brother, and incidentally Arthur’s father-in-law and brother-in-law, were in close vicinity.
“Oh Jesus,” Alfred said through gritted teeth. “Ahhh, holy fuck– are you in heat? Is this a flash heat?”
It was a blessing Arthur was wearing black trousers because there was, without a doubt, a wet patch growing on the fabric.
“Yes, I think so– please, I’m wet.” Arthur refused to admit he was panting but he was close enough for anyone eavesdropping to consider it panting.
The American released a pained sound and he was on his feet within seconds. Quickly fabricating a story about Arthur feeling nauseous, Alfred grabbed Arthur’s hand and marched them upstairs.
Racing up the stairs wasn’t the simplest of tasks to tackle but once they reached the top, Arthur found himself whirled into the guestroom they were spending the night in.
At the click of the door locking, a lightness bloomed in Arthur’s chest and splayed across his body, into his blood, saturating him with arousal. He exhaled in a rush and it left his mouth as reedy whine. Alfred slid a hand behind the back of Arthur’s neck and dove in to devour his lips, the Alpha’s tongue desperate and deliberate against his.
Alfred’s hands wandered to his front, unbuttoning his shirt with clumsy coordination. The American was quick to remove Arthur’s remaining clothes and step away, leaving Arthur naked and breathless and somewhat insecure. Arthur had been bare in front of Alfred a great many times during the pregnancy but he had yet to squash the instinct to hover his hands over his stomach, gripped by the fear that Alfred would no longer find him attractive.
Whenever this happened, however, Alfred responded in the same manner. Moving Arthur’s hands and allowing his gaze to roam over Arthur’s body, lingering on the swell of his belly.
“You have no idea how beautiful you are, Artie,” the taller man breathed, extending his arm to stroke the bump.
Arthur felt wetness trickle along his inner thigh and his mate’s eyes dilated, taking on an almost feral quality and his scent spiked with luscious excitement. He moved to kiss Arthur again but the Omega stopped him.
“No, take your clothes off first,” Arthur demanded, tugging Alfred’s shirt out of his dress trousers. “Now.”
Unsurprisingly, Alfred didn’t fail to live up to his ability to fully undress within the blink of an eye. Unashamed of his nudity, he grinned at Arthur with cockiness that he saved specifically for the bedroom, or any other location they chose to be intimate in.
“Much,” Arthur countered, his mouth going dry at the familiar sight of his mate’s tall, broad-shouldered physique. The man looked painfully hard.
Alfred drove in for his much awaited kiss, his fingers gliding down Arthur’s spine to his ass and teasing there. Arthur keened into Alfred’s mouth, writhing with impatience, and Alfred wasted no time backing Athur towards the bed.
Lowering himself on to the bed wasn’t nearly as graceful as it would have been pre-pregnancy but neither of them spared it any thought.
Arthur attempted to pull Alfred on to the bed but found himself dragged towards the standing Alpha instead. With his ass suspended over the edge of the bed, Arthur wrapped his legs around Alfred’s hips, twitching with excitement when he felt the bump of Alfred’s erection.
“Are you comfortable?” the Alpha asked.
“Yes, yes, please just–”
He cried out as Alfred slid inside him with thrilling precision, picking up an unrelenting pace right from the off and falling into a thoroughly abused rhythm that hit the spot inside Arthur which drove him to quivering incoherency.
“You want it harder?” Alfred purred into his ear.
“Yes.” Arthur dropped his hands over Alfred’s back and bit his fingernails into the Alpha’s backside, urging him on.
“What was that? Didn’t hear you.”
“I said yes!” Arthur was at the cusp of calling Alfred a derogatory name but the man was true to his word and his next thrust had Arthur’s toes scrunching. Soon he was gasping as Alfred sent hot sparks of pleasure to his every nerve ending.
“Shuuuush, we gotta be quiet,” Alfred grunted.
Arthur reached under his stomach to grasp his erection but Alfred released one of his legs to bat his hand away.
“You’re gonna come because of my cock and nothing else,” the Alpha said through laboured exhales. “Fuuuuuuck, ahh– I’m gonna– I think I’m gonna knot.”
Alfred pulled out, startling Arthur.
“Need to change position. Lay on your side,” the American commanded with all the firm authority of an Alpha and Arthur shuffled into the centre of the bed without question. Alfred climbed over the bed; spooned Arthur’s back and sheathed himself inside before Arthur had drawn breath.
Arthur didn’t last. He throbbed, hot and intense, and his body stiffened with his climax. He must have made a lot of noise because he heard Alfred make a half-hearted attempt to quieten him but the Alpha was seized by his own orgasm, jolting into Arthur and sinking his teeth into the mating scar on Arthur’s neck, reopening it.
Satisfied and dazed, Arthur registered that Alfred was knotting him.
A sluggish laugh resounded from Alfred as he melded his body against Arthur and cradled the Omega’s belly with his arm. Arthur turned his head to glare at the American.
“What are you laughing at?”
“Of all the days you could have had a flash-heat, Artie,” Alfred said, with his gravelled, lethargic tone that Arthur secretly adored.
“It’s not as if I planned it, pillock!”
“Yeah, I know.” Alfred pecked Arthur’s temple. “Hopefully no one decided to come upstairs.”
As if on cue, there was a reticent knock on their door.
“When you two are ready, we’re going to give Matthew his cake,” Alfred’s mother informed them, her voice knowing. “No rush,” she added before they heard the creak of the stairs.
It took Alfred at least half an hour to convince Arthur to re-join the party.