It’s tradition: omegas run and alphas chase. But Jess is no ordinary human omega. With her kingdom on the line, she has to think with her head rather than her heart.
The plan is simple. Or rather, it was. She couldn’t have counted on Blaine Winter joining the race… or the way her instincts respond to him.
The pub is old, dingy, and smells of stale beer. Just how Jess likes it. As she makes her way through the throng toward the bar, she takes in the spate of unfamiliar faces around her. So many have turned up in town for the run, she’s surprised the staff are surviving the onslaught. Though surviving may be an overstatement given the harried look Ruben turns on her when she makes it to the counter. It’s dwarfed a second later by the surprise.
“What in the holy hells are you doing here?”
Jess tugs her hood lower over her face and grins. “Lovely to see you too, Ruben. A pint if you wouldn’t mind.”
Ruben leans across the bar and it would be intimidating, with how big he is, if Jess hadn’t practically grown up under his gigantic feet.
“I would mind,” Ruben growls. “Of all the nights…”
Jess sighs, rolling her eyes. “I’m just having the one,” she says. “I’m here on business.”
“You’re here to give me heart failure,” Ruben says, but he grabs a stein nonetheless so Jess will count it as a win.
Jess smirks, turning to scan the pub as Ruben pours her ale. There is a smattering of faces she knows which makes her particularly glad she’d thought to wear her hooded cloak. The rest of the crowd is unknown – in town for tomorrow’s ridiculous circus. Jess can’t help but bristle at them – these strangers in her city, drawn by the prospect of an antiquated matchmaking game. It’s bad enough the practice still happens, but to have an audience as well…
Speaking of audiences. As Jess turns back she notices a man sitting at the bar to her right. He’s lanky, like dough that’s been rolled out too flat. Short cropped dark hair, sharp features, and eyes that… well, are trained right on her.
Jess smiles and nods – it’s only polite. The man looks away like he’s smelled something unpleasant. And well, rude.
“One pint of ale,” Ruben says, propping the stein down in front of her. “Now drink up and get the hell out of my pub.”
Jess laughs. “Love you too, Ruben.”
She picks up the pint and spares one last glance at the rude stranger — now ignoring her — before turning and heading for the stairs. Or she would have if she hadn’t run smack into a wall of muscle.
The noise that comes out of her can only be described as a squeak and then she’s falling. Only she isn’t. Because there’s one hand steadying her waist and another wrapped around her grip on her ale, keeping it from spilling.
“Sorry,” a voice says and it’s… rather a nice voice actually.
Jess looks up… and up. The very tall owner of said nice voice is also very nice looking, a fact her brain supplies to her far too quickly for her liking. Shaggy dark hair, a jawline one could shave with, and a pair of very serious eyebrows make for a countenance that both intrigues and unnerves her. Not least because he has yet to let go of her waist. Likely because she’s gawking at him like an idiot.
Bless her hood because Jess is bright red as she finds her feet and steps back. The stranger lets her go with haste and something low down in her almost mourns the loss – what is wrong with her?
“My apologies,” she says, still flustered. “I wasn’t looking where I was going.”
“No harm done,” the stranger says. He’s not smiling but Jess gets the feeling that’s his default state. Resting murder face.
She turns back to the bar and waves down a supremely amused-looking Ruben.
“Please get this gentleman whatever he likes and put it on my tab.”
The stranger makes a sound of dismay behind her. “No, please-”
Jess swings back to him, grinning through the bout of sudden whatever is going on in her gut. “I insist, really.”
The stranger seems ready to argue further until he suddenly pauses, eyes ticking down to Jess’s throat and that’s an odd- oh bugger.
Jess’s hand flies up to the clasp of her cloak. The clasp she hadn’t thought to swap out before sneaking out. The clasp with her family insignia on it. The bloody royal insignia.
“Sorry again!” Jess says, hurriedly. “Have a good night!”
She doesn’t dare look back, even as she makes it to the stairs. He can’t have gotten more than a glance. Maybe he didn’t recognise the rabbit for what it is.
And maybe pigs will fly, her brain supplies helpfully.
Well, there’s little that can be done now anyway. She may as well do what she came here to do.
Ah yes, speaking of.
The back corner of the upstairs partition is blessedly quiet but for one group of three sitting in the back booth. Jess rolls her eyes as she approaches them, taking in the finery.
“You stick out like a noble thumb,” she says, sliding into the booth opposite the reason for her clandestine outing.
Henri is pristine as ever, blonde hair quaffed to minuscule perfection. His high collar and shined buttons reek of someone who hasn’t had to dress themselves in years and Jess knows the impression is an accurate one. Since his family came into money, Henri has paid particular attention to the traditions of nobility. He may not have noble blood, but he’s got the next best thing – attitude.
“You’re the one who chose this backwater,” Henri says, sniffing.
Jess would ruffle, the Pony is her backwater after all, but she’s known Henri long enough to know a dead-end conversation when one presents itself. Instead, she gets down to business, pulling the map from her cloak pocket.
Henri’s companions — or rather, his guards — stand from the booth and proceed to look as obvious as humanly possible as they scan the surroundings. Jess rolls her eyes as she smooths out the map. It’s bigger than she’d like, but then they’re having to cover a lot of ground. Once it’s completely unrolled, Henri leans forward and whistles.
“Do I want to know how you got this?”
Jess snorts. “No.”
A lot of sneaking out after dark and bribing certain guards. But Henri needn’t know the details.
Jess leans over the map and points out a dark red cross. “This is where the omegas will start,” she says.
Henri nods, all business – it’s one of the reasons she’d chosen him for this.
“Here,” she continues, shifting her finger up the map. “Is the alpha starting point.”
Henri grunts. “They’re close this year. Shall we just meet in the middle then?”
Ugh, spoken like a true alpha.
“We’re going to run into a mess of other runners if we do that,” Jess says. A mess of other alphas, in particular, most gunning for a chance at her. It’d be like serving herself up on a platter.
Henri has the decency to look uncomfortable at his slip even as Jess continues. “I’m proposing we meet up here,” she says, pointing out a third cross, this one drawn in her own hand. “Near the canyon. It’s far enough away we shouldn’t attract undue attention.”
“And you think you can get there ahead of the alphas?” Henri asks.
It’s a fair question. If Jess were any ordinary omega it might be a stretch. But she’s not and it won’t be.
“I know the woods,” she says. “I’ll be fine.”
It’s a brush off and Henri obviously knows it. He’s smart enough not to push, however. It’s something Jess admires about him – his ability to read a situation. It makes him if not an ideal choice, certainly a good one.
“Shall I leave this with you?” she says, rolling up the map once more.
Henri nods and accepts the rolled parchment from her just as a clamouring of voices sounds below.
Jess’s heart just about leaps out of her chest before she recognises the sound of a typical bar fight. Turning, she peers down through the railings to the main pub floor below. From her vantage, she can make out a group of three men confronting one loner and- oh, it’s resting murder face. He seems to have dialled the expression up to eleven as he stands his ground, though Jess can’t help but notice he’s not escalating the situation.
“Wolves aren’t welcome here,” one of the group says, loud enough for it to travel to Jess’s ears. He’s creating a spectacle and he knows it. It’s one that has Jess’ blood suddenly run cold. Because wolf.
The city doesn’t take well to non-humans at the best of times, but when the whole town is riled up on the prospect of a run…
Jess is about to witness a murder.
She’s standing before she realises it, is half a dozen steps to the stairs before five dark figures melt out of the crowd at resting murder face’s back and take up defensive positions. Not one of them growls but they don’t have to, their glowing gold eyes do it for them.
Resting murder face places his stein on the nearest table and nods at the suddenly less than sure group in front of him. “We were just leaving.”
Jess’s hand grips the stair rail so hard she swears she hears it creak as resting murder face and his companions turn for the door. On the way out, resting murder face places a bag of coin on the bar.
“For the trouble,” he says to Reuben and then they’re out the door.
It’s like the entire pub takes a breath.
“Well,” Henri says behind her. “That was interesting.”
Jess waits until the pub has turned its collective attention back to their glasses before she slips out the front door.
The night is balmy which makes her cloak something of an inconvenience but she dare not remove it before she’s safely within the castle walls once more. She’s had enough close calls this evening, thank you.
She still has no idea what had come over her in the pub. What was she intending to do? Throw her royal self between a werewolf and a murderous mob? It was ridiculous. And yet, had backup not arrived, she can’t be sure she wouldn’t have done just that.
Sighing, she turns off the path into the forest proper. The moon is almost full, lending her path enough light to make the stroll pleasant. Not that she needs it, knowing the woods the way she does. Reaching out, she runs one hand down the familiar bark of a fur tree, relishing in the flicker of welcome she feels at its core.
It’s spoiled a moment later by a sharp flare of warning. She’s not alone.
Picking up her pace, she makes her way deeper into the trees, one hand out to graze over branches and bark as she goes, each one telling her the same story – her tail is gaining on her.
Ugh, just her luck.
She stops at one of the larger fur trees, its warmth humming under her hands as she matches her breath to the breeze through its leaves. She could climb it, of course. Lose her tail in the dark but she’s had a stressful night and she’s…well, a little miffed.
A heavy footstep crackles over the leaves around five feet in front of her so she braces, finding a sharp bit of bark on the tree under her hands, and she twists.
It’s barely a scratch, but it bleeds, and that’s all she needs. Taking a breath, Jess pushes. There’s a crack and a shout from the darkness and Jess smirks. Gotcha.
She steps out from her partner in crime and makes her way back the way she’d come. She comes upon him quickly, sprawled unconscious in the substrate of the forest, bleeding from one temple. It’s the man from the bar. The sallow one that had made a point of staring at her.
Jess crouches down, checking the man’s pulse. It’s strong and his breathing is steady. He’ll wake up in a few hours with a raging headache but will otherwise be fine. A part of Jess thinks that’s a damn pity.
“Lucky,” a voice suddenly says and Jess just about has a heart attack. Staggering back, she raises her bloody hand to the nearest tree only to freeze when she sees who steps out from the darkness.
Resting murder face.
His eyes shine in the moonlight, lending him an extra layer of menace, something that ought to sink its teeth into Jess’s nerves but instead, she finds herself… relaxing.
“Why are you following me,” she demands, wrestling with her instincts. At least she still has her hand to the tree. She still has a chance.
Resting murder face toes at the unconscious man on the forest floor. “I was following him,” he says, eyes serious. “He followed you from the pub.”
“So you thought to save a damsel in distress?” Jess says.
Resting murder face huffs. It’s the closest he probably gets to a laugh. “Something like that,” he says. “I didn’t know the damsel was a dryad.”
Jess’s hand spasms against the tree and the forest around them groans in a non-existent wind. Resting murder face looks around like he’s sightseeing.
“Can you control the whole forest, then?”
Jess is going to have a heart attack. Twenty years spent hiding her bloodline and for what? For a random werewolf to find her out the day before a city-wide gathering. Of all the… ugh!
“You can’t tell anyone,” she blurts suddenly, face going hot.
Resting murder face peers at her in the darkness and she has no doubt he can see just how screwed she is.
“That the princess isn’t human?” he says. “Or that she snuck out of the castle on the night before the run?”
Shit shit shit.
“I can pay you,” Jess says, desperately. “Whatever you want.”
Resting murder face sighs. “You don’t need to buy my silence with gold.”
Jess’s brain falters before she bristles. “Well I’m not buying it with anything else,” she snaps, the tree beneath her hand creaking.
Resting murder face’s eyes go wide and he puts his hands up as though surrendering. “Not at all what I meant,” he says and damn it, Jess is far too quick to relax at the words.
“Just… get home safe, Princess,” Resting murder face says.
“Jess,” Jess blurts before she can stop herself. What is wrong with her?
Resting murder face’s lips tip up as he nods. “My name is Blaine.”
Blaine… Oh lord, Blaine.
“You’re Lord Winter,” Jess says. Squeaks really. She’s talking to the heir of House Winter, the most powerful werewolf pack in the kingdom. If the stories are true, she’s standing before the Defender of the West. And now he knows what she is. Fuck.
Blaine nods, eyes flashing in the darkness. “Nice to meet you, your highness.”
“I think I need to go and have a breakdown,” she says, pinching the bridge of her nose.
Blaine huffs again and the sound of it makes something warm bloom in her belly. She’s obviously ill.
“Just do it behind safe walls,” Blaine says. “I’d appreciate it.”
Jess salutes him like an absolute idiot before turning and making her way through the trees once more. The leaves rustle around her, obviously feeling her nerves but she can’t bring herself to soothe them. She can barely soothe herself right now.
And tomorrow… oh lord tomorrow. Jess suddenly realises with a jolt that Blaine will likely be running come morning. Not many werewolves are granted the opportunity — prejudice against non-humans runs deep throughout the land, after all — but then House Winter aren’t your run-of-the-mill werewolves. Something swoops in her gut at the thought. Something not entirely unpleasant.
Something she’s going to ignore the shit out of. It’s her kingdom on the line after all. She’s going to think with her head, thank you very much. Not… whatever this feeling is.
The morning brings with it a disgustingly beautiful day. The sun is high. The clouds wisp across the sky like smug puffs of pristine white smoke. Jess is hating every moment. Particularly this one that’s brought her shoulder to shoulder with a crowd of jostling omegas, all practically prancing at the wide gate before them.
The run has been a tradition for more than a century and is no less serious now than when it began as a survival tactic, though perhaps for different reasons. Traditionally the importance of ceremonial mating was to ensure the next generation was strong. Now it’s a status symbol. To run requires a donation to the crown – and a hefty one at that. It’s done a good job of dividing the runners and non-participants right down the class line.
Jess doesn’t know if she’d be more comfortable with the practice if it were more equitable, honestly. She’s too busy bemoaning the fact she doesn’t get a choice regarding her own participation.
“The princess must run,” her father had said. “It’s tradition.”
Tradition can suck her lily-white-
“Runners!” A voice booms.
Jess flinches at the volume. Being at the back of the crowd, she’s practically on top of the stage upon which the organisers of the run have gathered. When she turns it’s to find a red-faced cleric mere feet away, spittle flying as he shouts over the crowd.
“We gift to you the blessing of the Gods,” he says, sweeping a grand gesture out over the assembled omegas.
On queue, the robed clerics by his side split evenly and filter down the stairs into the crowd. Each one is carrying a clay pot, painted blood red.
Jess makes a face. This is the part she couldn’t plan for. The nectar. No amount of bribery got her anywhere close to knowing what it’s made up of so she doesn’t know what to expect beyond what’s common knowledge: it heightens your instincts.
Well, her instinct is to get this circus over with as fast as possible so fingers crossed.
By the time the nearest cleric has made his winding way toward her she’s schooled her face into something more befitting the princess of the realm. Probably for the best because the cleric’s eyes widen upon recognising her and he bows.
“Your highness,” he says.
Jess nods even as she notices the words ripple through the omegas around her. Very suddenly she’s got more than enough room on all sides. She just barely stops herself from rolling her eyes.
The cleric raises the pot and unstoppers it, revealing a delicate glass tube. Jess opens her mouth, just as she’d been told, and allows the cleric to place a single warm drop beneath her tongue.
It tastes of… honey. Quite pleasant really. Jess only hopes the sensation persists.
The cleric nods once more at her and moves on. Jess sighs and turns back to the gate, squaring her shoulders against the curious stares around her.
She’s dressed plainly – as plain as she could get away with, which is why so many seem not to have recognised her. It probably speaks volumes that she’s more easily recognised in the town pub than among her fellow nobles but she’s not going to think too deeply on that.
She has other plans, after all.
“Runners!” the head cleric booms, again. “Today you carry with you our hope for the future.”
This time Jess doesn’t stop the roll of her eyes. But no one’s looking at her, instead peering fresh-faced and excited up at the cleric.
“Go with the grace of the Gods,” the cleric says, his final word all but obscured as the massive wooden gate at their back creaks open.
It’s like a stampede. Omegas jostle each other in their rush to make it through the widening gap as the crowd in the stands goes wild. Jess hangs back – she can afford that much – until the gate is all the way open and clear. The omegas scatter and Jess looks back, shielding her eyes against the harsh sun until she can just make out the fine figure of her father, backlit on the highest viewing platform.
He won’t be able to make out her expression, not from so very far, so she salutes him. One of the clerics coughs to smother a laugh.
Jess turns back, and she runs.
Most of the omegas have veered right, a fact that confuses her for a moment until she feels the pull herself, deep down in her gut. Alpha. It’s alien enough to pull her up for a bare moment, instincts stuttering within her. Alpha.
No. Jess shakes her head, ignoring the clench in her middle as she turns left, toward the trees proper.
Once she reaches the tree line something in her relaxes. It’s always been like this. Even when her mother would take her into the forest as a child. The trees are her kin, she can feel it in every fibre of her being. Right now, with the nectar coursing its way through her system, she feels the connection even more acutely. It’s like being swallowed in a warm hug.
Jess closes her eyes, breathes in the green air as her feet find their way instinctively over the underbrush. It’s… amazing.
She reaches the clearing in record time. The forest is calm and alive around her, birds calling and insects singing. Were it not for the purpose of the damn stuff, Jess could get used to this heightened sense of self brought on by the nectar. Instead, she can’t help but pace as she waits, leeching her nerves into the trees around her until they’ve all but huddled protectively over her. The cool seeps in without the sun and Jess bites her lip until… there.
Leaves crunch as someone approaches and it’s pure instinct to raise her head and scent the air. A wave of saccharine perfume assaults her senses and she almost sneezes as Henri steps through a gap in the tree fortress.
“I do not remember this being here,” he says, peering around at the intertwined branches.
His voice scratches down her spine like gravel rash, making her wince.
“Are you okay?” And oh, he’s suddenly closer. Why did he need to be closer?
Jess swallows and opens her eyes. Henri has reached out but seems to have stopped himself before touching her. Thank the Gods. “I’m fine,” Jess says, swallowing her discomfort. “Let’s get this done.”
Henri hesitates before nodding, reaching for his tunic to tug it over his head. He never gets the chance though, because suddenly there’s a loud crash and through the trees bursts a huge, black wolf.
Henri yelps, backpedalling practically into Jess and she should be too – should be scared but she’s frozen to the spot, staring. It means she doesn’t miss the way the wolf fixes her in its gaze, the way it shudders as the hair recedes and a moment later-
“Blaine,” she says, voice doing something uncalled for. But she can’t help it. He’s tall and attractive and very, very naked. And yet that’s somehow secondary to the way her head is screaming at her to climb him.
“Wh- You’re not welcome here,” Henri says, harshly.
“Tell that to her,” Blaine says, dark eyes never leaving Jess’s face.
It’s intense enough that she can feel herself flushing under the scrutiny. It’s definitely the scrutiny. And no other reason.
“We’re mated!” Henri says, and there’s a note of desperation in his voice.
“Not yet, you’re not,” Blaine says, mouth tipping up. They still haven’t broken their gaze. Jess doesn’t think she’s ever going to be able to ever again.
Still, there’s the matter of-
“Henri,” Jess says, swallowing harshly. “Leave us.”
“What?” Henri says, suddenly cutting off her line of vision to Blaine. It’s like a knife in the gut. “We had a deal!”
Jess grits her teeth against the crawling feeling of his voice. “I’m sorry but I can’t.”
“You can’t-” Henri grabs her arm only to practically rebound away from her when Blaine snarls, loud and feral.
Once she can see Blaine again, something in Jess settles. She’s okay. She’s got this.
“Leave, Henri,” she says.
Henri looks between the two of them aghast before swearing and stomping out the way Blaine had come in. The trees close the gap swiftly after him.
Jess swallows, eyes flicking back to Blaine who hasn’t moved a muscle. It’s nothing at all to take a breath, breathe him in, and oh, he smells good.
“What the fuck is going on?” she says.
“I don’t know,” Blaine says. “But I want to-”
He cuts himself off but not before Jess’s imagination runs a mile with the prompt.
“Fuck,” she swears, raking her hands through her hair. It’s come loose from its tie during her run and the dark strands tangle around her fingers.
Blaine steps closer and it’s like the tide, the way she sways into him. “This is the damn nectar,” she says.
Blaine stops. “We don’t have to-”
Something in Jess snaps. Because of course – of course, he’s offering her an out. And she could take it. They could sit. They could talk. Or…
“Fuck this,” Jess says, and it’s nothing at all to close the distance between them. Nothing at all to take Blaine’s artfully chiselled jaw in her hands and pull him in…
Their first kiss is open, dirty, and everything. Blaine meets her beautifully, yanking her against him so forcefully her toes curl even as her brain stumbles over the riot of sensations. He tastes like the nectar, sweet and rich against her tongue and his smell… something earth and musk that makes her want to roll in him. When she cants her head, his hand is there, cradling the back of her head as his thumb presses a slow caress behind her ear.
Jess moans, hitching one leg up over Blaine’s hip. He’s hard now, pressed against her and Jess has never wanted anyone more in her life.
She whines — whines for God’s sake — and pulls back because she has to think. Has to. Only Blaine is following her, tucking his face against her throat and breathing so deep she’s amazed he’s still standing.
“You smell…” He trails off on a groan and Jess just about melts into a puddle when he licks up her throat.
His breath is hot and wet against her skin and it should be weird, Jess barely knows him after all, but she just wants to crawl inside him and stay forever. She opens her eyes to the sight of her own hand, clinging claw-like to Blaine’s bare shoulder.
She’d thought it all bullshit. The descriptions of the knawing, desperate instinct to mate all seemed so absurd. But now, here she is, clinging to a virtual stranger and about to do something incredibly stupid. Stupid and selfish. Because it’s not just her on the line. It’s her kingdom. Her people.
“I can’t-” She says suddenly and it’s like the snap of a branch.
Suddenly there are three feet between them, Blaine pulling back with a violence that she feels in her gut. It’s like being stabbed in reverse. And from the look on his face, he’s feeling it too.
“I’m sorry,” Jess says, desperately. Because she is. “I can’t risk my people. I don’t even know you!”
Blaine blinks and the understanding seems to centre him. He’s still shaking, an effort she shares because, Gods, all she wants to do is reach back out…
“You worry for the kingdom,” Blaine says.
Jess nods miserably. The distance between them feels like a yawning hole in her chest and it’s getting harder to withstand.
Blaine nods. “Fine. I abdicate.”
Jess blinks. Because what? “What?”
“I give up any current or future claim to the throne,” Blaine says like it’s that easy.
It’s like being doused in a bucket of water. “You don’t want-”
“I want you,” Blaine says with a fierceness that makes Jess’s knees want to give out.
“I-” Jess stops. Because will that even work? “We’d need a witness.”
Blaine huffs a laugh and gestures widely to the trees around them. “Are you a dryad or not?”
Jess’s heart just about tumbles out of her chest. God, she’s an idiot. She takes a step to the side and reaches up to the nearest branch, feeling the familiar roaring warmth beneath her touch. She turns back and locks eyes with Blaine.
“If you’re sure, say it again,” she says.
Blaine grins and oh, God, it’s a good thing he doesn’t do that much or she’s going to combust.
“I, Blaine Winter, hereby abdicate the throne.”
The bark beneath her hands grows warm and the tree shivers its understanding. And that’s… that’s it. The agreement is binding and… and she reaches out.
Blaine moves fast and if she didn’t already know he was a wolf that probably would have given him away. That and the way he hoists her up like she weighs nothing, pressing her back against the wall of intertwined trees so she can wrap both legs around his waist. The kiss that follows is… everything. She gives herself over to it, groaning into his mouth as she clutches his broad shoulders.
She ought to feel off-balance given her complete lack of footing but she doesn’t. Can’t feel anything but the warmth in her gut as he turns from the trees and lowers her down into the soft grass. The strength in him would be impressive at the best of times, right now Jess’s brain is helpfully supplying all the ways in which this will come in very, very handy in intimate settings.
The grass is springy and soft at her back, providing a perfect cushion as Blaine cages her in, pressing her down into the forest floor like it’s all he’s ever wanted. Jess groans, canting her head into his kiss as she feels his hand smooth up her thigh, pushing her slip up with it.
She’s not wearing underwear. This is the whole point of the run after all. To come together. To find a mate. To fuck them into the forest floor. Fuck, she wants so badly.
Blaine’s hand shifts, moving between them and his fingers are- are-
Jess bucks into the sensation and Blaine’s fingers sink into her, easy as breathing because oh Gods, she’s so wet. She’s practically dripping. Blaine’s breath catches and Jess breaks their kiss around a moan as his fingers cant upward, the heel of his palm pressing deliciously against her mound.
“Fuck,” she swears, fingers going claw-like on Blaine’s bare shoulder. It only seems to drive him on, dark eyes trained on her face as he draws his two fingers out and replaces them with three. His hands aren’t small and the stretch of it is amazing. Jess bites her lip around a whine and fumbles with the laces of her slip. Off. Off she wants it-
Blaine shifts and the sudden loss of his hand between her legs is like being gutted. She never gets a chance to complain though, because he’s wasting no time in grasping her tunic in both hands and bodily ripping it down the middle.
And oh. That’s hot. That’s so hot.
Jess shrugs out of the tatters of her tunic and pulls Blaine down because she’s never wanted to feel skin on skin so much and oh- yes. Jess arches, nipples pebbling under the sheer sensation as Blaine drops to his elbows and catches her mouth in a kiss once more.
He’s so hot over her, Jess feels like she’s burning up but it’s the sort of fire she wants to wrap around herself and live in forever. The forest around her is lit up, trees creaking as the pressure builds and she’s never wanted anything more in her life than for Blaine to fuck her into the ground.
Blaine’s next kiss is biting and Jess’s patience runs out.
Hitching her legs up over Blaine’s hips, she breaks the kiss to fix him with a glare. “Fuck me.”
Blaine’s eyes darken and he shifts his weight and oh-
He sinks into her like the tide. He’s by no means small but she’s so damn wet it doesn’t matter. He fits himself inside of her like he was made for her, head of his dick dragging deliciously over her inner walls and yes- there.
Jess gasps, legs going shaky around Blaine’s hips as he settles into her, sucking a harsh kiss to her bared throat.
“Move,” she says, breathlessly. “Please.”
“Fuck,” Blaine says. “You feel…”
His hand goes suddenly sharp on her hip and Jess opens her eyes to find Blaine’s glowing gold above her. It ought to be terrifying. Wolves aren’t particularly known for their self-control. But all Jess can feel is a warm, deep satisfaction. She pulls him down into a kiss that’s far sharper than it ought to be but it doesn’t matter at all because Blaine’s taken her queue and has started to move.
His first thrust is smooth and deep, lighting shivers up Jess’s spine that sees her moaning and breaking their kiss. Her hand keeps the connection though, finding the back of Blaine’s neck and holding on as his rhythm builds. And oh Gods, what a rhythm. The slick drag of him inside her is poised to drive her completely mad and it’s never felt like this before. She can feel every point they’re touching like a brand, every thrust punches a gasp from her and she can’t help but want-
“More,” she says. “Fuck. More.”
Blaine groans like she’s killing him and sits up, dislodging her legs’ grip but oh is it worth it for the next thrust. Sure and hard and deep. Jess yells, hands scrabbling in the grass as Blaine sets a brutal pace that sees the forest around them groan.
The angle is perfect, the head of Blaine’s dick pressing relentlessly against the bundle of nerves inside her that makes supernovas light up behind her eyes. In no time at all, she’s on the edge, teetering over a precipice that’s never yawned so dark or so wide.
“That’s it,” Blaine grunts and suddenly there’s pressure on her clit, Blaine’s slick thumb rubbing sure, hard circles over the bundle of nerves and Jess falls.
It’s like nothing she’s ever felt before – a rolling heat that engulfs her whole body in a humming cage of sensation. Jess buckles, shouting into the forest and Blaine snarls over her, thrusts turning brutal before he freezes and Jess can feel him coming even as her own orgasm rips through her.
Blaine collapses into her and Jess clutches at him, even as her body shivers through an aftershock.
The cage of tree branches above them seems to undulate, leaves settling into the new peace as Jess’s heart rate slows, matching the answering thump of Blaine’s over her breast. For a long moment, there’s silence broken only by their slowing breaths. Then Blaine groans.
“I think I’m broken,” he says.
The laugh that bursts out of Jess is sudden and a little hysterical.
“Fuck,” she says. Because she can’t think of anything else.
Blaine shifts, rising up on his elbows to gaze down at her. His dark hair is a fucked out mess and his lips are kiss bitten. It’s an exceedingly good look on him.
Jess cants her head and accepts a slow, languishing kiss. When Blaine pulls back his eyes are clearer. The nectar is probably wearing off, then.
“What now?” Blaine says.
Ugh. Exactly what Jess didn’t want to think about. And fuck it, she won’t.
“Now, we sleep,” She says, carding her fingers through Blaine’s hair. “Everything else can wait.”
Everything else being the kingdom. And her father. And Blaine’s duties. And her duties. And-
Blaine seems to assess her for a moment before nodding. “Everything else can wait.”
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