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Make Me Feel Again

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Yuri’s running late again and he just knows this is going to be the time that Lilia really does kill him. His alarm never went off this morning, then his POS car wouldn’t start, and now he’s running the mile and a half to the restaurant.

He hits the back alley just shy of fifteen minutes from when his shift was set to start and stumbles in the door breathing heavily and trying to catch his breath.

“You’re late again, Yurochka,” Yakov calls with little emotion, as he continues to chop onions. “If Lilia were here she would have rung your neck.”

Yuri sags against the counter and thanks whatever deity is smiling down on him that the omega woman isn’t in today. He makes his way to the sink to wash his hands and face of any lingering sweat, before finding his apron and opening the kitchen doors to begin his shift.

Thankfully Mila is working as hostess today instead of Gerogi. If he had to spend another afternoon listening to the other man cry over his alpha ex he was going snap. What did he expect dating an alpha, they never stick around for long, and just because they bonded once doesn't mean the women wanted to continue the relationship. It's not uncommon for an alpha and omega to bond during a heat and then let the bond break for the next heat. Alphas are selfish, the don't think about how much stress an omega goes through every time the bond is broken.

The day passes surprisingly quickly and when his shift is almost over Mila gets his attention.

“Yuri, I just sat a pair at table sixteen. They’re important, so make sure they get anything they want.”

Mila doesn’t have to specify what ‘important’ means. Yuri’s been working here for almost five years now and he knows the type of clientele Lilia caters to. While she herself isn’t affiliated with any of the shady crime organizations that frequent her restaurant, it does function as a meeting place for many of them. It’s a sort of neutral space where anyone can eat, and where meetings between different organizations can be held.

Yuri turns to make his way to the table and Mila grips his arm tightly before he can step away.

“Be careful Yuri,” the beta woman says quietly. Her face is pinched and her eyes are pleading, which means it must be someone very high up.

While Yuri doesn’t care who he severs, as long as they tip well, Mila has to keep track of who everyone is, and make sure to keep any feuding parties as far apart as possible. Even with the restaurant serving as a neutral space it’s best not to push anyone’s luck with unnecessary closeness.

Yuri leaves Mila with a nod and weaves his way through the restaurant until he reaches his destination. His steps falter slightly when he sees who he’ll be waiting on, but he covers it easily.

“Mr. Nikiforov, what can I get for you tonight?” he asks politely.

The silver haired man is the son of one of the largest crime bosses in the county. He’s grown up untouchable, and when he presented as an alpha that only increased his cockiness. His husband is the owner of the club Yuri works at downtown, and he’s nothing at all like Victor. Not only is Yuuri humble of everything he’s earned, he’s also an omega. He’s one of only two omegas that Yuri knows that actually owns a business, it’s not unheard of, but it’s certainly not common. Yuuri spent years building up his club, and that's one of the things that drew Victor's attention in the first place. Lilia on the other hand only came out as an omega twenty years ago when the laws against omegas changed. Before the omega rights wave hit, omegas weren't allowed to own a business of any kind, and Lilia was forced to keep her secondary gender a secret.

Victor finally looks up from his conversation with a man Yuri’s never seen before and smiles.

“Yurio, what a pleasant surprise.” Yuri knows Victor knows that he hates that nickname, but Victor also knows there’s nothing he can do to stop him. “Bring me a glass of your best Cabernet Sauvignon and a whisky neat for my associate here.”

Yuri leaves with a small glance to the man Victor's talking with. He has dark eyes and hair that’s buzzed on the underside, he would almost remind Yuri of JJ, if JJ sported tattoos along his knuckles and neck. There’s no doubt to the mans secondary gender though, he’s definitely an alpha. His scent is warm and strong, and Yuri’s head feelings like it’s swirling in it as he steps away. It's one of the things he hate the most about being and omega. While alpha pheromones alone aren't enough to affect an omegas behavior they can be distracting, and combined with an alphas ability to command an omega it's enough to leave most omegas weary.

Yuri returns with their drinks balanced on a small tray, as he hands the stranger his their eyes meet and Yuri can't help the warmth that rushes through him. He can't stand most alpha, so to feel such a strange pull to this stranger is disconcerting. He pulls back quickly to asks for their meal orders, and silent curses his reaction to the man.

“What’s your favorite thing to eat here?” The alpha asks, his voice deep and slow, and his eyes trail to Yuri's unmarked neck, where a bonding bite would be if he ever let and alpha get that close.

One of the most annoying things about being a waiter is having to smile when someone hits on you, even if the someone is one of the hottest people you’ve ever seen. It doesn’t help anything that with the clientele the restaurant attracts, dismissing an advance can have more than just poor career consequences. So when the stranger trails the back of his hand down Yuri’s arm until he reaches his wrist Yuri stays perfectly still. He won’t brush the alpha off, but he also won’t do anything to encourage it.

“Um, the prime rib is on special tonight,” Yuri manages to choke out.

The alpha gives Yuri a small grin with a flash of his white teeth and sharp incisors. “That sounds perfect, medium rare.”

Yuri nods his head, not bothering to write down either of the men’s orders, and as soon as the pair have finished Yuri rushes to the back to place the orders.

He can still feel the heat of the mans hand on him, and he rubs at his wrist to dispel the feeling. He’s used to being hit on, he know what he looks like, and he relies heavily on tips to pay the bills. He’s just not used to anyone being so forward at this job.

Once he’s placed their orders he hides in the kitchen until Yakov orders him to, “Get out there and do your job.”

Yuri checks back in with his other tables but they’re all emptying out, and Mila isn’t giving him anymore since his shift is ending soon. He uses the lull to go to the back room and check his appearance. His second job starts just an hour after this one is set to end, and without a car he’s unsure if he’ll have time to make it back home between them.

He doesn’t look too bad, his hairs still pulled up into high ponytail, but that can be changed easily. The bags under his eyes can be covered easily enough, and he keeps an extra set of work clothes in his locker at the club so he should be okay there too. So everything should be alright just as long as he makes it there in one piece.

He adjusts his apron and smooths down his pony tail before going back to the kitchen to gather his orders and take them back to the table.

“Thank you Yurio. That will be all for tonight,” Victor says with a dismissive flick of his hand.

Yuri looks to the other alpha but he doesn't seem to have any disagreements about Yuri being dismissed. It’s not unusual for someone to want privacy, and in this case it works to Yuri’s advantage. He might have just enough time to get home and shower before his next shift begins. With a nod to Victor and a final glance to the handsome stranger Yuri leaves the table.

He speaks with Mila and checks in with Yakov one last time before adding his apron to the pile to be washed and leaving out the back.

The jog back to his apartment is at a much more subdued pace than his frantic run to work, and he’s able to put any thoughts of the restaurant out of his mind along the way. He checks the time when he arrives and is happy to see he still has over and hour to get ready.

He takes a quick shower to wash away all of the sweat from his trip back, and for once the lukewarm water isn’t a disadvantage as it helps to cool his heated skin. He's complained to the apartment super countless times, but when he wouldn't even fix the faulty light switch in the hallway Yuri gave up on ever having hot water.

He dresses in one of his tightest pairs of hot pink boxers and then gets to work on his makeup. He starts by covering the bags under his eyes and then adding dark eye shadow and liner. His hair air dries as he works, leaving it in soft waves that flow down his back. He finishes his look off with lots of body glitter and pink lip-gloss.

When Yuri’s satisfied, he dresses in a tight pair of jeans and a hoodie, taking care not to smug any of his hard work. He locks his apartment up and then walks the three flights down to the parking lot to try his luck at his car one last time.

The first turn of his key causes nothing but a choked off stuttering sound, but with the second turn the engine roars to life, and Yuri whoops his excitement. He’s had this car since he first got his license. It was one of the last things his grandfather gave him before he moved, and Yuri’s tired like hell to keep it running.

He pulls into the back parking lot of The Castle with plenty time to spare and leisurely makes his way to the door. He nods to the man guarding the back entrance and is easily granted access.

As he weaves his way through the different back rooms he hear loud voices coming from Yuuri's office but he passes quickly, not wanting to get caught eavesdropping. There’s a few people getting ready for their shifts when he gets the locker room, two betas and another omega, and Yuri unlocks his locker before stripping and adding his clothes and shoes back into it. He checks his reflection one last time and then makes his way out into the club in nothing but his tight boxers.

The music is so loud his body feels like it’s vibrating as he weaves his way through the crowd and he loves it. Hands trail all around him and he can’t help but grin. It’s packed tonight, which means he can expect more tips.

When he reaches his regular area near the center of the club he climbs the platform and grinds his hips on the person he meets.

“Shifts over Guang,” Yuri yells into the mans ear. “Get off my stage.”

Guang turns and wraps his arms around Yuri’s bare shoulders, keeping up the charade as others look on.

“You know you could be nicer Yuri. You’re not the only one who works this spot,” Guang says with a pout.

“You work the early shift for a reason, I’m the main attraction.”

Yuri grins wickedly when Guang shoves him back slightly before turning and climbing off of the platform. He’s only worked at The Castle for a few years but he knows he’s a big draw when it come to customers. He has several regulars that come just to watch him dance, and to maybe get a chance at a passing touch when he works his way through the crowd.

Yuri loves this job far more than the restaurant, it pays better and he gets to dance for hours on end, but he would never back out on Lilia. She took him in and gave him a chance when no one else would. If it weren’t for her he would have starved on the streets, or worse have been found by some random alpha when his first heat hit.

Lilia’s the one who took him to his first appointment to get suppressants, and she even bought him his first sex toy for when he was still having regular heats. She managed to keep her true secondly gender a secret for almost twenty years, when it was still illegal for omegas to own a business, and if the laws were never changed she would still be hiding it now.

He’s been working for close to an hour, sweat already dripping down his chests and darkening the roots of his hair, when he sees Yuuri twisting his way through the crowd. It’s unusual that he ever sees the owner out of his office unless accompanied by his husband for a night, and the fact that he seems to be working his way towards Yuri only makes worry pool low in stomach.

He tries to act unaffected as Yuuri nears, but he’s running through a check list in his mind of anything he could have possibly done wrong. He wasn’t late today, and he hasn’t had anyone try to get handsy, so no one should have offered up any complaints. He doesn’t have much time to wonder though as Yuuri gestures for him to climb down.

Yuuri doesn’t speak when he reaches the ground, but his scent is sour with anxiety, and Yuri follows when he turns to make his way back through the crowd. They stop next to the bar area where the music isn’t as loud.

“I need you to go to alcove four,” Yuuri says without preamble.

Yuri feels his stomach drop and his immediate reaction is to shake his head. “I don’t do ‘private shows,’ you know that.”

“I’m not asking Yuri. You were requested, and you know I can’t say no to certain people.”

Yuuri doesn’t have to explain anymore than that. If any of Victor's people want to see one of the dancers it doesn’t matter if it’s a service they offer or not. He’s been here for awhile now, and he’s been lucky enough to not draw the eye of any of Victor’s men. It was really only a matter of time.

He could quit right now, walk out and nothing would happen, but he needs this job. His job at the restaurant barely even covers a months rent, and his grandfather depends on everything extra that he can send him, so in the end there really isn't a choice.

He’s not nervous like he thought he would be if this ever happened. He’s more angry than anything. Why should he have to give up a part of himself when he’s just supposed to be a dancer. Yuri’s jaw clinches in anger and he knows the scent of it has to be filling the area around them as he feels himself start to shake.

“Yuri? You know I won’t make you do anything, but if you turn this down you’re done here. I don’t mean to be harsh, but I don’t have much of a choice.” Yuuri almost looks as upset as Yuri feels and for some reason that makes accepting it easier.

“I’ll do it,” Yuri says. “Can I get drink first?”

They’re not allowed to drink while on the clock, but he has a feeling Yuuri will make an exception tonight. He’s proven right when Yuuri motions for a bartender and is handed a bottle of whisky.

“You have ten seconds,” Yuuri says, placing the bottle in the other mans hands.

Yuri only hesitates for a moment and then quickly brings the bottle to his lips, pulling in large swallows and cringing at the burn. Yuuri pulls the bottle from him far too quickly, but it was better than nothing.

"You're still on suppressants, right?" Yuuri asks.

"Of course, I'm not an idiot,"Yuri says as he eyes the whiskey bottle still in Yuuri's hand. Even if he weren't on suppressants it's practically impossible to get pregnant outside of a heat, especially without being bonded. "Let's get this over with."

Yuri turns in the direction of the alcoves, leaving the other man behind. He doesn't resent Yuuri, there's no point in shooting the messenger, Yuuri has just as much say as Yuri over what goes on in the alcoves. 

Yuri tries to do a run though in his mind of all the possible people that could be waiting for him. Chris has always been a flirt, but if he wanted him he would have just found him and asked. He knows there’s a man with dark hair that seems to always be around Victor, but he can’t think of any others that would show up at the club.

He reaches the alcoves far quicker than he would like and he doesn’t have a reason to delay the inevitable any longer. He can feel the alcohol starting to buzz beneath his skin, but it not near enough to make him forget what he’s about to do.

He knocks lightly on the side of the wall and then pulls the curtain back before stepping in. Without the flashing lights of the club it appears even darker inside the alcove, and his eyes take a moment to adjust. When he can finally see again he freezes. He was expecting someone from Victor’s crew, not the man himself.

“Yurio,” Victor says with a grin, and Yuri’s heart start beating double time. Why would Victor want him back here? Everyone knows him and Yuuri aren't just married, they're mated, it goes deeper than a bond and isn't able to be broken unless one of the pair dies. Mates are incredibly rare, and Victor’s so lovesick over Yuuri that Yuri can’t imagine him wanting anyone else.

He doesn’t even notice the alpha from before until he clears his throat causing Yuri to whip his head around. It’s the same man from the restaurant and judging by the fact that Victor’s brought him here he must be someone he trusts.

Yuri doesn’t even think about his state of undress until the alpha trails his eyes down his body. He can feel the look like a caress on his skin and he shivers from it.

“Aren’t you going to give us a show?” Victor asks, nodding to the pole in the center of the table.

“I’m not a stripper,” Yuri mumbles under his breath, but he pulls himself up onto the table regardless.

“No ones asking you to strip,” Victor says calmly. “You’re already undressed, but if you would prefer to leave no one will stop you. Although, I’m not sure how long your grandfather will survive in Moscow when he can no longer pay his rent.”

Yuri wants to lash out, he wants to scream at Victor for even daring to bringing his dedushka into any of this, but he can’t. He has to bite his cheek and wrap is hand around the pole in the center of the table.

Yuri swings his body up onto pole, doing a simple spin and feeling ridiculous as Victor and the other man look on. He’s only been in the alcove for a few minutes when Victor stands up.

“That’s enough Yurio. I didn’t really bring you here for this,” Victor says, amusement coloring his tone.

Yuri’s stomach drops quickly, of course Victor was just messing with him. It was too much to hope that Victor just wanted to watch him dance, and now he’s going to have to do so much more. Yuri can feel his legs start to shake as he stands atop the table.

“Otabek,” Victor says nodding to the other man whom Yuri had forgotten was with them. “He’s yours for tonight. I saw how you looked at him at the restaurant, consider this a... signing bonus, but don’t bruise him too much, my Yuuri has a soft spot for him.”

With that Victor exits though the curtain, leaving Yuri alone, reeking of fear with an alpha that he knows nothing about but a name. Otabek.

Chapter Text

Yuri stands frozen atop the table staring at the space Victor has just vacated, and praying that if he doesn’t move the alpha in the alcove will forget he’s there. It doesn’t work and when the man speaks Yuri jumps.

“Sit,” he say in a calm voice, lacking any alpha command.

Yuri slowly step off of the table and onto the bench as far away from Otabek as he can get. Once he’s seated he stares at a place just to the side of the alpha.

“I’m not going to force you to do anything, so you can calm down,” the alpha says soothingly. “You’ll come to me on your own when you’re ready.”

Yuri scoffs and turns to look fully at the alpha. “I don’t know who you think I am, but I’m not some knot whore who will spread for any alpha I meet, and I’m never going to just let you fuck me.”

A small smile tugs at the corner of Otabek’s mouth and he brings his glass to his lips. “You’re feisty, almost like a kitten.”

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” Yuri should probably watch his attitude, but he’s still pissed at being handed over like a bottle of wine at a dinner party.

“It means you think your claws are sharper than they are. I don’t mind though. Would you like something to drink?” Otabek motions to a small tray with a few bottles and glasses.

Yuri shifts in his seat and shakes his head. He doesn’t trust any drink that isn’t pored in front of him at the bar, especially coming from someone associated with Victor.

“That’s fine, more for me.”

Otabek doesn’t speak again for several more minutes and Yuri feels the sweat on his body begin to cool from his lack of movement.

“Are you going to say anything else or can I go back to work?” Yuri asks with a huff. “Because while we’re sitting here I could be making money.”

Otabek reaches into his jacket pocket and Yuri tenses before he sees what’s in his hand.

“Here,” Otabek tosses a stack of bills onto the table in front of Yuri. “Is that enough for the night or do you need more?”

Yuri hesitates before grabbing the money and thumbing through it. There’s at least enough to cover his tips for the next week. He wants to throw it back in Otabek’s face, but with how easily he handed the cash over it must not mean much to him.

“What do you want for this,” Yuri asks.

“I don’t want anything, just to talk to you when I stop by.”

Yuri scoffs and sets the money back on the table. “This kind of money, and all you want is to talk. I don’t buy that. You want something, if it’s not sex, it’s information, and you’re not getting either from me. I’m not a whore and I don’t know anything about what goes on here or anywhere else.”

Otabek tilts his head to the side and rests his drink on the table. “You really think that’s all you’re good for? That someone couldn’t just be intrigued by you?”

Yuri’s so thrown off by the question that he doesn’t answer for a moment. He hasn’t had anyone interested in him for something so simple before, even when Lilia took him in it was because he was free labor at the time, and Yuuri only hired him because he came into the club one night and had several different people from omegas all the way to alphas hitting on him. The idea that Otabek just wants to talk to him because he finds him interesting is new and it doesn’t make any sense.

“In my experience, yes. Most people don’t just give you handfuls of cash and expect nothing in return.”

“Well I’m not most people. I just want to get to know you, and I’ll pay you for that time if I have to.”

“So I’m an escort now,” Yuri says with an eye roll.

“You’re whatever you want to be. If you don’t want the money don’t take it, but I don’t expect anything for it.”

Yuri stays frozen looking at the money on the table for several seconds before finally picking it back up and holding it in his lap. With this much extra cash he’ll be able to splurge this month. Maybe he can finally buy a thicker coat, winter is coming soon and with how his cars been acting up he’s going to need something warmer.

“Fine, I’ll keep your money, but only because I know my grandfather needs it more than I do.”

“Tell me about him,” Otabek says. “Why are you not where he is?”

“Why do you care?” Yuri asks as he eyes Otabek distrustingly.

“You don’t have to answer. I’m just trying to make conversation.” Otabek’s scent is calm, like he doesn’t care that Yuri’s been rude to him throughout their encounter.

Yuri watches Otabek’s throat as he takes another sip of his drink, and he slowly becomes aware of just how strong the other mans scent is. The curtain has been closed since Victor left, and with nowhere to go Otabek’s alpha pheromones are swirling around Yuri and dizzying his mind more than the alcohol flowing through him. He’s never felt this way when around an alpha, and he’s starting to worry that he needs to change his suppressants again.

“There wasn’t any work for me in Moscow,“ Yuri says, hoping to distract himself from Otabek’s scent. "So I left to find a job and ended up here, well not here, but St. Petersburg.”

Otabek nods his head and hums thoughtfully. “That must have been really hard, leaving him behind like that.”

Yuri shrugs dismissively and tries to discreetly breathe through his mouth. Being trapped in the small space with an alpha is affecting him more than he cares to admit, and he would really rather be working.

“You seem tense,” Otabek says with a slight tilt of his head.

“Wouldn’t you be if you were summoned away to fuck whoever was behind a random curtain.”

“I already told you I have no plans for that.”

“Sorry if I don’t trust every random alpha I come across,” Yuri says with a rude tone.

Otabek lets out a small laugh and shakes his head. “I can’t figure you out. You’re beautiful like an omega, but I’ve never met one with such an attitude, especially when with an unbounded alpha.”

Yuri breaths deeply and grips the money in his hands tighter. “Do you believe every stereotype you hear?“

"Do you?” Otabek asks with a raised eyebrow.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I’m talking about how you haven’t relaxed the whole you’ve been here, and even though I’ve told you I’m not going to force you into anything you’re still scared.”

“I’m not scared,” Yuri says as his hands tremble. He’s never let an alpha push him around before, but he’s also never been in a situation where he’s had to defend himself to one.

“You’re not? You could have fooled me with how hard you’re shaking and your scents practically dripping in it.”

“Fuck you, you can keep your money,” Yuri says with a sneer, as he tosses the cash onto the table. He pulls the curtain back and exits the alcove quickly before Otabek has time to call him back. The air around him is clogged with the scent of all the bodies of the club, but they merge together and help to dispel Otabek’s scent from his mind. Yuri is able to quickly disappear between the dancing bodies, and he doesn’t look back and he doesn’t stop walking until he reaches the break room. He’s hopeful that Victor’s already left and won’t notice him sneaking out the back, or Otabek now sitting alone in the alcove.

He can’t explain why Otabek calling him out on being scared upset him as much as it did, but he wasn’t going to sit there and be talked down to by some prick alpha.

Yuri redresses and makes his way to the back exit without incident. Now that it’s the middle of the night the temperature has dropped dramatically and Yuri speed walks to his car.

As if the world is punishing him for turning down the wad of cash he was offered, his car won’t start. It tries to turn over but with nothing but a cranking sound Yuri’s left with no choice but to walk home and hope it’ll start tomorrow when it’s warmer.

He steps out of his car and slams the door hard before walking out of the back parking lot and onto the sidewalk. The walk from the club is significantly farther than the walk from the restaurant and Yuri pulls his thin jacket tighter around him.

This isn’t the first time Yuri’s had to walk home from the club and he’s sure it won’t be the last.

He’s been walking for almost thirty minutes when he hears someone walking behind him. He doesn’t think anything of it at first, it’s late but most of the bars and clubs are still open. He starts to walk faster when he hears the footsteps getting closers, but he doesn’t turn around. It’s probably just someone trying to get home, he thinks right before he’s slammed into the side of and abandoned shop.

“Give me your wallet,” someone growls low in Yuri’s ear, as they pin him face first to the bricks of the building, scraping his face in the process.

Yuri’s blood runs cold, and his mind flashes to the cash he had planned to send to his grandfather in the morning.

“I don’t have anything,” Yuri tires to lie, but he’s too nervous and his voice must give him away because the man doesn’t listen and shoves his hand in Yuri’s back pocket to retrieve his wallet. Yuri tries to use his arms against the wall to push back but the man holding him down is bigger and doesn’t give Yuri any room to get free.

The stranger uses his free hand to pull the cash from Yuri’s wallet and then tosses the remaining items to the ground.

“So you consider two hundred dollars nothing?” The man sneers. “Give me your fucking phone.”

Yuri begins to panic at this demand. His phone is the only item of any real value he has. He saved up for months just to be able to afford it secondhand, and it’s his only way to connect with his grandfather.

“Please,” Yuri chokes out.

The man laughs and flips Yuri around so his back is to the wall. His face is in a cocky smirk and he has a small scar at the corner of his eye and down his cheek bone. Yuri notices the small gold cross hanging from the mans neck and scoffs at the idea of someone like this man being religious. The man pulls Yuri’s phone from his front pocket and then shoves Yuri to the ground roughly. Yuri tires to stand back up but the man kick him hard across the ribs.

“Stay down bitch.”

Yuri does stay down, but not because he wants to. His ribs ache and he can’t seem to catch his breath. When the man finally walks away Yuri rolls onto his back to watch as he turns the corner. Yuri’s thankful that the man turns in the opposite direction of his apartment and even more thankful that he didn’t pull his keys from his opposite pocket.

He finally moves to grab his wallet and then uses the wall to pull himself to his feet. He walks as quickly as his sore lungs allow, checking behind himself several times to make sure he’s not still being followed.

When Yuri gets to his apartment he locks all three locks and then kicks off his shoes on the way to the bathroom. His face actually looks worst than it feels, with a large scrap and bruise forming down the right side. He lifts his shirt and is relieved to see there’s minimal bruising there. If he’s careful he may be able to hide the worst of his face with makeup.

He decides to forgo a shower and instead walks slowly back to the living room where his futon resides. He can’t even make himself cry over his lost phone, or the last two hundred dollars he had to live off of and send to his grandfather, because it won’t do any good. He can’t get any of it back and crying over it won’t fix it.

Yuri tosses and turns for several minutes, trying to find a comfortable position. It’s still early for him to be off work, but without his phone for entertainment his only other options are some books he bought at the thrift store, and that would require him to get up and turn back on the light. He squeezed his eye closed tighter and then flinches as it pulls on his sore face.

Yuri’s stomach growls, and it’s knowledge that his fridge is empty that finally causes tears to gather in his eyes. He never should have had all of his cash in his wallet. It was a stupid mistake that he’s old enough not to make. He should have just accepted the cash from Otabek tonight, and any of the strings that came attached, because now he’s going to have to suffer through the next week with only being able to eat when he has a shift at Lilia’s.

As tears silently fall down Yuri’s face he slowly drifts off to sleep.

Chapter Text

Yuri’s exhausted. His shift at the restaurant ran over, and without his car he had to practically run to the club. He’s already coated in sweat, and with the small lunch he ate he’s also starving.

“Hey Yuri,” Phichit says, as Yuri stumbles into the locker room. “Are you alright? What happened to your face?”

“Fuck off,” Yuri says as he undresses.

“Someone’s in a bad mood tonight,” the beta whisper talks.

Yuri doesn’t bother replying to the other man, he’s found it’s easiest to just not say anything, and then Phichit tends to lose interest and walk away. That doesn’t seem to be the case tonight though, because as Yuri pulls his shirt over his head Phichit hisses and reaches a hand out to touch him just above the large bruise.

“Yuri what happened? Was it that alpha last night?” Phichit sounds upset and Yuri can’t help rolling his eyes.

“I got jumped on my way home last night, it’s fine.”

“You should tell Yuuri so he can tell Victor. They’ll want to know if someone is acting that brave in their neighborhood.”

“It’s not a big deal Phich,” Yuri says, as he slides on a pair of lime-green boxers. “It looks worse than it feels.”

“Well you’re not going to be able to hide it, so you might as well tell them before they ask.”

Yuri sighs and nods his head, Phichit’s right. Yuuri has always told them to tell him if anything like this ever happens, because even though it may seem random, some people will target them because of their ties to the club, and by extension the Nikiforov family.

“Is he in his office?” Yuri asks as he finishes taking the braid out of his hair.

“I think so. Victor’s not here so that’s the best bet.”

Yuri leaves the locker room without another word and winds his way through the hallways until he reaches Yuuri’s office. He takes a deep breath and then raises his fist to knock.

“Come in,” Yuuri calls from inside.

Yuuri’s working on his computer as Yuri enters, he smells oddly sweet and Yuri’s nose wrinkles as he takes a seat in one of the lush chairs in front of Yuuri’s desk.

Yuuri continues to type for a moment before looking up into Yuri’s eyes. Yuuri takes in a sharp breath as his eyes roam over Yuri’s face and chest.

“Did Otabek do that?” Yuuri asks, his voice calm but his eyes hard as they trail along Yuri’s cut up face.

“No, that’s why I came to see you. I got jumped last night on my way home.”

Yuuri’s shoulders visibly relax and his mouth draws down into a frown.

“Did you see the guy? Would you be able to describe him?”

Yuri thinks back to the scar along the side of he mans face and the gold necklace. “Yeah, I could describe him.”

“Good. Why don’t you get dressed and I’ll call someone to come get his description.”

Yuri’s face falls and his stomach clinches with the thought of not working tonight. He needs his tips to eat, and if he’s not working he’s not going to be able to eat.

“Um- can I just work until they get here?”

Yuuri scrunches his nose and adjusts his glasses. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. You should take a few days to heal. I wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself more.”

Yuri bites the inside of his cheek and nods his head. There’s no point arguing when Yuuri’s made up his mind.

“What’s wrong Yuri?”

Yuri can’t fight the sniffles as his eyes sting with unshed tears. “Nothing.”

“If you need some cash to hold you over until you’re working again all you have to do is ask.”

Yuri’s never been someone to accepted a handout, and he’s not about to start asking now. He has some crackers and peanut butter in the back of his cabinet for emergencies, he’ll just have to eat them sparingly until Yuuri clears him to work again, or until he gets paid next week.

“I’ll be fine. I’m going to go change now.”

Yuri doesn’t wait for the other man to reply and instead hurries out of the room. He changes fairly quickly and then he has nothing to do but wait for whoever is going to come talk to him. He leans back against the lockers and closes his eyes as the clock continues to tick.

 

 

Yuri wakes with a start when someone enters the locker room, the sound of their boots loud on the cement floor.

“Hey kitten.”

Yuri’s eyes flash up at the nickname and he quickly gets to his feet. “What are you doing here?”

The corner of Otabek’s mouth draws up. “Mr. Katsuki called me. Are you not happy to see me?”

Yuri scoffs and rolls his eyes. “So you’re the person I have to talk to.”

“It would seem so. Tell me what happened?”

Yuri’s sighs but tells Otabek the story of his trip home, knowing the sooner he finished the sooner he can go home.

“A gold cross, you’re sure about that?” Yuri nods his head and wraps his arms tighter around himself. “Did you happen to catch his secondary gender?”

Yuri pauses for a moment to think. Nothing stood out to him in the moment and if he had been an alpha he definitely would have noticed. “He had to be a beta. I didn’t notice a scent and with how close he was if he was anything else I would have.”

Otabek types out a message on his phone and then nods to Yuri. “Well if that’s everything I guess we can leave now.”

“We?” Yuri asks.

“I’m giving you a ride home.”

“I can take care of myself,” Yuri says with his chest puffed out.

Otabek grabs Yuri chin to turn face, and then presses his thumb into the bruise. “I don’t doubt that kitten, but you look like a strong wind could knock you down right now.”

Yuri pulls his face out of the alphas grasps. “Fuck you.”

“Only if you asks nicely kitten.”

Yuri scoffs and shoulders his way past Otabek. “Are we going or what?”

They stop by Yuuri’s office before they leave. Otabek goes inside alone, leaving Yuri with a few moments to think.

Is he being reckless by allowing Otabek to drive him home? What if he expects something in return? What if he’s only doing it to find out where Yuri lives?

Otabek comes back out in the middle of Yuri’s panic and places a hand low on his back. “Let’s go.”

Otabek keeps his hand in place as he guides Yuri out of the building, and the warmth bleeding into him cause Yuri to shiver as they exit the club. Otabek guides Yuri to a motorcycle before removing his hand and opening a side pouch to retrieve a helmet that he hands to Yuri.

“Is this safe?” Yuri asks, skepticism clear in his voice.

“The bike or going with me?” Otabek teases.

Yuri’s eyes flash to Otabek’s and his grip on the helmet tightens. “Both.”

“The bikes safe, and as long as you’re with me I’ll keep you safe too.”

Heat breaks out along Yuri’s cheeks and he turns his back to put the helmet on.

“Wait,” Otabek says, with a hand to Yuri’s shoulder. “Let me help.”

Otabek gathers Yuri’s hair in his hands and pulls it back to the nape of his neck before helping Yuri put the helmet on.

Yuri huffs out an annoyed breath as Otabek clicks the chin strap. “I’m not helpless.”

“I know kitten, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to help you anyway.”

“Whatever, how do I-” Yuri’s hunger chooses that moment to make itself known as his stomach growls loudly. “Fuck.”

“Do you want to go get something to eat before I take you home?”

“No, I have food at home,” Yuri lies.

“Do you?” Otabek presses with a raised eyebrow.

“Yes. Now are we leaving or what?”

“Fine, hop on,” Otabek says with a nod, as he swings his leg over his bike.

Yuri only hesitates for a second before climbing on. He sits awkwardly for a moment, unsure of what to do with his hands.

“Kitten if you don’t hold on we’re never going to move,” Otabek teases.

Yuri frowns but wraps his arms around Otabek as the bike roars to life. Otabek’s warm, and with his face pressed so closely to Otabek’s neck Yuri can’t deny that he smells amazing. He also can’t help taking in deep breaths of the other mans scent and enjoying the buzz that he feels under his skin.

It’s dark out and Yuri doesn’t think about the fact that Otabek doesn’t know where he lives until they’re already moving, and by then it’s too loud to talk. He waits until they come to a stoplight to speak up.

“You’re going the wrong way. I live further down town not up.”

“I’m hungry, I’m getting food first.”

Yuri’s stomach aches and he clings tighter to Otabek as the bike starts to move again. If he has to watch Otabek eat a meal and then go home to his crackers and peanut butter he’s going to cry.

They come to a stop outside a twenty-four hour diner, and Otabek kills the engine.

“Let’s go.”

“I’ll wait here,” Yuri says, as he removes his helmet and hands it over to Otabek.

Otabek places both helmets back in the side bags and shakes his head. “Come eat, I’m buyin.”

Yuri’s stomach growls again, and he knows if he turns down this meal he won’t have the chance at real food for another two days, when he has his next shift at the restaurant.

“Fine, but I’m getting a milkshake too.”

“Whatever you want kitten.”

The diner is warm and mostly empty this late at night before any of the bars close. Their waitress is a woman in her early twenties with dark circles under her eyes and her hair in a messy bun.

“What can I get for you tonight?” She asks.

“Black coffee,” Otabek says, and then nods to Yuri.

“Strawberry milkshake and a water, please.”

“Of course,” the waitress says. “I’ll be right back to get your orders.”

The woman walks away and Yuri spends a minute scanning over his menu. When he looks up Otabek has his menu folded on the end of the table and is staring directly at him.

“What?” Yuri asks, brushing his hair behind his ear self-consciously.

Otabek opens his mouth to speak but their waitress returns at that moment to deliver their drinks.

“Ready to order?”

Yuri glances back at the menu and then nods. Yuri orders breakfast food and Otabek dinner, and as they wait for their food Otabek brings up Yuri’s mugging.

“What did he take from you?”

“Who?” Yuri asks with obvious confusion.

“The guy who jumped you. What did he take?”

Yuri’s chest aches and he shrugs his shoulders. “Nothing I can’t replace. Just some cash and my phone.”

“How much cash? What kind of phone?”

“Why does it matter?

“Any information could be important,” Otabek says with a shrug.

Yuri huffs out an annoyed sigh. “Just under two hundred and an old iPhone I bought from one of the other dancers at The Castle.”

Otabek nods his head, and Yuri watches as he types out a message on his phone. Otabek’s brows drawl together for a moment as his phone buzzes with a reply, and Yuri can’t help wondering where this man came from. Before yesterday he had never seen him, and now he’s someone Yuuri calls on when there’s trouble in the neighborhood.

“Where are you from?” Yuri asks.

Otabek looks up from his phone before setting it aside to give Yuri his full attention. “Kazakhstan.”

“Why are you in St. Petersburg?”

Otabek smiles and Yuri watches the tattoos on his neck shift. “I work here.”

“For Victor?” Yuri asks as he takes a sip of his milkshake.

“You’re very chatty all of the sudden.”

“You asked me about my life yesterday. It’s only fair that I get to ask you now.”

“Okay kitten. You can ask me about myself, but don’t force me to lie to you.”

Yuri’s face scrunches in confusion. “What does that mean?”

“You know what it means Yuri.”

Something about his proper name sounds wrong coming out of Otabek’s mouth, but Yuri brushes the feeling aside as their waitress drops off their food.

He tries to eat his meal slowly, but with just the small meal he ate hours ago, and the knowledge of his lack of food at home he can’t help but eat quickly. He’s scarfed down almost half of his meal when Otabek starts to talk again.

"Why do you work at Lilia’s when you could make more at The Castle full time?”

“I owe Lilia a lot, and if I’m full time at The Castle I’ll be expected to do more than just dance.”

“Aren’t you already expected to do more?” Otabek asks between bites.

Yuri wipes at his mouth with his napkin and shakes his head. “I’ve never had to go to an alcove until last night. It’s rare that someone on Victor’s crew wants a dancer when they could have their pick of literally anyone.”

Otabek nods his head in understanding and goes to speak when his phone ringing interrupts him. His eyes harden when he looks at the caller ID, and he excuses himself from the table to step outside and answer the call. He’s not gone long, and when he reenters the diner he stops their waitress and hands her a couple of folded bills.

“I’m afraid I have to cut our meal short,” Otabek says, as he stands beside the table. “I need to take you home now.”

Yuri looks down at his half finished plate with a scowl. “I can walk home from here.”

“I’d feel better if you let me take you home now.”

“I’d feel better if I got to finish my meal.”

Otabek scowls and shakes his head. “I’m not going to argue with you kitten. We need to go now. I’ll bring you food tomorrow if you want, but we’re leaving now.”

Yuri sighs at his plate but stands from the table anyway. There’s really no use arguing when Otabek seems to of already made up his mind, and at least he got to eat more than he thought he would tonight.

Yuri tells Otabek how to get to his apartment and the ride there is uneventful, except for how quickly Otabek speeds.

“Thanks for the food,” Yuri says, only slightly bitter that he didn’t get to finish his meal.

“Anytime. I’ll talk to you soon,” Otabek says, as Yuri hands him his helmet.

Otabek doesn’t drive away until Yuri’s fully inside his apartment building, and even then Yuri watches as his taillights fade and a strange aching fills chest.

Chapter Text

Yuri isn’t scheduled to work at the restaurant until tomorrow, and Yuuri wont let him work at the club until his face heals, so he has nothing better to do than sleep in, or so he thinks. He’s awoken by his stomach cramping, and when he rolls over his joints feel like they’re on fire, both early signs that a heat is approaching, which is impossible because he’s been on suppressants for years.

Lilia taught Yuri how to skip his heats by mixing different types of suppressants, soon after his first heat. When she was still hiding her true nature she would use a combination of suppressants and blockers, and she passed on that knowledge to Yuri. If he were to take a whole week off every few months just to have his heats he’d never be able to support himself and his grandfather.

The first thing he does when he’s able to pull himself from his futon is go in search of his pills. They’re not the most convenient type of suppressant, but they work just as well. He double checks that he hasn’t missed any days and then takes two pills just to be safe.

He has a box of stale tea in the back of his cabinet so he goes about brewing a pot. His tea pot came from his grandfather, it’s small and chipped in a few places, but looking at the small, delicate flowers his grandfather hand-painted never ceases to make him smile. Once his tea is finished brewing he takes a cup back to his futon and lies back down.

He’s only had his eyes closed for a few minutes when he’s startled by a loud knock at his door. Yuri pulls himself off of his futon and tries to smooth his hair down as he stumbles his way to the door. He has to pause before he opens the door though, because the scent coming from the other side is so strong that his knees go week. It’s been so long since his last heat, and having an alpha so close is clouding his mind. The knock comes again and Yuri jumps.

“Kitten I know you’re there.”

Yuri swears under his breath and finally opens the door. “What are you doing here?” he demands, blocking the entrance to his apartment.

"I thought you might want this back.” Otabek holds out Yuri’s old beat up phone and Yuri’s heart skips a beat.

“How did you get this?” Yuri asks, snatching the phone from Otabek’s hands and powering it back on. He doesn’t realize he’s stepped back from the door until Otabek steps in.

“That doesn’t matter. You have it back now, and you also have this.” Otabek hands Yuri a couple of folded bills and Yuri quickly flips through them.

“This is five hundred dollars, I barely lost two.” Yuri says, as he tries to hand the money back to Otabek.

“Consider it his apology,” Otabek says, glancing around Yuri’s small apartment.

Yuri is suddenly very self-conscious of his meager apartment. It may not be much, but it was all he could afford, and he didn’t have people over often for a reason. As Otabek’s eyes take in Yuri’s bed slash couch Yuri can’t help positioning himself to block the view of the small space.

“Did you need anything else?” Yuri asks with a huff.

“Just one more thing. Do you already have a heat partner?” Otabek asks, his dark eyes burning into Yuri’s.

“I- I’m not going into heat anytime soon. Why would I need a partner? And even if I did I wouldn’t want you. I don’t even know you.”

Yuri’s face takes on a light blush and Otabek lets out a quiet chuckle. “If you don’t want a heat partner all you have to do is say so, you don’t have to lie about your heat coming. I’m sure half the floor can already smell it.”

Yuri’s stomach flips at Otabek’s words and his hands start to tremble. He needs to talk to Lilia now.

“You need to leave,” Yuri says forcefully, and Otabek nods his head.

“Okay kitten, but if you change your mind you have my number.”

Yuri glances down at his phone with a scowl, as if it’s somehow the devices fault that Otabek input his number. “I won’t.”

Otabek leaves after that and Yuri goes to the window to make sure that he’s not still waiting outside before he dials Lilia’s number. Otabek’s scent still lingers in the room and Yuri’s tries to focus on the sound of the phone ringing in his ear.

“Yuri, what’s wrong?” Lilia asks.

“Why does something have to be wrong?” Yuri asks, trying to keep his voice light.

“Because you never call me unless something is wrong. So what’s happened?”

Yuri’s sighs into the receiver and sits down on his futon. “I think my heat is trying to break through and I don’t know what to do.”

“Are you still taking your suppressants?”

“Da, I even took two pills this morning to try and cut it off.”

“Good. How long have you been on this one? It might be time to switch, or you might need one of the shots for a few months.”

Yuri’s face scrunches at the idea of having to give himself a shot, but it’s worth it to be able to skip his heats. He could always go to a doctor, but they would want to know when his last heat was, and for him to have a heat before they switch medication.

“I’ve been on this one for over a year, so I guess it could be time for a new one.”

“I’ll call my friend and get you the shot then. It will be a few hundred though. Can you afford that?” Lilia asks calmly, and Yuri knows if he told her he couldn’t that she would buy it for him in a heartbeat.

“Yeah, I’ve got some cash. Can you see if they have a different brand of pill I can get too?”

“Of course, how long has it been since your last full heat though?”

Yuri pauses for a moment to think. He met Lilia when he was just sixteen, he got his first heat a year later, and once it was over Lilia started teaching him how to skip them.

“Just over four years I think.”

“Yurochka, what did I tell you about going more than eighteen months,” Lilia scolds, disapproval clear in her voice.

“I know, but you did it for years at a time, so why does it matter?”

“I also never wanted children. Do you feel that way? Because if you keep this up that’s what’s going to happen.”

Yuri’s heart drops at her words. He knows what the consequences of continuing to delay his heats are, but he also knows he never wants to tie himself to an alpha with a child. “I could ever take care of baby Lilia. Just tell me how to stop this, I work tomorrow and I don’t even have half thing things I’d need if I do go into heat.”

Lilia sighs into her phone and Yuri listens as she shifts things around. “I can get you the shot to suppress it this time, but I cannot recommend that you continue to do so. It’s not healthy Yuri, I never intended for you delay your heats permanently.”

“They’re my heats, if I choose not to have them it doesn’t hurt anyone else.”

“Do not get an attitude with me Yuri, I know better than anyone how it feels to want to take control of such a thing.”

Yuri flushes with embarrassment at Lilia’s words. She’s done so much for him, and the least he could do is show her some respect.

“I’m sorry, I’m just getting hormonal. How soon can you get it all?”

“It should only be an hour or so. Can you get here on your own?”

Yuri thinks back to his car, still stranded in the back parking lot of The Castle and groans. “I’ll find a way. Thank you.”

They disconnect the call and Yuri starts to sort through the money he was just given. He’s going to need at least two hundred to pay for two months worth of shots, and then another hundred to get new pills. He still needs to send his grandfather money, and then he needs to pay his electric bill before they turn the power off, so by the time he’s divided up all of his money he barley has enough enough to buy a few groceries, so taking a cab to Lilia’s is out of the question.

Yuri throws himself down on his futon and groans. He can’t risk walking all the way across town when he’s in preheat. It’s unlikely that anyone would try to jump him, but the leers and rude comments he would receive are enough to make him want to hide in his apartment for forever. He could call Mila for a ride, but she’s working until close tonight and he can’t wait that long to take the shot. He’s already pushing it just by being in preheat.

Yuri unlocks his phone and scrolls through his contacts until he comes to a name that makes him curse. Before he can overthink it he clicks the call button.

Otabek answers on the second ring. “Hey kitten, I didn’t expect you to call for another couple of days. Did your heat really come on that quickly?” Otabek’s voice is warm and deep, and Yuri can hear the smile in it.

“Fuck off, I need a ride. Can you give me one or not?”

“That depends, what would I get in exchange?”

Yuri considers disconnecting the call, but he doesn’t have another way to get all the way across town. “What do you want?” he asks through gritted teeth.

“I want to take you out when your heats over. Not to a diner, but on an actual date.”

Yuri’s heart beats quickly in his chest and he pauses before answering. “Why?”

Otabek laughs. “Because I’m interested in you, and I think you’re interested in me too, you just don’t want to admit it.”

“I am not, but I need a ride now, so if you’ll do it I’ll go on a stupid date with you.”

“I’m already on my way kitten. I’ll be there soon.”

Yuri disconnects the call and then glares down at his phone. He’s been asked out before, but he’s never had a reason to yes before.

He dresses quickly and then pulls his hair into a low ponytail as he waits for Otabek to return. It’s only a few short minutes later that his phone buzzes with a, “here,” message.

Yuri’s thankful for the chill in the air that cools his skin when he steps outside. Otabek’s already waiting with a helmet in his hand and Yuri puts it on before climbing behind him. He can’t help pressing his face to Otabek’s shoulder once he seated, and when Otabek laughs he knows he’s been caught.

“Shut up,” Yuri says with a scowl that Otabek can’t see. “It doesn’t mean anything.”

“Whatever you say kitten. Where are we going?”

“I’m going to Lilia Baranovskaya’s, you are taking me there and waiting outside until I’m done. It should only take a few minutes.”

“Lilia, as in the restaurant?”

“Yeah that’s her, were going to her house though. I’ll give you directions on the way.”

The ride to Lilia’s only takes about ten minutes, but when it’s time for Yuri to get off the bike his knees feel weak and his hands spasm on Otabek’s waist. His heat is still a few days away, but his preheat symptoms are hitting him hard, and being pressed against an unbonded alpha isn’t helping any. Otabek doesn’t rush him to get off the bike though and Yuri takes a few moments to gather his strength before climbing off.

Lilia opens the front door as he’s walking up the step and eyes Otabek, who’s waiting on his bike.

“Who is that?” Lilia asks with a glare over Yuri’s head.

“He’s no one, let’s go inside.”

“You,” Lilia calls down to Otabek. “Come inside, do not sit outside my house.”

Otabek smiles and easily makes his way to the door while Yuri glares.

“He would have been fine outside,” Yuri says under his breath, but Lilia ignores him as they enter.

They all take a seat in Lilia sitting room, it’s beautiful and has an old world feel to it, just like the woman herself. There’s tea and cookies laid out a delicate white tray.

“Would you like a glass?” Lilia asks the pair.

“We’re fine, do you have the… stuff,” Yuri asks cripticly with a cringe.

Lilia sighs and then stands from her chair. “Yes Yurochka, come with me.”

They leave Otabek in the sitting room and go into Lilia’s bedroom.

“Yuri, Who is that man? I do not recognize him.”

“He works for Victor, I don’t know what he does, but he got me my phone back from that guy who jumped me a few days ago.”

Lilia goes very still as she pulls the small vials and syringes out of her jewelry box.

“Is his name Altin?” She asks very seriously.

Yuri shakes his head, his nerves on high alert as anxiety bleeds into Lilia’s scent. “His names Otabek.”

“Are you sure?” She presses, her grip on the vials tight.

“Yeah, Victor said his name the night we met, and he put his name in my phone. Who’s Altin?”

“He’s a man Victor recently hired as an enforcer. He’s ruthless, I’ve heard that Victor hired him because he’s willing do anything that’s asked of him. Promise me if you ever met him that you will stay far away.”

Lilia rarely warns Yuri off of someone, and the fear in her face is so uncommon that he quickly nods his head.

“I will, I promise,” Yuri says with a hand on Lilia’s. “You know I trust your judgement.”

Lilia smiles and cups Yuri’s face. “You better. Here, take these. You’ll need to start with a dose and a half for the first three days to stop your heat, then switch to a regular dose once a week for seven weeks. After that you can go back to taking these like normal,” Lilia finishes as she hands Yuri a bottle of pills.

“Thank you Lilia, I don’t know what I would do without you,” Yuri says sincerely, clutching the vials and bottle to himself.

“You would find a way, we always do,” Lilia says with smile.

Yuri shoves all of the bottles and syringes into his pockets as he hands Lilia the money. The bottles stand out in Yuri’s tight jeans, but he’s going home so it doesn’t matter.

When they return to the sitting room Otabek is sipping a glass of tea and looking over Lilia’s bookcase.

“I’m ready,” Yuri says shortly. “Let’s go.”

Otabek eyes Yuri’s front pockets, but he doesn’t say anything about the obvious bulges. Instead, he thanks Lilia for her hospitality and then follows Yuri out of the house. They don’t speak as they climb back on the bike, and If Yuri clings just a little bit tighter no ones there to see it. He can feels his body start to react as the bike comes to life and he can’t stop himself from taking in deep breaths of Otabek’s scent. He doesn’t realize he’s started to purr until they come to a stoplight and then he instantly stops, pulling his face back and flushing with embarrassment. Otabek doesn’t react so he’s hopeful that his reaction to the alphas scent went unnoticed thanks to the hum of the bike.

When they stop outside of Yuri’s apartment building Yuri quickly climbs off of the bike to give himself space.

“Can I come up?” Otabek asks, and Yuri would think it’s a line but Otabek seems serious and his jaw is held tightly.

“What for?” Yuri asks slowly. “I thought we agreed I would let you take me out, have you changed your mind?”

“No, I haven’t changed my mind. I just have something I want to talk to you about and I would prefer not to do it on the street.”

Yuri swallows as his body fills with nerves and he fights to keep the fear from bleeding into his scent. So far Otabek hasn’t given him a reason to be afraid, but in this moment Yuri’s reminded that he knows practically nothing about this alpha.

“You can come up, but only for minute.”

Otabek nods and then silently follows Yuri up to his apartment. Yuri didn’t notice how strong his preheat pheromones were before, but when he opens the door he’s hit with the smell almost instantly.

“Shit,” Yuri says under his breath. He really needs to take his first shot now and not later. “I’ll be right back, I need to do something.”

“Wait,” Otabek says with a hand on Yuri’s elbow. “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”

“You want to talk to me about when I use the bathroom?”

Otabek rolls his eyes and drops his hold on Yuri’s arm. “No, I want to talk to you about Lilia selling in Victor’s neighborhood, and don’t try to tell me she wasn’t. I’m not blind kitten, and I can see the needles sticking out of your pocket.”

Yuri’s whole body feels cold and his heart starts racing double time. He never knew Lilia getting him suppressants could put her in danger, and if he had any idea that Victor could get involved he never would have let her take the risk.

“I- she- please don’t tell anyone.” Yuri knows his scent is dripping in fear, but he can’t do anything to rein it in.

Otabek sighs and shakes his head. “I’m too new here to keep something like this a secret, and if she’s dealing so nonchalantly out of her home I’m sure others are going to take notice soon enough.”

“She’s not,” Yuri says quickly. “It’s just me, she only gets them for me, I swear.”

Otabek’s eyebrows scrunch together in confusion. “If it’s just you why would she take such a risk? And why wouldn’t you just buy from someone easier, hell you work at a night club.”

Now it’s Yuri’s turn to look confused. “I can’t get suppressants at the club. I wouldn’t even know how to go about finding someone with access to any.”

Otabek’s face instantly smooths and he lets out a light laugh that does nothing to alleviate any of Yuri’s fears. “Suppressants? She sold you suppressants?”

Yuri reaches into his pocket with the vials and pulls both out. “What did you think she sold me?”

“I assumed party drugs of some sort. You work at The Castle and you seemed agitated today, like you needed a fix.”

“I’m in preheat for the first time in years you moron, of course I’m agitated,” Yuri says with a sneer.

Otabek’s jaw drops slightly and he looks stunned. “Why would you go years between your heats? That could really mess you up. Is that why you have to get suppressants illegally?”

“I don’t have time for heats, and I never want to be bonded, so what’s the point of them? And yes, a doctor wouldn’t let me go more than six months at a time without a heat.”

“You do know one of the main side effects of suppressants is sterilization if over used, right?”

“I don’t care, I don’t have the time or money for kid.”

“Not right now, but you could someday.”

Yuri rolls his eyes and goes into the kitchen to wash his hands. “It’s my body, if I want to delay my heats for the rest of my life it’s my choice. Now if you’re not leaving wash your hands and help me, because I hate stabbing myself.”

Yuri dries his hands and then watches as Otabek starts to wash his. When they’re both ready Yuri retrieves one of the syringes and vials, he measures out a doses and a half of the medication and then hands the syringe to Otabek so he can more easily lift his shirt.

Otabek eyes the fading bruise along Yuri’s ribs. “Where do you want it?”

“You’re supposed to put it in my lower stomach along the side. Don’t count or anything though, just get it over with.”

Yuri squeezes his eyes closed and waits for the sting of the needle, instead his hip is encircled in Otabek’s warm palm and Otabek’s thumb starts to rubs circles into his skin. With his preheat hormones coursing through his body, and Otabek’s Alpha pheromones filling the small space Yuri has to reach out a hand to steady himself. His hand connects with the collar of Otabek’s jacket and he grip it tightly. He cracks his eyes open for just a moment to see Otabek looking down in concentration, right before he feels the prick of the needle. The needle going in doesn’t hurt, but the burn of the medication makes Yuri have to grit his teeth, and he subconsciously draws Otabek closer by his jacket. When he’s finished Otabek pulls back and throws the needle into a nearby trash can.

“Thanks,” Yuri says quietly as he pulls his shirt back down.

“Don’t mention it. Do you need a bandage?”

Yuri rolls his eyes at the alpha. “I’ll be fine. I just have to do this for two more days and then I can switch to once a week.”

“Do you want me to come over tomorrow then?” Otabek asks, but he doesn’t seem like he’s only asking to be polite. He seems genuine, and that causes Yuri to pause.

“Why would you want to help me?”

“I new here, I don’t have any friends that aren’t from work and you don’t seem to have many friends either.”

“So you just want to be friends?” Yuri asks slowly.

“Kitten, I’ll be whatever you want me to be,” Otabek says with a low rumble. “If that’s just a friend right now then yes, I just want to be friends.”

Yuri contemplates Otabek’s words for a moment. The only real friends he has are Mila and a few of the other dancers at The Castle, it might not be so bad to have someone he could spend time with outside of work.

“Okay, we can be friends. I work the early shift at the restaurant tomorrow, so be here by ten, and then you can give me a ride.” Otabek smiles and something warm spread through Yuri’s chest. He’s never met an alpha that’s so laid back and willing to take orders from an omega, and it honestly feels kind of nice. “So what do we do now?”

Otabek looks at his phone and sighs. “Well now I have to get back to work. I said I wouldn’t be gone long and that was over an hour ago now.”

Yuri tries not to feel disappointed, he doesn’t really know anything about Otabek yet, so he can’t say that he’s going to miss his presence. “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“I’ll be here.” Otabek cups Yuri's face, leaning down to press a light kiss to the top of his head. “Goodbye kitten.”

He leaves after that, leaving Yuri standing in his small kitchen with his heart beating wildly in his chest.

Chapter Text

The second shot is worst than the first, and Yuri has to rush to the bathroom almost as soon as Otabek pulls the needle from his skin. He dry heaves into the toilet, and for once not having anything to eat for breakfast is a blessing. When his stomach finally settles Yuri stands to brush his teeth and Otabek appears in the doorway. He arrived at Yuri’s door at ten a.m. sharp, and Yuri was happy to realize that while his scent was still appealing, his head didn’t feel clouded with it.

“You okay?” Otabek asks with a frown.

Yuri spits into the sink and nods his head. “I’m fine. My body’s just fighting off all of the heat hormones. It should get better in a day or so.”

Otabek nods and checks the time on his phone. “Are you going to be okay to work today?”

“I’ll be fine.” Yuri pushes past Otabek to get back to his work clothes in the main room. “I’ve worked through a fever so high I should have passed out. I can handle a little nausea.”

“Why don’t you ever ask for help?” Otabek asks with a little heat in his voice.

Yuri scoffs and pulls his shirt over his head. “From who? Lilia has already done so much for me, Mila has her own shit to deal with, and my dedushka needs my help just to stay in his small home.”

Yuri pulls his button up on and slides his shorts to the ground as he searches for his black slacks. He doesn’t care that he’s practically undressed in front of an unbounded alpha. Otabek’s proven that he’s not the type of alpha to jump an omega and claim it was unavoidable, and if he wanted to take advantage he’s already had several great opportunities.

Once Yuri has his slacks in hand he finishes getting dressed and heads back to the bathroom to pull his hair up.

“You look good with your hair down,” Otabek says offhandedly.

“I look good all the time,” Yuri snaps back, but he can still feel his neck heat as Otabek continues to watch him get ready. “And it’s too much of a hassle to keep it down at the restaurant.”

“I wasn’t insinuating you should, just trying to pay you a compliment.”

Yuri meets Otabek’s eyes in the mirror, and for a moment he feels absolutely frozen by Otabek’s dark gaze. He’s never met and alpha who behaves the way Otabek does. He has such a calm presence, and he doesn’t put Yuri down at every chance he gets, and he’s had plenty of changes, what with the mugging, Yuri’s car breaking down, and then the small space he rents. Otabek doesn’t seem to care about any of it.

“What are you thinking?” The alpha asks, after Yuri continues to stare.

“You’re different. I don’t know why yet, but you are.”

“So are you.”

Yuri fiddles with a few different makeup brushes as an excuse to break eye contact, and Otabek doesn’t press him any further.

“I guess I’m ready. How does my face look? Do you think Yuuri will let me work tonight?”

Yuri turns to face Otabek fully, and with them both standing in the small bathroom it’s a tight fit. Otabek brings a hand up to cup Yuri’s chin and then gently angles Yuri’s face.

“It looks better. You could probably cover the worst of it and no one would notice.”

Yuri means to reply, but with Otabek’s dark eyes holding him captive, and his thumb rubbing small circles into Yuri’s jaw, Yuri can’t seem to find the words.

“We should go before you’re late,” Otabek says, his breath mingling with Yuri’s in the small space.

Yuri doesn’t know why he does it, later in his mind he’ll blame it on the leftover heat hormones still inside him, because they had just agreed to be friends the day before, but Yuri pushes up onto his tiptoes and presses his lips to Otabek’s. Otabek doesn’t miss a beat, sliding his hand on Yuri’s jaw to cup his face and then placing his free hand to the omegas waist. Everywhere they’re connected feels warms and Yuri brings his arms up to wrap around Otabek’s neck. Otabek tastes amazing, like mint and something slightly spicy, and Yuri can’t hold in the moan that bubbles out of him. Otabek lets out a quiet rumble from deep in his chest, and Yuri’s toes curl in response. When Otabek’s hand slips into Yuri’s hair and pulls, Yuri has to break their kiss with a gasp.

“Fuck,” Yuri’s breathes against the alpha’s lips. When his mind finally catches up with what he’s done he tenses in Otabek’s arms. “I um- I don’t know why I just did that.”

“I’m not complaining” Otabek smirks, tightening the hand still in Yuri’s hairs.

Yuri’s knees go weak at the light pain and he pushes Otabek back as he gains his bearings. “Don’t do that.”

Otabek bites at his bottom lip as he watches Yuri start to panic. “What’s wrong kitten? You clearly wanted to kiss me, and you did.”

“I don’t kiss alphas. Ever. I normally don’t even let them near my apartment, and now that I’ve let you in look what’s happened.” Yuri sounds like he’s accusing Otabek of something, but just what it is the alpha doesn’t know. “You need to leave.”

“Let me at least take you to work,” Otabek says calmly, but Yuri’s no longer listening. He’s sat down on the edge of the bathtub and is pulling at the strands of hair that have fallen from his ponytail.

“I’m so stupid,” Yuri whispers under his breath. “I’m so stupid.”

Yuri keeps chanting the same words over and over, and Otabek can tell something more is going on.

“Yuri look at me,” Otabek says softly. “What’s wrong?”

Yuri doesn’t even react to Otabek’s words and the alpha can feel himself begin to worry.

“Look at me,” Otabek says with a light growl to his voice, causing Yuri to stiffen before shooting to his feet and pushing Otabek back against the wall. He may be smaller than the alpha, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in attitude.

“Don’t you dare try that alpha command shit on me,” Yuri threatens. “You are not my alpha and you sure as shit do not have the right to act like you are.”

Otabek doesn’t seem upset by Yuri yelling in his face, in fact his eyes light up with glee at being forced against the wall by the omega. “Kitten, if I was giving you a command you would know it.”

Yuri’s shoulders drop and his face calms as he steps back from the alpha. “That kiss was a mistake. It won’t happen again.”

Yuri’s mind is still racing as he tries to decipher what he’s feeling. He’s been reckless, allowing Otabek to get close enough to him that he let his guard down for a moment, and now he has to figure out how to go backwards. He won’t make the same mistake so many omegas make in thinking that there is an alpha out there who will stick around for the long haul. Most alpha’s bond an omega during heat and then allow the bond to break during the next heat. It’s hell on the omega and Yuri’s never going to let that happen to him.

Yuri clears his throat. “You can take me to work, but I don’t want you to come over anymore.”

Otabek nods. “Okay kitten, whatever you want. Do you still want to me give you the third shot tomorrow morning?”

Yuri’s hands twitch at the thought of having to stab himself with the needle, but he shakes his head. “No, I can do it.”

Otabek doesn’t look upset at being dismissed, but does stand a little taller as he leaves the bathroom.

 

 

 

The ride to the restaurant is torturous, and Yuri has to keep reminding himself to stop breathing in Otabek’s scent. Most of the heat hormones have already left his body, so there’s no reason he should be so drawn to Otabek's scent.

As Otabek brings the bike to a stop worry starts to pool low in Yuri’s stomach. He hasn’t had a real friend in so long, and he’s managed to ruin this friendship in record time.

“I’m sorry,” Yuri says quietly, his forehead resting on Otabek’s shoulder.

“You don’t have anything to apologize for kitten.” Otabek brings a hand down to cup one of Yuri’s still clinging to his waist.

“You said you wanted a friend and I ruined it. Now we have to go back to before, when we weren’t anything.” Yuri’s heart feels heavy and even though he’s still holding on to Otabek he already feels alone.

His scent must have soured with sadness because Otabek’s hold on his hand tightens and he lets out a quiet rumble.

“Nothing has to change. If you want to pretend the kiss never happened we can.”

Yuri thinks back to just a short while ago when he had Otabek backed against the wall, and the thrill that went through him when their tongues slid together. It was so unlike anything he’s ever experienced, and to have to pretend it never happened sounds almost torturous.

Yuri must be silent long enough that Otabek is able to infer his inner turmoil and finally break the silence. “Or we can just be friends that kiss. It doesn’t have to be anymore than that.”

Yuri stiffens at the thought. Can he really kiss Otabek and have it not lead to more? He’s back on suppressants that work, so he won’t have to worry about a heat clouding his judgment, maybe he really can do that.

“That could work,” Yuri says slowly. “Can we really do that though? Just be friends who make out.”

“We can do whatever we want kitten. It doesn’t matter what’s normal.”

“And you won’t try and pull that territorial shit with me?”

Otabek laughs. “I don’t think anyone could pull that with you.”

Yuri pinches Otabek’s side. “Shut up, I’m serious. Can we just stay friends and not have it lead to more?”

“Are you already falling for me kitten?”

Otabek sounds cocky and Yuri flushes at his tone. “No, I just know how good I look, and I don’t know how you’re going to keep your hands to yourself.”

“You’re the one who could have gotten off the bike minutes ago, and instead your clinging to me.”

Yuri immediately lets go of his hold on Otabek and swings his leg over the bike. “I get off at seven. If you can give me a ride to The Castle I’d appreciate it.”

“I’ll be here, kitten.” Otabek watches as Yuri makes his way to the door, calling for him when he’s almost half way. “My helmet?”

“It mine now,” Yuri calls back, removing the helmet from his head and placing it under his arm. “Now you have to come back for it.”

Otabek laughs and watches Yuri’s ass as he enters the restaurant.

Once Yuri’s inside he leaves the helmet on the shelf with all the other employees person items. He actually didn’t mean to take the helmet, but in his rush to put some distance between himself and Otabek he honestly forgot he was wearing it. He’s never felt so scatter brained before and it’s a little disarming. There shouldn’t be anything special about Otabek, and yet here Yuri is, agreeing to not only see him again but kiss him.

“Fun night?” Mila giggles from behind Yuri.

“What are you talking about, Baba?” Yuri moves around the woman in search of a clean apron.

“I mean your hair Yuri, have you seen a mirror?”

Yuri reaches up to touch his hair and feels all the strands that have fallen from his hair tie. He completely forgot about Otabek running his hands through his hair and disturbing his ponytail.

“I overslept,” he lies.

“Uh huh, and did the alpha that dropped you off also over sleep?” She teases. “I never thought I’d see the day you let an alpha do anything for you.”

“Shut up,” Yuri says through the hair tie in his mouth. “We’re just friends.”

Yuri finishes securing his hair back and then works on tying his apron on. He won’t give into Mila’s teasing. He doesn’t have anything to be embarrassed of. They’re just friends who happen to have kissed, it doesn’t mean anything.

“How’s that beta chick you were seeing?”

Mila blushes at the sudden change in topic and subconsciously brushes her hair behind her ears. “She’s good, we’re going to see each other this weekend. She has an event to attend with her brother and she invited me.”

“That’s cool. What's the event for?” Yuri asks as he finishes washing his hands to begin his shift.

“I don’t really know. It’s going to be at the Leroy’s estate though, so I’m sure it will be swanky.”

“Ugh, that guy is such a creep.” Yuri says with a shutter.

“He is not. JJ’s been married for over a year now, and his wife is supposedly really nice.”

Yuri follows Mila to the front of the restaurant as she unlocks the doors for the day and continues their conversation. “She has to be a saint to put up with him, and the fact that you knew which Leroy I was talking about just proves he's a creep. He’s put the moves on practically every omega in a hundred mile radius.”

“He just wants to start a family, there’s nothing wrong with that,” Mila says with a frown.

“There’s nothing wrong with wanting a family, but there’s something wrong with hounding every omega you meet just because you want a high chance of having an alpha child.”

“Let’s talk about this later, people are arriving now.”

Mila smiles at a couple as they enter, and Yuri rolls his eyes at being dismissed. As a beta Mila will never truly understand all the things Yuri and other omegas face in their day to day life, she gets to live in a happy bubble of knowing that someone is dating her for her and not her secondary gender.

The restaurant is unusually slow for a Thursday and the day seems to drag on. It’s not until near five that the pace picks up, and then Yuri feels like he’s rushing to care for all of his tables. When he’s finally able to leave it’s nearing seven thirty and he almost forgets his helmet in his rush to get outside.

“I’m sorry,” Yuri says in a rush as he climbs on the bike. “I know I’m late.”

“It’s okay, but it might not be a bad idea to get your car looked at. I can’t promise that I’ll always be able to give you a ride.”

Yuri leans his head in the middle of Otabek’s shoulder blades and groans. “I know, but I don’t know enough about cars to fix it myself and I don’t have the money to take it anyone. Yuuri’s been nice enough to let me leave it in back parking lot until I figure out what to do.”

“I’ll take a look at it tonight, maybe I can fix it.”

Otabek starts the motorcycle to drowned out the sounds of Yuri’s complaints and Yuri pinches his side in retaliation. If he would have gotten off work on time he would have time to go home and shower, instead he directs Otabek’s to drop him off at the back entrance of The Castle.

“I hope Yuuri lets me work tonight,” Yuri says as he climbs off the bike. “If I have to wait till I get paid on Monday to go shopping I’m going to starve.”

Otabek scowls as he removes his helmet. “Why didn’t you tell me you needed groceries? I could have bought you some.”

“I’m not some charity project, I’ll survive a few more days.”

“It doesn’t make you weak to accept help,” Otabek says with a scowl.

“Who said anything about being weak,” Yuri snaps. “I’ve survived this long on my own. I don’t need anyone’s pity.”

“No ones pitying you Yuri. Christ, just because someone’s nice doesn’t mean they’re looking down on you.”

“Whatever, I need to talk to Yuuri. I’ll find my own way home tonight, don’t worry about me, and don’t touch my car.”

Yuri pushes his helmet into Otabek’s arms and turns to stomp his way to the entrance.

“Yuri,” Otabek calls from the bike as he finishes putting the helmet away, but Yuri ignores him in favor of hurrying in the door.

Yuri pull his hair tie out on his way to the locker room and sighs deeply. He knows he was being unfair to the alpha. Otabek hasn’t done anything to deserve his anger, but it’s so ingrained in him to defend himself from any alpha that it’s easy to forget.

When he reaches the locker room he spends a few minutes with his concealer, hiding the worst of his bruising. Once he’s finished you almost can’t tell there was ever a bruise, and Yuri smiles at his reflection. There’s no way Yuuri can deny him working when he appears to be in perfect health.

He doesn’t change out of his clothes from the restaurant though, because although he feels confident in his chances he doesn’t want to jinks anything. He walks with his head held high to Yuuri’s office and knocks, but he doesn’t get a reply. He knocks again, this time louder, and then steps back to make sure there’s still light steaming from under the door. When he doesn’t hear any movement he turns the knob and glances inside the room. There doesn’t appear to be anyone inside, but the light to the attached bathroom is on and the door is open.

“Mr. Katsuki, are you here?” Yuri takes a cautious step inside when he hears shuffling coming from the bathroom, but it’s not until he hears the person inside start to cough that he fully enters the office.

“I’m here,” Yuuri calls quietly.

Yuri slowly makes his way to the bathroom to find the owner of the club sprawled out on the bathroom floor clutching his stomach. Yuuri’s skin is flushed and clammy looking, and even though it’s been days since Yuri saw him he still smells almost sickeningly sweet.

“Shit, are you okay?”

Yuuri doesn’t sit up, but he nods his head. “I’m fine, just not feeling well.”

Yuri takes a seat on the floor next to Yuuri and rubs at the omegas ankle. “Are you sick?” Other than the alcove incident Yuri’s never seen Yuuri looking so down, so to see him like this is a little scary.

“No, it’ll pass in a little bit.”

“Do you want me to find Victor?”

At this question Yuuri finally sits up and adamantly shakes his head. “No, I had to fight with him just to come into work, if I call him now he’ll never let me live it down. Plus just having you here is already helping.”

Yuri scowls at his boss and his eyebrows draw together. “Why would me being here help anything? Unless… oh my God-”

“There it is,” Yuuri says with a laugh.

“You’re pregnant? Since when?”

Yuuri smiles and places a hand on his still mostly flat stomach. “I’m just over two months now.”

“Why aren’t you at home? Shouldn’t you be making a nest and cuddling your alpha?”

Yuuri scowls and shakes his head. “The baby won’t be here for a long time yet, so I won’t start nesting for months, and I don’t need Victor to function. I want to work for as long as I can until it gets here.”

Yuri still has a hand on Yuuri’s ankle and he’s subconsciously rubbing small circles with his thumb. “Isn’t hard to be away from Victor though?”

“It’s not any harder than it normally is, I just wish he was here for moments like this. Thanks for sitting with me though, it really does help.”

“Omegas are so weird,” Yuri says, finally pulling his hand off of Yuuri’s ankle, even though he still feels a strange need to comfort the other man.

“We really are,” Yuuri laughs. “It’s kinda nice though, that just being around each other can help when our alphas are gone.”

“Yuuri?” Victor’s voice calls through the office.

“In here,” Yuuri calls back.

Victor walks in and freezes at the sight of his mate on the floor. “Yuuri, what happened? Are you okay?”

Yuri scoots back as Victor falls to his knees to run his hands along Yuuri’s face and arms.

“I’m fine Vitya. It’s just morning sickness, or night sickness I guess. They really should change the name. Yuri was here though, so I’m doing better.”

Yuri clears his throat as he tries to discreetly stand to leave the room. “I’ll just see myself out.”

“Yurio, wait,” Victor calls. “You were here for my Yuuri when I wasn’t, thank you.”

Yuri’s never seem Victor humble himself to anyone, and he doesn’t know how to feel about it. “Um- you’re welcome. I’m gonna go to work now, if that’s okay.”

Yuuri nods and gives Yuri a small wave as he leaves the bathroom.

Yuri tries to shake himself of the odd feeling that sitting with Yuuri gave him, but even as he changes for work he can’t help wondering if Yuuri’s okay. Once he’s immersed in the club the noise does wonders to help clear his mind, and he finds that he’s able to mostly push away any thoughts of the pregnant omega as he begins his shift.

Chapter Text

It’s an awesome night for tips, and when the lights of the club turn on to usher everyone out at the end of the evening Yuri’s left with a good stack of cash and a pep in his step. He almost forgets that he has to walk home until he pulls his keys from his locker.

“Is your car still not working?” Phichit asks.

“Da, but it’s fine. A few more nights like tonight and I’ll have enough to have someone look at it.”

Phichit’s face is pinched, and Yuri can tell what he’s going to ask before he even opens his mouth. “Would you like a ride home?”

“Nah, don’t worry about it. It’s late and you’re on the other side of town.”

“I don’t mind, really.” Phichit seems sincere, but Yuri’s relied too heavily on other people these last few days, and he really needs to get over his apprehension of walking home. Just because he was jumped once doesn’t mean it will happen again.

“It’s fine Phich, I can’t avoid the walk home for forever, and the sooner I get it over with the soon things will go back to normal.”

“If you’re sure…”

“I am, thanks though.”

They walk out of the club together, talking about their weekend plans and an alpha Phichit met while dancing.

“What is it with you and old men?”

“Yuri,” Phichit gasps, with a light slap to the omega’s shoulder. “He is not old, he’s older, but he’s also so kind and handsome, and he wants to take me to the opera with him in two weeks.”

“Whatever, sugar baby,” Yuri teases.

“Speaking of sugar daddies,” Phichit says with a nod.

Yuri follows his gaze to see Otabek leaning against his bike with a helmet in hand. Phichit lightly pushes Yuri towards the alpha and then quickly scurries to his car.

“What are you doing here?” Yuri asks, looking to the helmet.

“I wasn’t able to get the parts for your car tonight, so I figured you could use the ride.”

“You tried to fix my car?” Yuri scowls. “I didn’t ask you to do that.”

“I know you didn’t, but it needs fixed.”

“I told you not to touch it,” Yuri says, heat starting to color his tone. “We agreed to be friends, but that doesn’t mean you get to come in and start acting all alpha and trying to fix my life.” Yuri practically shaking with how angry he’s getting, he’s never needed help before, and for Otabek to go against him and try to work on his car behind his back is a complete breech of trust.

“I’m not trying to be all alpha with you.” Otabek growls. “Friends help each other, and just because you’ve never experienced that doesn’t make it any less true.”

“Fuck you, if you really wanted to help me you would let me handle my own shit.”

“So when you were in preheat and needed a ride I should have just told you no and let you walk across town?” Otabek snaps back.

“That’s not the same thing,” Yuri tries to defend.

“Yes it is. You only want help when its convenient for you. You act like you have to prove yourself to everyone about everything.”

“I don’t have to prove shit to you,” Yuri yells, shoving Otabek in the middle of his chest. “I handled everything before you came around and I’ll handle everything when you leave.”

Otabek looks taken back by Yuri’s outburst, and he reaches a hand out only for it to be knocked away. “Why would you think I’m going to leave?”

“That’s what all alphas do,” Yuri says matter-of-factly, like it’s just something everyone knows. “Once you get whatever it is you want out of an omega you leave and move onto the next.”

A low wounded sound leaves Otabek’s throat and he shakes his head. “That’s not true. Alphas want to stay with their omegas, and I know your not mine, but I’m not going anywhere.”

Otabek reaches a hand out again, this time slowly and with his palm up, an offering that Yuri slowly takes, and when he dose Otabek pulls him closer.

“I’m not going to apologize for being mad,” Yuri says, although his voice has lost most of its heat.

“I’m not going to ask you to kitten. I’m sorry I worked on your car without your permission.”

Yuri shrugs and Otabek wraps his arms fully around him and draws him to his chests.

“It was the last thing dedushka gave me before I left. It was his and he gave it up so that I had a chance once I got here. I have to keep it running.”

Otabek nods and places a kiss to the top of Yuri’s head. “I didn’t know that, I’m sorry. I promise I would never do anything to damage it, I was only trying to help.”

Yuri lets out a deep sigh and nods into Otabek’s chest. “I’m not used to anyone helping me. I relied on Lilia for so long, and then as soon as I was able I got my own place and started taking care of myself. I don’t know how to let someone help me without trying to figure out what the ulterior motive is.”

“I’m not going to lie and say that if you wanted more that I wouldn’t take that opportunity, but I’m satisfied with just being your friend. I understand that you need to be independent, and I’ll try to back off and let you make your own choices.”

Yuri’s calmed down now, and although he’s still slightly upset that Otabek didn’t listen to him the first time he’s willing to believe he didn’t go against him to hurt him.

“You can take me home,” Yuri says quietly, pushing back to look up at Otabek.

“I have something I wanted to ask you first.” Otabek brings a hand up to brush Yuri’s hair behind his ear. “Mr. Nikiforov has an event to attend on Saturday and I have to go. I’m supposed to bring a date, would you come with me?”

Yuri’s face scrunches and he shakes his head. “I work at the club on the weekends.”

“What if Mr. Katsuki would let you off? Would you go then?”

“I guess, what’s it for?”

“It’s going to be at the Leroy estate, it’s for their charity.”

Yuri’s face falls and he shakes his head. “No way. I’m not going to an event for that creep, and I wouldn’t even have anything to wear. The nicest clothes I own are for Lilia’s, and I have a feeling Victor would freak if I showed up dressed like a waiter.”

“I’ll get you something to wear, don’t worry about that. I have to bring someone though, or else Mr. Nikiforov will find someone for me.”

“Why can’t you go alone?” Yuri asks, skepticism clear in his voice.

“Because,” Otabek sighs. “This event is supposed to be low profile, no extra security, so if he shows up with his mate and a random guy it will be clear that he doesn’t trust the Leroy’s. You would be there more as a cover.”

“Why doesn’t Victor trust the Leroy’s?”

“Kitten, what did I tell you about making me lie to you?”

Yuri sighs dramatically and grabs his helmet from the bike. “Fine. I’ll go, but if that creep hits on me I can’t promise to be nice.”

“I wouldn’t expect anything less,” Otabek says with a flash of a smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I am not wearing this,” Yuri says sternly. “I look like a penguin.”

Otabek laughs and rolls his eyes. “You wouldn’t tell me what you wanted, so I just had them do a basic black suit.”

“I didn’t know you had no sense of style. You always dress so cool, I figured you would pick something better.”

“You like the way I dress?” Otabek asks with a cocky grin.

“I didn’t say that. Shut up.” Yuri loosens the tie from his neck and pulls it over his head. “That’s better.”

“Now it looks unfinished.”

“Hush.” Yuri starts unbuttoning buttons on his dress shirt and doesn’t stop until he reaches the end, then he removes the jacket and tosses it to Otabek. Once he has the shirt off he reaches for his suit jacket again and buttons the top button that rests near his navel. “There, how’s that look?”

“Like you want every alpha at the party to have their eyes on you.” Otabek voice is slightly husky, and his eyes linger on Yuri's exposed collarbones.

“I can’t help that I’m attractive.” Yuri says with an eye roll.

Yuri moves to go back to the bathroom to finish his hair, but Otabek snags his wrist as he passes and pulls him to a stop.

“Come here,” he says, his voice still husky and his eyes dark as they roam Yuri’s exposed chest.

Yuri takes the few cautious steps closer and Otabek cups his face in both hands, running his thumbs along the cuts of Yuri’s cheek bones. Yuri’s heart feels like it’s trying to beat out of his chest as he wait in anticipation. When Otabek finally seals their lips together he forgets how to breathe until the alpha sucks on his bottom lip, encouraging them to part so that he can slip his tongue inside and slowly take Yuri apart. Yuri gasps into the kiss, allowing Otabek to control the pace, but not giving up complete control as he nips at Otabek's lip, causing a hiss from the alpha. When they finally break apart Yuri's knees feel weak and he has to hold onto the alpha for support.

It’s several deep breaths later that Yuri finally finds his voice. “What was that for?”

“Just so you remember that even though every alpha may want you tonight, you’re going as my date.” Otabek’s tone doesn’t sound possessive, but his words can’t be mistaken for anything else.

“You promised none of this territorial alpha shit,” Yuri says, with a light push to the alphas chest.

“Trust me kitten, if you were really mine I’d mark every inch of that pretty skin before we left tonight.”

Yuri flushes hot and he has to swallow before he can speak again. “I need to- um- finish my hair.”

Yuri turns and hurries to the bathroom, locking the door behind him and then sitting down on the closed toilet seat. His heart is still racing and he stands to splash cold water on his face.

“We’re just friends,” he tells his reflection. “He’s an alpha, and you would be stupid to think you could be anything more.”

Yuri stares hard at his reflection, until his heart calms and he feels more composed. He brushes through his hair several times, toying with putting it in a braid, but a small voice in the back of his mind reminds him that Otabek likes his hair down. He tells himself that it looks best that way, and that it has nothing to do with the alpha waiting in the next room.

“Ready?” Yuri asks as he reenters the main room.

“Yeah,” Otabek stands from the futon and Yuri’s steps faulter.

“That’s not fair.” Otabek looks down at himself with a frown and Yuri continues. “Why did I get the boring suit, while you look like a badass?”

Otabek grins and adjusts his dark grey suit jacket. “Because I actually went to the shop and had mine customized. You could have too if you weren’t so stubborn.”

Yuri glares at Otabek and crosses his arms. “Whatever. So are we leaving now?”

Otabek pulls out his phone and nods. “Yeah, they should be here any minute.”

“They who?” Yuri asks skeptically.

“Mr. Nikiforov and Mr.Katsuki.”

“Why are we riding with them? Can’t we just take your bike?”

A smile tugs at Otabek’s lips and he shakes his head. “I’m Mr. Nikiforov’s security tonight, and we shouldn’t take the bike when we’re this dresses up. I didn’t even bring it tonight.”

“How did you get here then?” Yuri walks to the futon and sits to wait.

“I have a car also.”

“Oh,” Yuri says quietly. Of course Otabek also has a car, Yuri has nothing and here Otabek is able to afford two modes of transportation.

“What’s wrong kitten?” Otabek takes a seat next to Yuri and rubs at his knee.

“Nothing,” Yuri says with a shrug. “Sometimes I just forget how much more money you have than me.”

Otabek’s face scrunches. “I didn’t mean to insinuate that.”

“You didn’t,” Yuri’s quick to say. “I just still don’t get why you would want to be around me. Victor has so many people that work for him, I’m sure you could find one of them to befriend.”

“Do you want me to find a different friend?” Otabek’s scent is calm, but his eyes look very sad.

“No,” Yuri says quietly. “I still want to be your friend.”

“Good, then lets go.”

Otabek extends his hand and Yuri accepts it as they leave the apartment. Otabek already told him they would be riding with Victor and Yuuri, but he didn’t mention they would be riding in a limo.

“Oh my god,” Yuri says under his breath, as they exit the building and are faced with the long black vehicle. “That’s so cool.”

Otabek smiles and opens the back door for Yuri. “After you.”

Yuri doesn’t hesitate, jumping into the limo and completely ignoring the other two people already inside as he looks around. “This is awesome.”

Yuri can hear Yuuri giggle, but he ignores him in favor of looking around the spacious inside. There’s several different seating areas broken up by small built-in tables, holding different drinks and foods. He eyes a bottle of champagne as Otabek takes a seat beside him.

“You can have a glass,” Yuuri says with a smile. “It’s my favorite brand, but I can’t drink it right now.”

“Thanks,” Yuri says with a grin, poring himself a glass before offering the bottle to Otabek.

“Not tonight kitten, I’m on the clock.”

Yuri glances to where Victor has an arm draped around his mate and nods.

“So Yurio,” Victor says, when he catches him looking. “Are you excited for tonight?”

“I guess, I don’t really know what this event is. Otabek mentioned that it had something to do with the Leroy’s charity.”

“It’s part silent auction part dinner party. Everyone of any value will be there tonight, so remember to watch how you act, and how you...present yourself.” Victor eyes Yuri’s exposed chest for a moment, but he doesn’t comment any further.

Yuri’s face scrunches and although he want to, he doesn’t question Victor about what he meant. It’s clear that although he may have thanked him before, he still thinks of him as less than. Otabek gives his hand a small squeeze in silent comfort, unable to speak against his employer.

When they reach the Leroy estate Yuri swigs back the last of his drink and looks out the window. The limo enters through a large metal gate leading to a long, long driveway surrounded by beautiful, tall trees. It’s not until the manor comes into view that Yuri realizes just how rich the Leroy family is. He always knew JJ had money by the way he dressed and carried himself, but to see the massive three story home he lives in is another thing entirely.

“Holy shit.”

“Yurio,” Victor snaps.

“He’s fine Vitya,” Yuuri says with a hand to his mates arm. “Remember the first time I came here? I was so impressed I nearly fainted.”

“Yes, but you didn’t embarrass me with your language. My father is retiring soon, so everything needs to go well.”

“It will,” Yuuri assures, and Victor smiles and presses a kiss to his forehead.

As the limo comes to a stop a sharply dressed man opens the door. Victor exits first, offering a hand to his pregnant mate, and Otabek follows doing the same for Yuri, although Yuri rolls his eyes as he takes Otabek’s hand.

“Ready?” Otabek asks into the top of Yuri’s head.

“As I’ll ever be.”

Chapter Text


JJ’s house is beautiful, there’s no other word to describe it, and Yuri struggles to keep his jaw off the ground as they walk around the large ballroom, sampling different horderves severed by waiters holding fancy silver trays.

“I do not belong here,” Yuri says quietly, eyeing a delicate crystal vase set up for auction.

“Of course you do,” Otabek says, with a hand to the middle of Yuri back. “You’re my date.”

“The amount that that vase if going for could buy my whole apartment building.”

Otabek laughs and shakes his head. “Don’t pay attention to the auction. It’s all for shows. These people like to throw their money around to prove how selfless they are, rather than doing any real good with it.”

“How would you know?” Yuri asks, as they approach a table containing several old bottles of wine. “You haven’t been here long.”

“All rich people are the same. It doesn’t matter if it’s here or anywhere else. They all only come to these functions so they can talk about how wonderful they are and all the good they’re doing.” They weave around a small group and Otabek leans down to whisper in Yuri’s ear. “Do you know her?”

Yuri follows Otabek’s gaze until his eyes connects with Mila’s. She’s wearing a dark red floor length gown, with a plunging neckline, and clinging to a beta in a similar blue dress.

“That’s Mila, we work together at Lilia’s.”

“She certainly seems happy to see you,” Otabek says, inferring to the delight in Mila’s eyes and the large smile.

“Oh great,” Yuri sighs, when Mila begins to pull her date in their direction. “Don’t say anything.” Otabek raises an eyebrow at Yuri’s demand.

“Yuri,” Mila says through a smile. “I didnt expect to see you here tonight, and with a date.”

“Mila,” Yuri says coldly. “Don’t you have someone else to bother?”

“Nope,” she says, popping the p obnoxiously. “I only really know Sara, and I couldn’t not introduce her to my best friend. Sara this Yuri, we work together at Lilia’s, and I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name,” she says, looking to Otabek with wide innocent eyes.

“Otabek,” he extend his hand and Mila triumphantly shakes it as Yuri glares. “It’s nice to meet you both.”

“Okay you met now leave us alone,” Yuri says with a glare.

“Be nice Yuri,” Mila pouts. “I just wanted to make sure the first alpha you decided to date was nice.”

“We’re not dating,” Yuri snaps. “Leave me alone hag.”

Mila’s cheeks heat, and the embarrassment is clear when she speaks. “Okay, I’m sorry. I’ll see you at work I guess.”

As the pair walk away Otabek makes a small tsk sound. “That wasn’t very nice.”

“Shut up. You weren’t supposed to talk.”

Otabek places his hand on Yuri’s waist and guides him to a waiter carrying glasses of champagne. “Why are you so angry at her? She just wanted to talk to you. She even told you she doesn’t know anyone else here.”

Yuri sips his glass as he tries to figure out just how to explain what he’s feeling. “I don’t want anyone to think I need an alpha around, or that I’ve given into one.”

Otabek hums quietly. “Would it really be so bad to be bonded to one?”

“Yes,” Yuri says with a glare. “You’re an alpha, you’ll never understand how people look at omegas. If we’re single we must be sad or unfulfilled, but if we’re with an alpha we’re seen as weaker for needing one.”

“That’s not true. I’ve never thought an omega was weak just because they were bonded. Being with an omega affects an alpha too ya know, it’s not a one way street.”

Yuri studies Otabek’s face as he finishes his drink. He’s never heard and alpha talk about being affected by an omega unless it was about being drawn to an omega in heat, so to hear Otabek say that omegas also affect alphas is new, and he wants to talk about it more when they’re not surrounded by strangers.

“I wanna bid on something.” Yuri pulls Otabek in the direction of a table containing different lavish vacation packages.

He scowls at the first few items for bid. Who wants to go skiing when you live somewhere that’s cold most of the year? They come to a stop in front of a spa package containing flights and hotel. It’s totaled at just over five thousand dollars, and Yuri grins over being the first one to write down a bid.

“Do you think I’ll win?”

Otabek looks down to see Yuri’s anonymous bidder’s number next to the bid of twenty dollars and chuckles. “You might want to tack on a couple of extra zeros.”

“Nah, these people are so stuck up, I bet they all have their own private masseuses.”

“Whatever you say kitten.” Otabek looks around the hall with a frown. “I’m going to run to the bathroom, I’ll be right back.”

“Okay,” Yuri says, mostly to himself and Otabek’s retreating form.

He almost forgot Otabek was working, and that he would have to keep and eye on his employer from time to time. Yuri scans the crowd and tries to pin down either Yuuri or Victor, but they both seem to be absent. Worry spikes through him, and for a moment he doesn’t pay attention to the sounds of someone approaching him.

“Planning a trip?” Yuri jumps at the familiar voice and turns to come face to face with the host of the evening. “I was planning on biding on the trip to Paris myself, my wife’s always wanted to go.”

“Why do you have to bid? Couldn’t you afford to just take her without the need of holding a charity event.”

JJ’s eyes light with delight at Yuri’s rude tone. “Do I know you?”

Yuri rolls his eyes. Of course JJ wouldn’t remember the countless times he’s hit on him while he was working at The Castle, or the few times he waited on him at Lilia’s.

“No, you don’t know me.”

“Well allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jean-Jacques Leroy although I prefer JJ, and I’m very happy you are here tonight.” JJ finishes with a look to Yuri’s exposed chest, and Yuri self-consciously crosses his arms.

“If you’re married where’s your wife?”

JJ’s smile and flicks his wrist. “She’s around here somewhere. As a beta she doesn’t feel that it’s necessary to be attached at the hip. Although I can’t say that I wouldn’t enjoy the company. Are you here alone?”

“No, my date should be back any minute.”

Yuri scans the crowd for Otabek but he doesn’t see him anywhere. He’s not worried though, JJ is married now and even if he weren’t he wouldn’t try anything in public, at least Yuri doesn’t think he would.

JJ eyes Yuri’s exposed neck again when Yuri snags a glass off the tray of a passing waiter.

“If you were my omega I would never let you leave the house like that.”

“Good thing I’m my own person then,” Yuri says with a glare before downing half of his drink. If he has to spend much longer with this idiot he’s going to need much more to drink than champaign.

“I think you misunderstood me,” JJ leans forward to speak directly into Yuri’s ear. “If you were mine you’d never make it out of the bedroom dressed like that.”

Yuri holds himself very still as JJ speaks and a chill rubs down his spine. It’s becoming very clear that although he may be married, JJ hasn’t changed at all. He’s still the same creep who’s shamelessly hit on Yuri countless times before.

“Step away from me before I go find your wife,” Yuri says with a growl.

JJ straighten but his smile is still firmly in place. “Go ahead little omega. She doesn’t love me anymore than I love her. We both knew what this marriage was when we entered into it, so go find her, nothing will come of it.”

Yuri’s blood runs cold and he suddenly feels very nervous being alone with this alpha. It was one thing when he though JJ was married, but to hear him admit that his marriage is all for show is another thing entirely. JJ’s smile grows wider and he leans forward to trail the back of his hand down the center of Yuri’s exposed chest.

“What’s wrong little one? You don’t seem so cocky anymore.”

Yuri knows his scent is starting to sour with worry but he can’t rein it in fast enough, and he’s frantically trying to think of a way out of the conversation.

“Yuri,” Otabek’s voice is like a calming balm that envelopes him, and Yuri takes a step back into chest. “Sorry I was gone so long.”

Yuri reaches back and places Otabek’s hand on his waist. “It’s okay, I was just leaving.” Yuri turns and pulls the alpha with him.

“Otabek,” JJ calls out. “Did you really think you could come here and not say a word to me?”

Otabek’s grip on Yuri’s hip tightens, but he turns them back around to face JJ. “Hello Jean.”

“So you do remember me. Tell me, did you recognize my cousin too?” Otabek doesn’t reply and JJ’s smile finally slips from his face. “He’s going to lose his hand, I hope you know that.”

“He shouldn’t touch things that don’t belong to him.”

Yuri’s brows draw down in confusion. He doesn’t understand what they’re talking about, but it seems like JJ is implying Otabek injured his cousin.

“As far as I can see he doesn’t belong to anyone.” JJ says with a nod.

A low growl leaves Otabek’s throat and a man standing to the side takes a step forward before JJ stops him with a raised hand.

“Remind Victor that I always repay my debts, and the next time you have a problem with my family, you come to me first.”

JJ leaves after that, and Yuri’s legs begin to tremble. He has a feeling he’s just heard something he has no business hearing, and there’s nothing he can do about it. Otabek leans down to place a kiss to top of his head and lets out a quiet rumble to try and sooth him.

“I’m sorry you saw that.”

“I don’t even know what it was,” Yuri says truthfully. “Did you really hurt his cousin?”

Otabek doesn’t answer and instead guides Yuri to an empty table. “I think you should rest for bit.”

“Hey, you can’t just ignore me,” Yuri snaps, crossing his arms. “What the hell was all that about?”

“Kitten I’m not gonna tell you again, don’t force me to lie to you.” Otabek takes a seat next to Yuri and sighs. “It’s nothing you need to worry about, just enjoy the rest of the party.”

Yuri scowls but doesn’t press Otabek any further, if Otabek did hurt someone Yuri can’t see it being for any reason but self defense. “Where are Yuuri and Victor anyway?”

“They’re in one of the upstairs bathrooms, Yuuri wasn’t feeing well.”

Yuri straightens at this news. “Is he okay?”

“Yeah, just morning sickness I think.”

“That’s weird, shouldn’t he be okay as long as Victor is around?”

“Normally, but some pregnancies are harder than others, and carrying multiples only makes it worse.”

“What?” Yuri shrieks, blushing when he draws the attention of a few other people. “He’s having multiple? That’s so rare for an omega though.”

“Yeah, but it’s not unheard of when it’s a mated pair.”

“Do you think I should go see if he needs anything?”

Otabek raises an eyebrow. “Feeling maternal?”

“Shut up. Yuuri’s a… friend I guess. I don’t know how to explain it, but I was able to help him the last time I was there.”

“You can try. I’ll show you where they are.”

Yuri eyes JJ across the room holding onto a woman with dark hair and shakes his head. “Just tell me how to get there.”

Otabek doesn’t question Yuri wanting to go alone and instead instructs him to the bathroom. It’s a short walk up a long staircase and then only a couple of turns to reach the correct location. He knocks lightly on the door and waits for a reply.

“Occupied,” a voice that is undeniably Victor’s calls.

“It’s Yuri, I wanted to see if there was anything I could do.”

The door unlocks with a light click and Victor steps back to allow Yuri entry.

“Maybe you’ll have better luck. Nothing I do seems to help.”

Yuuri’s sitting on the edge of a large bathtub looking absolutely exhausted. His skin is flushed and he looks like he could be sick any second.

“You look like shit.”

“Yurio,” Victor snaps, but Yuuri laughs and shakes his head.

“I feel like it too. I don’t know if I can handle six more months of his.”

Yuri sits down and rubs at Yuuri’s shin. “Do you need anything?”

“For him to stop hovering,” Yuuri nods to Victor who clutches his chest.

“I’m only trying to help.”

“I know Vitya, but there isn’t anything you can do. Why don’t you go back to the auction and win me something pretty?”

Victor’s eyes soften and he nods. “Are you sure you’ll be alright?”

“I’m positive. Yuri’s here now so I won’t be alone, and you need to go shake hands and make an appearance.”

Victor leans down to place a kiss to Yuuri forehead. “Call me if you need me.”

He leave after that and Yuuri sags slightly in relief. “I really do love him, but sometimes he worries too much.”

“So you’re okay?”

Yuuri smiles and pats Yuri on the head. “I’m fine, this pregnancy stuff is just harder than I was expecting.”

“Otabek said it’s because you’re having multiple. Is that true?”

Yuuri cheeks heat and he nods his head. “Yeah, we found out at my appointment the other day. Twins.”

“That’s crazy. How does it feel to be so rare?”

“Honestly? A little scary. We have to go to specialists now, and I’ll have more than average check ups just to make sure they’re doing okay.”

“But they’re fine now?” Yuri asks, unable to hide the worry in his voice.

“Oh yeah, we’re all doing good. There’s not much to do right now until they get a little bigger. Right now they just look like weird dinosaur things with big heads.”

Yuri laughs and nods to the door. “He’s not handling it well though?”

“He’s just overprotective right now. I feel like I can never get a moment to myself.”

“And here I am barging in,” Yuri shifts awkwardly.

“No, you’re fine. You don’t ask my how I’m doing every five seconds, or freak out if I get up to walk to another room. Maybe if you were around more Victor wouldn’t be so crazy.”

“What do you mean?”

Yuuri pauses and tilts his head for a moment. “How would you feel about being my assistant for a while? It would be different hours than The Castle, but it wouldn't be everyday and I would be willing to work around your schedule at Lilia’s.”

Yuri’s jaw drops slightly. “I don’t know if I could handle a third job right now.”

Yuuri laughs. “Sorry, I guess I should have been more specific. I mean you wouldn’t have to work at The Castle anymore. It wouldn’t be everyday, but I would pay you more than you make now to make up for the lack of tips. What do you say?”

Yuri’s honestly stunned, he never expected Yuuri to offer him such a position and he’s unsure if it’s wise to take it. It would put him closer to Victor and his business, but it could also leave the opportunity for more time to hang out with Otabek.

“Um- can I think about it?”

“Of course. I’ll type up a list of some of the things I would need help with and you can decide after that in a few days.”

“Thanks. Are you ready to go back to the auction yet?”

Yuuri sighs and looks around the large bathroom. “I guess so. Would you check and see if you can find any mouth wash first. I would hate to go back and have everyone be able of smell my breath.”

Yuri nods and starts to look through different cabinets until he finds a small travel bottle of mouthwash.

Yuuri thanks him, and then uses the bottle before reaching a hand out to take Yuri’s elbow as they leave the bathroom. “So, what do you think Victor bought me?”

Yuri laughs and thinks back to all of the different items for sale. “There was a really awesome spa package.”

Yuuri sighs as they descend the staircase. “No, he read somewhere that massages can induce labor and now he’s terrified to let me near one.”

Yuri laughs and shakes his head. “You weren’t kidding about him being over protective.”

“I know it’s just because he cares, but sometimes it’s a little suffocating.”

As they reenter the hall they both scan the room for their dates. Yuuri spots Victor first, while Yuri’s unable to find Otabek. He does a slow circle around the room and in the process finds Mila sitting alone at a table. He wants to keep walking, but he knows he was ruder than normal towards her tonight and something in his chest tugs him forward.

“Mila,” Yuri says, taking a seat next to the beta. “Where’s your date?”

Mila smiles but it doesn’t quiet reach her eyes. “She was called into work. She told me to stay and enjoy the party, but it’s a little hard when you don’t know anyone.”

“That sucks, what does she do?”

“She’s a nurse for some hospital, apparently there was an accident and they called a bunch of people in.”

“Well I can’t find my date. Do you want to hang out until he shows up?”

Mila’s face lights up like Yuri’s just given her some grand gift, and she throws her arms around his his shoulders. “Yes, please. I won’t even ask you about him or anything.”

Yuri rolls his eyes but pats her on the back. “There’s really nothing to tell. We really are just friends, he only invited me because he needed a date.”

Mila pulls back from their hug and give Yuri a look that says she doesn’t buy that story. “He could have asked anyone, Yuri. He's so tall and handsome that I'm sure he had plenty of options, but he chose you."

Yuri feels his cheeks heat, but he shakes his head in disagreement. “It’s really not like that. He even said we’re just friends.”

“Did he say that because he want to be just friends, or because you told him you don’t date alphas?” Yuri stays silent, chewing his bottom lip, and Mila begins to laugh. “Just because you date an alpha doesn’t mean anyone will look down on you, Yuri.”

“You don’t know what you’re taking about Baba. Being with an alpha would be hell, I would have to worry about getting pregnant, and they have that whole command shit they could pull.”

“Has Otabek ever done that with you?” Mila asks quietly.

Yuri looks down at his hands on the table and shakes his head. “No, but just knowing he could is stressful enough. I’ve only had it happen a few times while at the club and it fucking sucks. It feels like someone is inside your mind, and they can bend you to whatever they want.”

Mila’s looks very sad and she reaches a hand out to cover Yuri’s. “I’m so sorry that happened. Is it true that you’re able to fight it?”

Yuri shrugs and makes a so-so gesture with his free hand. “In a way. They can’t make you do something that you wouldn’t normally do. Like an alpha couldn’t command me to kill someone, but they could make me do other things. I’m sure you’ve heard the horror stories of alphas that lock omegas away until they wear them down enough to have them susceptible to practically any command.”

“That’s so scary,” Mila says, and she looks to be near tears. “I didn’t know that’s why you’re so wary of alphas.”

“Yeah, being around Otabek has been different though. I know I haven’t known him long, but I feel like I can trust him.”

Mila smiles at pat Yuri’s hand. “That’s nice Yuri.”

Yuri finally spots Otabek reentering the room and sits up a little straighter. “Do you want to hang out with us?” he asks awkwardly.

“No, go have fun,” Mila says with a push to Yuri’s side. “I’ll see you at work.”

Yuri gives the beta a small smile before leaving to join Otabek before he loses him in the crowd again.

“Hey there kitten,” Otabek says upon Yuri’s arrival. “I hope I didn’t keep you waiting long.”

“It’s fine, I got to talk with Mila. Where were you?”

“I had some business to discuss.”

Yuri squints at Otabek as he tries to decide if pushing the topic more will count as forcing Otabek to lie to him. He decides it’s best to just change the subject.

“So, how much longer do we have to be here?”

Otabek looks around the room and shrugs. “Yuuri seems to be getting tired, so I’m sure Victor will want to leave soon.”

“Good, I’m tried of all these boring people. How can you have such a large party and not have any room to dance?”

“Do you really like dancing when you have to do it for work?”

“Da,” Yuri says with an eager nod of his head. “It’s my favorite thing about The Castle.”

“I could take you somewhere with real dancing sometime,” Otabek says offhandedly.

Yuri glares at Otabek. “What do you mean real dancing? What I do is real dancing.”

“I mean dancing that doesn’t involve grinding, like the waltz or tango.”

Yuri’s jaw nearly hits it the ground. “You can dance the waltz, you with your leather jackets and freaking neck tattoos.”

Otabek reaches a hand out and pulls Yuri closer by the waist, cupping Yuri’s right hand in his left. “I can do all sorts of things kitten.”

Yuri feels his face flush hot, and he’s almost sure Otabek can feel his heart beating against his chest.

“Pick your jaw up kitten,” Otabek rumbles in his ear, and Yuri’s eyes close against his will, taking in Otabek’s deep voice and scent.

They stay that way for several moments before Yuri has to force himself to take a step backwards so he can even open his eyes again. When he looks he’s greeted with Otabek’s toothy grin, and his heart continues to pound.

“I um- Yuuri asked me to come work for him,” Yuri says, clinging to any topic but the one that would involve telling Otabek how amazing he smells.

“Don’t you already work for him?” Otabek asks skeptically.

“Yeah, but he wants to me be as his personal assistant. He said having me around helps with the morning sickness and might make Victor chill out.”

“That sounds cool. Are you going to take it?”

Yuri shrugs. “I don’t know. It would mean I would have to give up working at The Castle, but it would also be more pay, so I would be stupid to turn it down.”

“Does he want an answer right away?”

“No, he said I could think it over and that we could talk about it more in a few days.”

“Then you don’t need to be stressing about it right now. Just relax, we won’t be here much longer.” Otabek nods to where Yuuri is leaning heavily into Victor. “He seems like he’ll be ready to go at any moment.”

Yuri nods in agreement. “You’re right. Did you bid on anything tonight?”

A small smiles comes to Otabek’s lips but it fades quickly. “Maybe.”

Yuri’s face lights excitement. “What was it?”

“I’ll tell you if I win.”

“Come on,” Yuri whines. “Was it a trip?”

“No, I can’t travel right now.”

“I bet it was that four foot tall painting of JJ.”

Otabek scoffs out a laugh. “Only so I could gift it to you.”

“Ugh. Don’t even joke about that creep. Did you know that he told me he doesn’t even love his wife?”

Otabek’s eyebrows dart up. “Really? He said that?”

“Yeah, he told me it didn’t matter if I told her he was hitting on me because they didn’t love each other anyway.”

“That’s strange.” Otabek says slowly.

“I guess, but when you’re as rich as he is I guess you sometimes have to marry whoever looks best not whoever you love.”

“That’s true.” Otabek looks like he’s contemplating questioning Yuri more, but he’s interrupted by Victor clearing his throat.

“We’re ready to leave now. I have an early morning and we’ve made the rounds with everyone who matters.”

Otabek nods and extends his elbow for Yuri to grab. They only make it a few dozen feet though before JJ is there blocking their path.

“Leaving so soon?” he asks, cocky grin in place. “I figured you’d at least stay to see if any of your bids panned out.”

“You know where I live,” Victor says flatly. “You can send them to me.”

“I’ll be sure to that. I hope you enjoyed yourselves tonight, I know I enjoyed talking with all of you.” JJ looks directly at Yuri. “And I do hope to see you again Yuri, maybe at Lilia’s.”

Yuri’s face pales and if he weren’t clinging to Otabek he’s not sure that he could have kept upright. He felt safer when JJ hadn’t placed him, like there was a layer of protection between him and whatever shady business takes place with JJ and Victor, but now that JJ has realized where he works Yuri worries that he’ll try to show up and speak with him. Otabek keeps them walking forward though, nearly knocking into JJ as they pass.

It’s not until they’re all safely inside the limo and driving back towards the city that Yuri begins to feel safe again. Otabek wraps an arm around him, pulling him close to his chest, and Yuri takes in deep calming breaths of his scent.

“Are you okay?” Otabek whispers.

Yuri nods, still unable to speak. What if JJ realizes he also works at The Castle? He could show up and Yuri would be trapped on his platform. Maybe it would be a good idea to take the assistant position after all and be away from the club for a little while.

Otabek tightens his hold on Yuri, and Yuri nuzzles more firmly into his side as he considers his options.

Chapter Text

“So pros, it would be more money, I wouldn’t have to deal with skeevy people up on me all the time, and I could actually move out of my shitty apartment. Cons, I wouldn’t get to dance anymore, and it would be longer hours than just continuing to work at The Castle. I also don’t really know what he would want me to do.”

“I think you should take it,” Phichit says, from his place stretching on the floor. “If I was an Omega and Yuuri offered me an assistant position I would jump at it. Hell, I would jump at it no matter what.”

Yuri sighs and continues to glare at his reflection. “But what if being around Yuuri more mean also being around Victor’s business more? I don’t even know what it is he does for sure. All I know is that half the people in town are afraid of his father, and by extension him.”

Phichit hums thoughtfully as he reaches for his toes. “That’s true too I guess. I can tell you what little I know about the Nikiforov’s if you want.”

Yuri joins Phichit on the floor and nods. “Yeah, maybe that will make me feel better about whatever I choose.”

“Okay, so everyone knows that the Nikiforov’s own like half the buildings in town, and then dozens more in other cities, but Mr. Nikiforov Sr. is also known in the art community for all the rare pieces he owns. I’ve also heard rumors that he deals in stolen art, and that he uses the different ports he owns as a way to move pieces from one county to another.”

“That’s not too bad I guess. I mean it’s not great, but at least he’s not like torturing people or something.”

Phichit reaches out his hands to Yuri and Yuri pulls him into a deeper stretch. “Yeah, I mean I’ve heard some whispers of drug dealings too, but I don’t know enough to says for sure, and with how much Victor cracks down on anyone dealing in the neighborhood I can’t see how those rumors would work out.”

“Maybe if I tell Yuuri that I just want to be there for him when Victor’s not around he would go for it. I mean he does want me so that Victor will feel better about leaving him alone.”

“Maybe, you’ll never know if you don’t ask.”

Yuri sighs, releasing Phichit’s hands and lying back on the floor to study the ceiling. “How much longer do you think I can keep him waiting?”

“It’s been almost thirty minutes since you got here, so I wouldn’t put it off for too much longer.” Phichit stands and turns to rifle through his locker. He pulls out a water bottle and small zipped baggie.

“Since when do you do that shit?” Yuri questions, his eyes on the small yellow pills.

“It’s not like that,” Phichit says defensively. “They’re just to help with energy. I’ve been exhausted lately and they just keep me awake. I swear, I wouldn’t take anything stupid.”

Yuri eyes Phichit’s throat as he swallows one of the pills and his heart feels uneasy. “We always said we would tell each other if we’re being stupid,” Yuri says slowly.

“Well you’re being stupid Yuri, go talk to Yuuri. You know that assistant job would be a great thing.”

“That’s not what I’m talking about and you know it.”

Phichit sighs and kneels down to put his face near Yuri’s. “They’re just for energy Yuri, now I better get out there, not all of us have great offers from the boss.”

Yuri looks hard into Phichit’s already blown pupils and frowns. “If I find out they’re more than that I’m gonna kick your ass.”

Phichit wraps his arms tightly around Yuri before finally standing and exiting the room.

Yuri spends serval minutes mulling over the pills he just saw before he even starts to think about this decision to work with Yuuri. When he’s gone back and forth a dozen times he finally shoves himself off of the floor and in the direction of Yuuri’s office.

Yuuri’s door is already open and he smiles when Yuri enters. “Hey Yurio, are you ready to talk over the details of the assistant position?”

“Yeah, I haven’t completely made up my mind yet, so that would probably help.”

Yuuri nods and slides a typed up piece of paper to Yuri, keeping a copy for himself. “So to start I mostly would just need you while I’m here in the evenings, and maybe a few days a week while I’m running errands. I like to do all of my own bookkeeping, but getting out into the club area is getting more difficult, so it would be nice if you could talk to the barkeepers and find out what needs ordered each week. I might also start teaching you some of the bookkeeping if you think you’re up to it. As I get further along I won’t be able to do as much and I’d like to know that someone knows how things run.”

Yuri nods his head the whole time Yuuri speaks, growing slightly more nervous with each added task. “I really though you would just want me to hang around to help with the morning sickness. I don’t know how well I’d do when it comes to the math and everything.”

“It’s really simple,” Yuuri assures. “All you would really need to know is what column to input each number into and the computer will do the rest. Let’s talk pay real quick. How much do you make in tips each night?”

“Um- if it’s a great night maybe a hundred, on an average night like sixty or seventy.”

Yuuri nods and taps at his chin in thought. “Okay, so lets just say two hundred a day for any day that I need you, and if it ends up being all day and not just at night or for errands then we’ll bump that day to four hundred.”

Yuri’s whole body feels numb almost instantly, there’s no way Yuuri can really think he’s worth that much money. He’s used to making less three hundred a week from The Castle, and now Yuuri’s offering more than that for just two days worth of work.

“Is that not enough?” Yuuri asks when Yuri remains silent. “There’s some room for negotiation.”

“No, that’s great,” Yuri says quickly. “I just- I don’t know if I’m really worth that much money. If I’m here four nights that’s already eight hundred dollars.”

Yuuri smiles, but it doesn’t quite reach his eyes, leaving him with a slightly sad look. “You’re worth that Yuri. You’re not just going to be here to help with my pregnancy, you’ll also be learning more about how everything runs so that if I have to step back at all you can keep things running. And don’t worry about not knowing enough, I’ll teach you a little bit at a time, and I’ll even pay you more if you ever have to start handling things on your own.”

Yuri can’t help burying his face in his hands. “I don’t know Yuuri, this is all so much more than I thought it would be.”

“Oh… okay. I guess I can look into hiring someone else.”

Yuuri looks absolutely crushed at the prospect of finding someone else to work as his assistant, and something inside Yuri clinches at the sight.

“I guess we could try,” Yuri says slowly. “For a few weeks at least.”

“Please don’t feel pressured just because I’m your boss. Your job as a dancer isn’t in jeopardy at all if you choose to keep dancing. I know I’m asking a lot of you, but I really feel like this is something you could excel at.”

“Since there’s so much time before the babies are due why don’t we just start small. You can just teach me a little and we’ll see if I’m any good at it. I don’t want to waste your time or anything.”

“Okay,” Yuuri says cheerfully. “That sounds great. Thanks for giving this a chance.”

Yuri nods and tries to let go of the anxiety building in his stomach. He’s never been an assistant to anyone before, and while he’s helped Lilia a little with some things, it was never to the extent that Yuuri was implying, so it’s safe to say that this trial run will be a very new experience.

 

 

 

 

 

Three weeks later

 

“He’s trying to kill me,” Yuri groans, throwing himself down on his futon dramatically. “I swear, if I wanted my brain to hurt this bad I would have gone back to school.”

“You’re the one who said you would stay on after the first two weeks,” Otabek says with a laugh.

“That was because I got the first check and it clouded my judgment. I’ve never had so much cash at once.”

“Tell Yuuri you changed your mind then. Are you sure you don’t want any of this pizza?” Otabek asks, dangling a piece in front of Yuri.

“I’m not dancing anymore, if I start eating like shit I’ll get fat.”

“I think you could benefit from a few extra pounds.”

Yuri kicks Otabek’s leg before sitting up on the futon. “Shut up, not all of us are built like a freaking statue.”

“You don’t know what I look like under here,” Otabek teases, tugging the hem of his t-shirt. “I could be all rolls.”

“Oh bite me. I’ve felt your abs when we were on the bike together.”

“Oh yeah? Did you want a look just to make sure?”

Yuri’s cheeks heat with color and he shakes his head. “No, because that’s weird and not something a friend would want.”

Otabek laughs and leans forward to ruffle Yuri’s hair. “Whatever you say kitten.”

These last few weeks Yuri really feels like he’s gotten to know Otabek. He’s learned that all the family he has is still in Kazakhstan, although he didn’t specify how much family he has. He also learned that Otabek does a lot of odd jobs for Victor, anything from tracking down people who start causing trouble, to looking into people already involved in Victor’s organization. He doesn’t share much with Yuri, but Yuri’s grateful for any scrap of information he’s given.

“My grandfather called and asked if I was involved in something I shouldn’t be”

Otabek’s eyebrows go up at this. “What did you tell him?”

“The truth of course,” Yuri scoffs. “That I was given a promotion and that I’ll be able to send more money from now on. He wasn’t very happy about it though, he worries that I try to take care of him too much and neglect myself.”

“Well he’s not completely wrong. I mean you could at least buy a new coat, I know you have the money for it now.”

“I’ll get one the next time I get paid,” Yuri says with an eye roll. “Plus, I wanted to ask you about all of your leather jackets. Would you show me where I could get one?”

“They’re not the warmest, so I wouldn’t actually recommend them for winter.”

“Why the hell do you have so many then?” Yuri shouts.

“I like them and they’re easy to clean,” Otabek says calmly. “They do make some with added layers of insulation, although they tend to be a little bit more expensive.”

“Well damn,” Yuri pouts. “I really don’t want to spend too much money right now. I want to be able to save up to get my car fixed and for a nicer place, I’m tired of living in this shit hole.”

“Maybe you could get a unit in my building.”

“Would you actually let me know which apartment building was yours then?” Yuri questions. “Because you’ve been very secretive about where you live.”

“I just wanted to get to know you a little better first, that’s all.”

Yuri scoffs. “Yeah, because I’m such a threat to you.”

“I don’t know kitten, you’re pretty feisty.”

Yuri laughs and pushes Otabek with his foot again. “You really don’t mind hanging out here though? I know I don’t have a TV or anything.”

“You have plenty of books though,” Otabek holds up a beaten up copy of some cheesy romance novel Yuri picked up at the thrift store.

“Oh my god, don’t read that,” Yuri shrieks, lunging for the book. “That’s just full of stupid stereotypes and clichés about omegas falling all over themselves to win over some stupid alpha.”

“And how would you know that?” Otabek teases, holding the book just out of Yuri’s reach. “Unless you’ve already read it.”

“I have limited entertainment,” Yuri defends, using both hands to pull Otabek’s arm back down. Otabek clearly gives in, allowing Yuri to pry the book from his hand and fling it across the room.

“Well now what am I supposed to do for entertainment?” Otabek asks, drawing Yuri closer by the hips.

Yuri stills from his place atop Otabek’s thighs. He didn’t realize just how close they had gotten, or how hard his heart was pounding from being pressed together. They’ve only kissed a few times in the last couple of weeks, and it’s never lead to anything more. Yuri’s held very firm in his belief that he can keep this as strictly a friendship with the occasional make out session, and Otabek hasn’t pushed for anything else.

“I don’t know, but I’m sure we can find something to do other than reading.”

Otabek’s eyes linger on Yuri’s lips and he slides a hand up the back of Yuri’s shirt to pull him closer. “Do you wanna kiss me kitten?”

Yuri can’t hold back the small gasp that leaves him when Otabek’s nails slide lightly down his back, and his eyes shoot up to Otabek’s from where they had fell on his lips.

“I um- I,” Yuri stutters when Otabek’s lips ghost across his.

“You what kitten?” Otabek rumbles.

“I wanna kiss you,” Yuri pleads, leaning forward to capture Otabek’s lips.

Otabek parts his lips, allowing Yuri to slip his tongue inside and explore the depths of his mouth. Yuri moans into the kiss as Otabek wraps a hand in his hair and pulls to angle his head just slightly.

“Fuck,” Yuri whispers against Otabek’s lips.

Otabek grins and nips at Yuri’s bottom lip. “That’s not what friends do kitten.”

“Shut up,” Yuri moans, rocking down into Otabek’s lap, and tangling his hands in Otabek’s dark hair. “Just shut up and kiss me.”

Otabek lets out a low growl and stands to throw Yuri down on his back, bracing himself above Yuri’s smaller frame. “You’re such a brat.”

“I am not,” Yuri snaps, pushing against Otabek’s chest before drawing him close by his shirt and sealing their lips together once again.

Otabek grabs Yuri’s wrists and forces them above his head. “Okay, you’re not a brat, but you sure as hell aren’t polite.”

“What, do you want me to bend over and beg like a good little omega?” Yuri growls, grinding his hips up into Otabek’s.

A playful rumble leaves Otabek’s throat and he shakes his head. “Never, I want you just like this, attitude and all.”

Yuri’s breath catches in his throat and he rock up harder into Otabek, tugging a hand free to pull the alpha down by his hair and bite at his lip. Otabek’s growls grow louder, and when Yuri bites hard enough to draw blood they both gasp into the kiss, rocking harder against each other as their tongues twirl together.

“I wanna mark up your pretty neck up,” Otabek moans between wet kisses, and Yuri suddenly goes lax in his grip, no longer kissing back.

“That sounds like something an alpha would say,” Yuri whispers.

“Well I am an alpha, kitten.”

Yuri glares and shakes his head as the arousal he was just feeling slowly sizzles away. “But not mine, you promised we would just be friends.”

Otabek sags against Yuri and releases his hands before sitting up and rubbing at his face. “Fuck, I know Yuri. You don’t have to keep reminding me. Maybe we shouldn’t be around each other so much if things are starting to feel… complicated.”

Yuri rubs at the center of his chest when a strange ache developes at the thought of seeing Otabek less. “No, I don’t want that. I just- I don’t know don’t know what I want, okay? I want to keep hanging out with you, and I want to be able to kiss you, but I don’t want you to act like you own me, or like I’m less than you because I’m an omega.”

“Have I ever treated you like you’re less than me, or like I think I own you?” Otabek demands, and Yuri shakes his head. “Then why would I suddenly start? Nothing has changed, right?”

Yuri chews on his bottom lip and nods his head. Otabek’s right, he’s been extremely respectful of every line Yuri’s set, and he’s never tried to push him past them, letting Yuri decide when and if to push any of the boundaries.

“Yeah, you’re right,” Yuri says quietly. “I guess I just freaked myself out.”

“It’s okay,” Otabek reaches a hand out to help Yuri back into a seated position. “I shouldn’t have said what I did. You’re right, it’s not something a friend should want. Would you like to read or something now?”

“You can read, I need to go over some of the paperwork Yuuri sent me home with. I’m supposed to practice making it all balance.”

Otabek nods to a stack of books on Yuri’s small coffee table. “What am I allowed to read?”

Yuri rolls his eyes. “You can read anything.”

Otabek grins and stands to retrieve the book that Yuri threw earlier. As he settles back onto the futon Yuri glares and shoves at his thigh with his foot.

“You’re an ass.”

“And you said anything,” Otabek says triumphantly.

Yuri reaches for the documents that Yuuri printed for him, and Otabek begins to read allowed from the book, a slow smile tugging at his lips when Yuri looks up with glare.

They spend the rest of the evening that way, with Yuri working over the pages he was given, and Otabek’s warm voice filling the silence with a tale of a young omega swept away from their terribly lonely life by a daring and beautiful alpha.

Chapter Text

“Yuri, table six is still waiting on their check, and tables four and seven both need more water.”

“Good thing you know where the fucking water pitchers are then,” Yuri snaps, grabbing his orders from the warming window, and turning a deadly glare on the omega in his path.

“But I’m the host,” Georgi cries, as if serving a costumer water is somehow beneath him.

“And yet you have time to be in here, in my way. Fucking, move,” Yuri nearly shouts, knocking Georgi aside and hurrying through the double doors and to the main dining room.

Today day has been hell for Yuri, one thing after another had gone wrong until it all bubbled over with the dinner rush. Yuri’s covering almost twice as many tables as normal, thanks to some new girl calling in sick at the last minute, leaving them unable to find a replacement. Mila is away on vacation with her now official girlfriend Sara, and so Yuri has no choice but to deal with Georgi for the next four days.

He tries to plaster on a fake smile as he tends to his tables, and he only has to bite his tongue once when some douchebag blames him for his steak being overdone, despite having ordered it medium well.

The night is almost over, and Yuri can see the end in sight right before he turns around and walk directly into a customer, spilling cold soup down the front of his apron and slacks. He bites his lip to hold back his initial instinct to scream at the poor person just trying to get back to their table, but when he looks up and sees who he’s slammed into he almost reconsiders.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Yuri whisper yells, making sure not to gain the attention of Lilia. It’s rare that she’s out on the floor working, but with how chaotic the day has been it was necessary.

“Oh wow, looks like you’ve made a mess. Let me help you with that.” JJ grabs a cloth napkin off a nearby table and Yuri snatches it from his hands.

“I’ve got it. I have to go change now anyway.”

Yuri leaves the spilled bowl and dirty napkin on a table that still needed to be bused, and then makes his way to the back room. He throws his dirty apron in the pile to be washed and starts looking for a new one. Luckily his shirt is still clean, and while his pants need to be wiped off they’ll be okay for the last thirty minutes of his shift. Yuri finally finds an apron and hurries to tie it as he leave the back room.

Fate seems to have abandoned him tonight though because the first thing he sees as leaves the room is JJ propped against the opposite wall. Yuri keeps his head down and tries to keep walking, but JJ blocks his path.

“I just wanted to apologize. I was rude before, and I should have apologized as soon as I crashed into you,” JJ sounds sincere, but Yuri really doesn’t have time to talk.

“It's whatever, I have tables to take care of.” JJ blocks his path once again when Yuri tries to weave around him, and it only causes Yuri’s anger to flare. “What the fuck is your problem?” Yuri yells. “Can you not see that I’m busy.”

“Calm down,” JJ snaps back, a low growl to his voice.

Yuri feels his anger instantly leave him, and he’s left with a familiar buzzing in the back of his skull. JJ barely changed his tone though, so for him to be able to affect Yuri in such a way is startling.

“Did you just give me a command?” Yuri asks slowly. He knows he should be angry, and he definitely is, but with the order to calm down he can’t seem to summon the energy he needs.

“I just wanted to talk to you,” JJ tries to defend. “And you were being unreasonable.”

“I’m at work, I don’t have time to stop what I’m doing and talk, and even if I did I wouldn’t be talking to you.”

JJ’s lips draw down in a pout. “Come on, just give me a chance. Let me take you out and prove to you that I’m a good guy.”

“You’re married,” Yuri shrieks, looking back down the hall to make sure no one is listening. “Are you also brain damaged?”

“It’s a complicated situation. Please, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you.”

Yuri can tell JJ isn’t going to let him pass anytime soon, so he takes a step backwards instead and then tries a different tactic. “You don’t even know anything about me, because if you did you would know that I’m already taken.”

JJ lets out a scoff and rolls his eyes. “You think that thug you were with at the auction is better than I am? He hasn’t even marked you as his.”

Yuri resists the urge to touch the area where his neck and shoulder meet, and instead holds his head high. “I never said I was with an alpha.”

JJ looks taken back by Yuri’s claim that he’s could be anyone other than alpha, and his eyes harden. “I don’t believe you.”

“And I don’t really give a shit what you believe, so get out of my way and let me go back to work.”

JJ must be able to tell that Yuri isn’t going to change his mind anytime soon because he finally steps aside and allows Yuri to pass. But just as Yuri thinks their interaction is over JJ snags his arm and pulls him to a stop.

“I could take such good care of you. You would never have to work another day in your life. Just promise me you’ll consider it.”

Yuri bites his tongue and jerks his arm out of JJ’s grasp to continue walking. He won’t dignify that stupid comment with a response. What did JJ think would happen? That Yuri would jump at the chance to be his dirty secret? Because at the end of the day JJ is still married, and Yuri would never settle for being someone’s side piece.

 

Yuri’s tables are in chaos when he arrives, and he ends up working for almost an hour later than he was scheduled. The only small blessing of the night is that JJ never makes another appearance, and while Yuri can’t help wondering where he went, he’s too thankful to question it as he gathers his things to leave.

The air is cold as Yuri steps out of the restaurant to begin his journey home. Winter is trying to come early, and while Yuri finally bought a warm winter coat it was so nice out when he left for work that he didn’t think to bring it. The wind cuts through the thin jacket he’s wearing as if it’s nothing, and Yuri’s teeth begin to chatter after only a few minuets. He’s almost saved enough to have his car towed to a shop and repaired, and he hopes to have it in working order before winter fully hits, and his journeys home become snow covered.

Otabek has been remarkably accommodating with giving Yuri rides these last few weeks, but Victor has kept him busy this week with an “assignment” that Otabek wasn’t allowed to talk about.

Yuri resents Victor even more than normal as he balls his fist in the ends of his jacket to try and keep his hands warm while the wind rustles through his hair.

He’s only made it a few blocks when an unfamiliar car pulls up beside him. He doesn’t think anything of it at first, but as the car continues to creep along next to him Yuri’s suspicion starts to raise. He almost takes off running as the car comes to a complete stop, but a voice calling his name causes him to pause.

“Yuri, is that you?”

Yuri turns and then lets out a scoff when he sees just who was shouting for him. “Do you ever take a hint?”

JJ smiles and leans out the rolled down back window. “Let me give you a ride home.”

Yuri shakes his head. “You can’t be serious.”

“I am, if you don’t want to talk to me again after I’ll understand, but at least give me a chance.”

Yuri weighs the pros and cons of allowing JJ-or rather JJ’s driver-to drive him home. On the one hand JJ will know where he lives, but on the other he’s planning on moving soon, and if he has to walk the whole next mile there's a good chance he just might freeze.

“Fine, but you better keep your word.”

JJ smiles so wide it takes over his face and lights up his eyes. “I will, I swear.”

JJ opens the back door and then slides over to allow Yuri room. There’s a partition between the front and backseat and with a nod to the driver it goes up.

“You must be freezing, here.” JJ quickly removes his coat and drapes it around Yuri’s smaller frame.

The scent of the alpha clinging to the coat is so strong that Yuri’s nose wrinkles from it, and he has to hold back a gag. Where Otabek’s scent is warm and calming, JJ’s is almost overwhelming sweet and sticky, and Yuri feels like he can almost taste it in the back of his throat. He wants to hand to coat back, but his body is still shaking from the cold, and even with the offending scent the warmth wins out.

“So, you don’t even drive yourself,” Yuri states with a huff, looking around the small backseat.

“I’m a busy man, I don’t always have the time to drive to and from someplace.”

“But you had the time to come harass me at work.”

JJ frowns and shakes his head. “I had a dinner meeting and you just so happened to be working, although I can’t say that I wasn’t happy about it.”

“You’re married,” Yuri says with a glare, "and even if you don’t love each other you’ve still made a commitment. I would never be willing to be someone’s dirty secret.”

“What if you didn’t have to be?” JJ says with a a grin, scooting closer to Yuri until their knees align. “Bella’s only a beta, you could still be my omega.” JJ reaches a hand out to trail down the side of Yuri’s face, and then lightly brushes Yuri’s hair aside.

“This isn’t the 40’s,” Yuri snaps harshly, brushing JJ’s hand aside. “You can’t just marry a beta and keep an omega on the side. Either you want to be with your wife or you don’t, and if you don’t actually love her you never should have married her.”

“Things are so much more complicated than you understand.” JJ says coldly.

“Well I understand enough to know that I don’t want any part of this. Just take me home already, I’m done arguing about this.”

JJ frowns and leans forward to knock on the partition, with a nod to Yuri the omega rattles off his address. The partition raises once again, and Yuri and JJ are left in an awkward silence for a several moments.

“Can I ask you something?” Yuri sighs deeply and inclines his head. “If I wasn’t married and I asked you out, would you say yes then?”

Yuri studies JJ’s face as he thinks over his answer. JJ is handsome, there’s no denying that, but weighed against all the other things Yuri knows, it’s just not enough.

“No, I’ve seen the way you treat every omega you meet, like we’re just tools to give you what you want. You don’t actually care about making a connection you just want an alpha child.”

JJ’s jaw goes slack and he shakes his head. “That’s not true, I-”

“It is true,” Yuri interrupts, “I’ve worked at The Castle for years, and I’ve seen you go after a dozen different omegas a night. You think we’re just prizes to be won.”

“You’re a dancer,” JJ says suddenly.

“Yeah, and you didn’t even remember me, even though you’ve hit on me countless times.”

“I’m sorry Yuri, I didn’t recognize you outside of the context of the club.”

“It’s whatever, just keep your word. I don’t want to see you after this.” Yuri’s eyes are hard and the scent of JJ’s desperation is starting to fill the small space.

“Please Yuri, I know this situation isn’t ideal, but just give me a chance to get to know you. I have the means to take care of you, you wouldn’t have to work at that shitty club anymore, or at Lilia’s. You could live a life of luxury, anything you could want I would provide.” JJ leans forward to take Yuri’s hands but Yuri pulls them back to push against the alphas chests.

“Don’t touch me,” Yuri snaps. “You don’t know anything about what I would want. I’m not some pet to be kept and pampered. I’ve earned everything I have, and I don’t need an alpha to make my life better.”

Yuri looks out the window as the car rolls to a stop, and he’s relieved to see they’ve stopped outside his apartment building. Without looking back at JJ he flings open the door and hurries out. JJ continues to call his name, but Yuri ignores him in favor of rushing into his building and hurrying up the stairs. He doesn’t look back, and he makes sure to lock every lock on his apartment door after he enters.

When he tries to discreetly look out the window he can see JJ’s car still parked at the curb and his heart starts to race. There’s no way JJ would know which apartment was his, and its crazy to think he would try to find him. Yuri stays perched against the windowsill watching JJ’s car for several minutes before it finally pulls away.

It’s not until Yuri lets out a deep breath in relief that he notices JJ scent surrounding him. He turns quickly, expecting to see JJ standing behind him, but once he sees he’s still safely alone he remembers the coat. Yuri swiftly removes the offending article, holding it at arms length and looking around his small space. He can’t call JJ and have him pick it up, but he doesn’t want to keep it in his apartment. He settles for retrieving a trash bag from under the sink and shoving the coat inside to deal with later.

As he’s contorting the coat to fit within the confines of the bag an orange prescription bottle falls out of one of the pockets. It doesn’t appear to have any identification on the outside of it, so Yuri pops off the lid to peer inside.

Inside the bottle are dozens and dozens of small yellow pills that instantly remind Yuri of the pills he saw Phichit with, and he pores out a handful for closer inspection. They don’t appear to have any identification numbers, only the small outline of a leaf on one side. Yuri snaps a picture with his phone and sends it off to Otabek with the question, “Any idea wtf these are???”

It’s nearing midnight, so Yuri pores the pills back into the bottle and sets it aside before tying the trash bag and shoving it in one of the bottom kitchen cabinets. He can still smell JJ’s scent clinging to his skin, so he hops in the shower for a quick rinse. The colder it gets outside the colder the water from his shower, so he tries to wash as effectively and quickly as possible. When he can no longer smell JJ he turns the water off and reaches for a towel.

As he renters the main room he sees his phone buzzing on the coffee table. He doesn’t reach it in time, but he does see Otabek’s name flash across the screen before going dark again. He’s about to call him back when his phone begins to vibrate in his hands.

“Do you know what time it is?” Yuri demands.

“Where are you?” Otabek asks, without taking the time to answer Yuri.

“I’m at home. What’s your problem? Why do you sound like you’ve been running?”

“Where did you get those pills, Yuri?”

Yuri looks to his kitchen cabinet where the pills are innocently sitting. “What are they?”

“Damnit Yuri, I don’t have time to play games with you. Where did you get them?” Otabek sounds the angriest he’s ever been with Yuri, and something dark and rebellious coils inside the omegas stomach.

“No. You don’t get to boss me around. You’re not my fucking alpha. You either talk to me like you always do or not at all.”

Yuri listens as Otabek’s breathing calms and he lets out a loud sigh. “I’m sorry. Can you please tell me where those came from?”

“Can you tell me what they are?” Yuri counters.

“We’re not sure yet. They’re some sort of party drug, but we don’t know where they’re coming from, and from the looks of it you have several thousand dollars worth in your possession.

Yuri’s blood runs cold and he hurries to the window to see if JJ has returned for his missing coat and drugs.

"I found them in a coat,” Yuri says cryptically.

“Whose coat? Did you work with Yuuri tonight?”

Yuri shakes his head and feels the curtains brush his hair before he realizes Otabek can’t see him. “No, I worked at Lilia’s tonight. What do I do with them? Should I try and give them back?”

“No,” Otabek says quickly. “We still need to figure out who’s making them and what’s in them. I’ll come and get them.”

Yuri sits on the edge of his futon and shakes his head. “He knows I have them. If you take them won’t he just come looking?”

“Who did you get them from?”

Yuri chews the inside of his bottom lip and his stomach starts to churn. There’s no reason he should be afraid to tell Otabek who gave him a ride home, but something inside him is still nervous.

“Kitten?” Otabek calls after several seconds of silence.

“I’m here,” Yuri says quietly. “It was JJ, he gave me a ride home and I accidentally took his coat.”

“Leroy?” Otabek asks, disbelief coloring his tone.

“Yeah, it was cold out and he offered me a ride. I don’t think he meant for me to find the pills though, I just bolted from the car so fast that I forgot to give him his coat back.” Otabek’s silent for several seconds and Yuri’s nerves feel close to fried as he waits.

“I need to talk to someone. Can you stay there and I’ll call you right back?”

Yuri looks around his small apartment and shrugs. “I have nowhere else to go. I was going to go to sleep.”

“Would you stay up for just a few more minutes?”

Yuri sighs dramatically, but makes an affirmative noise. “Don’t take too long. I have to go with Yuuri to run errands in the morning.”

“I’ll hurry, thanks, kitten.”

Otabek disconnects the call and Yuri finally puts on some clothes, nothing too fancy, just sweats and a worn-out hoodie. As the cold has started to settle into the city it’s also settled into Yuri's building, causing his apartment to take on an almost constant chill. Yuri thumbs through an old book he’s read a dozen times as he waits for Otabek to call back, and he’s just started to doze off when his phone starts to vibrate in his lap.

“Hello?” Yuri slurs with a heavy tongue.

“Can you pack a bag? I’m coming to get you.”

Yuri pulls his phone away from his ear to glare at the time before responding. “It’s one in the morning.”

“I know, but we agreed it would be safer for you to stay some where else tonight.” Otabek sounds tired, and Yuri’s exhausted brain is struggling to keep up.

“We who?”

“Victor and I, we both think it would be best if you weren’t at your apartment if JJ tries to retrieve his merchandise.”

“You think he’ll come back?” Yuri is suddenly much more awake.

“We don’t know, but I’d rather not gamble with you.” Otabek’s voice is deep and slow, and Yuri feels a strange warmth spread through him.

“Where am I going?”

“You can pick. If you want you can stay with Victor and Yuuri. They have several guest rooms and amazing security, or you can stay at my place. The security isn’t as tight, but I would be there the whole time, and I promise I would never let anything happen to you.”

Yuri doesn’t even have to think about the choice, the second Otabek became an option Yuri knew what he wanted. “I’ll go with you.”

The smile in Otabek’s voice is obvious when he speaks again, and Yuri’s stomach flips when he hears it. “Okay kitten, I’ll be there in just a few minutes. Don’t forget to pack.”

Yuri’s heart beats hard as he readies a bag, and he’s not sure if it’s nerves from having several thousand dollars of illegal drugs in his possession, or nerves due to the prospect of spending the night at Otabek’s place.

He shoves the bottle of yellow pills near the bottom of his bag, leaving the coat still safely locked away under this cabinet. He barely remembers to grab his bottle of suppressants, unused to spending any time away from his apartment. As he pulls on his shoes Otabek texts to let him know he’s arrived, and Yuri hurries down out of his apartment, making sure to double check his locks along the way.

When Yuri steps outside to see an all black sports car waiting at the curb and his steps falter. He had no idea Otabek could afford something so extravagant, and he finds himself wondering yet again just what Otabek does.

The passenger window is rolled down and Otabek calls to Yuri through it. “Come on kitten, it’s cold out.”

Yuri suddenly starts to move again, hurrying to the car and then climbing inside slowly, afraid to harm any of the dark interior. The inside is all leather, and it’s soaked in Otabek’s scent. Yuri closes his eyes and inhales several deep breaths as the car begins to move. He didn’t realize just how much he missed being around Otabek in the last week until he had him in front of him again.

“Are you okay, kitten?” Otabek reaches a hand out to rub at Yuri’s knee, and Yuri pries his eyes open and cups Otabek’s hand in his own.

“I’m okay, just tired… and a little nervous.”

“What are you nervous for?”

“Because I accidentally stole several thousand dollars worth of drugs from a member of a very prominent family.”

Otabek lets out a short laugh, but it sounds slightly hollow. “It’ll be okay, I’ll talk with Victor more in the morning and we’ll figure out what to do.”

Yuri nods and watches as the building they pass get taller and less run down. “I’m finally going to see where you live.”

“Yes you are," Otabek says with an easy smile. "Now maybe you’ll decided to finally leave that hole in the wall.”

“Hey,” Yuri cries, “that hole in the wall has been a great place for the last three years.”

“Whatever you say, kitten. You’re the one who always complains of no hot water, and walls so thin you can hear your neighbors fucking.”

“Shut up,” Yuri teases, his voice lacking any heat as they pull into the underground parking garage. “This is already nicer than my place.”

Otabek hides a smile as he climbs out of his car, taking Yuri bag with him. Yuri quickly follows, and they make their way to a set of elevators. The ride up is fairly fast, but Yuri pauses as they step out into the hallway.

“You coming?” Otabek calls.

“This hallway is fucking creepy.”

Otabek turns to look down both sides and his eyebrows scrunch together in confusion. “How is it creepy? It’s just a hallway.”

“There’s only like six doors.” Yuri says, motioning to the three in front on them and the three behind them.

“Well, there’s only six apartments on this floor.”

Yuri’s jaw drops. “You’re kidding.”

“Nope.”

Yuri follows Otabek to the correct door and waits as he unlocks it. He’s not sure what to expect from Otabek’s apartment, probably something extremely modern, with lots of metal and high ceilings, and of course black like Otabek’s wardrobe. Otabek doesn’t turn on the lights right away though, so Yuri is several steps into the living room before he can even see his surroundings.

“Holy shit,” Yuri whispers, as the room suddenly fills with light. The only thing he had right was the high ceilings, nothing else about the space is anything like he’s imagined. The walls are almost entirely made of brick, and the wooden beams along the ceiling are exposed, making the ceiling appear even higher. The only black he can find is in a few of the accent pieces, even the large L shaped couch is a crisp white.

“Who are you?” Yuri asks, as he walks around the large room towards the equally large kitchen.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean this place is crazy. I knew you made good money doing… whatever it is that you do, but this is nuts. You think I could afford a place in this building?”

“Well not on this floor,” Otabek says with a smile, “but all the floors below this one are set up like regular apartments, and this isn’t even the nicest room in the building. You should see the penthouse, it takes up the whole top floor.”

Yuri pulls out a bar-stool and looks around the fully equipped kitchen. “Do you cook?”

Otabek laughs and walks around the island to face Yuri. “I’ve lived on my own since I was eighteen, if I didn’t learn how to cook I would have starved.”

“Well duh, but I mean you have a freaking pasta maker and a mixer nicer than the one at Lilia’s.”

A cocky smiles comes to Otabek’s lips and he shrugs. “Okay, I can cook. It helps me unwind, and just because I live alone doesn’t mean I shouldn’t know how to prepare a nice meal.”

“So all this time you’ve known how to cook and we’ve been eating pizza and Chinese takeout. What else have you been hiding from me.”

Otabek laughs at Yuri’s accusatory tone. “Let’s see, I also have a shower with hot water.”

Yuri lets out a scandalized gasp and clutches his chests before dissolving into a fit of giggles. “I’m so tired, where am I sleeping?”

“Where ever you want. The couch is pretty comfortable, or there’s the office, it has a pull out bed in it, or if you want you can just sleep in my bed.”

Yuri doesn’t miss how causally Otabek offers up his own bed, and his heart clinches in his chest. “If I sleep in your bed, where will you sleep?”

“In one of the other places I offered.”

Yuri chews his bottom lip while he debates where to sleep. Otabek’s bed sounds the most appealing, but he can’t just kick him out of his own room. “We could both sleep in your bed.”

Otabek’s nostrils flair and he nods his head slowly. “Yeah, that would be fine too.”

Otabek leads Yuri down a short hallway, past a bathroom, and the office he mentioned earlier, and into a large master bedroom. The ceilings are the same as the living room, with large exposed beams, and there’s a soft grey rug covering the hardwood floors surrounding the bed.

“Did you decorate everything yourself?” Yuri asks, as he eyes the artwork hanging above the bed. It’s abstract with mostly shades of grey and black, but it’s almost calming to look at.

For the first time ever Yuri watches as Otabek’s cheeks take on a light blush and he shakes his head. “I actually hired a designer, I did help though, I didn’t just give him complete control.”

Yuri laughs and sits down on the edge of the bed. “You don’t have to be so embarrassed. I’m not going to make fun of you for having help with something.”

Otabek nods and runs a hand through his hair. “Yeah I know, I just haven’t had anyone over since I’ve moved in.”

“But you’ve been here for a while now,” Yuri says in confusion. “No one’s visited you in that time?”

“My family’s still in Almaty, and when I’m not working I tend to be at your place.”

Now it’s Yuri’s turn to blush and he tugs at the neck of his hoodie. Where his apartment was cold and drafty, Otabek’s is almost overwhelmingly warm.

“I should have brought different clothes to sleep in, I didn’t think about your place actually having heat.”

“I know my sleep pants won’t fit you, but I’m sure I can find a shirt or something if you want.”

Yuri nods and watches as Otabek goes to his dresser and returns with a large black t-shirt. He strips down in front of Otabek, uncaring as the alpha turns his back to retrieve his own sleep clothes. Yuri pulls back the covers and climbs into the bed in just his boxers and Otabek’s shirt. When he looks up he catches a glimpse of Otabek’s back just before it’s covered in a shirt, and his stomach drops. He tries to act unaffected as Otabek slides into bed beside him and turns off the lights, but his mind keeps flashing to the maze of scars he saw.

“Goodnight, kitten.”

“Goodnight,” Yuri whispers, unable to find his voice.

Otabek rolls onto his side to face him and his voice comes out soft and concerned. “What’s wrong, kitten?”

“I don’t want you to lie to me,” Yuri says sadly.

Otabek’s face smooths and he reaches a hand out for Yuri’s. “I don’t want to either. What’s on your mind?”

“What happened to your back?”

Otabek swallows as he shifts slightly closer to Yuri. “They’re from a long time ago. They don’t hurt anymore, I promise.”

Yuri reaches his free hand up and then sets it back down between them. “Can I see them?”

After a moment of hesitation Otabek nods and sits up to remove his t-shirt before laying back down on his stomach. It’s dark in the bedroom, so the only light Yuri has is streaming through the gaps in the blinds. He can’t make out every scar crisscrossing Otabek’s skin, but he can see enough to know they didn’t happen all at once. Some look more faded than others, and a few seem to be in starbursts patterns. Yuri’s hands ache with the need to touch, to see if they’re all as healed as Otabek said.

“You can touch them,” Otabek says, almost reading Yuri’s mind. “If you want that is.”

Yuri shuffles closer on his knees, Otabek’s borrowed shirt brushing his thighs, and then he lightly brings a hand up to trail along the side of Otabek’s back. He can feel every scar as his hand slide down and then back up. He tries to count each one, to try and understand just what Otabek went though, but they blend into one another too often for Yuri to keep track.

“Will you tell me how you go them?” he asks quietly.

Otabek hums in thought and rubs the side of his face into his pillow. “Maybe someday.”

Yuri’s heart drops at Otabek’s words, but with how gruesome some of the scars feel he’s not willing to push Otabek to talk about them. He trails his finger tips around a starbursts scar near the top of Otabek’s shoulder blade and then leans forward to place a light kiss to center.

“I’m sorry all these happened to you,” Yuri says quietly, laying his head to Otabek’s shoulder.

“It’s okay, kitten. I’m stronger now because of them.” Otabek sounds strong and unaffected, but Yuri's heart still brakes for him.

Yuri rubs his face into Otabek’s shoulder and shakes his head. “No one should have to go through that.”

Yuri can feel tears stinging at his eyes and his breath starts coming in short gasps that he can’t seem to control. Otabek lightly shift Yuri off of him, and then turns to take the smaller man into his arms.

“Don’t cry for me, kitten,” Otabek says, his hands rubbing soothing circles into Yuri’s back as tears silently fall down the omegas face. “I’m all better now.”

Yuri clings to Otabek’s chest and tries rein in his emotions. He doesn’t understand why seeing Otabek’s scars has affected him as much as it has. Maybe it’s a combination of all the stress of the day, or maybe it's the fact that JJ used a command on him and then had the audacity to try and hit on him, finally catching up to him. But whatever the reasons for his tears may be, he can't stop imagining all the pain Otabek must have endured for each scar.

“I’m sorry,” Yuri croaks out, still sniffling.

“Don’t be, everything’s okay now.” Otabek lets out a quiet rumble to try and sooth Yuri, and Yuri nuzzles into his neck to take in more of his scent. “Try to go to sleep now, kitten, we’ll talk more in the morning.”

Yuri nods into Otabek’s chest and tries to will his body to relax. Otabek continues rubbing his back until Yuri’s breathing evens out, and only then does Otabek finally allows sleep to take him as well.

Chapter Text

Yuri wakes himself up with his content purring, the rumbling of his chest startling him awake. He can't remember the last time he slept so soundly, and the scent surrounding him is extremely enticing. He buries his face into his pillow and inhales deeply, letting the scent fill him up until he feels almost high with it. As all his senses come back online he finally clue into his surroundings, sitting up quickly in the bed and looking around. 

Otabek appears to have already gotten up for the day, and Yuri's relieved that he wasn't around to hear the sounds he was making, or to feel the awkward bulge in his boxers. It's embarrassing enough that he was purring at all, he would be mortified if Otabek also heard and saw his reaction to waking up in his bed. Yuri can hear the alpha talking in the next room, although he can't quite make out what he's saying. 

He tries to force himself back to sleep, but Otabek's voice grows louder and harder to ignore.

"That not happening," Otabek yells, and Yuri is instantly on high alert, unsure if the person Otabek is arguing with is also inside the apartment. When he can't make out a reply he assumes Otabek must just be on the phone, so he settles back down into the bed.

Yuri looks to the empty side of the bed, the side that was supposed to be his last night. He doesn't remember the exact moment he fell asleep the night before, but he knows he was still cradled to Otabek's chest, and he can't even summon any embarrassment over the way he acted. The combination of the stress of the day and the shock at seeing Otabek's marred skin caused his emotions bubbled over and out his eyes. He knows logically that whatever Otabek does for Victor has to come with some risks, but the scars on his back are far too old to be from his time working for the silver haired alpha. 

Otabek's voices seems to quiet down, and Yuri can hear him end the call and start walking back towards the bedroom. For a moment he contemplates pretending to still be asleep, but in the end, he sit up fully and waits for Otabek to open the door. 

"Hey," Yuri says shyly, wrapping his arms around his knees. 

"Hey, kitten. Did I wake you?" Otabek joins Yuri, sitting near the foot of the bed and facing him. 

"No, but I did hear you yell at one point. Is everything okay?"

Otabek lets out a deep sigh and rubs at his face. "Everything's fine. I just had a difference of opinions on how something should be handled, that's all." Otabek stretches his arms out in front of himself and a small smile comes to his lips. "I would ask how you slept last night, but I think I already know."

Yuri squints his eyes at the alpha and purses his lips. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Nothin, kitten, just that you're cute when you purr."

Yuri's cheeks instantly heat, and he ducks his head down to avoid eye contact. He knew he woke up purring, but he had hoped it had just started. "Shut up."

"Hey," Otabek calls when Yuri continues to study his knees. "I wasn't trying to tease you. I've just never heard you do that before, it was nice to wake up to."

Yuri feels like this whole body is trying blush and he pushes at Otabek's leg with his foot. "I've never slept next to an alpha before, that's all it was."

"I believe you, kitten. I didn't think it was anything else."

Yuri finally looks up into Otabek's eyes and something in his stomach flutters. Otabek's been so kind and understanding to him throughout their friendship, and yet there's still moments that he manages to surprise him. Whether it's finding out that he can dance and cook, or just not pushing Yuri for anything he's not able to give yet, Otabek hasn't been at all what Yuri expected out of a friendship with an alpha. 

Yuri looks to the small alarm clock on Otabek's nightstand and sighs. "I'm supposed to meet with Yuuri in less than an hour."

"Don't worry about that. He knows what's going on. I'll drop you off at his place after we eat."

"Are you finally going to cook for me?" Yuri asks in excitement. 

"That depends if you consider eggs and toast cooking."

"Awe come on, you could at least do pancakes or something," Yuri whines. 

Otabek laughs and leans forward to ruffle Yuri's hair. "How about I make you dinner tonight?"

"I'm going to be here tonight?" Yuri asks with a frown. "How long do I have to avoid my place? Because I only brought enough clothes for a night."

"I can go by and pick up some more of your things while you're with Yuuri, or I can take you by later tonight if you want."

Yuri glares lightly at Otabek's avoidance of his initial question. "How long until I can go back?"

"I don't know kitten, maybe another day. We're still trying to decide the best course of action."

"Why does there have to be a course of action? Can't I just return his stupid coat and act like I never found the pills?"

Otabek sighs and rubs at his temple. "That's what I want to happen, but some other people have different ideas."

"What other people?"

"It doesn't matter. I'll get everything sorted out and you'll be back home soon," Otabek says confidently. "Now let's eat some breakfast and get ready to go."

 

 

-

 

 

 

"Where the hell are we?" Yuri asks, looking around he heavily wooded area. They've been driving for almost thirty minutes, the last ten of which has been through the forest.

"We're on the backside of the Nikiforov property. The main house is about four miles north, but Victor had a smaller home build shortly before him and Yuuri got married. He didn't feel like sharing this honeymoon with this father."

Yuri eyes Otabek suspiciously. "How do you know all that? You haven't been working for Victor that long."

"It's my job to know what goes on in the Nikiforov family... and I asked," Otabek says with a grin.

Yuri rolls his eyes and then sits up straighter as a structure comes into view. "Whoa," Yuri whispers.

"Yeah, I was pretty impressed the first time I saw it too. Victor had contractors flown in from Japan as a surprise for Yuuri."

Yuri's eyes can't decide what to focus on first. The architecture of the home looks like it was taken out a brochure for Japan, and the whole front of the home is surrounded by a large koi pound with a small wooden bridge leading to the front door. There's also a few small walkways that weave through the ponds to different seating area, and Yuri feels like he's been transported to a different place. 

"How do the fish not die when snows?"

"I assume the ponds are heated, but there's also a water feature inside, so they might keep them there."

Yuri nods in wonder and continues to look out the window of the car, almost afraid that if he steps outside the spell will be broken, and the area will turn back into a cold Moscow forest.

"Come on, kitten. I'm sure they're waiting on us."

Yuri reluctantly leaves the confines of the car and slowly makes his way to the bridge, taking care to watch every step for unfamiliar plant life. 

"This is so crazy. I feel like we're in another country."

"I'm pretty sure that's the point," Otabek says with a smile. 

Yuri rolls his eyes and looks down to see dozens of brightly colored orange and white fish swimming under the bridge. He would have stopped moving completely if Otabek hadn't of powered ahead to the front door. 

Otabek rings the doorbell and an Asian man in an all-black suit answers.

"Hey," Otabek greats with a nod. "Mr. Nikiforov should be expecting us."

"He is, although I think the omega is expected to wait with Yuuri."

"I have a name, asshole," Yuri huffs out, knocking aside the beta to enter the home.

"Yura," Otabek calls, causing Yuri to stumble before he can take the step up into the main entrance of the house.

"What?" Yuri snaps, embarrassed at being call such a nickname in front of a stranger, and afraid that Otabek is going to chastise him for being rude.

"Take off your shoes."

Yuri looks down to his leopard print sneakers and then back to where Otabek is removing his boots and replacing them with white slippers. 

"You're kidding," Yuri deadpans, but when Otabek just raises an eyebrow Yuri gives in with a sigh. "Victor must really love that pig to put up with all this."

Once they have both changed their footwear the new man leads Yuri to a small sitting area, and Otabek continues alone to seek out Victor. 

"Yuri! I was wondering when you would get here," Yuuri says with a smile. "Please, have a seat."

Yuri joins the pregnant Omega on the ground around a low setting table. "Hey, sorry I'm late. Otabek said you knew what was going on."

"Yeah, Victor told me you borrowed a jacket from JJ and ended up with a bottle of maple pills."

"Maple?" Yuri asks.

"Yeah, like the little leaf that's printed on them," Yuuri says with a flick of his wrist. "Victor's been trying to figure out where they were coming from for the last month or so, but he hadn't had any leads until now."

"You think JJ is distributing them?"

Yuuri shrugs and reaches for the tea set sitting between them on the table. "I don't know, maybe, if he's not he's got a serious addiction for how many he had on him."

Yuri's heart jumps at the mention of the pills being addictive, and his thoughts flash back to when he saw Phichit taking them in the locker room. 

"They're addictive?" Yuri asks calmly. "Are you sure?"

Yuuri brows knit together and he offers Yuri a glass of tea. "Pretty sure, there's been a few cases of overdoses that we know of, a couple have even happened at the club. Victor wants to put an end to them before too many people are hurt."

"How is he going to do that?" Yuri asks, taking a sip of tea that tastes strongly of peppermint.

I'm not sure," Yuuri says, with a tilt of his head. "He can be very persuasive when he wants to be though."

Yuri nods in agreement and continues to drink his tea. "So what errands did you need to run today?"

"Nothing that can't wait until tomorrow. I figured since things have changed you can just help me with a few things for the nursery, and I can show off the house a little. We don't have new people over often, so I'm always excited to give tours."

"Otabek said you have a water feature inside?"

Yuuri's face lights up and he nods his head. "Yeah, I mentioned to Victor that I misses all the water back home, so he had the ponds built outside and a small waterfall for inside."

"A waterfall," Yuri says, his jaw dropping in amazement. 

"It's nothing too crazy, just the wall separating our bedroom from the living room."

Yuri rubs at his face and shakes his head. "I think we have different definitions of crazy."

Yuuri lets out a light laugh and gives Yuri a wide grin. "Help me up and I'll give you a tour."

Yuri stands and walks around the small table to help Yuuri to his feet. "How did you get so much bigger in just a few days?"

"Well there's two of them," Yuuri laughs, "so everything happens double time."

Yuuri keeps ahold of Yuri's arm as he guides them out of the sitting area and into the main section of the house. They start in the living room, where Yuri has a minor melt down over the rock wall with water flowing down it. Yuuri then takes time to give details on different pieces of art and explain how some things are modeled after real things from Japan and others are more modern. Yuri tries to remember all the information, but by the end of the tour his mind is a mixture of different artist names and far too many dates to sort. 

They end in a large empty room just down the hall from Yuuri and Victor's.

"And this is nursery, or it will be when I'm finished," Yuuri says sheepishly. "I can't decide what the theme should be. Victor wants something fairytale themed, like princesses and princes, but I think it should be something more subtle. They're already going to grow up with far more than I had, I don't want them to be too spoiled."

"With Victor as a parent I think that's out of the question. I mean he built you a whole house just to show he loved you."

Yuuri blushes and shrugs a shoulder. "Exactly, that's why I want the nursery to be more modest."

Yuri looks around the empty space with a critical eye, there's room for practically any idea, but only one keeps calling his attention. "What about the jungle? The house is already modeled after Japan, so why not like a jungle in Japan."

Yuuri's eyes light with delight and he throws his arms around Yuri. "That's perfect. I was thinking maybe a farm theme or just lots of bright colors, but I love that idea. We could hire someone to come paint a mural, there could be monkeys, and elephants, and a gorilla."

"And a tiger," Yuri interjects. 

"Yes, and a tiger. I'm so excited to get started," Yuuri says, bouncing up on his toes.

"If you're not wanting to leave we could start looking online at stuff."

"That sounds great. I've already saved a few things that I want to get. Lets go to my office."

 

 

-

 

 

After an hour Yuri's beginning to regret recommending a jungle theme for the nursery. He's looked at more green rugs and forest themed bedding than he's ever seen in his entire life. Yuuri has really embraced the jungle theme and already has dozens of animal themed items in the cart. 

"I really want to look at these cribs in person before I commit. I like them both so much, maybe I could just do one of each." Yuuri taps at his lips as he flips between the tabs containing to two cribs. "But maybe it would be better to have everything match."

"I like the dark brown one," Yuri says, nodding to the screen. "It would match anything you want to do with the room, and it has that build in side storage."

Yuuri nods in agreement and continues to study the image. "You're probably right. We're already going to have two dressers in the room, so it would make sense to have the added storage rather than another piece of furniture."

Yuri stretches his arms above his head and tries to stifle a yawn. He's not exactly bored helping Yuuri plan the nursery, but it's definitely not how he imagined his time as Yuuri's assistant. He spends most nights at The Castle with Yuuri, going over paperwork and running small errands within the building, but as the weeks creep by more and more tasks begin to center around the babies.

"What going to happen once the babies are here?"

Yuuri pauses in his search for the perfect mobile and turns to look at Yuri. "What do you mean?"

"Like at The Castle. Are you still going to work once the babies are here?"

"Of course," Yuuri says, looking affronted at the idea of not working. "I'm planning to take a few weeks off, but I'm going to come back. I built The Castle myself, it will always be my first baby, I could never just turn it over to someone else to run."

Yuuri looks extremely upset, and Yuri's not sure how to safely backtrack without offending his employer. "I didn't mean you wouldn't work, I just meant, what's going to happen with the babies?"

Yuuri chews his bottom lip and looks Yuri up and down. "I had planned on you helping honestly. I know we haven't talked about it yet, but I figured once the babies are here we can work out a new agreement. I'll want to work from home as much as possible at first, so with two newborns I'll need some help."

Yuri's jaw drops and his stomach flips at the thought of helping Yuuri with the twins. It's not that he doesn't like kids, he's just never really had a chance to be around them, and for his first real experience to involve not one, but two babies is a little overwhelming. 

"You want my help with the babies?" Yuri asks quietly.

"Well yeah. I mean you're going to be with me through the whole pregnancy, so I just kinda figured it made since. Are you okay with that?"

Yuri tries to determine how he's feeling about the idea, but he honestly can't tell. Babies were never supposed to be a part of his life, so to commit himself to caring for two is a heavy task. 

"I don't know," he says slowly. "I don't even know how to take care of a baby."

"That's okay, I haven't been around a baby in years," Yuuri reassures. "And I wouldn't leave you alone with them right away. Just promise me you'll think about it."

Yuri nods and tries not to let his apprehension show. Taking care of two babies is not something he’s ever wanted to do, even if they're not his own. Yuuri has a little less than half his pregnancy left though, so there's still time for Yuri to adjust to the idea. 

A knock of the office door causes both the omegas to look up. Otabek enters looking slightly disheveled, and Yuri's instantly more alert. 

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing yet, kitten. Victor just needs to speak with you," Otabek's face is pinched and Yuri can tell whatever the alpha wants to talk about can't be good. 

He looks to Yuuri who give a slight nod of his head in dismissal and then follows Otabek out of the room.

"What's really wrong?" Yuri asks again. 

Otabek sighs and shakes his head. "You'll find out. Just try to stay calm, if you over react that’ll just play into Victor's hands."

Yuri's heart is beating rabbit fast as they approach Victor's office, and just before Otabek knocks Yuri snags his hand to stop him. "We could leave now."

Otabek turns and cups Yuri's face with his free hand, drawing the omega closer. "I promise I'll do everything that I can to protect you and remember that you can make your own choices."

Yuri's heart stutters in his chest and he shakes his head. "You're scaring me. What does he want."

Otabek closes his eyes and presses his forehead to Yuri's. "We've been discussing what to do about the drugs that you found."

"And," Yuri prompts, growing impatient of Otabek's vague replies. 

"And I'll let him tell you the rest because I don't agree with what he wants."

Yuri squeezes his eyes closed tighter and then leans up to press his lips to Otabek's. It's less of a kiss and more a desperate press as Yuri's body floods with fear. Otabek presses his lips to Yuri's one last time before straightening up and looking to the door again. 

"Do you trust me?"

Yuri wants desperately to say no, to demand that Otabek take him home and let him handle JJ and the drugs himself, but he doesn't, because he does trust him, more than anyone. "Yes."

"Then trust that I'll protect you no matter what you decide."

Otabek knocks and then enters the office with Yuri close behind.

"There you are," Victor says upon their arrival. "I was starting to think you got lost in the halls. Please, have a seat, Yuri."

Yuri can't remember a time Victor's ever addressed him by his proper name and his stomach sinks as he takes a seat in the leather chair facing Victor’s desk. Where Yuuri's office was bright and inviting, Victor's is full of dark furniture in deep reds and browns. It stands in complete contrast with the rest of the house, and only further reminds Yuri that Victor's business is nothing like Yuuri's. 

"I have a proposition for you," Victor says without preamble, "and if you choose to accept it you will be compensated quite heavily for it."

Yuri wants to turn to where he can feel Otabek's presence behind him, but he forces himself to keep his eyes firmly on Victor. "What to do want me to do?"

Victor smiles and reaches for a glass sitting on his desk. "I want you to start dating JJ."

Yuri's mouth runs dry and it takes every ounce of his willpower to keep himself in his seat and not bolting from the room. When he doesn't immediately start screaming Victor takes a sip from his glass and then continues. 

"It would be for show of course, but it would also need to be believable. Otabek tells me that you have a distaste for JJ, so you'll need to slowly build up your relationship."

"JJ's married," Yuri tries to interject. "I can't start dating someone who's already in a relationship."

"It's a marriage of convenience," Victor says with a dismissive flick of his wrist. "I've even heard whispers that Isabella stays at her mother’s most days, only spending time with JJ for public events. The Yang's own a port in St. Petersburg, and the Leroy's have been looking for a way to expand their reach. A marriage to Isabella gave them the port they needed to start moving more product."

Yuri rubs at his eyes with his thumb and forefinger. "That doesn't make any sense. Why would Isabella's family just marry her off and give the Leroy's access to their port? What would they have to gain from it?"

"Oh Yuri," Victor says with mock sympathy. "You're so naïve. The marriage makes the Leroy's use of the port less suspicious, and in return the Yang’s get a portion of any profit the Leroy's bring in."

"If you already know all this why do I need to get closer to JJ? You know he's moving things using the port, so just do whatever it is you want to do about it."

"It's more complicated than that," Victor says slowly. "Yes, we know the Leroy's are now operating out of the Yang's port, but we don't know what they're moving. They used to operate solely in cheap party drugs and other petty things. Which I allowed to slide since it doesn't affect any of my businesses, but ever since my markets have been flooded with maple I'm not so sure that's all they're doing. I haven't been able to pin down a reliable distributor until you stumbled upon JJ's coat. It's the closest thing we have to lead, and even if the Leroy's aren't making the drugs they have to know who is."

"How is me dating JJ going to solve anything?"

"I want you to get close to him, get him to trust you, and then find out more about maple and where it's coming from."

Yuri sucks in his bottom lip and shakes his head. "This is all so messed up. I just want to give JJ back his stupid coat and be done with all this."

"People are dying, Yuri. There's been two overdoses at The Castle in the last week. One of them was a dancer, he's alive but he hasn't woken up."

Yuri feels sick at the news, but he shakes his head. "That sucks, but it's not my problem that people are stupid and don't know when to slow down."

"It was Phichit," Victor says calmly. "Yuuri tells me that you two are close."

"What?" Yuri feels like he's been doused in ice water and his chest suddenly feels like it's beings squeezed too tightly into a vice grip. He hasn't talked to Phichit in over a week, but he hasn't heard anyone talking about an overdose, although he hasn't really had time to talk to any of the other dancers since he stared working for Yuuri.

"I'll pay you ten grand to start dating JJ, and another thirty when you find out more able maple and where it's coming from," Victor says calmly. "But if you would rather not I'll understand, just know that your position with Yuuri will no longer be available if you choose not to do this."

Yuri's whole body feels numb and he can't hear anything else over the blood rushing in his ears. Victor is acting like there's any real choice, but there's not. He needs his job with Yuuri, even if he got two other jobs waiting tables he still wouldn't be making as much as he is now. 

"What do you say, Yuri? Do we have a deal?" Victor's smile is cocky, but Otabek's sour scent cuts through all of Yuri's shock. 

What's going to happen to him and Otabek if he says yes? They aren't together, but they also aren't completely apart. Yuri spends practically all of his free time with Otabek and if he agrees to this deal that will have to stop. 

"I need to think about this."

Victor's smile drops, and he huffs out a breath through his nose. "This is a time sensitive offer Yuri. You can have one hour."

Yuri's stomach feels like it plummets through the floor. One hour isn't near long enough to consider all the pros and cons of this offer.

"Why don't you take a walk through the koi ponds to think." It's as clear of a dismissal as Yuri's going to get from Victor, and he stands slowly from his seat and leaves the office with Otabek close behind him. 

They don't speak as Otabek leads the way outside and through a small path to a bench in the middle of the pond.

"What do I do?" Yuri whispers once they're both seated. 

"Tell him no," Otabek says firmly. 

Yuri's eyes shoot to Otabek's and his heart skips a beat. "How? I need my job with Yuuri, and you heard what happened to Phichit, I can't just ignore that. He's not giving me much of a choice."

Otabek shakes his head and looks out across the small pond. "He's trying to force your hand, but you don't have to let him. Talk to Yuuri, it's his choice too."

"I'm not going to force them to fight, not when Yuuri needs to stay calm and relaxed."

Otabek's eyes harden and he shakes his head. "Damnit, Yuri, this is about you too. You don't have to let yourself be pimped out for him." Otabek's scent is strong with anger and Yuri sinks in on himself.

"I'm not pimping myself out. Just because I do this doesn't mean I'm going to sleep with him. I hate his guts, you actually think I would let him touch me like that?"

"You actually think you're going to get a choice? You know what JJ's like. If he thinks you’re actually interested he's going to jump at the opportunity, and how are you going to tell him no without blowing your cover?"

"I'll just tell him I don't want to sleep with someone I'm not bonded with. He doesn't ever have to know that I'll never go into heat."

The more Yuri thinks about his makeshift plan the more he thinks it could work. He'll just spend some time with JJ, ask about maple, and then end the relationship once he finds anything out. It should take a few weeks top, and then he'll have forty thousand dollars and his life will go back to normal.

"I think I should do it," Yuri says quietly. "It would be easier to just get it over with than to fight with Victor."

"Please don't," Otabek pleads, grabbing Yuri's hand and pulling it to his chest. "I'll find you another job. One that will pay just as well as Yuuri. Just please don't take this deal."

Otabek looks desperate, and so unlike himself that Yuri's heart aches for him. "I have to."

"You don't," Otabek says, clutching Yuri's hand tighter. "You don't have to be part of this world. You're putting yourself in a danger that you don't have to. What would your grandfather say?"

Yuri gasps at Otabek using his dedushka against him. "You don't know my dedushka. He would tell me to do whatever it took to keep myself safe, and this will keep me safe."

"I'll keep you safe," Otabek says seriously. "You said that you trusted me, so trust me when I say that you don't need to do this."

"It won't be for long. I'll figure out where the drugs are coming from and then everything will go back to normal."

Otabek shakes his head. "You don't understand how this world works. You do this for Victor now and he's only going to come back with another task later."

"Then you'll just have to protect me if that happens. I can do this though. Do have any idea what that kind of money could do for my grandpa? I could pay off his house and he could stop worrying himself to death."

Otabek cups Yuri's face, looking deeply into his eyes. "Please, Yuri."

Yuri tilts his head in Otabek's grasp. "Why are you so against this?"

"Because... if you do this you're not going to just be spying on JJ, you'll be spending all your free time with him, going on dates with him, kissing him, and I don't know how I'm going to handle that."

Yuri cheeks heat and he can't even look away with Otabek’s hold on his face. "You're jealous."

Otabek scoffs. "Of course I'm jealous. You may not feel anything after all these weeks, but I'm not unaffected. I like you Yuri, and I know we agreed to just be friends, but I can't sit back and watch you be with someone else without telling you how I feel, even if it will just be pretend."

Yuri feels his eyes well with tears and he squeezes them closed to keep the tears held back. "We're friends," Yuri croaks out. 

"Yeah," Otabek says sadly. "We're friends kitten, but that doesn't mean I don't want more."

"You told me this wouldn't happen," Yuri accuses, still struggling keep his emotions in check. 

"I never said that. I said I would be whatever you wanted, and I still will, but if there's a chance that you might want more too I couldn't not tell you."

Yuri finally opens his eyes to stares hard into Otabek's. Otabek looks so hopeful, and Yuri's heart feels like it's being ripped in two. He was never supposed to give into an alpha, or allow one to get this close, and yet here he is struggling to tell himself that he doesn't feel anything, that he doesn't want to be with Otabek.

"I don't want kids," Yuri chokes out. "I might not even be able to have them anymore."

"You don't have to have them then," Otabek says slowly, thrown by Yuri's sudden shift in conversation.

"You're an alpha, Otabek, don't you want kids?"

Otabek pauses for a moment to contemplate. "I've honestly never thought about kids. With what I do, kids never seemed like an option, so if you're trying to tell me that's your only deal breaker, it's not one. I'd still want you even if we never had a child."

Yuri feels all of his breath leave him at once, and he throws his arms around Otabek's neck, taking in deep breaths of the alphas scent. His mind is racing a million miles a minute and he's running out of time to make a decision. How can he turn down Victor, and ignore what happened to Phichit? And now Otabek's confession has only muddied the waters further. If he chooses to take the deal will Otabek still be there waiting for him when it's over?

Chapter Text

 “Here,” Yuri shoves the folded coat into JJ’s arms, keeping his head held high.

“Thanks, I’m really glad you called,” JJ says sincerely. “I didn’t even know you had my number.”

“Yeah, well you’re a pretty popular person, it wasn’t hard to get.” Yuri shifts awkwardly from foot to foot and tries not to be too obvious in how uncomfortable he is. Victor promised that his job with Yuuri was secure and that he doesn’t have to spend any more time with JJ than what is necessary to gain any valuable information. “I didn’t mean to take your stupid coat, so I figured I should give it back.”

JJ smiles and runs a hand a through his hair. “Yeah, but with how much you hate me I figured you just threw it out.”

Yuri scoffs and focuses on a spot just over JJ’s shoulder. “It probably cost more than I make in a week, I couldn’t just throw it out. Plus, you had some stuff in your pockets that I figured you wanted back.”

Yuri tries to keep calm as he hints at the drugs in JJ’s coat, but he can feel his heart starting to pound in his chest. Maybe he’s rushing things, it might be smarter to play the long game and act as if he never found the pills.

For all of Yuri’s worry though, JJ doesn’t seem affected, if anything he seems confused. His brows knit together for a moment and then suddenly rise with understanding. “Oh, you found the bottle.” Yuri nods. “I’m surprised you gave the coat back at all then. Most people would have sold them and skipped town.”

“I’m not like that, those things are dangerous. I don’t want anything to do with shit like that.” Yuri bites his tongue almost as soon as the words are out of his mouth. How is he supposed to find out more about maple if he just said he wants nothing to do with it?

“That’s refreshing to hear. With some of the company I keep it seems to be all they want to talk about. What can I do to say thank you for returning my coat though? I’m sure dinner is off the table, unless you’ve given any thought to what I offered before.” JJ trails his eyes up and down Yuri’s body, reminding Yuri of the man’s offer to be his kept omega.

Yuri has to fight his initial reaction of anger, and instead say something he never thought he would ever say to JJ.

“Actually, dinner sounds great. I haven’t eaten since this morning.”

JJ expression is shocked for a moment, and then a large smile comes to his lips. “I know just the place. Near the edge of town is a small French bistro, it’s very exclusive, but I can get us in.”

Yuri has to stop himself from rolling his eyes and instead nod in agreement. Of course JJ would brag about his connections, and of course he wouldn’t ask Yuri what type of food he likes. Not that it matters, Yuri would have said yes to anything at this point, but it would still be nice to be asked his opinion.

When JJ opens the back door of his black town car Yuri only hesitates for a moment. He’s already committed to Victor and pissed off Otabek, he might as well go all the way and get it over with, but as JJ settles into the seat beside him his thoughts are overtaken with a different dark-haired alpha.

He hasn’t had the proper time to process Otabek’s confession, or to deal with the fallout of his choice. As soon as he told Victor yes, he was given JJ’s number and taken back to his apartment to shower and gather the coat. Thankfully he had already pocketed the pills, so all he had to do was put then back where JJ left them.

When the town car comes to a stop JJ’s driver exits first to open the door. As Yuri follows he’s almost shocked at just how small the restaurant is. JJ had said that it was exclusive, but Yuri didn’t realize that meant just five tables. JJ flashes a smile to the hostess, who eagerly takes them to a table. There’s only two other couples dining, and Yuri feels terribly out of place in his jeans and new coat.

He waits to be handed a menu, but when the hostess walks away leaving him empty handed he turns a confused look on JJ.

“There’s no menu’s,” JJ says with a smile. “The chef chooses a different menu every week and prepares it based on what’s in season.”

Yuri rolls his eyes as he leans back in his seat. “This is winter in Russia, nothing is in season.”

JJ laughs at Yuri’s angry look and tilts his head as he studies the omega’s face. “Why are you here, Yuri?”

Yuri’s heart skips in his chest and he fights to keep his expression blank. “You invited me.”

“I’ve invited you before, why is this time different?”

As JJ’s eyes trail along Yuri’s face, Yuri’s mind works overtime to find a logical reason for him wanting to spend time with the alpha. He had hoped that by just agreeing that JJ wouldn’t push the issue, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

“I- um- I liked your coat,” Yuri says lamely, cursing himself for not thinking of a better cover.

“My coat?” JJ asks with a frown.

“Yeah,” Yuri says slowly. “I liked the way it smelled… like you.”

Yuri’s cheeks heat a dark red at the lie, and he prays that JJ believes him.

JJ, for all of his cockiness just smiles and reaches across the table to draw Yuri’s hands closer to him. “Really?”

Yuri chews the inside of his lip and nods his head as his skin crawls. JJ looks so hopeful and Yuri would almost feel bad if he didn’t know he’s doing this for a good reason. He has to find out where the drugs are coming from and stop anyone else from getting hurt.

“You have no idea how happy that makes me. I knew if you just gave me a chance you would change your mind.”

Yuri feels like he has a bad taste in his mouth at JJ’s words, and he really wishes he prepared more for this first meeting. “I didn’t say I’ve changed my mind. I still want to know more about you before I just give up everything.

"Of course,” JJ says quickly. “Anything you want to know I’ll tell you.”

This is almost too easy, Yuri thinks. JJ is so trusting and open it almost doesn’t seem possible that he could be overseeing such a large drug operation.

“The food is coming,” Yuri says with a nod, and they both sit up as plates and drinks are placed in front of them.

Yuri scowls at the small portion on his plate and picks up his fork to poke at it. It smells slightly fishy and Yuri grimaces before scooping up a bite to eat. It only takes two bites to finish the small dish and then he glares down at his now empty plate.

“That was just the first course,” JJ assures. “There’s still three more.”

Yuri wants to roll his eyes, but he’s really trying to get on JJ’s good side. “Are all of the courses so small?”

JJ laughs and rubs at the back of his head. “Um- kinda. They’re really exclusive and expensive to make. Do you not like it?”

Yuri shrugs and looks up as the waiter returns to take away their plates and replace them with the next course. This one is asparagus with half a soft-boiled egg and Yuri moves it around his plate with his fork.

“You don’t like this, do you?” JJ asks with frown.

“I don’t like asparagus,” Yuri says as he continues to move the stock around his plate. He wasn’t lying about not having ate since breakfast, and all this food is doing is making him wish he was eating greasy pizza with Otabek.

“We could go somewhere else,” JJ says with a frown. “What do you want?”

What Yuri wants is to be anywhere but with JJ, but he can’t say that. Instead he tries to hide his discomfort.

“I’m fine here, there’s still two more courses.”

If Otabek were here he’d never let Yuri get away with such an obvious lie, but JJ just smiles at getting his way and nods.

“I’m sure you’ll like the next course, the third one is always a meat.”

Yuri sighs quietly and looks around the small room for the bathroom. “I’ll be right back.”

He doesn’t wait for JJ’s reply and instead hurries to the bathroom, pulling his phone out along the way. Once he’s safely locked inside a stall he dials the one person he actually wants to be around right now.

“Yuri, are you okay?” Otabek’s voice sounds so concerned that Yuri’s heart aches as he sits down heavily on the lid of the toilet.

“I’m fine, I just wanted to talk to you.”

“Where are you?”

Yuri looks up at the stall door and sighs. “Some French restaurant, it sucks.”

“You can still leave. I’ll cme get you.”

Yuri’s eyes sting and he shakes his head. “I need to do this. Phichit could have died, Otabek, he still could. I have to figure out where the maples coming from so that it can be stopped.”

“It’s not your responsibility to figure any of this out,” Otabek chastises, his tone growing impatient. “Let me handle it.”

“I already told Victor yes, I can’t go back on my word, and you know he didn’t give me a choice. I can lose my job with Lilia and survive, but if I lost my job with Yuuri there’s no way I would be able to make rent and pay my grandpa’s mortgage. He could lose his house, Otabek.”

“I know that, Yuri. I’m just saying there was other options.”

Yuri shakes his head and grips his phone tighter. “There wasn’t time for other options. I didn’t call you to argue though, can I see you tonight when I’m done?”

Otabek sighs, giving up his argument. “Of course. Just text me when you get home and I’ll be there.”

Yuri’s chest warms, and he smiles into the receiver. “I will, bye, Beka.”

“Bye, kitten.”

Yuri renters the restaurant with a smile that he tries to hide as he joins JJ for the next course.

“You seem to be in a better mood,” JJ says with a frown. “Something exciting happen in the bathroom?”

Yuri’s cheeks heat and he shakes his head. “I just thought of some questions I wanted to ask you.” JJ spreads his hands, motioning for Yuri to continue. “When you said I could be your omega, what did you mean.”

JJ sits up straighter at the topic and smiles. “I meant that I would take care of you. You would be by my side just like Bella.”

Yuri cringed at the mention of JJ’s wife and shakes his head. “You can’t think she would like that. Doesn’t she want children of her own?”

“She does, and we have an agreement for at least two, but she’s not ready for that right now, and she also knows that I want to be with an omega.”

Yuri’s jaw tightens, and he shakes his head. “So, you would be screwing both of us.”

JJ face is pinched, and he waves a hand between them. “It’s not like that. I respect Bella, but I don’t love her, not the way I thought I would love the person I married.”

“Then why get married? Why lock yourself into a relationship that you don’t really want?”

Yuri may have already gotten an answer to this question from Victor, but it still doesn’t all add up. Maybe it’s because all the family he has is his grandfather, but he can’t understand why Isabella’s family would marry her off to an alpha that doesn’t want her. Even as a beta that sort of rejection had to be hard.

“It’s complicated. Our families wanted the marriage more than either of us, but we agreed to make it work.”

Yuri squints and purses his lips. He has several more questions that he wants answers to but their waiter interrupt with their next course.

“This is a seared salmon with a mustard vinaigrette, please enjoy.”

Yuri has to fight his gag reflex at the smell of the seared fish in front of him. He’s never thought of himself as a picky eater before, but this meal seems determined to prove him wrong. JJ finishes his portion before blotting his lips with a cloth napkin and looking over at Yuri’s still untouched plate.

“You don’t like this one either?” He asks, his tone growing impatient. “Why didn’t you say anything when I told you where we were going.”

“Because you didn’t ask,” Yuri snaps, forgetting for a moment that he’s supposed to be seducing JJ. “You told me where we were going, but you didn’t even ask if I had an opinion.”

“Well you obviously aren’t enjoying your meal. Let’s just go somewhere else.”

Yuri crosses his arms and shakes his head. “There’s one course left and then you can take me back home. I’m not going to insult the chef by leaving now.”

JJ’s brows furrow and he reaches a hand across the table. “You want to go home already? We’ve only just started talking, and I haven’t even learned anything about you.”

Yuri just barely resists rolling his eyes and instead reaches his hand out to clasps JJ’s. “This doesn’t have to be the last time we see each other. You have my number now.”

JJ intertwines their fingers as a slow smile comes to his lips. “So, you’ll go out with me again?”

“As long as it’s not here,” Yuri says with a scoff, blushing a deep red when he notices the waiter with their final course.

The waiter takes the insult to the restaurant in stride though, sitting the final plates down lightly and smiling at Yuri. “A lemon tart with a raspberry reduction, please let me know if you need anything else.”

Yuri nods and picks up his fork, glad to finally be given something worth eating. The dessert is still small, but Yuri savors each bite, moaning quietly at the final lemony morsel. JJ watches Yuri the whole time, the blue of his eyes growing dark at seeing Yuri enjoying something so simple.

“Here,” JJ reaches across the small table and places his dessert in front of Yuri. “You barely ate tonight.”

Yuri wants to reject the plate, but the few bites he ate were so good that the temptation of more is too great, and he eagerly pulls the plate forward. He eats JJ’s portion just as slowly as his own, and when he looks up JJ is eyeing his lips intently.

“What?” Yuri asks, brushing the back for his hand against his mouth to check for any leftover food.

“Nothing,” JJ says with a smile, his eyes finally flicking up to Yuri’s. “You’re just entertaining to watch when you’re enjoying something.”

Yuri’s cheeks heat at the comment and their waiter arrives to take JJ’s credit card. He returns quickly, and Yuri watches as JJ writes a very generous tip. He’s then reminded of the few times he’s waited on JJ at Lilia’s. Even though the alpha can be obnoxious he’s always tipped Yuri well and Yuri clings to that positive piece of information. He’s going to need to remind himself of every positive trait he comes across as he’s forced to spend the next few months with JJ.

As they leave the restaurant JJ casually takes Yuri’s hand, and Yuri forces himself to tighten his grip. Once they’re back in the town car JJ slings an arm around Yuri’s shoulders and pulls him closer, breathing in deeply.

“You smell so sweet- ya know?” JJ asks, but he doesn’t expect an answer as he continues to talk. “I’m really glad you’re willing to give this a try, Yuri. I know this was just for me to say thank you, but I can’t wait to take you out again. Anywhere you wanna go, and I promise there will be normal portions.”

Yuri stifles a laugh and tries to relax into JJ’s side, but it’s almost like there’s a buzzing beneath his skin that won’t allow him to.

JJ senses his discomfort and rubs lightly at Yuri’s shoulder. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, this is just going faster than I thought it would.”

“We don’t have to rush anything,” JJ assures, turning to sweep Yuri’s hair over his shoulder. “I want to get to know you, and I want you to trust me.”

Yuri nods as his stomach tries to tie itself in knots. JJ thinks there’s an honest connection, and Yuri can’t stop thinking about a different alpha waiting on a text.

Yuri chews his bottom lip as he worries over all the potential disastrous outcomes of deceiving JJ. What if JJ realizes that Yuri’s feelings aren’t genuine, and then he dismisses him before Yuri even has the chance to find out anything about maple. But almost worst is what could happen if JJ believes Yuri’s charade. He could try to move their relationship in a physical direction and Yuri wouldn’t be able to stop it without outing himself as a spy. Either outcome would be disastrous, and Yuri’s body grows tense with worry.

“Can I ask you something?” JJ says suddenly, interrupting Yuri’s minor meltdown. Yuri nods and then JJ continues. “What is your relationship with Otabek? You came to the auction together, but I haven’t seen you together since.”

Yuri’s brows furrow for a moment, and he wonders how JJ would have had the chance to see him at all, since he’s only seen the alpha once since auction. “We’re not anything. I work for Yuuri and one of Victor’s guys needed a date, that’s all.”

JJ nods and tightens his hold around Yuri’s shoulder. “That’s good to hear. I don’t do well with sharing, especially with someone like that.”

“Someone like what?” Yuri challenges, trying to keep the curiosity out of his voice.

“Someone so… beneath me,” JJ finally settles on.

Yuri shifts slightly in JJ’s grip and tries to keep his scent and face neutral. It wouldn’t do any good to show his hand this quickly, and it’s not new information that JJ thinks he’s above everyone else.

As the car rolls to a stop outside Yuri’s building Yuri steels his nerves and turns to face JJ fully.

“When can I see you again?”

JJ grins and cups Yuri’s face. “I’ll call you tomorrow and we can set something up. I’d love to show you more of the estate. You didn’t get to see the gardens or the stables in your last visit.”

Yuri nods and he can tell JJ’s waiting for more, whether it’s a goodbye kiss or and invite upstairs Yuri isn’t sure, but either way Yuri doesn’t want to give either. Yuri swallows thickly as JJ reaches up to brush his hair off his face and he can feel his hands start to shake as he knows what’s about to come. Before JJ can even lean in though Yuri swallows down his guilt and quickly presses his lips to JJ’s before fleeing from the vehicle. Hopeful that by initiating the contact JJ won’t hold any suspicions to his motives.

 Before Yuri’s even made it all the way up his steps he hears the car door behind him reopen as someone emerges.

“Yuri, wait!” JJ calls, hurrying to reach the door before Yuri is out of sight.

JJ snags Yuri’s arm just before the door can close and then pushes his way inside the building. His breathing is hard, and his eyes are wide as he studies Yuri’s pale face.

“You didn’t give me a chance to react.”

Yuri’s heart is pounding in his ears and his scent quickly sours with worry. Did JJ find the kiss suspicious? What if he can already tell Yuri’s feelings aren’t real?

“You don’t need to be scared,” JJ says calmly, cupping Yuri’s face in his hands. “I just wanted to return the favor.”

Before Yuri can even process what JJ’s words mean, JJ slots their lips together and presses Yuri back into wall. JJ’s lips are warm, and when he slips his tongue into Yuri’s mouth Yuri nearly loses his breath at the unfamiliar feel. Otabek gives almost as much control as he takes when he kisses, but JJ doesn’t have to fight for control of their kiss now because Yuri goes practically lax in his grip, trying not to show any sort of negative reaction.

As the kiss ends Yuri slowly pries JJ’s hands from his face with trembling fingers. He’s only ever kisses one other alpha before, and while the first time left him an emotional mess, it didn’t leave him with a sinking heart and a stomach full of guilt.

JJ mistakes Yuri’s silence for nervousness, and he tries his best to sooth him with a quiet rumble from deep in his chest, but all the noise does is remind Yuri of all the times Otabek’s comforted him, and eyes begin to sting.

“I- I need to go home now,” Yuri says quietly, looking down and away from JJ’s gaze.

“You still want to see me again- right?” JJ asks, his voice taking on and unusually vulnerable tone.  

Yuri nods and struggles to come up with an excuse for his sudden shift it behavior. “I’ve never been in a relationship with an alpha before,” he says, settling for a mostly true and an easy excuse. “I guess I’m just a little nervous.”

“Don’t be,” JJ reassures, cupping Yuri’s jaw and leaning forward to place a kiss to his forehead. “I want this to work, so I’m willing to go a little slower. As long as you see a real future as my omega.”

Yuri’s heart trips over itself in his chest, and he can’t make his mouth form any words, so he simply nods and moves a step closer to the staircase.  JJ doesn’t pull him back or ask for a more verbal reply, so Yuri turns and rushes up the stairway to his apartment.

Before he’s even locked the door, his stomach begins to churn, and he’s forced rush his way to the bathroom, throwing up what meager food he ate for dinner. He never thought lying to someone could make him feel so terrible, but at the same time it’s almost more than the lying that has him feeling sick. Otabek was honest and vulnerable with him, and he didn’t even give his confession proper evaluation before he agreed to work for Victor. And now he’s went and kissed someone else without even talking to Otabek about any of it.

Yuri pulls his phone from his pocket and dials Otabek as he continues to lie on the cool bathroom tiles.

“Hey, kitten,” Otabek greets, and Yuri’s eyes once again begin to sting with tears. He feels so relieved to be hearing the alpha, but at the same time he can’t stop the guilt he feels over kissing JJ. Yuri’s silent for so long that Otabek calls for him again, but this time with more worry to his voice.

“Yuri, are you there? Yuri, answer me,” Otabek demands.

“Beka,” Yuri croaks out. “I need you.”

“Where are you? What happened?” Yuri can hear movement in the background and then the sound of a car door slamming. “Yuri?”

“I’m home. I’m not hurt, I just need you right now.”

For once Yuri’s heart doesn’t ache at the admission of needing somone, in fact it feels lighter, and it’s that realization that causes Yuri to sit up.

“Otabek, I want you here,” Yuri says slowly, almost as if in a daze.

“I’m already on my way kitten, just sit tight,” Otabek assures.

“You don’t understand,” Yuri says louder. “I want you to be here. I’ve never wanted that from anyone.”

Otabek lets out a strange laugh and sighs into the receiver. “Well give me just a moment, I’m almost there.”

Yuri pulls himself off the floor, ending the call to Otabek and trying to brush his teeth in record time. He fills his mouth with mouthwash just to be sure, and then spits it out once his phone vibrates with a message to open the door.

Yuri barley allows Otabek to get two steps inside before he’s throwing himself at him like a human straightjacket. He wraps his arms tightly around Otabek’s neck, tangling his legs around the alphas waist and clinging to him like his life depends on it. Otabek, for all his surprise manages to catch Yuri smoothly, placing both hands to the smaller man’s thighs and holding him close.

Otabek kicks the door closed with his foot before walking the few steps to Yuri’s futon. He manages to sit without throwing the omega to the ground and Yuri refuses to look up from where his face is hidden in the alpha’s neck.

“Talk to me, kitten.”

Yuri stays silent for several more moments, only wraps his legs tighter around Otabek’s waist. “I don’t want to be with another alpha.”

Otabek lets out a small wounded sound, running his hands up and under the back of Yuri’s shirt. “Okay, that’s okay, you don’t have to be with me. I promise that I can just be whatever you want and nothing more.”

Yuri finally pulls back from Otabek’s neck to give the alpha the most ‘what the fuck are you talking about’ face that he’s ever made. “I don’t want to be with another alpha that isn’t you.”

Otabek’s jaw drops at Yuri’s confession, and his eyes look so hopeful that what he says next only crushes Yuri further than his kiss with JJ already has. “You’re not going to see JJ anymore?”

Yuri slowly shuffles off Otabek’s lap and looks hard at his own knees. “I’m still going to do that.”

“But you just said you didn’t want anyone else. How can you say that and then still follow through with getting information from JJ?”

“I’m going to figure out where the drugs are coming from and then I’ll stop.  It’s too important for me to just give up.”

Otabek sighs and shakes his head. “It’s not giving up, Yuri. It’s letting someone else handle it, you don’t owe Victor anything.”

Yuri purses his lips. “But I owe it to Phichit to try.”

Otabek extends a hand to Yuri, and Yuri clings to it tightly, letting his thumb rub along the top of Otabek’s calloused knuckles.

“What does that mean for this then? You said you don’t want any other alpha, but do you even want me fully. Because if you just want to continue as we are now that’s fine, but I need to know.”

“I don’t know,” Yuri whispers. “I hate when JJ touches me, but I can’t be with you the way you want and still continue with what I’m doing.”

Otabek lets out a long sigh and nods his head. “I don’t know if can handle knowing that he’s going to have his hands on you all the time. You were only with him for a few hours today and his scents already clinging to you like you were rolling around on him.”

Yuri’s pulse starts to race, and he has a moment where he almost denies Otabek’s words. “I kissed him. I was afraid that I seemed too rude or disinterested, so I did the only thing I could think of to make sure I had his attention.”

Otabek’s nostrils flair and he brings his free hand up to push against his eyes. “This is what I mean, Yuri. You tell me that and I want to go beat his face in for even daring to look at you. How am I supposed to keep calm if things keeping heading in the same direction?”

Otabek’s scent is heavy with anger, but Yuri doesn’t feel any fear, he knows it’s not directed at him. He tries to pull Otabek’s attention to his face, but the alpha continues to look off across the room.

“Beka, please. I promise it won’t go any further. Kissing JJ made me feel so awful that I was physically sick, and if I haven’t even let you fuck me why the hell would I let him?” Yuri tugs on Otabek’s hand until he finally looks up. “I know it’s selfish to ask, but will you wait for me, just until this is finished?”

Otabek’s silent a moment, contemplating Yuri’s request. “Four weeks,” he says shortly. “You can have four weeks to try and get whatever information you can, and if at the end you promise to end everything with him I’ll still be here.”

Yuri chews the inside of his cheek before asking in a small voice, “What if I don’t find anything out in that time? That’s only a month, Beka. How can I make him trust me that soon?”

“You’ll just have to try, kitten. I care about you too much to watch you continue to be with someone else, even if I know it’s all for show.”

Yuri’s breath hitches, and Otabek’s eyes soften as Yuri leans his forehead to Otabek’s shoulder. “Will you still come over when you have time?”

“Of course, kitten,” Otabek says in a soft voice. “Whenever you want.”

“Even if I smell like him?” Yuri asks, his voice catching on a hiccup.

“Even if you smell like him. I can’t promise I’ll always be happy about it, but I’ll always come when you call.”

Yuri nods into Otabek’s shoulder, trying to discretely wipe at the stay tears that have found their way out. He has no reason to be upset with Otabek, if anything Otabek’s being extremely understanding. Yuri can’t imagine any other alpha being okay with the omega they’re seeing trying to seduce someone else for information, let alone someone who has the potential to be as dangerous as JJ.

“Can you stay tonight? I still don’t feel great, and having you here helps.”

Yuri knows he’s playing dirty by feeding into Otabek’s protective instincts, but he really does feel better with the alpha around.

“I’ll stay, but you do know you’re playing with fire, right? If I can smell JJ on you after just a few hours how do you think you’ll smell after a night with me?”

Yuri shrugs and slides his arms around Otabek’s neck before crawling back into his lap. “I don’t care, I have scent dampening soap.”

Otabek leans forward to kiss the junction when Yuri’s neck and shoulder meet and then lets out a quiet rumble. “Be careful, kitten. Some alphas can be very territorial.”

Yuri’s eyelashes flutter as Otabek continues to kiss and nip at his neck. “No marks,” he breaths out.

Otabek sucks Yuri’s earlobe into his mouth and bites down hard enough for a small gasp to escape Yuri’s lips.

“If he lays one finger on you that you don’t consent to I’ll break every bone in arm,” Otabek promises, and a chill runs down Yuri’s spine.

Otabek’s breath is hot, and his eyes looking into Yuri’s hooded ones hold just as much heat. Yuri knows that he’s being serious, and it’s that knowledge that lights a fire low in Yuri’s stomach.

“Kiss me,” Yuri demands quietly, and Otabek slots their lips together in hard kiss.

Yuri moans into the kiss and hooks his fingers into the neck of Otabek’s shirt to pulls him closer. All of their kisses seem to have a desperate edge to them, and Otabek takes Yuri’s hips in his hands to pull him more firmly against him.

“Fuck, Beka,” Yuri moans as he feels a pressure start to build low in his groin.

“Is that what you want kitten, to fuck?”

Yuri’s breath comes out in a hitch as his mind supplies him with all the possibilities of Otabek’s words. “I don’t know,” he says honestly. “I didn’t really think about what would change between us before I realized how I felt.”

Otabek nods into the junction of Yuri’s neck, and then gives the area a light nip. “We don’t have to do anything right now. I’m just happy with this.”

Otabek reiterates his point with another tug to Yuri’s hips, and Yuri feels Otabek’s echoing hardness pressing back. Yuri’s mind feels like it could shatter at any moment as his breath comes out in deep pants as Otabek continues to urge him to rock against him.

He’s never been with an alpha in any physical way, and he’s definitely never pictured it like this, but somehow this is better. With their clothes still on he’s still in control, and the slight wetness that’s beginning to gather between his checks can be easily ignored with the layers of clothing separating then.

“Oh, fuck,” Yuri pants.

Otabek finally pulls his face from Yuri’s neck to seal their lips together again, and Yuri finds himself rocking down harder onto the alpha below him.

His skin feels like it’s buzzing, and he feels so high off Otabek’s scent that he might as well be flying, and when Otabek stands to lay him on his back he could swear that he is.

As his back connects with the thin mattress below him he can’t help wrapping his legs around Otabek’s waist and pulling him closer. Their cocks are able to line up easier this way, but with the all the added layers it’s just not enough. Yuri reaches a hand down between them to fumble with the zipper of his jeans, and Otabek lets out a low growl before pushing his face into the mattress near Yuri’s head. Yuri pauses then, unsure if he’s done something wrong, or maybe read the situation wrong.

“Beka,” he calls quietly. “Are you okay?” Otabek nods into the mattress but he doesn’t lift his face. “Are you sure?”

Yuri wiggles his hips a little as he tries to shimmy out from under the alpha, but Otabek brings a hand down to his hip to still his movements.

“I’m fine, kitten,” Otabek says with a huff, finally lifting his face to look at Yuri. “I just had no idea how good you would smell when you’re this turned on. You still have all your clothes on and I can already smell your slick.”

Yuri’s face flames a deep shade of red at Otabek’s words, and he lightly punches him in the shoulder. “Shut up. I didn’t think you would be able notice.”

Otabek smiles and places a light kiss to Yuri’s hairline. “Yeah, I wasn’t prepared for how strong it would be. It’s a little overwhelming.”

Yuri nods and bites at his bottom lip. “So, we’re done for now then?”

Otabek’s face falls and he adamantly shakes his head. “Not unless you want to be. I just needed a moment to compose myself. I almost embarrassed myself before we even got started.”

“Really?” Yuri asks with a smile. “You liked it that much?”

“I like everything about you, kitten.”

Yuri can stop the toothy grin that comes to his face, and he wouldn’t want to anyway. He’s never felt this way about anyone, but when Otabek looks at him things just feel right.

“I wanna take off my pants, but I don’t want you to.”

Otabek lets out a startled laugh and then sits back to give Yuri room. “Whatever you want, kitten,” he says as he runs his hands through his hair to help compose himself.

Yuri pushes his jeans down his legs, kicking them aside once they’re low enough. He keeps his boxers on, but there’s no doubt that the scent of his arousal seeping through the thin fabric of boxers won’t be able to go unnoticed. Yuri’s assumptions are proven right almost instantly when Otabek takes a deep breath and then slowly clinches his hands into fist while closing his eyes. Yuri reaches a hand out to slowly smooth down Otabek’s arm, and after a moment Otabek pries open his eyes.

“You can touch me,” Yuri says with a shrug, trying to come off as causal, but the tremors in his voice gives away just how nervous he is.

“Are you sure?” Otabek asks with furrowed brows.

Yuri nods and pulls Otabek’s hand back down to rest against his waist. “I want you to.”

Otabek give a small nod and his hand tightens around Yuri’s hips before sliding up and pushing Yuri’s shirt aside.

“Is this okay?”

Yuri nods as his heart starts to race, and Otabek’s large hand feels like a hot brand sliding up his skin, making all the areas he’s not being touched feel cool. When his shirt is bunched up beneath his arm pits Otabek reaches out with his opposite hand and then slides it up the cool side of Yuri’s chest, sending warmth rushing back through Yuri at the touch.

“Beka,” Yuri whines. “Stop messing around and do something.”

The smile that comes to Otabek’s lips is wicked, and it’s the last thing Yuri seems before Otabek leans forward to capture one of Yuri’s nipples in his mouth. He bites down hard on the very tip of it, and Yuri’s hips buck so hard off the mattress that he’s surprised he doesn’t knock Otabek aside.

“Oh fuck,” Yuri gasps as Otabek sucks harshly on the nipple that he’s just abused while bring a hand up to pinch at the neglected one.

After a moment Otabek switches sides to give the other nipple the same treatment, and all the while Yuri’s hips continue to buck as he whines.

“Fuck, you’re beautiful,” Otabek says in a husky voice. “I can’t wait to watch you fall apart.”

Yuri’s insides clench at Otabek’s words, and with his eyes squeezed closed he blindly reaches for Otabek’s face to draw him up into a kiss. It’s wet and sloppy, but Yuri doesn’t care as it finally forces Otabek’s hips against his own again, and they begin to rock together.

Otabek’s scent is so thick that Yuri feels like it’ll permanently be stuck in his lungs and he breaks their kiss to bury his face into Otabek’s neck and inhale deeply. His skin feels like it’s on fire and then Otabek leans back to slip a hand over Yuri’s cloth covered cock Yuri losses access to all intelligent thought as he cries out. Yuri tugs wildly at Otabek’s shirt until the alpha finally pulls back enough to tug the article over his head and toss it across the room.

Yuri’s hands immediately latch onto all the exposed skin, as his nails bite small crescents across Otabek’s back and chest.

“Beka,” Yuri whines, high and needy as the larger man returns to cupping Yuri’s cloth covered cock. “Please.”

“What do you want, kitten?” Otabek’s voice is husky, and sparks travel up Yuri’s spine at the tone.

“I wanna come, touch me,” Yuri demands, rocking harder into Otabek’s open palm.

Otabek could choose to tease Yuri for his choice of words, after all, with their bodies aligned he’s touching nearly all of Yuri’s front, but instead he pulls down the front of Yuri’s boxers and allows his cock to spring free before wrapping his hand around it.

Yuri cries out at the sudden change and then digs his nails in harder to the back of Otabek’s shoulders. He wants this time to last, he wants to remember everything about this moment; the way Otabek’s smells, the way he feels plastered against him, the sound of his harsh breathing as he continues to rock against Yuri while he strokes his cock, but that doesn’t get to happen. Instead, Yuri feels his orgasm quickly nearing, and he only has a few moments to bask in the blissful high of it all before he’s suddenly crashing down with a shout. He tries to hide his cries in Otabek’s neck, but as Otabek chooses to work the tip of Yuri’s cock as he comes Yuri finds he’s unable to do so, and instead he bites down harshly on the junction of Otabek’s neck and shoulder. The alpha above him goes practically statue still in the moment, and then he’s groaning and releasing Yuri’s cock to grip the bunched-up sheets by Yuri’s head.

“Oh fuck,” Otabek groans, as Yuri continues bite down until a bitter taste fills his mouth, and then they’re both moaning at the feeling.

It takes several seconds for Yuri’s high to come down, and then several more before he realizes he’s broken skin of Otabek’s neck with his teeth.  

Otabek gasps as Yuri removes his jaw from his neck, and Yuri whines when he sees the light puncture wounds to Otabek’s skin. The red of the mark stands out in bright contrast to the black and white tattoo coving the area and Yuri ducks his head down to avoid looking directly at it.

“Hey,” Otabek calls, and Yuri’s eyes sting as he forces his gaze downcast. “Yuri,” Otabek says louder, this time cupping Yuri’s jaw and lightly forcing him to look up. “Are you okay?”

Yuri’s breath comes out loud and he can’t seem to summon any words, so instead he settles for shaking his head.

Otabek’s face falls and he pushes himself up to a seated position before coving Yuri’s exposed body with a blanket. “Did I hurt you? Was this too fast?” Otabek looks heartbroken at the idea that he’s caused Yuri some sort of stress, or that he might have pushed things too far.

“I bit you,” Yuri chokes out. “I know it’s not the same as heat bonding, but I didn’t even ask.”

The tears that have been stinging Yuri’s eyes finally start to fall, and Otabek reaches up to slide his fingertips along the angry red mark on his neck before he lets out a laugh and then pulls Yuri to his chest.

Yuri shoves at the alpha for laughing at his tears, but he allowed himself to be held anyway.

“Kitten, I don’t care that you bit me. Hell, it was what pushed me over the edge.”

Yuri sniffles into Otabek’s chest and shakes his head. “I should have asked. People will be able to see it. They’ll think you’ve bonded someone.”

“Then let them. I know it’s not a real bond, and I don’t care if everyone knows that I’m taken.”

Yuri’s wraps his arms around Otabek’s torsos and then nuzzles his face into the unmarked side of Otabek’s neck. “Really?”

“Really. I know you don’t want to have your heats, but I’d still want to mark you when all this shit with JJ is over. If you’d want me to that is.”

Yuri brings a hand up to touch the area where his neck and shoulder meet, and a low coiling heat travels through his stomach. “Would it hurt?”

“A little. I wouldn’t try to break the skin though, I know my teeth aren’t as sharp as yours.”

Yuri nods and then contemplates how it would feel to walk around with an alphas mark on his neck, everyone knowing that he was taken, claimed. But then again, it wouldn’t be just any alpha’s mark, and it wouldn’t be a claim. It would be Otabek’s mark, and Otabek would wear Yuri’s too, and Yuri thinks he would like the idea of that.  

“Okay.”

“Okay?” Otabek asks, a hopeful tone coloring his voice.

“I think I’d like that, as long as you let me mark you back.”

Otabek smiles and draws Yuri’s face up to place a light kiss to his lips. “Of course, kitten. If you’re mine, then I’m also yours.”

“So, you’re mine?” Yuri asks with a small smile.

“As long as you want me to be.”

Chapter Text

Yuri follows JJ through a winding path of greenery surrounded by a high vaulted glass ceiling. Every few feet there's a new type of plant life, and Yuri has to remind himself not to touch. JJ mentioned some of the plant life being poisonous, but he didn't specify which ones. 

"What do you think?" JJ asks, motioning around them. 

"It's... really big," Yuri says casually, looking around the expansive room. 

"Just over twelve hundred feet. We had it added onto when Isabella and I got married. She loves gardening, but with the weather there's really only a few months available outside."

Yuri's nose scrunches, and he tries his best not to think about JJ's wife somewhere on the property. He's yet to formally meet her, and if he has things his way he never will.

"So, plants aren't really your thing," JJ says matter-of-factly. "What are you interested in? I feel like we didn't talk about you much on our last date."

"I don't know, I like animals," Yuri says lamely. "I've always wanted a cat, but I don't have much free time, so I thought it would be cruel to leave one alone all day. Most of my free time is spent either reading or hanging out with my friends."

"Reading," JJ says excitedly. "I could show you the library. I forgot that you have two jobs, so you probably don't have a lot of time for other things. How do you like being a dancer?"

"I'm actually not a dancer anymore," Yuri says as he starts to follow JJ back out of the greenhouse. "I started working as Yuuri's personal assistant a few months ago instead."

JJ hums and reaches down to take Yuri's hand. "What's that like?"

"It's fine, a lot of paperwork and shopping for the babies."

"Babies?" JJ asks. "There's going to be more than one?"

Yuri mentally kicks himself for the slip and nods. Yuuri wants to keep the fact that there's twins on the down low until it's absolutely necessary for everyone to know. Being a male omega already comes with so many added risks and adding in twins only makes that worse. 

"That's incredible," JJ says with a smile. "I can't wait to start having children. Isabella wants to wait a few more years, but I'm ready now."

Yuri bites his tongue and tries not to add any negative comments to the topic of children. It's not that he hates kids, he's just never pictured them as a part of his life.

"How many kids do you want?" Yuri asks, as they reenter the main house and head towards a large grand staircase.

"As many as I can have. Growing up the way I did was very lonely, and I would never want my children to feel alone."

"Why was it lonely?"

JJ pauses on a landing of the staircase and studies a set of photographs. He motions to one of a familiar looking woman with dark hair and bright eyes. "My mother always wanted a large family, but her pregnancy with me was full of so many complications that the doctors advised her to avoid any future pregnancies. They still tried a few times, but she wasn't able to carry any more children to term, and eventually the stress on her body became too much. She passed when I was twelve.

Yuri’s heart clinches with the news and for a moment he almost reaches out to touch JJ. “I’m really sorry.”

“It’s okay, when she died my dad stopped staying at the estate as much. I guess he thought the house was too empty without her. He mostly stays at different condos or apartments for work. I know my mother always dreamed of a family large enough to fill this place though, and I'd love to give her that. Even if she won’t be here to see it."

Yuri's stomach feels sour at the unexpectedly heartfelt moment, and he continues up a few steps to encourage JJ to keep walking.

"So how big is the library?" Yuri asks, trying to steer JJ away from the topic of kids and dead parents. 

"You'll see in just a moment, it's just a few doors down."

JJ stops in front of a set of double doors, turning slightly to make sure Yuri is paying attention. He then turns both handles at once before throwing the doors wide and taking a step inside. 

Yuri knew to expect something grand and expensive, but he didn't expect something out of a fairytale. The books take up two different levels, with a spiral staircase in the center of the room to reach the second floor. There's also different sections set up with tables and oversized furniture to sit at and read on, and Yuri feels very out of place next to all the innate gold light fixtures and details.

"So?" JJ prompts. 

"This is crazy," Yuri says honestly. "There's more books here than all of the thrift stores I visit combined."

JJ's face looks pinched for a moment, but the look fades so quickly Yuri almost thinks he's imagined it. 

"You know, you never told me what happened to the person you were seeing," JJ says, as he pulls a book off the shelf. 

"What person?" Yuri asks.

"Ah, so that was a lie to get rid of me," JJ says with a laugh, and Yuri suddenly remembers their conversation in the hallway of Lilia's. 

"Oh, that," Yuri says with a blush, turning to study a different shelf full of books on plant life. "It didn't work out."

JJ lets out a soft chuckle from beside Yuri's ear, and Yuri jumps in surprise, unaware of when the alpha moved so close. 

"Sorry, I didn't mean to surprise you." JJ sweeps Yuri's hair aside and leans forward to inhale near his neck. "Your scent isn't as strong today, I feel like you're trying to hide from me."

"New soap," Yuri lies, biting his lip when JJ noses behind his ear.

“Hmm, I’ll have to get you something better. A soap shouldn’t hide your natural scent, especially when it’s as enticing as yours.”

 JJ places a light kiss to Yuri’s neck and Yuri’s mind races as he tries to think of a way to distract JJ from his current fixation.

"Are you a drug addict?" Yuri asks bluntly, swallowing down his fear when JJ's hands tighten on his waist. 

JJ flips Yuri around, his eyes fixated on Yuri’s. "Why would you ask that?"

"Because I found all those pills in your pocket, and if you are I don't want to be blindsided."

Yuri's heart pounds in his chest and JJ takes several deep breaths before answering. 

"No, I'm not an addict. I did have pills with me, but they weren't for my use."

"Okay," Yuri whispers, trying to gather the courage to press JJ further. "Why did you have them then?"

JJ sucks in his cheeks for a moment and he almost looks like he's about to answer when the doors to the library open and a tall brunette enters. 

JJ instantly steps back from Yuri and smiles at the woman. "Bella, what a nice surprise."

The beta's sculpted eyebrows raise in surprise as she slowly makes her way over to the pair. 

"You must be Yuri," she says with a soft smile, extending her hand out for Yuri to shake.

"Um- yeah," Yuri shakes her hand and tries not to focus on the awkwardness of the situation. Bella seems to already know who he is, which means JJ wasn't lying when he said she was okay with him taking an omega. "It's nice to meet you."

"You too. I assume we're going to be seeing a lot of each other, so I'm glad to finally meet the omega that's captured JJ so fully."

Yuri's brows furrow in confusion and he turns to JJ for an explanation. 

JJ's blue eyes flash to Isabella's and he rubs lightly at the shaved underside of his hair. "I told Bella that I was interested in bonding with you, but I know that's not something we've talked about yet."

Yuri's hands feel clammy at the thought of being bonded to any alpha, and his fears must spike high enough for his scent to begin to change because JJ shakes his head as his eyes widen. 

"I know we're just getting to know each other," JJ says with his palms raised in surrender. "And I wasn't even going to bring any of this up until it was closer to your next heat, but that is where I hope this is leading."

"I uh- I haven't really thought that far ahead," Yuri says with a stutter, struggling to calm his speeding heart.

Bella shifts awkwardly between the two men, tugging lightly at the hem of her shirt. "I'm so sorry, JJ. I assumed since you told me, that the two of you had already discussed this."

JJ shakes his head, reaching out to take Bella's hand lightly in his grip. "It's fine, really. I mean I was going to have to bring it up at some point."

Isabella chews her bottom lip for a moment before turning to Yuri with a light smile. "I'm sorry if I've made things awkward. I'll let you two talk more without an audience, I do hope we can get to know each other more though."

With that Bella places a light kiss to JJ's cheek and exits out of the library, her short heels clicking all the way. 

Yuri watches as the door clicks back into place and very obviously avoids JJ's gaze. He knows that he needs to play along, that he needs JJ to believe there really is a chance of them bonding, but the thought of it makes his skin crawl and his stomach start to cramp. He’s unsure if he’ll ever be comfortable with the idea of someone else in his head. It’s not like an alpha would be able to read his mind, but the idea of feeling someone else’s emotions, or them feeling his is almost too much to bare; especially when he’s only very recently entertained the idea of allowing Otabek to mark him without a bond.

"Yuri, I'm sorry if this is moving too fast," JJ says slowly. "But I'm also glad you know where I stand now."

"Just a few days ago you said we could take things slow, and now you're telling people that you want to bond me," Yuri says, his voice growing slightly harsher. 

"You knew I wanted kids, Yuri. You had to of known bonding was on the table."

Yuri wants to hold onto his anger, but JJ's right. He did know that JJ has plans for a family that involves an omega, and by allowing JJ to think he has feelings for him of course JJ's thought of him that way. 

"It's just a lot sooner than I was thinking, that's all," Yuri says with a frown. 

"I'm sorry if you feel that way, but I've wanted to start a family for a few years now. I don't even know when your next heat is, we haven't talked about anything like that."

Because it's none of your damn business, Yuri thinks. 

"It won't be for a while. Over a month, at least," Yuri lies, setting his pretend heat for after his time with JJ is set to expire. 

JJ nods before pulling Yuri's hands to his chest. "How do you feel about bonding during your next heat? If it's still several weeks away that means we have time to get to know each other better. Are your heats pretty regular?"

Yuri blushes at such an intimate question and then mentally rolls his eyes. He has no idea what his heats are like, he hasn't had one in years, and even if he had there's no way he would ever let himself be bonded to JJ. Hell, he admitted that he has feelings for Otabek and he still doesn't have any plans to start having heats again. 

"Yeah, they're regular, it should be in about five weeks."

Yuri's heart doesn't race at this lie, and there's a small part of him that's almost worried at how easy it's getting to lie. He knows it's necessary, but his grandfather had always preached to him the benefits of being honest, and there's still a small voice inside him that hates to let the older man down. 

"Five weeks," JJ says with wonder. "In five weeks we could be bonded, and then that much closer to starting a family."

JJ looks so excited about the prospect of children that Yuri's facade nearly cracks, and his stomach fills with guilt. What if Victor's wrong? What if JJ really does just want to start a family and he actually doesn't know anything about maple.

"Hey, you never explained why you had all those pills in your jacket," Yuri presses, desperately clinging to any topic but the current one. "If you weren't doing them why do you have them?"

"Oh, they were just left over from a night out with some friends. I tend to stay sober, so I always keep ahold of anything like that to make sure no one goes overboard."

Yuri's stomach sinks at JJ's explanation, it sounds so practical that Yuri actually believes him, and if they were just bought for his friends and he wasn't dealing them out, what more does Yuri have to ask about?

"That's good," Yuri says after a long pause. 

"Are you okay? You seem disappointed that I'm not into drugs. I thought you said you weren't interested in stuff like that."

"I'm not," Yuri says quickly. "I guess I'm still just freaking out about the idea of being bonded."

"Have you never been bonded before?" JJ asks in surprise.

"No, I've never found anyone I've wanted to be tied to like that."

JJ takes Yuri's hand and walks him to an oversized couch in the corner of the room. "That's incredible. I've never been someone's first bonded partner. How have you managed all your other heats without bonding, I thought it was practically impossible to resist in the moment."

"I uh- I don't normally have heat partners," Yuri says shyly, avoiding eye contact with JJ's heated gaze. 

It doesn't feel like a lie as much as an omission of the truth. He never does have heat partners, but he also never has heats, and now that he's back on a new brand of pill he should be able to keep his heats at bay for the next year at least. 

"Would I be your first?" JJ asks, slightly breathless as his eyes trail down to Yuri's neck. 

Yuri debates lying, but in the end, it won't really matter. He'll be gone in four weeks and JJ will be none the wiser. 

"Yes."

JJ's jaw goes slack at the admission and he rubs at his face to try and gain some composure. "Fuck, that's so hot."

Yuri scowls and rolls his eyes. "It's not a big deal."

"But it is," JJ defends. "I'm going to be your first and last heat partner. You have no idea how much that makes me want to take you right now."

"My last?" Yuri asks, his brows furrowing at the comment.

"Well yeah, if you're really going to be my omega, do you think I would just give you up."

"I don't know, I guess I thought we were still getting to know each other."

"We are," JJ assures, taking Yuri's hand in his own and bringing it to his lips for a kiss. "But now that I have you I don't have any plans to let you go."

Yuri swallows thickly and his hand trembles in JJ's hold. He has to keep reminding himself that everything's going to be okay. That JJ will never get the chance to bond him and in just a few weeks he'll be back to his regular life. 

JJ's phone interrupts the unusually quiet moment and Yuri's never been so thankful for the annoying sound.  JJ gives Yuri a small smile as he answers the call and then his face drops when the person on the other end begins to shout. Yuri can't make out everything they're saying, but he can hear something about a shipment being delayed. 

"Calm down," JJ snaps, sitting up straighter on the couch. "I'll send someone there right now, tell Yang not to worry. I'll make sure everything is found and whoever is responsible will be punished accordingly."

JJ ends the call and stands from the couch in a huff. 

"I have to go into work."

"Is everything okay?" Yuri wracks his brain trying to remember why the name Yang is so familiar, and then it finally comes to him, Isabella's family. 

"No, one of our ships was intercepted as it was coming in last night and someone got away with almost half of our shipment.

"What was on the ship?"

JJ opens his mouth to answer but then reconsiders. "Nothing that can't be replaced, and luckily it was a smaller ship, so nothing too important was taken."

Yuri's brows furrow and he tilts his head at JJ's cryptic answer. "I'm not some simple-minded child, if you want me to be your omega you're going to have to trust me."

JJ's eyes look pained, and he sits back down next Yuri, pulling the smaller man’s hands into his lap. "It's not that I don't trust you, it's just not anything you need to worry about. I'll get it all sorted and then we can continue our evening."

"So, I'm going home for now?" Yuri asks, maybe just a little too eagerly. 

JJ frowns and shakes his head. "No, I had assumed that you'd just stay here until I got back. It should only take a few hours at most."

"So, I'm just supposed to sit around and wait for you to show back up?" Yuri pulls his hands from JJ's lap with a pout. "I have other things I could be doing. I could be at work right now, making money. I only got today off so I could see you." It's not a complete lie, Yuuri did ask him to come in, but if any chances to gain information from JJ arise Yuri is given the day off. 

"I can't help that I have to go into work," JJ says harshly, growing impatient when Yuri doesn't immediately fold to his wants. "I'll be as quick as I can, and if you need money that desperately I can just pay you whatever you would have made for today."

"I'm not a whore that you can pay off to wait around for you," Yuri snaps, standing from the couch and walking towards the center of the room.

"Don't walk away from me," JJ calls, his voice taking on a lower tone. "We're not done talking."

Yuri twirls on his heels and narrows his eyes at the alpha glowering at him from the couch. "I'm done talking. You can take me home on your way to work."

"That is not how this works." JJ strides quickly to Yuri and Yuri finds himself taking a step back at the alphas approach. JJ hasn't done anything to make Yuri think he could be violent, but the heat in his eyes is startling. "You don't get to dictate everything. I get that you want to work and be all independent, but you're still an omega, and I had hoped that you and Isabella could get to know each other better while I was gone."

"Why are you being such a dick?" Yuri nearly shouts. "I want to go home, so take me home."

JJ lets out a loud breath through his nose and then marches to the doors of the library without looking back. 

"Where are you going?" Yuri yells after him. 

"To make a phone call."

JJ slams the door behind him, and Yuri throws himself back onto the overstuffed couch. What the hell is JJ's problem? So, what if Yuri doesn't want to spend time with the alpha's stupid wife. It's not like he has any right to order Yuri around, and then throwing the fact that Yuri's an omega in his face as if that's reason enough for Yuri to change his mind.

Yuri angrily digs his phone out of his pocket and dials Otabek. The alpha takes longer to answer than normal and Yuri's mood only sours further.

"Altin," Otabek says in a clipped voice, and Yuri's brows furrow in confusion. 

"Who the fuck's Altin?"

Otabek lets out a short laugh and his voice comes out softer when he answers. "That's my last name, kitten. How'd your date go?"

Yuri files away the new information to think about later and begins to tell Otabek of his afternoon. "It's not over. JJ just left to go make a call about some shipping mishap, but he was being a total asshole. I told him I wanted to go home, and he freaked out on me."

"Freaked out how?" Otabek asks calmly, but it's his calmness that gives away his displeasure. 

"He just got mad that I didn't want to stay at his place, and then got all up in my face when I walked away from him."

A low sound escapes Otabek's throat, but it ends so quickly that Yuri almost thinks he's imagined it. 

"I told you to be careful around him. You don't know as much about him as you think you do."

"What don't I know," Yuri asks quietly, looking to the closed door to make sure JJ hasn't returned. 

"We can talk about that later," Otabek promises. "What did he tell you about the shipping mishap?"

"Just that a smaller ship was robbed, but nothing too valuable was taken."

"So, he considers nearly sixty grand in coke nothing," Otabek says with a scoff. "He's either stupid or bluffing."

Yuri squints as his mind processes Otabek's words. "How do you know what was taken?"

"Do you really want to know?"

Yuri sucks in the side of his cheek and bites it before clearing his throat and squaring his shoulders. "Yes, I'm already this involved, what's a little more?" 

"I organized the raid," Otabek says smoothly. "I didn't go of course, but I picked the team and set it all up."

"Why?" Yuri asks, his eyes still trained to the door and his ear straining to listen for any sound from the other side.

"Because on the off chance that I got lucky on the first try you could leave that asshole and come home for good."

Yuri's chest warms at Otabek's words, and he's thankful that the alphas not there to see him blush in person. "You were hoping to find maple?"

"Yeah, but that wasn't the case. The ship was carrying a combination of items from the Leroy's smaller businesses. The coke was found stashed in several expensive vases."  

Yuri takes a deep breath and then whispers to Otabek the words that have been kicking around his brain since he last talked to JJ about the strange new drug. 

"I'm not sure the Leroy's are involved in maple. JJ told me the only reason he had so many pills was from partying with his friends."

The pause before Otabek speaks feels heavy, and Yuri grows more anxious as he waits. "Are you absolutely sure?"

"I mean, not like one hundred percent, but just so far I haven't really seen anything to suggest it."

"We know the Leroy's are starting to move away from some of the lesser drugs, the coke is proof enough of that. So, it wouldn't be too big of a leap to think they could be involved in the flood of maple that's taken over. If you really believe they're not involved though I'll back you up, but make sure you're sure."

Yuri's heart thuds dully in his chests as he turns over the small amount of information he's gathered. It's completely possible that JJ was lying about the maple in his coat pocket, but Yuri doesn't have any proof of that yet. All he has is JJ's word and a strange gut feeling that he's missing something. 

"I'm not sure yet. I need some more time."

"You've got just over three weeks," Otabek says, as if Yuri isn't counting the days down in his own head.

"Yeah I know. I'll figure this out before then."

"So, what are you doing tonight?" Otabek asks casually. 

"I don't know," Yuri says with a smile. "I'm definitely not seeing JJ when he gets back. Do you want to come over?"

"Yeah, what time do you think you'll be home?"

Yuri looks around the room for a clock and spots an ornate one hanging near the staircase. 

"Once JJ gets back from his phone call maybe half an hour. So, let's just say six to be safe."

Otabek makes an affirmative noise into the receiver. "That sounds good, kitten. I'll see you then."

Yuri can't fight the goofy grin that tugs at his lips, and as the door to the library opens he tries to quickly school his features and say a quick, "I'll talk to you later," before disconnecting the call.

JJ doesn't look any more relaxed than when he left as he approaches Yuri with furrowed brows. "Who was that?"

"A friend," Yuri says quickly. "How was your phone call?

"It was fine," JJ says with a dismissive flick of his wrist. "Who were you talking to?"

"I just told you," Yuri says with narrowed eyes, his stomach growing uneasy as JJ continues to press him. 

"No, you said a friend. I'm asking which friend," JJ clarifies, his voice dropping lower and his blue eyes burning into Yuri's.

"Why are you being so crazy all the sudden?" Yuri asks with a huff. "We were having a good time today until you started trying to be all alpha on me."

"I'm not being crazy," JJ says with a sneer. "You're the one being unreasonable. I'm asking a simple question and you're avoiding the answer."

"Because it doesn't matter," Yuri yells back, standing from the couch and crowding into JJ's space. "I'm allowed to have friends, and I'm allowed to talk on the phone. You don't get to control me just because you want me to be your omega."

Yuri feels breathless in his anger, and he doesn't even remember that he's supposed to be staying on JJ's good side to gain information. All he can think about is how JJ is just another dick alpha that thinks omegas should know their place. 

"Tell me who you were talking to." JJ's voice comes out low and clear, and Yuri feels a tug in his chest to answer. He tries to bite his tongue but the sharp, "now," that JJ lets out causes the truth to bubble up. 

"Otabek," Yuri says with a wince, drawing away from JJ when his face goes slack. 

"You told me there was nothing between you."

"There's not," Yuri says quickly, "he just called to tell me Yuuri needed me tomorrow morning."

JJ shakes his head and steps back from Yuri. "I don't know if I believe you, why would he call and not Yuuri himself."

"I swear, Jean," Yuri practically begs, his hands trembling at how careless he was. "There's nothing going on between us."

"I want to mark you," JJ says suddenly, and Yuri's hand unconsciously clutches his neck.

"I'm not in heat. It won't do anything," Yuri says, as he steps back from the alpha in the room. 

"It will show that you're taken, and it will remind you of that too," JJ says without much affliction, as if he were simply telling Yuri the weather. "You told me that you wanted to be mine, if that were true you would be jumping at the chance for me to lay my claim on you."

"I don't do that sort of thing outside of heats," Yuri says, with a nervous glance to the door. 

Yuri's never been marked before, but he knows it's supposed to be painful. That's the main reason most couples choose to only renew the bites during heats. The added endorphins help to mask any pain that would otherwise be felt.

"I won't go deep," JJ tries to assure, completely ignoring Yuri's protests to the event. "I know you've never bonded, but this is something I need to do. If there’s really nothing between you and anyone else, then it shouldn’t matter if you wear my mark. Plus, this will put my mind at ease, don’t you want that?”

Yuri wants to say no, he wants to run from JJ's home and never look back, but he won't. He made a deal with Victor and he's going to honor it. Phichit still hasn't woken up and the longer he sleeps the less hope Yuri has that he ever will awaken. If he has to deal with JJ's mark on his neck for a few weeks, then so be it. 

"Fine," Yuri says quietly, just barely above a whisper.

JJ's smile looks triumphant as he guides Yuri back to the plush couch, and Yuri feels like he's going to be sick. He tries to distance himself in his mind as JJ pulls him into his lap, but JJ starts with light presses of his lips to Yuri's, and Yuri is forced back into the moment. 

"Relax," JJ whispers against Yuri's lips. "You want to be my omega, don't you?"

Yuri swallows thickly and nods his head. He's only recently started imagining what it would feel like to have Otabek's mark on his neck, to carry an alphas mark, and for Otabek to carry his. That imagery is ruined now though as JJ's lips move from Yuri's, to his jaw, and then lower still to his neck. 

He doesn't bite down right away, and it's the waiting that makes it almost unbearable. Yuri starts to tremble as JJ takes light nips of his skin, causing pink and purple marks to spring to the surface. Yuri pants and grips JJ's shoulders, as the pain in his neck gives way to sparks of pleasure that he doesn't want. He closes his eyes and thinks of Otabek, but that's almost worse, and his eyes quickly shoot open to study the ornate wall paper of the library.

JJ sucks deep bruises into Yuri's neck, and Yuri can't help thinking that this is some sort of punishment for talking to Otabek. It's clear that JJ's more possessive than Yuri originally thought, and the unnecessary marks are only further proof of that. A simple bite or mark to the junction of Yuri's neck and shoulder would be enough to show that Yuri's already spoken for, but JJ seems determined to make sure Yuri can't forget. 

When the entire side of Yuri's neck is marked in a kaleidoscope of bruises, and Yuri feels like he's about to shatter with how hard he's shaking, JJ finally moves to the junction of Yuri's neck and shoulder and sinks his teeth into the sore flesh. He doesn't go deep, just like promised, but as his canine teeth pierce through Yuri's skin a gasp falls from Yuri's lips and he goes practically boneless on JJ's lap. It hurts more than Yuri thought it would, and the added bruises feel as if they're pulsing to Yuri's rapid heartbeat. 

He can feel tears stinging at the corners of his eyes as JJ removes his teeth, and he's not sure if it's from the pain or knowledge that he's carrying the mark of an alpha that he doesn't want. 

"Shhh," JJ tries to soothe, as he licks lightly to the place his teeth have just pressed. "It's okay, princess, I've got you."

Yuri doesn't realize his breathing is coming out in quick pants until JJ pulls them chest to chest and begins to take slow, deep breaths. 

"I want to go home," Yuri chokes out after several moments. 

JJ lets out a low wounded noise but nods his head. "I have to leave anyway. Can I come get you when I get back?"

Yuri shakes his head and then winces at the pain that shoots through his neck. "I just want to sleep."

JJ places a light kiss to the side of Yuri's neck and nods.

 

-

 

Yuri doesn't remember much of the walk out of the mansion, or the drive home, but he does notice Otabek's bike parked outside his building, and his heart starts to race. 

"Already afraid to be without me?" JJ asks with a smile, and Yuri says nothing, instead pulling himself out from under JJ's arm.  "I'll call you tomorrow." 

JJ presses a kiss to the side of Yuri's head and Yuri slinks from the car and up the steps to his building. He pulls his coat high around his neck as he makes his way to his floor, feeling more and more numb with each step. 

Otabek's leaned against his door waiting as he enters the hall, and Yuri's steps start to falter. There's no way to hide what JJ's done to him, and even if he could he couldn't hide how he's feeling right now, looking at the alpha he wants while wearing the mark of another, and after agreeing to wear Otabek's mark only a few days ago. 

Otabek takes notice of Yuri's stalled form at the end of the hall and slowly walks towards him. 

"Yuri, what's wrong?" He asks. He doesn't reach out to touch, instead he hovers just out of reach, his face stern but concerned. "Yuri, can you hear me? Are you okay?"

Yuri wants to reply, he wants to reach out and tell Otabek that everything's okay and he's just had a shitty day, but everything isn't okay. JJ marked him for everyone to see, and even though he'll be done with him in just over three weeks there's no way the teeth marks or bruises will be completely gone by then. Adding on the fact that JJ used another command that could have had Yuri revealing their whole plan, and Yuri feels just about as far from okay as he can get.

"I-" Yuri tries to say, but his voice cracks and his eyes begin to sting. "I need to sit down."

Almost as soon as the words are out of Yuri's lips his knees give out and he begins to plummet to the floor. Otabek's arms barely catch him and Yuri begins to cry. He tries to tell Otabek about the marks on his neck, but between the gasping and the sobs Otabek only shushes him and gently pulls the keys from his coat. 

Otabek walks them to Yuri's worn out futon and then tries to gently peel Yuri from his coat, but Yuri seizes up and tugs his coat tighter around himself as sobs continue to wrack his body. 

"It's okay, kitten. You can keep your coat on. It's okay. It's okay," Otabek whispers over and over. "You gotta breathe, baby."

Yuri continues to sob until his body feels absolutely weak, and only then does he begin to breathe deeply again. The whole ordeal probably last fifteen minutes, but Otabek holds him through it; rocking him gently and trying to let out as much calming scent as he can. 

Otabek runs his hands through Yuri's hair and Yuri can feel himself starting to drift as Otabek finally speaks again. 

"I'm going to kill him. You don't have to tell me what happened, but just know that it's going to be handled." Otabek says this very calmly, and Yuri lets out a deep breath into the damp fabric of Otabek's shirt. 

"He marked me," Yuri whispers, keeping his eyes tightly closed to avoid seeing any reaction from Otabek. 

Otabek's hand spasms in Yuri's hair for a moment, going tight but not pulling. "You're not in heat," he says tightly. 

"I know," Yuri whispers, "but he was jealous, and it was the only way to keep him from getting too suspicious."

"Can I see it?"

Yuri hesitates at this. There's no way to keep the marks hidden for long, but if he shows Otabek now they become real, no longer just a shameful secret he wishes to hide. 

"It hurts," Yuri says instead of an answer. 

Otabek lets out an almost whine at the news. "Then at least let me get you some ice."

Yuri nods and then regrets it as the movement tugs on his sore neck. Otabek catches Yuri's wince and leans down to press a kiss to Yuri's head. The gesture is so similar to that of JJ's as Yuri was leaving the town car that Yuri’s breath hitches for a moment. 

"Are you okay?"

"No," Yuri says quietly, finally moving his arms away from where he had been clutching the neck of his coat closed. 

As he sits up he takes care to make sure his neck stays fully hidden, and when Otabek stands to retrieve ice Yuri lightly pokes at the most painful areas. He hasn't seen it yet, but he can feel where the bruises start just below his ear and then end just after the bite mark. It's not uncommon for an omega to carry a few love bites from their time with an alpha, but Yuri's never seen one mauled the way he was. It was such a possessive act that Yuri feels a chill run down him as he thinks about it.

Otabek returns quickly with a thick cloth wrapped around several pieces of ice. He holds the bundle out to Yuri and tries to keep his eyes trained on Yuri's face. 

"Will you hold it for me?" It seems like a silly request, but Yuri feels so exhausted he’s not sure he could manage. 

"Of course," Otabek says without pause. "I'll sit, and you can lay your head on my lap."

Yuri makes a small affirmative noise and slowly sits up to peel the coat from his body. He keeps his eyes downcast and away from Otabek's cool gaze as he lays back down with his head pillowed on Otabek's thighs. 

Otabek doesn't speak at first, he just gently sweeps Yuri's hair aside and then presses the bundle of ice to Yuri's neck. Yuri's breath stutters out of him with the shock of the cold, and he grips tightly to Otabek's knee.

"Will you say something already?" Yuri demands through gritted teeth when Otabek continues to sit quietly. 

"I'm sorry, kitten," Otabek says softly, and tears spring to Yuri's eyes once again. 

"I don't want you to be sorry," Yuri snaps. "This isn't your fault."

"How did you think I would be?" 

"Angry at me," Yuri says, rubbing at his face with the back of his hand. "Or disappointed, or just pissed. You're too calm."

Otabek smooths a hand down Yuri's arm to entangle their fingers, and then lifts their joined hands to place a kiss to their tangled fingers. 

"I'm not mad at you, kitten. I don't think that you wanted this to happen, or that you would have done it if given another choice. I believed you when you told me you only wanted me."

A choked off breath finds its way out of Yuri's throat, and his chest begins to unclench. He didn’t realize just how much anxiety he was holding onto over Otabek’s possible reaction until Otabek suddenly took it all away. 

"I don't want everyone to see," Yuri says, voice barely above a whisper. "I'm not some piece of property for sale that he can stick his sign on."

"No one has to see if you don't want them to. Call Lilia and tell her you need a few weeks off, I'll call and talk to Yuuri."

"How are you so calm?" Yuri asks, as he gazes at a stack of books on his coffee table.

"Because you need me to be right now. It wouldn't solve anything for me to get angry."

Yuri's eyes flutter closed, and his chest feels tight with words about Otabek that he doesn't know how to express. "I hate him," Yuri says instead.

"You can stop this whenever you want."

"Has Phichit's condition changed?" Otabek is silent a moment and Yuri knows the answer. "Then I can't stop yet. You said so yourself that the Leroy's are stepping up their game with the coke, so I need to know for sure if they're the ones importing the maple."

"What made JJ so jealous tonight?" 

Yuri swallows thickly in his dry throat and contemplates lying. He's embarrassed that JJ commanded him to tell him about the phone call and even more so that he wasn't able to resist it. 

"He knew that I was on the phone with you tonight."

Otabek's hand stalls in Yuri's hair and he clears his throat before continuing. "How?"

Yuri makes a small wounded sound at the question and clutches tightly to Otabek's hand. "He commanded me to tell him."

Otabek's breathing is loud, but his hand doesn't stop stroking Yuri’s hair. "I'm so sorry, kitten. Tell me what you need, and I'll do it."

Yuri's relieved for Otabek's reaction, although he doesn't know what he needs. "Just stay with me and promise me that you'll never do that."

"I promise," Otabek says quickly. "I would never take away your choice like that."

Yuri sits up suddenly, knocking the ice aside and not caring as it tumbles to the floor. Otabek doesn't move, letting Yuri be the one to crawl into his lap. 

"I don't know what to do," Yuri whispers. "JJ doesn't trust me enough to tell me about the business, and I'm running out of time."

"You don't need to figure out everything. If you could find out a supplier’s name that could be enough. I don't believe that the Leroy's have the resources to be making the drugs themselves, so they have to be coming from somewhere. See if you can get him to take you to the docks. Maybe he'll slip up and say more than he plans."

Yuri hums and then breathes in Otabek's scent. It's still early in the evening but he's exhausted from the stress of the day. 

"Otabek," Yuri says quietly, waiting for the alpha to nod before he continues. "Do you still want me?"

A hurt whine leaves Otabek's throat and he takes Yuri by the shoulders to push him back. "Of course, I do. Why would you even ask that?"

Yuri's eyes start to water again, and he can't make himself look Otabek in the eyes. "Because he marked me," Yuri whispers, "and I wanted you to be my first."

Yuri starts to cry in earnest again now, unable to stop the show of emotions now that he's finally admitted how he's feeling. It's not fair, he's avoided alphas his whole life, and now that he wants one he's had a large first taken from him. 

"He doesn't count," Otabek says sternly, tightening his hold on Yuri’s shoulders. "You didn't want it, so it doesn't count. He doesn't get to take your first anything unless you want him to."

Yuri’s tears slowly stop, but his breath still comes in hiccups. Otabek doesn't stop him as he hides his face in the alphas neck again to breathe him in and nuzzle at the bite he placed on Otabek. "I want it to be you," he says again.

"Then it will be. Whenever you're ready I'll be here."

Yuri clings to Otabek and the alpha runs his hands up and down Yuri's back, trying to soothe his wild breathing. Yuri settles down after several minutes, and just a few minutes later he drifts off to sleep. 

Chapter Text

Otabek’s fist connects with the man’s jaw again and blood spurts across the concrete as his face connects with the ground. It’s getting late and the easy way wasn’t producing any results.

“So, tell me again how you don’t know what I’m talking about,” Otabek says with a grin, “or I can keep going. I don’t have plans tonight.”

The man breathes deeply against the ground before trying to push himself up onto his knees. There’s blood dripping from his mouth and his shirt is stained from the dirty ground. He looks around at first, as if waiting for someone to step in and stop Otabek, but no one does. There’s only one other person in the room and he’s leaned against the wall playing on his phone.

“I had to,” the man finally says. “I swear.”

“You had to sell in Nikiforov’s territory? In the club owned by his mate? Yeah, I’m not buying that. Try again.”

Otabek takes a step toward the man as he tries to scurry backwards. “Please, don’t. I- I was given five hundred dollars to sell in the club. I didn’t think anyone would find out.”

Otabek’s brows crease and he rubs along his jaw. “Who paid you?”

“I don’t know. The pills were left in my house along with a note and the cash.” The man’s starting to speak too quickly, and his hands that have slowly been shaking, begin doings so in earnest the longer Otabek talks to him.

“You’re on them, huh? Must be time for another one.” Otabek looks behind him and Seung-Gil tosses him one of the small bags they took off the man when they brought him in. “You want one?” he asks. “Just tell me who your connection is.”

The man shakes his head and scoots back further. “I don’t know. I really don’t know.”

Otabek sighs and drops the bag to the ground before crushing it under the heel of his boot and scattering the remains. The man looks pained as the pills disintegrate and he swallows thickly. 

“How many we got left?” Otabek asks Seung-Gil.

“Five.”

“Why don’t you go flush three of them.” Seung-Gil nods, and Otabek turn back to face the cowering man. “What do you say? Two more chances and then I leave you here to detox. I haven’t seen it yet, but I hear Maple’s a bitch to quit. Supposedly it’s incredibly painful to go through withdraw.”

The man begins to pant and shake his head. “Please, I swear I don’t know where they came from. You can’t leave me here, please.”

Seung-Gil returns and tosses Otabek another small bag that he instantly crushes and then scatters. “One more try. Give me something; a name, a location, hell, I’d settle for a drop off location.”

Tears gather in the man’s eyes and he shakes his head adamantly as he walks closer on his knees. “Please, I don’t know anything. He doesn’t give me any information, just drops off the pills and leaves.”

“Who’s he?”

The man pales and shakes his head as if trying to clear his thoughts. “I- I don’t know. I just meant whoever it is. I don’t know.”

Otabek sighs and Seung-Gil tosses him the last bag to crush and disperse. As the powder scatters to the ground the man finally begins to cry and Otabek rolls his eyes as he nods for Seung-Gil to follow him. They leave the man crying on the floor and head for a room off to the side.

Otabek rubs hard at his eyes with the palms of his hands. “Give him a few hours and then see if he’ll talk. If not, he might be telling the truth.”

“What do you want me to do with the other three bags?” Seung-Gil asks with a nod to the table.

“Try and bribe him first, if that doesn’t work get rid of them. I’m not risking one of our own trying that shit.”

Seung-Gil nods. “He wants to see you. Said things are moving too slow.”

Otabek scoffs. “I’ve got more dealers off his streets since I’ve been here than he got off in a year.”

“But we still don’t know where it’s coming from. Has your little cat found anything new?”

“Not yet,” Otabek sighs.

Yuri’s refused to give up on helping Victor, and every day he spends with JJ only makes Otabek more uneasy. JJ may act like a brainless idiot when it comes to the seeder side of his father’s company, but he knows more than he lets on. If his father’s really grooming him to take over as rumored, then he has to have more information. And then there’s the Yang’s. Otabek hasn’t been able to turn up much on them. Their business appears to be legitimate, with the only ties to something seedier being their connect to the Leroy’s.

There’s a bang to the door they just exited and Senug-Gil groans. “It’s going to be a long night.”

 

 

 -

 

 

"This is bullshit and you know it," Otabek growls. “If you really thought it was possible to turn up information this way you would have got someone with more experience.”

"Yuri is an adult. He is more than capable of stopping at any point." Otabek looms over Victor's desk, but Victor simply smiles from his chair and rolls his eyes. "Don't be so dramatic. You told me yourself he'll be done in three weeks."

"Two weeks and three days," Otabek corrects.

Victor laughs and leans forward to rest his elbows on his desktop. "What do you want, Otabek?"

"I want permission to raid another one of the Leroy's vessels."

"Do you have new information that makes you think we'll find something this time?" Otabek stays silent a moment and Victor lets out another laugh. "You're letting him affect your judgment."

"Like Yuuri's never affected yours," Otabek snaps back.

Victor's eyes narrow and the smile drops from his lips. "I would remind you to watch your tone. I'll tolerate only so much disrespect."

Otabek squares his shoulders but nods. Victor's right, he's allowing himself to be reckless, and he's never reckless. He can't send a new team to raid the Leroy's without a reason, and without a plan he risks putting everyone's lives in danger.

"I'm sorry, sir, it won't happen again."

Otabek could physically take Victor in a fight, but he would never survive the fallout that would occur. Victor's been untouchable his whole life, and that's not about to change anytime soon. If Otabek ever made a move against him he'd never make it out of the city.

"If you want to speed things along start putting pressure on JJ's footmen."

Otabek scowls and shakes his head. "Word would get back to Leroy that someone was suspicious, and that would only put Yuri in more danger."

Victor shrugs and reaches for a pack of cigarettes, one of the only signs that the alpha is getting anxious about something. He lights the cigarette and then blows out a deep breath before speaking.

"You said before that Yuri felt unsure of the Leroy's involvement?"

"He's too trusting. They may not be involved in manufacturing the drug, but they have to be importing it. It's too big of a coincidence that JJ had so much on him."

"And yet we can't find any evidence of that. If they're bringing it in there should be a trail." Victor ashes his cigarette and then takes another long draw. "If they're not using the port where else could it be coming from?"

"I have an idea, but I need to gather more information."

"Good, let me know if you need anything. I'll call if we pick up anymore dealers."

Otabek nods and takes Victor statement for the dismissal it is. He isn't getting anything from his people on the ground, and he's only growing more worried that Yuri won't be able to walk away when it's time. He's so stubborn that Otabek can't see him leaving empty handed.

 

 

-

 

 

JJ smiles and leans forward to brush Yuri's hair fully off his shoulder. "God, you look beautiful with my mark."

Yuri just barely resists flinching at JJ's touch, and instead he holds himself perfectly still. It's been over a week since JJ mauled his neck and the marks have only changed slightly in color, rather than fading like Yuri had hoped.

Lilia has allowed him just over two weeks off from the restaurant, although she wasn't happy about it in the slightest, and Otabek convinced him that there was no reason to avoid Yuuri until the marks faded, so he's continued his work with him like normal.

"What's wrong?" JJ asks with a frown. "Are you nervous about eating with Bella? I swear she's great."

"If she's so great why do you need me?" Yuri snaps, before he can think better of it. He really should be playing along, but he's not any closer now than when he started this whole charade, and his irritation at the situation has started to grow.

JJ's face falls at Yuri's snide comment and his voice comes out clipped when he replies. "I've told you before, Bella and I don't have a normal relationship, and it would really make me happy if you would at least try to get along."

"I'm at dinner," Yuri sasses back. "That doesn't mean I have to be happy about it."

"What's gotten into you?" JJ asks with a frown. "You didn't go to work all week and now you're being a brat over nothing."

"Excuse me," Yuri nearly yells, drawing attention from a few of the patrons around them. "How the hell do you know if I did or didn't go to work this week?"

Yuri can feel as his heart starts beating hard, and he swears he can hear his blood pumping in his ears as he waits for JJ to reply. The only way JJ could know he didn't go into work is if he had someone watching him, and if someone's been watching him there's no way they could have missed Otabek coming and going.

"Keep your voice down," JJ says tightly. His voice is barely over a harsh whisper, but the command washes over Yuri like a wave. JJ’s been taking more liberties with commands than normal, almost as if he's testing just how far he can push before Yuri snaps. " I was talking to Mila and she mentioned that you don't work this week or next."

A sharp pang shoots through Yuri at the betrayal of his friend, but he tries to keep it from showing on his face. "Why were you with Mila?" He whispers.

"I wasn't," JJ huffs. "I just knew you worked on Wednesday's, so when I went in and you weren't there I asked."

Yuri tries to tell himself that JJ's telling the truth, that there's no way he can know about his secret relationship with Otabek, but he's still nervous nonetheless.

"Are you going to tell me why you've been avoiding work? I thought it was the only thing you really cared about." JJ raises an eyebrow, and Yuri struggles to come up with a convincing cover. He never planned on JJ finding out he was avoiding work, so he hasn't prepared an excuse.

"I just needed a break, that's all."

"So, it has nothing to do with hiding my mark?"

"Of course not," Yuri denies, far too quickly to not be suspicious. "I'm in public right now, aren't I?"

"Yes," JJ says slowly, "but you also don't know anyone here. Are you ashamed to be mine?"

Yuri just barely resists rolling his eyes and instead reaches out to lace his fingers through JJ's. "I'm not ashamed. I'm just embarrassed about the mark. I've never been bonded before and everyone at work knows how much I talked about hating alphas. I thought they would make fun of me for finally settling down."

A soft smile comes to JJ's lips and he slides his chair closer to Yuri. "You see us as settling down?"

Yuri nods rather than giving a verbal reply. Ever since JJ marked him he's been more clingy than normal. He said the mark would help him stay calm, but he calls Yuri at least twice a day, and he always wants to know who he's with and what he's doing.

"I can't wait for your heat to get here. I've already started preparing for it."

Yuri's brows furrow and he tilts his head. "Preparing how?"

"I've had a bedroom at the estate redecorated for you, and I've even got a surprise for after."

Yuri's curiosity is peaked at the mention of a surprise. It's not something alphas normally do after a heat, and he has no idea what JJ would think to get him. They've been getting to know each other these last few weeks, but Yuri's made sure to keep any valuable information to himself.

"What's the surprise?"

JJ laughs and leans forward to place a kiss to Yuri's cheek. "If I told you it wouldn't be a surprise, and it won't be ready for several weeks yet, it still needs some time."

Yuri knows he won't be around to see whatever gift JJ has commissioned for him, but that doesn't stop his mind from wondering. Maybe it would be an extravagant piece of jewelry, or maybe even an insane life size portrait like the one of JJ that was for sale at the auction. Whatever it may be Yuri won't see it, and he doesn't get more time to think about it because Isabella arrives.

She's in a light blue mid-length dress with a high neck and matching heals. She looks every part of the rich alphas wife, and there's a part of Yuri that just doesn't understand why JJ wouldn't want her. He's only met her once, but she seemed kind and sweet. What more could there be to want out of an arranged marriage?

"Hello boys," she says with a smile, taking a seat as JJ stands to pull her chair out. "Sorry I'm late, I had a meeting uptown that refused to end on time."

"Don't worry about it," JJ says with a smile. "I'm just glad you're here now."

He sends Yuri a pointed look and Yuri nods in agreement. "How have you been?"

"I've been good," she says, motioning to a waiter and then ordering a bottle of wine for the table. "I've been working on a new business proposal and it's going very well."

Yuri finds himself leaning forward at this new information. He had assumed that Bella was simply a housewife and finding out that she's involved in a business of some sort has Yuri's curiosity peaked.

"I didn't realize you worked," he says, not comprehending that that could come off as rude.

Bella just laughs at Yuri though and nods. "I help my father with difficult clients, and I also bring in my own from time to time."

Yuri blushes lightly in embarrassment, but JJ gives his hand a light squeeze under the table. "That's really cool. I don't do anything that important at my jobs."

"Jobs?" Bella asks with a look to JJ. "I didn't realize you were still working."

"Why wouldn’t I be working?" Yuri asks suspiciously. "I can't just not pay rent."

"No, of course you can't," Bella says with a smile. "I just figured since you were with JJ now that you would allow him to handle some of that stress."

"What-" Yuri says, just a little too loudly to be considered polite. "I've known him less than a month, I'm not going to just quit my jobs and let him take over."

"Yuri," JJ says sharply, as a warning. "Bella didn't mean to offend you, she was just raised in a different environment. In our world omegas don't work, they're cared about and for."

"Are you saying my world is somehow beneath yours because I actually work for the things that I have?" Yuri pulls his hand from JJ's grip with a frown. "Just because I can take care of myself doesn't mean I'm somehow less than."

"Yuri, I'm so sorry," Bella cuts in. "I didn't mean to insinuate that you were beneath us. It's like JJ said, I'm just not used to being around omegas that work."

"Yeah, well the Omega’s Work Act happened in the fifties, so you should both be over that by now."

Bella turns pleading eyes to JJ, and he grips Yuri's hand hard to pull him to his feet. "Will you order us both the prime rib? We'll be right back."

Bella gives JJ a small nod as he pulls Yuri in the direction of the bathroom.

There's a bathroom attendant sitting near the sinks when they enter, but with a glare from JJ he quickly scurries from the room.

"What is your problem?" JJ snaps. "Bella's just trying to be nice and you're being a little brat."

"Stop calling me that," Yuri shouts, tired of the insult. "I'm allowed to be offended when I’m being talked down to."

"No one is talking down to you. You're just being sensitive," JJ says with an eye roll. "If I didn't know any better, I would say your heats coming early."

"Fuck you," Yuri says with a sneer.

Maybe all this was a mistake. Yuri can’t keep pretending to like someone who so clearly sees him as less than, and if he can’t do that then there’s really no hope of gaining JJ’s trust.

“This clearly isn’t going to work,” Yuri sighs. “Maybe I should just go home.”

Before Yuri can even turn to leave though JJ is there, gripping both his hands in a tight grasp.

“Wait, you can’t go home yet. Bella hasn’t even gotten to know you.”

“Why should I waste time getting to know someone that I’m never going to see again? JJ, this isn’t working. You... we’re too different.”

“But that’s why this will work,” JJ insists, tightening his hold just a little. “You’re not like other omegas I’ve tried to be with. Please, I know things started off rocky, but give yourself time to get to know Bella. She really is great, and I would love for you two to get along.”

"Why do you care so much if we get along? I get that she's your wife, but you've said yourself that you don't really love each other."

"It doesn't matter if we love each other. If you're going to be a part of both our lives you need to get along. I'm not going to spend the rest of my life keeping my wife and omega from going at each other. Not to mention all the added stress when we eventually add kids to the mix."

It sounds logical enough that JJ just wants the two people he's going to be with to get along, but something still doesn't feel right, and Yuri really is tired of trying to keep the charade going.

“I don’t know… This is all just a lot more than I thought it would be. Maybe we should at least take a step back.”

“We can’t,” JJ insists. “Your heats not far off, and I’d really like to have everything settled by then.”

“What do you mean by settled?” Yuri asks with a frown. It feels like JJ’s always talking around him, rather than to him. And why is JJ so desperate to have everything ‘settled’ before Yuri’s supposed heat?

“Just that I want to know that you and Bella will both be okay with this arrangement, and the only way to figure out if this will work is if you two get to know each other. Now can we please get back out there and eat?”

Yuri lets out a dramatic sigh and rolls his eyes. JJ’s clearly set on this dinner happening, and it might just be easier to go along with it than fight it.

“Fine, but she doesn’t get to talk about me quitting my jobs or insinuate that I’m somehow less than the two of you just because I’m an omega.”

"I already told you, she didn't mean to be rude. She's just grown up in a different environment, and it's not like she was wrong that you should let me handle some of your finances. You're already taking a few weeks off from Lilia's, you might as well not go back.”

“I’m not having this discussion right now,” Yuri says firmly. “What if I told you that you should quit your job and stay at home?”

“That would be ridiculous,” JJ scoffs. “You can’t even compare the two of us. I’m going to head my father’s company someday, and your-“

“I wouldn’t finish whatever it is you’re about to say,” Yuri cuts in sharply. “Because whatever it is, is only going to result in me leaving this restaurant and not seeing you again.”

“Fine, fine,” JJ sighs. “All I meant was that my job would be able to support us all. I don’t understand why you’re so resistant to being cared for.”

“It’s not about being cared for. It’s about being treated like I’m helpless, when I’m not.”

“No one thinks you’re helpless, Yuri. Hell, you’re the most headstrong omega I’ve ever met. Let’s just finish this later. We’ve left Bella alone long enough.”

 

-

 

Their meal is rather uneventful, Bella doesn't bring up Yuri quitting his jobs, and JJ’s mood seems to improve the more Yuri tries to get to know Bella. Under different circumstances Yuri might say he actually had a good time.

"It was really nice to get to know you, Yuri."

"Yeah, I'm just glad to know you're okay with everything that's going on."

Bella laughs and reaches a hand across the table to pat Yuri's. "Of course. I know I'm not what JJ had in mind when he pictured his life, but I also know I can still be happy with the way things are. I'm just so excited for you two to become official. I can't wait to have some little ones running around."

"You want children of your own too, don't you?"

Bella's smile comes out slightly strained, but she nods nonetheless. "I do, but with my career right now it's just not an option. I fly to and from St. Petersburg at least three or four times a month, and I can't risk disrupting any of our current business deals with time off."

Yuri's brows furrow at this and he leans slightly closer to Bella. "Why would you having kids disrupt any business deals. It's not like you would have to bring them with you to meetings."

Bella shoots JJ a slightly pained looked and JJ steps in. "Bella is very important to her father’s business. Even just a few months away could be detrimental to some deals."

"Wow, I guess I didn't realize just how much you do."

Bella blushes lightly and gives JJ a small smile. "He makes me sound more important than I am."

"No, I don't, you-" JJ's phone lets out a shrill ring and he stands quickly from the table to answer it. "I'll be right back."

Yuri looks to Bella as she watches JJ leave, and an uneasy feeling floods his stomach.

"Are you sure you're okay with all this?"

Bella's eyes go wide, and she reaches for her wine glass before nodding. "Of course. Why do you ask?"

Yuri looks to the front of the restaurant and then back to Bella. "I don't know, just the way you look at him sometimes, I guess. It seems like you want more than what you have."

Bella smiles, but it doesn't reach her eyes as she returns her wine glass to the table. "I'm happy with my choices, Yuri. I always knew my marriage would be political, and I actually ended up in a better situation than I thought I would."

Yuri tries not to feel guilty at Bella's words, but it's hard when she looks so earnest.

"So, um- JJ said you like to garden?"

Bella’s slightly sad demeanor instantly shifts to that of happiness, and she leans across the table to take Yuri's hand. "Oh yes, I'll have to take you through the greenhouse sometime. I'm sure JJ's already showed you it, but he really has no idea what any of the plants are, or what they can do."

"Yeah that would be cool," Yuri says sincerely. Even though he wants to dislike JJ's wife she's just too nice for that to be possible, and Yuri finds that he wouldn’t mind hanging out with her more.

"So, what did I miss?" JJ asks as he retakes his seat.

"I was just making plans with Yuri to show him more of the greenhouse."

JJ's face lights up at the news and he wraps an arm around Yuri’s waist. "That's great. You should do that now. I have to run into the office for a little bit."

"You're leaving already, but I haven't seen you in days," Yuri complains, jumping at his first opportunity to be anywhere near JJ’s office. "Didn't you miss me?"

JJ bites his bottom lip and then leans forward to press a kiss to Yuri's forehead. "Of course, I missed you princess, but they need me in the office."

"Can't I come with you?" Yuri doesn't know what he's hoping to gain by visiting JJ's office, but it's the closest he can get to JJ taking him to the docks, and he can feel his time running out with every day that ticks by.

"I don't think that's a good idea. It will be boring, and you'd have to sit quietly for my meeting.”

“I don’t mind,” Yuri says with a smile. “I’m just not ready to be away from you yet.”

Bella lets out a quiet “aw,” at Yuri’s faked confession, and Yuri’s cheeks instantly take on a light shade of pink. “Oh come on, JJ, he clearly wants his alpha right now.”

JJ’s grin grows, and he tightens his hold around Yuri. “Alright, princess, you can come. But you have to promise to be on your best behavior.”

Yuri lets out a scoff, and lightly elbows JJ in the side. “When am I not?”

The laugh JJ lets out in response is so loud it practically shakes Yuri’s body. “Well alright then. Bella, I’m sure I’ll see you back at the house later.”

“Maybe, I have a conference call later tonight, so depending how that goes I may leave for St. Petersburg before you get back.”

“Alright, let me know if you’ll need anything and I’ll make sure the jet is ready for you.”

Bella smiles and stands from the table to place a kiss to JJ’s head. “Goodbye boys. Yuri, I hope we can get together soon. It was really nice getting to know you.”

“You too,” Yuri says with a smile, and he finds that he really means it. Of all the things about his fake relationship with JJ, he had no idea the thing that would feel the most real was his new friendship with Bella.

 

-

 

“Damn,” Yuri says with a low whistle. “I had no idea you worked somewhere like this. Actually, I don’t even know what it is that you do here.

JJ grins and grips Yuri’s hand just a little tighter as they walk through the hallway of offices to a small reception area at the end. It’s the weekend, so no one else is around, and the abandoned secretary’s desk gives Yuri an odd feeling.

“I mostly run the non-profit division of the company. My father still heads the main branch, but I’m hoping to be taking over for him soon, I’m just waiting for a few last-minute things to fall into place.”

“What kind of things?” Yuri asks, as JJ fumbles to remove his keys from his pocket.

“There’s just a few things my father wants before I’m allowed to take over, but I’m not worried.”

Yuri nods in mock understanding as JJ unlocks his office and then they enter together. The office itself isn’t as large as Yuri had imagined, but with the grandness of the Leroy estate almost any space seems small. It’s made up in shades of blue and white, with a small seating area to the side of JJ’s desk for more intimate meetings.

“So, what nonprofit business was so important that it couldn’t wait until Monday?”

JJ gives Yuri a small tilt of his head and an almost cocky smile. “You know, you’re actually a lot more observant than I expected for an omega.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Yuri asks with a glare.

“Nothin bad, princess, just that I feel lucky with how clever you are.”

Yuri can’t stop himself from snapping back at JJ and saying, “Just because someone’s an omega doesn’t mean that there somehow less intelligent than you. I bet I know more about a lot of things that you have no idea how to do.”

JJ’s cocky smile comes back in full force as he props himself on the edge of his desk. “Oh yeah? What do you know that I don’t?”

“I know how to take care of myself without a safety-net of my parent’s cash,” Yuri says harshly. “And I know not to judge someone based solely off their secondary gender.”

“Okay, okay,” JJ chuckles with his hands raised in surrender. “I get it. You’re independent, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t secretly want an alpha to come and take away all your problems. I mean just think about it, you could move in with me and never have to work another day in your life. Anything you could ever need or want could be yours. You’re telling me that you don’t want that?”

Yuri’s face heats in anger, and he’s finding it harder and harder not to reach across the space separating them and slap JJ across the face. “I’m telling you that I’d never want that. I don’t want a relationship centered around being some alphas plaything.”

JJ sticks his bottom lip out in a dramatic pout, “You wouldn’t be some alphas plaything, you’d be my omega.”

“Would we be equal?” Yuri asks with narrowed eyes.

“As close as we could be in this world.”

Yuri takes a step back and rolls his eyes. “Exactly.”

“Hey,” JJ calls, snagging Yuri’s wrist and pulling him close again. “Don’t act like that. You’ll never be completely equal to an alpha. I’m sorry if that’s unkind to say, but it’s the truth, princess. Somethings just can’t be changed, but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t have a good life. Come on, Yuri, we only have a few weeks until your heat. You do still want this, right? Because I really do want this to work.”

“I do too,” Yuri says with a huff, trying to remind himself that none of JJ’s bullshit opinions really matter. It doesn’t matter that he thinks all omegas are inferior, or that he thinks Yuri really can’t take care of himself, none of it matters because none of its real. Yuri knows he’s worth more than JJ thinks, and he knows that even if he never met Otabek he would be okay, he might be missing out on a chance to be with an amazing guy, but he would survive nonetheless.

“Good, then come here and let me scent you before he gets here.”

Yuri pulls against JJ’s hold and narrows his eyes. “Who’s coming?”

“No one important, I just don’t want anyone to think they have a chance with you.”

“Have you seen my neck?” Yuri scoffs. “No one with eyes would ever think I was available.”

JJ hums and grips Yuri’s chin with his free hand to angle his face higher. “I don’t know, they seem like they’re starting to fade.”

“Oh, shut up, they are not.”

“Why don’t I refresh them a little, just to make sure.”

Yuri’s face must show some sort of displeasure at the notion because the skin around JJ’s eyes grows tight and he frowns deeply. “See, I knew you had a problem with them. Why don’t you want to wear my mark?

“It’s not the mark that’s the problem,” Yuri exclaims, “It’s everything else. You only needed the one mark, instead you mauled my neck. It’s like you’re afraid that if I’m not completely covered I’ll somehow forget that I’m with you.”

“It’s not that,” JJ says slowly, buying himself time as he thinks. “I just don’t trust other alphas around you. You’re so beautiful that I can’t believe I was lucky enough to get you first, and I’m worried that without a real bond someone may try and steal you away.”

“You have to trust me,” Yuri says plainly, knowing completely how ironic he’s being by continuing to lie to JJ. “If you don’t trust me none of this will work.”

“I know, I know, and I do trust you. It’s just everyone else that I’m- “

A knock on the door interrupts their conversation, and JJ’s eyes shoot to Yuri’s before he makes his way to answer it.

“JJ!” A man yells, before pushing his way into the room. “How have you been man?” The voice has a strange accent to it. Where ever the mans from Yuri knows he’s far from home.

“Good, Leo. How are things on the mainland?”

“Good, good, moving like we hoped. Man, what’s that smell?” Leo turns in an exaggerated circle until his eyes land on Yuri. “You brought a toy?”

“Fuck you, dick,” Yuri snaps, crossing his arms across his chest.

Leo lets out a deep laugh and turns to talk to JJ again. “He’s feisty.”

“He’s mine,” JJ says lowly, the words coming out in an almost growl.

“Whatever you say man, I don’t have time tonight anyway. I came because the old man’s growing impatient.”

“I don’t know what more he wants. Things are moving better now than ever,” JJ says with a huff.

“Yeah, but he didn’t make this agreement for ‘better’. If things don’t increase dramatically he’s going to cut you off.”

Yuri’s mind feels like it’s working overtime to absorb all the information being passed in front of him, and he’s not completely sure he understands what’s being said.

“He can’t, things are finally flowing smoothly, we can’t lose that access, especially when there’s still a year left in this first agreement.”

Leo sighs and throws himself down on the low couch in the corner of the room. “Then things need to pick up. Have you tried talking with Nikiforov, maybe expanding that way?”

JJ scoffs and takes a seat across from Leo. “That’s a dead end. He’d sooner see everything I’ve built burned to the ground than join forces.”

“Then you need to step out on your own. Stop wasting so much time with trips back and forth and start production here. Hell, wasn’t that the original plan? That’s probably why the big man’s so pissed. And what are you going to do when you no longer have a convincing cover for all the trips back and forth?”

JJ rubs at his forehead in thought and Leo leans forward to grab a crystal bottle of alcohol from the table. The foreign man pulls the stopper out and drinks deeply before replacing it and stretching his arms across the back of the couch.

“It’s too soon to move production,” JJ defends, “my father would never allow that, you know how he feels about bringing that part of it here.”

“You already live with half of it, and you’ll be taking over soon enough, stop being such a pussy and get things done. It seems like you’ve already started the takeover process,” Leo finishes with a wiggle of his eyebrows and a crude grin. “If all you’re worried about is your daddy getting mad then maybe we shouldn’t have made this deal in the first place.”

“I’ll get it sorted,” JJ assures, “just tell him to give me some time. It’s like you said, I’ve already got the ball rolling, I just need to make sure everything’s set before we stop with the current plan.”

Leo nods as he collects the bottle of alcohol again and stands from the couch. “Remember, JJ, you’re the one that needed the help, not us. We’ll do just fine on our own again, can you say the same?”

Once the door clicks closed with Leo’s departure there’s several seconds of awkward silence before JJ picks up a glass vase from the low sitting table and hurls it against the opposite wall. The spray of shards is large, and Yuri ducks his head down to avoid any small pieces in his face. He’s never seen JJ so upset before, and the scent of his anger quickly spreads throughout the room. Yuri doesn’t know if he should try and calm him, or if drawing attention to himself will only put him in the path of JJ’s anger.

He has no idea what’s set JJ off, he seemed fine before the man left, but he was clearly just good at hiding his displeasure. Yuri chooses to stay perfectly still, just looking at the ground and watching as his chest rapidly moves with each breath. He knows his scent is flooding the room with how scared he is, mixing with the scent of JJ’s anger and creating a nauseating aroma.

After what feels like an eternity Yuri hears the movement of JJ’s feet across the broken pieces of glass, and even though he hears his approach he still jumps when JJ’s hands slide around his face.

“Sorry, princess, I didn’t mean to scare you.” He says quietly, bringing his forehead down to lean against Yuri’s

Yuri’s next breath shudders out of him and he squeezes his eyes closed to avoid any of his overwhelmed tears from trying to escape. JJ’s anger is so different from Otabek’s because Yuri’s never feared for his own safety in the face of Otabek’s anger. It’s always been directed at others or a situation, not to mention Yuri’s never seen him act out in anger.

“Hey now,” JJ says softly, rubbing his thumbs along the arches of Yuri’s cheeks. “It’s okay. Come here.” JJ wraps his arms fully around Yuri and pulls him into his chest. He tries to let out a comforting scent, but it’s so overwhelming that Yuri feels like it clogs the back of his throat, and he’s left with no choice but to pull back from JJ’s grip and cough.

“Sorry,” Yuri says quietly, shuffling from one foot to another. “Is everything okay?”

JJ clears his throat and nods. “Yeah, everything’s fine. I was thinking… how about you stay with me tonight? You’re upset, and I don’t want to leave you alone right now.”

Yuri’s heart aches in his chest at the thought of trying to seek comfort from JJ when all he really wants is to be wrapped around Otabek. Not to mention the fact that the only reason he’s upset in the first place is JJ’s outburst. “I think it’d be better if I went home.”

“I think it’d be better if you let me take care of you,” JJ says stubbornly. “You can go home in the morning.” Yuri’s scent must begin to sour because JJ’s hold on him tightens. “Come on, Yuri. You’ll feel better after a good night’s sleep.”

Yuri wants to continue to resist, he had hoped to spend the night with Otabek, but maybe it’s best if he doesn’t upset JJ anymore tonight. They already fought at the restaurant and knowing that JJ may act out in his anger has Yuri worried to deny him. “You’re right, I’m probably just tired, and I guess this way I’ll get to see that bedroom you had redone.”

JJ’s smile lights up his face, and his scent finally starts to fade into something less noticeable. “Of course, and since there’s still a few weeks till your heat you can put in for any changes you would like. I’m sure you’ll love the bathroom though. I had it completely redone, and I added a birthing pool too.”

Yuri has to hold back his initial freak out at the last piece of information, and instead nod his head slowly. “That’s cool, JJ. Let’s go see it now.”

They leave the broken glass scattered across the floor and make their way back out of the building.

The drive to the Leroy estate seems to drag on, and Yuri’s phone feels like it’s burning a hole in his pocket by the time they arrive. He needs a moment alone to either text or call Otabek and tell him everything he’s learned, but JJ isn’t giving him any chances as he guides him up the stairway and down the hall.

“My rooms just one door down, but this is your room.”

JJ doesn’t open the door, and Yuri finally realizes that he’s waiting for him to do it, so he takes a deep breath and turns the handle. The room is large, at least twice as big as his apartment, with a large four-post bed taking up the largest portion of space. There’s also a desk, a dresser, and an empty bookcase waiting to be filled. It’s nice, not as ornate as the rest of the rooms in the estate, definitely more modest.

“It’s nice,” Yuri says as he reaches out to trail a hand along the soft bedding. Everything’s done in light shades of green with the bed and other pieces of furniture made in a warm red-ish-brown wood.

“You should see the closet.”

JJ strides across the room to open one of the two doors and then steps inside. Yuri follows after and lets out a startled laugh at the sight. The closet is almost as large as Yuri’s living/bedroom and if he ever were to live in a place like this he would never be able to fill it.

“What do you think?”

“That I’d only ever need that dresser in the bedroom,” Yuri laughs again.

“Don’t worry about that. You can go to my tailor sometime and I’ll have everything you’ll need ordered.”

Yuri rolls his eyes at JJ’s back and then leaves the closet to explore the rest of the space. The bathroom is even larger than he was expecting, with a large stall shower, a tub big enough for at least three people, and then the dreaded birthing pool at the very back of the space. Yuri purposely ignores that area of the room in favor of counting the shower heads. There’s three.

“Damn,” Yuri whispers, a small part of him wishing that he could enjoy something like this in his everyday life.

“Do you want to test it out?” JJ asks from beside Yuri’s ear, causing the smaller man to jump in surprise.

“I don’t have anything to change into.”

A toothy smile comes to JJ’s lips and he leans his hip against the shower wall. “I could get you something, you’ll need soap too.”

Yuri shrugs and moves outside of the shower. “It’s fine. I showered earlier.”

“I know,” JJ says with a slight frown. “Why do you keep using blockers?”

Yuri shrugs and turns to study his reflection as JJ moves to stand behind him. “People don’t mess with me if I don’t smell so much like an omega.”

“Princess, I don’t think anyone would mistake you for anything else.” Yuri scowls at JJ through the reflection in the mirror and JJ laughs as he sweeps Yuri’s hair off of his marked neck. “Don’t pout. It’s not a bad thing that you look like an omega.”

“What was that man talking about earlier?”

JJ frowns at Yuri’s change in topic and leans down to place a light kiss to Yuri’s now exposed neck. “What do you mean?”

“He said you needed help. What did you need help with?”

JJ’s frown deepens and his brows furrow before he grips Yuri’s hips and forces him to turn around. “You ask a lot of questions.”

“You avoid a lot of answers.”

JJ scoffs but a light smile tugs at his lips. “You don’t need to worry about anything to do with that man, I’ve got everything under control.”

“Is that why you broke that vase?”

JJ reaches up and grips Yuri’s chin between his thumb and forefinger. “I broke that vase because I was sick of it, no other reason.”

A chill runs down Yuri’s spine at JJ’s explanation, and he struggles to keep the fear completely out of his scent. “On second thought, I think I’ll take that shower now,” he says thickly.

“I’ll be right back with some clothes and soap then.”

JJ leaves after that, and Yuri stays frozen against the counter. JJ’s explanation almost sounded like a threat, and with just over two weeks left he really can’t risk becoming something that JJ is sick of.

He’s still leaned against the counter when JJ returns with a pile of folded clothes and a few bottles of soap.

“They’ll probably be a little big on you, but they’re the smallest things I had. Do you want me to show you how the shower works?”

JJ’s demeanor seems to have shifted from playful to serious, and Yuri’s not sure what he should do. He knows JJ enjoys him best when he’s playing into the helpless or cringy stereotypes though, so he tries for that in an effort to bring JJ’s kinder mood back.

 “Yes, please. This thing is so nice I’m not even sure I would trust myself to try and figure it out.”

A smile comes to the corner of JJ’s lips and he walks forward to tap a what looks like a tablet attached to the side of the shower. “This here lets you pick which shower heads you want on, and this bar sets the temperature, if you want to turn on the steam make sure to close the door or it’ll all escape and never fill up.”

“Holy shit,” Yuri says under his breath, but JJ hears him, and his small smile grows.

“Impressed?” he asks with a nod to the shower.

“Oh yeah. I mean it’s not hard to impress me with a shower though when mine doesn’t even have hot water.”

Yuri means his statement as a joke, but JJ doesn’t seem to think it’s funny as his face pinches into a grimace. “You don’t have hot water?”

“It’s fine. The supers just an ass and hasn’t gotten around to fixing the hot water tank yet. It stays hot long enough for me to shower if I’m fast.”

“Move in here,” JJ says with his arms gesturing around them. “There’s no reason for you to live in a place like that when I’m more than capable of providing for you.”

“I don’t need provided for,” Yuri says with a glare. “My apartment may not be five stars but it’s still mine, and I’m not giving it up.”

“What are you planning to do after your heat or when you eventually get pregnant and are no longer able to work? Or what about once the babies here, do you really think I would let you raise my child in that type of place?”

“What type of place would that be JJ? The type without gold faucets, or butlers and maids to wait on them hand and foot, what type of place are you talking about?” Yuri asks with a sneer.

“The type that doesn’t even have hot water,” JJ yells. “You live in a fucking place for prostitutes and drug addicts, and if you don’t see something wrong with that then you really do need to be here where someone can keep an eye on you.”

“Keep an eye on me?” Yuri shouts back.

“Yes,” JJ says, over Yuri’s outburst. “Why can’t you just admit that things would be easier for you here?”

“Fine,” Yuri huffs, tired of arguing over a hypothetical future that will never happen, and ready more than anything for JJ to leave him alone so he can finally call Otabek. “Life would be easier if I lived here and didn’t have to deal with my shitty apartment. Happy?”

JJ looks stunned for a moment that Yuri’s finally given in on such a point of discontent between them, but then he leans forward to pull Yuri to him. “So, you’ll move in?”

“After my heat,” Yuri says with an eye roll, knowing that in just over two weeks’ time he won’t be seeing JJ again. “I’ll need time to pack and get everything together.”

JJ picks Yuri up in his excitement and twirls him around the space. “I can’t wait. I can send someone to your place and have them gather your things. You don’t ever have to go back to that squalor. I hate the idea of you being there anyway.”

“No,” Yuri says with a glare as JJ sits him back on the ground. “I said after my heat and I mean it. I want to do it myself.”

JJ pouts dramatically but nods his head when he can tell Yuri isn’t going to give in on this point. “Fine, but at least let me order a truck for you to place all your things inside. You don’t even have a car.”

“I have a car,” Yuri says with a glare. “It’s just not running right now.”

“Well that’s something I can fix too. Where’s it at? I can send someone to collect it.”

“I have the money to fix it,” Yuri huffs. “I just haven’t had the time to get it towed to a shop. I’ll get to it.”

“Just let me handle it. There’s no reason for you to waist your money on something like that. Hell, I could just buy you a better car.”

“We can talk about this later,” Yuri says with an eyeroll. “I want to shower now.”

“Oh, of course. Do you need anything else?”

“Nope,” Yuri says with a dramatic pop of the p. “Just for you to get out.”

“Okay, okay, princess. No need to be rude.” JJ leans forward and presses a firm kiss to Yuri’s lips before leaving the room.

Yuri glares at his retreating form and after waiting a few moments he walks to the panel on the shower wall and hits buttons until the water begins to rain down from all three shower heads. Then he walks to the bathroom door and presses his ear against it, when he doesn’t hear any movement or sign of JJ he walks back to the opposite side of the bathroom and dials Otabek’s number.

Otabek answers on the third ring, and he sounds far too happy for how annoyed Yuri feels. “Hey there, kitten. Ready for me to come over?”

“No,” Yuri pouts, “I’m staying the night at JJ’s.”

“You’re what?” Otabek demands, a little harsher than normal. “Why would you do that?”

“He was being an ass, and I was afraid that if I didn’t come he would insist on staying at my place, and we both know what a bad idea that would be.”

“I don’t like this.”

“I don’t either, but that’s not why I called. I got some new information, and a name. Although I’m not sure how important it is.”

Otabek makes an affirmative noise and Yuri retells his dinner with Bella and the conversation that took place between JJ and the man with the strange accent. He leaves out the part about JJ throwing the vase at the wall because it would just upset Otabek and it wouldn’t change anything.

“But now I’m stuck here for the night. Thankfully I have my own room, but I should probably go soon. He thinks I’m taking a shower.”

“What are you going to do about your suppressants? Don’t you normally take them in the morning?”

“I have two pills in my pocket. Lilia taught me to never leave the house without a few because you never know what might happen, so I’ll be okay. I have to go now though, I’ll call you in the morning when I get home.”

“Goodnight, kitten. Stay safe.”

“When am I not?” Yuri says with a laugh before disconnecting the line.

Chapter Text

“Good morning, princess,” a far too cheerful voice calls, and Yuri burrows himself further into the unfamiliar smelling bedding. When the voice calls to him again Yuri finally wakes up enough to remember where he is. At first, he contemplates staying hidden within the sheets, but as JJ attempts to pull the blankets from his face he pulls them down himself with a glare.

“What time is it?” Yuri croaks, his throat dry from sleep.

“It’s nearly ten, I let you sleep in, but I got tired of waiting.” JJ’s weight settles down near Yuri’s hip and Yuri finally forces himself upright. JJ’s too large shirt slips down Yuri’s shoulder and the alpha’s eyes track the movement before Yuri pulls the fabric back up.

“Where are my clothes?” Yuri asks, looking to the empty desk where he had left them the night before.

"Right here." JJ reaches around Yuri to pick his clothes up off the nightstand. "I had them washed for you. I figured you would want to be able to put on clean clothes in the morning."

"Oh, thanks," Yuri says with a small frown, wondering when the alpha had come into his room to collect his clothes. He doesn’t normally consider himself a deep sleeper, but the fact that JJ was able to come and go without waking him has him reconsidering that point. "What time did you say it was again?"

"It's ten, why?"

Yuri slides his hands into his now clean and empty jean pockets and his stomach plummets. He normally takes his pill every morning at nine, but there's a three-hour window he has where he can take one without any risk of side effects.

"I need to get home."

"So soon?" JJ frowns. "I thought we could spend the afternoon together. I know you're not working at Lilia's."

"I have to help Yuuri today. I blew him off yesterday, so we could have dinner with Bella."

"Oh,” JJ pouts. “Are you sure it can’t wait till tonight?”

“Yeah, I’m sure, I actually should go now. I told him I would be over before eleven.”

Yuri tries to fight down the panic that’s starting to claw its way up his throat, but he can’t remember the last time he was late for a dose of his suppressants. Lilia practically beat it into his head that they needed to be taken at the same time every day, especially if he was going to use them to skip heats.

JJ’s eyebrows furrow and he lets out a loud sigh before standing from the bed. “Okay, I guess I understand.”

Yuri’s relieved that for once he doesn’t have to fight JJ on an issue, but he also knows that he won’t be completely relaxed until he’s back in his apartment and swallowing down his pill.

JJ leaves the room to allow Yuri to change, which he does in record time, and then it’s back down the stairs and into the waiting town car. The drive feels like it’s taking longer than normal, but every time Yuri checks his phone it’s only been a few minutes. After nearly ten minutes of his fidgeting JJ reaches a hand out to still him.

“What’s gotten into you this morning? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so jumpy.”

Yuri grips his phone tightly and forces his hands to stop moving. “Nothing, I’m just afraid I’m going to be late, that’s all.”

“We can just drop you off at The Castle then. Your clothes are already clean, there’s no reason to go back to your apartment.”

Yuri flounders for an excuse to be at his apartment and then begins to panic when he can’t summon one. “No, no, that’s okay. I want to go there first.”

JJ nods suspiciously, but he doesn’t press the issue. When they’re just a few blocks from Yuri’s building JJ turns to gather Yuri’s full attention.

“I have a question for you.”

“Okay,” Yuri says with a small frown. “What kind of question.”

“I want to go away together the week before your heat. I have some meetings that I must attend in St. Petersburg and I thought maybe you’d like to come along. I know your grandfather lives there and I thought it would be a good opportunity for us all to meet. What do you say?”

Yuri’s heart feels light at the opportunity to see his grandfather, it’s been almost two years since his last visit, but he wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to introduce him to JJ. Especially when after that week Yuri won’t have anything to do with him.

“I uh- you want to go away together?”

“Just for a few days. Bella will be there too, so while I’m in meetings you two can spend some time together.”

Yuri nods and contemplates his options. It’s completely normal for couples to breakup, so even if JJ meets his grandfather he can always tell him that the relationship didn’t work out. Plus St. Petersburg is where the dock is located, and with only two weeks left in his time frame this will be his only chance to get close and possibly gain some new information.

“That all sounds good. Just let me know what day were leaving and I’ll talk to Lillia.”

The old woman is going to kill him for requesting more days off when he hasn’t even come back from his two-week absence yet, but if Yuri tells her the trip is to visit his grandfather she’s more likely to be lenient.

“Great,” JJ says with a wide smile. “I can’t wait to show you off.”

Yuri’s brows furrow at JJ’s comment, but with how possessive the alpha can be he’s not surprised that part of the trip will involve parading Yuri around like a shiny new toy.

 When the car pulls to a stop Yuri’s stomach finally starts to settle, as he knows his next dose is just a few moments away, but when he reaches for the handle JJ stops him.

“There’s one more thing,” JJ says with a smile as Yuri turns back to face him.

JJ sweeps Yuri’s hair off his shoulder to expose his still bruised neck, and Yuri’s settling stomach begins to sour again. Despite his worry though JJ doesn’t try to refresh any of the marks, he just looks for a moment before bringing Yuri’s hand to his lips for a kiss.

“I’ll see you soon, princess.”

Yuri nods as he withdraws his hand from JJ’s hold to make his way slowly up the steps of his building. Once he’s safely away from any prying eyes though he rushes up the stairway and into the bathroom of his apartment. His pills were exactly where he left them, and he swallows one down dry before moving to the kitchen for a glass of water. That was too close of a call, but luckily, he shouldn’t be spending anymore nights at the Leroy’s, and for his trip he’ll just keep a bottle safely stashed in the bottom of his bag.

 

 

-

 

 

“So, how are things going with JJ,” Yuuri asks as he watches Yuri try and balance the weeks expenses.

“Shitty,” Yuri grumbles. “I haven’t learned anything helpful, and I only have a week left. At this point I feel like I’m learning more about his wife than him. Did you know she went to an Ivy league school, and that she double majored in business and botany?”

Yuuri laughs from his seat beside Yuri and shakes his head. “No, I didn’t know that. How did you find that out?”

“JJ’s been busy this week, so I’ve been hanging out with Bella. She showed me the greenhouse again and we made tea from some of her plants, it was cool, but it’s not what I’m supposed to be looking into.”

Yuuri hums and then points to a different column on the computer screen. “Have you tried asking her about Maple? Maybe she’ll know something.”

“Nah, she’s so busy with work and shit that I can’t see her having time for stuff like that. Hey, how did your appointment go the other day?”

“Great,” Yuuri says with a smile. “We got some new sonogram pictures. Would you like to see them?”

“Sure,” Yuri says with a yawn, thankful for even a moments worth of a distraction from the numbers on the screen.

Yuuri scoots his seat back to pull an envelope from his desk drawer. “Here,” Yuuri says as he hands the photos over. “This here is a head, and these are their spines.” Yuuri traces the curved arches of his children’s spines with a delicate finger. “I can’t believe how much they look like little people now.”

Yuri laughs and nods in agreement, “yeah, I remember that first pic you showed me where they looked like weird little dinosaurs. How far are you now?”

“I’ll be twenty-four weeks in two days,” Yuuri says proudly. “It feels like it’s going fast, but I’m already so big that I don’t know how I’m ever going to make it to term.”

“I’m surprised Victor hasn’t demanded you go on bedrest,” Yuri jokes.

“Don’t think he hasn’t tried, but he knows I won’t stop working until the doctor tells me to.” Yuuri takes the photos back and places them back into the envelope. “So, when can we talk about you and Otabek?”

“Never,” Yuri says with a grin as he fakes focusing his attention back on the computer.

“Aw, come on, Yuri. I never get to hear any of the club gossip anymore. The least you could do is give me some details. Are you official yet? Are you going to bond when all this is over with JJ?”

Yuri sighs dramatically and swivels in his seat to look at Yuuri again. “We’re together, we haven’t like called it anything, but he said he’s mine and I’m his.”

“That’s so cute,” Yuuri squeals, and Yuri rolls his eyes and pretends there’s not a blush working its way onto his cheeks. “I never imagined that he would be so sweet when I met him. In fact, I was a little intimidated when I first heard about him.”

“Why?” Yuri asks with a frown. “I mean he’s got tattoos but it’s not like he’s a jerk or anything.”

“Well no,” Yuuri says as he taps at his chin, “but I guess all of the enforcers Victor’s had have been intimidating. I think it’s just knowing what they’re capable of.”

“Enforcers?” Yuri says with a frown. “Like the people that… handle things?”

“Well yeah, but we don’t have to talk about any of that. Let’s get back to the books.”

“Wait,” Yuri says a little louder than necessary. “Are you saying that Otabek’s an enforcer?”

“Um- yes,” Yuuri frowns. “You knew that right? I mean, you’ve said before that he’s talked about his work with you.”

“He’s just said that he does the odd jobs for Victor, like looking into people and following leads, he didn’t say that he… handles things.”

“Oh,” Yuuri says quietly. “Well I’m sure you know more than I do about what he does. I had just assumed with his past that he did… more I guess.”

“What about his past?” Yuri asks as Yuuri cringes.

“I don’t know, forget I said anything.”

“Hey, no,” Yuri demands. “What are you talking about?”

“I think you should talk to Otabek if you want to know more about his past. It wasn’t my place to bring any of this up, I’m really sorry. Let’s finish this up, so we can go home for the night.”

Yuri sighs but drops the conversation. Yuuri clearly doesn’t want to talk about it anymore and the sooner they finish the sooner he can call Otabek.

 

 

-

 

 

Calling Otabek get swapped for seeing him, but in the end, Yuri thinks it might be better to have this conversation face to face anyway. He doesn’t know much about what enforcers do, but now that he’s had more time to think on it he does remember Lilia warning him away from someone that he now knows is Otabek. But what could he have done to make even Lilia nervous? As far as Yuri can tell he seems normal. He’s never even noticed any bruises or marks that Otabek couldn’t explain. Maybe everyone has it wrong, maybe Otabek isn’t who they think he is. As Yuri brings up his fist to knock at the alpha’s door he chews his lip nervously, but once Otabek’s in front of him his nerves seem to vanish, and he finds himself settling at the others familiar scent.

“Hey, kitten,” Otabek purrs from the doorway. “How was your day?”

“It was good,” Yuri says with a shrug, walking past Otabek to sit on his couch. “I feel like I’m finally getting the hang of all the paperwork with Yuuri. He said when I get back next week he’s going to let me try and balance everything on my own.”

“That’s great,” Otabek smiles. “Have you given any thought to what we talked about?”

“About me not going because you think it’s too risky?” Yuri laughs. “Yes, and I’ve decided that it’s going to be fine. Bella’s going to be there, and with only a week left I really need to take advantage of this trip. I’m hoping I can talk JJ into taking me to the docks, although I’m not sure what I’d find. It’s not like he’s going to be like ‘and here’s the ship I use to import all the maple,’” Yuri mimics in a deeper voice before laughing.

“I just want you to make sure you’re being safe,” Otabek sighs. “He thinks you two are going to be bonding in another week, it’s not out of the question that he could try for something more.”

“And if he does I’ll just remind him that I don’t do things with someone I’m not bonded with.”

“I’m glad that’s not actually true,” Otabek says with a grin, joining Yuri on the couch.

“Oh yeah? And what do you thinks going to happen tonight,” Yuri teases, “I’m just hear for free food. You are making dinner, right?”

Otabek laughs and draws Yuri into his lap. “Yes, it’s in the oven.” Otabek nuzzles the side of Yuri’s face with his own before placing a kiss to the space below Yuri’s ear.

A shuddering breath makes its way out of Yuri’s throat, and although he knows they should stop and talk about what he learned from Yuuri, the temptation for something more is too much to resist and he turns to capture Otabek’s lips in his own. They haven’t progressed much past kissing with the occasional hand job from Otabek, but the alpha doesn’t seem to mind that Yuri’s yet to ask him to take his own pants off. It’s that understanding and lack of pressure though that causes warmth to pool low in Yuri’s stomach as Otabek’s hand reaches down to grip at his ass.

Otabek noses Yuri’s shirt aside to nip lightly at the omega’s shoulder, and Yuri’s hands spasms on Otabek’s shoulders. “I- I want,” Yuri stutters out as Otabek’s hands kneed at his ass.

“Whatever it is you can have it,” Otabek promises, “just say it.”

Yuri moans and he can feel as precum slicks the inside of his boxers with each rock against Otabek. “I want to jerk you off.” Yuri’s face heats at the confession, but Otabek’s answering moan takes away the embarrassment he was feeling.

“Yes,” Otabek breathes into Yuri’s skin. “Fuck, yes.”

Yuri grins and reaches down to tug at the button and zipper of Otabek’s jeans, but from his place on the alpha’s lap it’s hard to get them open.

Otabek’s hands slide over Yuri’s smaller ones. “Do you want to go to the bedroom?”

“I still don’t want you to fuck me,” Yuri replies quickly with a bit of a blush.

Otabek smiles and leans forward to place a light kiss to Yuri’s lips. “I know, kitten. I just thought it would be more comfortable. We can stay here though.”

“Oh,” Yuri mumbles against Otabek’s lips. “We can go there then.”

Otabek smiles and uses his hold on Yuri’s ass to pull the omega to him as he stands to make his way to the bedroom. His room is as neat as ever, and Yuri smiles as Otabek lowers him to the bed.

“Do you want to keep your clothes on?” Otabek asks, and Yuri shakes his head.

“I want to feel you.”

Otabek’s eyes are dark as he studies Yuri laid out on his bed, and Yuri swears he can feel heat just from the look. Otabek discards his shirt with a quick toss to the side of the room, and then he slides his body over Yuri’s, making sure to keep the bulk of his weight off the smaller man.

Yuri reaches up to pull them flush against each other almost as soon as Otabek is within reach, and then he’s sealing their lips together in a heated kiss. He trails his nails down the front of Otabek’s chest as they kiss, and the resistance of the firm muscles there only makes him more desperate to get his hands on Otabek’s cock.

“Take my clothes off,” Yuri demands with a gasp, already working the button on Otabek’s jeans.

Otabek lets out a small chuckle and helps Yuri shimmy out of his jeans before discarding his own. They leave their boxers on, but even with the thin fabric Yuri can see just how large Otabek is. He could always feel that Otabek was well endowed but being able to see the thick outline is another thing entirely.

“Still good?” Otabek asks, breaking Yuri’s trance on his crotch.

Yuri swallows with a nod. “Yeah, yeah. Can you kiss me?”

Otabek smiles, bringing a hand up to cup Yuri’s face lightly before placing a soft kiss to his lips. The kiss doesn’t stay soft for long though, and after a few soft brushes Yuri arches up for more as Otabek smiles and lets Yuri take control, pushing on the alphas shoulder to switch their positions.

Once Yuri’s on top he discards his shirt and grinds down on Otabek’s cloth covered cock. He knows slicks already starting to gather between his cheeks, but the temptation of feeling Otabek pressed so closely is too much.

“Fuck, kitten. You look so good right now.” Otabek wraps his hands around Yuri’s slim waist and grinds his hips up into him. “Do you have any idea what you look like? Like you’re riding my cock.”

Yuri’s cheeks take on a deep shade of red and he digs his nails into Otabek’s chest. “You wish.”

“I do,” Otabek laughs, “but this is good too.”

“You’re such a sap,” Yuri grins, pushing back into Otabek’s cock and then moaning as it rubs between his cheeks.

Yuri contemplates staying like this, just grinding on Otabek until they both find real release, but he’s already told himself that today would be the day he finally sees Otabek’s cock and he’s not about to give that up. With one final movement atop of Otabek, Yuri finally scoots back onto Otabek’s thighs. The front of Otabek’s boxers are wet with a combination of precum and Yuri’s own slick, and a wave of heat rushes over Yuri at the sight. He can’t remember the last time he’s ever felt this turned on, and Otabek doesn’t rush him as he looks his fill.

After several moments Yuri finally reaches up to grip the band of Otabek’s boxers. He looks up once more to make sure Otabek hasn’t changed his mind, and when he’s greeted with a cocky eyebrow raise he pulls back Otabek’s boxers with determination, watching as the alpha’s cock springs out.

“Oh fuck,” Yuri breathes. “You’re uncut?” and fucking huge, he finishes in his head.

“Is that alright?” Otabek asks, slight hesitation evident in his voice, as the tops of his cheeks take on a light blush.

“Of course,” Yuri’s quick to say. “I just didn’t know.”

Otabek lifts his hips in a light thrust. “You can touch it if you want.”

Yuri nods and reaches out to wrap a hand around Otabek. He starts off slowly, just pulling down to expose the pink head, but when Otabek lets out a broken moan he can’t help picking up speed. He watches as the tip begins to leak precum, and as Otabek’s hands tighten in the sheets near his hips. He’s never seen Otabek looking so desperate, and the sight of it sends waves of hot pleasure coursing through him.

“You like this?” Yuri asks with a grin, as he wraps his free hand around the head of Otabek’s cock. Yuri can feel as more precum leaks from the head, and Otabek’s hips begin thrusting up into his grasp.

“Fuck, yes,” Otabek moans. “You feel so good, kitten. Can I touch you too?”

Yuri franticly nods his head and releases his hold on Otabek’s cock to quickly discard his own boxers. He means to take Otabek’s cock back into his grasp once he’s back on top of his lap, but he doesn’t get the chance as Otabek’s fists envelop both their cocks in his grasp.

“Oh god,” Yuri exclaims, bracing his hands on Otabek’s shoulders for support.

Otabek doesn’t waste any time quickly pumping both their cocks, and Yuri digs his nails into the man’s shoulders as he tries to not come embarrassingly fast. The slide is eased by both of their cocks steadily leaking precum, but Otabek still reaches over with his free hand to grab the lube sitting on his bedside table. He uncaps the top with his teeth and then pours a generous amount over the top of their cocks.

The added lubrication makes the slide that much easier, and Yuri slowly thrusts into Otabek’s grip as the alpha tightens his hand.

“Are you gonna come for me, kitten?” Otabek purrs, and Yuri swears his toes curl at the low tone. Yuri can’t make his mouth form any words in response though, and instead he nods his head frantically. “What’s that?” Otabek asks with a grin as he slows the pumping of his hand down till it’s almost not moving. “I couldn’t hear you.”

“Don’t be a dick, Beka,” Yuri moans, rocking into Otabek’s grasp to encourage him to pick up speed again. “I was so close.”

“Oh yeah?” Otabek grins, sliding his free hand up Yuri’s chest to pinch at one of his pink nipples until Yuri lets out a high-pitched whine.

“Please,” Yuri begs, leaning down to capture Otabek’s lips in his own. “Make me come, Beka.”

“All you had to do was ask,” Otabek says against Yuri’s lips before picking up speed again on their cocks. He doesn’t waste any time bringing Yuri to the edge again, and Yuri watches mesmerized by the tattoos that cover Otabek’s knuckles. The heat is tight and fast, but just when Yuri feels his orgasm approaching Otabek begins to slow his movements again, leaving Yuri flushed and gasping on his lap.

“What the fuck, Beka,” Yuri demands. “Are you trying to kill me?”

“You just have no idea how good you look right now,” Otabek says with wonder in his voice as he swallows thickly. “I could watch you on the edge all night. You’re breathtaking.”

Something in Yuri’s chest feels tight at Otabek’s words, and if he had the ability to hide his face right now he would. “You’re ridiculous,” he says through a blush, “and if you think you can keep this going all night you’re not going to be allowed anywhere near my dick for at least a week.”

“Oh, yeah?” Otabek teases as he releases his own cock to envelop Yuri’s fully. “You think you could stay away for a whole week?” Otabek uses his free hand to cup the back of Yuri’s head and give his hair a light tug as he guides him back down within kissing distance. “Because I don’t think you’d make it two days before you were needing another fix.”

Otabek’s lips just barely ghost across Yuri’s and Yuri decides he’s had just about all the teasing he can handle. If Otabek wants to play dirty, then Yuri is more than willing to level the playing field.

One moment Otabek is holding Yuri close and the next Yuri is knocking his hands aside and sliding down his body until he’s face to face with Otabek’s member. He doesn’t give himself any time to talk himself out of his decision and instead licks a strip up Otabek’s cock, causing the man to let out a startled groan. Yuri relishes the sound and repeats the action to be rewarded with more sounds from Otabek’s lips. It’s thrilling to know that he’s the one causing the alpha’s normally quiet demeanor to crack, and when he sucks the tip of Otabek’s cock into his mouth he swears Otabek almost arches off the bed.

“Holy shit, Yuri,” he pants, dragging his fingers through Yuri’s hair and gathering it into a bun with his hands. “You’re so fucking beautiful.”

Yuri continues bobbing his head along the top half of Otabek’s cock, unwilling to attempt the whole length at the risk of embarrassing himself by gagging. Instead, he uses his hand to cover the length not enveloped within the heat of his mouth, trying to keep the movement synchronized with that of his head.

When a salty burst of precum hits the back of Yuri’s tongue he finally looks up to see Otabek’s eyes intently watching him. There’s a deep flush to the tops of Otabek’s cheeks, and his styled hair has started to fall, making him look softer than normal. Yuri wishes he could reach out and push Otabek’s hair back into place, if only to be able to run his hands through the dark locks, but he has a more pressing issue to deal with.

With new determination Yuri hollows his cheeks and sucks harshly at the tip of Otabek’s cock, making sure to continue his movements with his fist as saliva leaks down to help ease the slide. As Yuri works Otabek’s breaths come out in harsh pants until the alpha’s legs begin to twitch from how hard he’s trying not to thrust into Yuri’s welcoming mouth.

Just as Yuri feels like his jaw is beginning to tire though Otabek begins to speak again, this time in a more desperate manor. “I’m so close. Fuck, Yuri, I’m gonna come. Don’t stop.”

As Otabek babbles Yuri can feel his hands tighten in his hair, and with a cocky smile he removes his mouth and hand from Otabek’s cock, watching as the alpha gasps at the sudden loss. “Now who’s desperate?”

Otabek’s jaw drops and he reaches a hand down to grasp at his abandoned cock. “God damn, Yuri. That’s not funny.”

“I think it’s funny,” Yuri says through a laugh. “You edged me twice, it’s just payback.”

“I didn’t do it to be mean,” Otabek pouts, and Yuri can’t help laughing again. He’s never seen Otabek looking so desperate, and a strange thrill runs through him at the knowledge that he’s the one to put the alpha so on edge. “Come here, no more teasing. I really want to get off together.”

“Yeah, you do,” Yuri grins, climbing back on top of Otabek’s thighs. “and this time no touching. I don’t trust you now.”

Otabek pouts dramatically but calmly removes his hands from Yuri’s hips to ball in the bedding near his own. “Come on, kitten, I was only teasing before, there’s no reason to be mean.”

“You started this,” Yuri says dismissively, reaching to where Otabek had dropped the lube on the bed earlier. “Now you have to suffer the consequences.”

Otabek throws his head back into the pillows with a low moan as Yuri wraps both hands around himself and Otabek. He wants to tease the alpha more for earlier but watching the way Otabek’s throat works as his hands spasm in the sheets has Yuri’s blood rushing hotly in his veins. Yuri continues trying to keep rhythm while getting lost in the sounds escaping Otabek’s mouth. He’s so close from the sight of Otabek withering below him though that he’s not sure how much longer he’ll be able to drag out his movements.

“I changed my mind,” Yuri gasps, “touch me. Fuck, I need you.”

Otabek moves so quickly that if Yuri would have blinked he might have missed his movements, but one moment he’s atop Otabek’s legs and the next he’s on his back with Otabek’s weight pinning him down from above. Otabek’s lips quickly find his own, and in a frenzied moment their tongues are twined together as Otabek reaches down to help jerk them both to completion. It takes less than a dozen pumps before Yuri is coming across their entangled fingers, and the last few pumps to his oversensitive cock cause sparks to race up his spine as Otabek finally finds release, moaning into Yuri’s mouth as their kissing slows.

They stay unmoving for several minutes, just basking in the bliss and quiet of the moment, and although Otabek is still laying atop him his weight feels more comforting than oppressive. It’s only when Yuri tries to remove his hand from between their bodies that he realizes just how sticky it is between them.

“Time to clean up,” Yuri groans, pushing at Otabek’s shoulder with his free hand. “Come on, Beka.”

“Just a few more minutes,” Otabek nuzzles into Yuri’s neck, breathing deeply. “I love how you smell after, always more like yourself than the blockers.”

Yuri’s cheeks heat at the comment and he’s about to push Otabek’s face away when a shrill beeping causes them both to go tense.

“What the hell is that,” Yuri asks, just before Otabek bolts off of him with a shout of, “Dinner!”

 

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

“Are you sure you’re okay to do this?”

“Oh my god, Beka, yes,” Yuri huffs into the receiver. “How many times do I have to tell you I’ll be fine. It’s just four days, and once I’m back I’ll end things with JJ.”

“Have you figured out what you’re going to say yet?”

“I was thinking something like, ‘you’re a dick and I’m better than you deserve. See you never.’” Yuri grins at Otabek’s choked off laugh and continues, “I don’t really know yet. I was thinking I might just ghost him.”

“You think that would actually work with a guy like him? You could just tell him the truth.”

Yuri pauses in his packing and scoffs. “Oh yeah, great idea. ‘Hey JJ, I was just using you to help Victor take down your family’s drug operation, no hard feelings.’ I’m sure that would go over great.”

 “I meant tell him you met someone else,” Otabek says with a laugh. “You don’t have to tell him who.”

Yuri hums and shoves his bottle of suppressants to the bottom of his bag. “I think that would make him just as crazy. Honestly, I was thinking of just telling him that I don’t really want kids, and that I was just pretending because I thought my feelings would change, but they didn’t. The guys so desperate to start a family he’d probably be the one to end things.”

“That’s actually not a bad idea. Did you get anything new when you saw him last?”

“Nah, we just looked at the horses at the estate and he bragged about how expensive they were. Did you find anything out about Bella? I still don’t think she’s involved, but Yuuri said I should at least ask.”

“Nothing new. She works as a consultant for her father’s firm. It all seems pretty legit. If anything, I just can’t figure out why the marriage happened in the first place. You said that they both said it was wanted between their families, but I can’t find any reason they would want to tie themselves together. The Leroy’s businesses seem to be doing just fine, and the Yang’s firm is still as popular as ever. If anything, having Bella away has to be hurting, not helping.”

Yuri sits on the edge of his futon and rubs at his eyes. The more he turns the idea of Bella and JJ’s marriage around in his head the more confused he gets. “I feel like we’re missing something important, but I don’t know where to look.”

“I know how you feel, kitten. Victor’s had someone looking into the Yang’s and Leroy’s financial ties, so maybe they’ll dig up something I missed.”

“I hope so. Hey, you’re still able to pick my car up while I’m gone, right?”

“Yup, Thursday at three, I remember.”

“Awesome,” Yuri says with a grin. “I might actually be able to make it to St. Petersburg on my own more often now, although I think the train might still be cheaper. I still don’t know what to do with the ten grand Victor had deposited into my account though. I thought about just giving it to my grandpa, but if I do he’ll ask where it came from and I’ve already lied to him too much. I don’t think I could do it again.”

“You could always use it to move out of that freezer you’re living in,” Otabek teases.

“I will someday, maybe when the winters over. I don’t want to move in the snow.”

Otabek laughs, and Yuri’s chest aches. He wishes he could see him before he leaves, but he didn’t want to risk smelling like him for the trip, and he still hasn’t managed to work up the courage to really ask about what he does for Victor. The more he turns it over in his mind though the more he’s starting to think it just doesn’t matter. So what if Otabek does some shady things for Victor. That doesn’t change the way he is with Yuri, and maybe it’s best not to complicate things further.  

“So, when I get back…” Yuri says in a quiet voice, his heart beginning to pound as nervousness floods him.

“Yeah?”

“Would you like to go on a date? You said you would take me dancing.”

Otabek’s smile is obvious, even over the phone, and it makes Yuri feel lighter somehow to hear it. “Of course, kitten. Anywhere you wanna go.”

“Cool,” Yuri says, with a grin of his own.

Yuri’s phone makes a small ding sound and he pulls it from his face to check the message.

“I have to go,” Yuri pouts, letting out a dramatic sigh. “He’s here now.”

“Be safe, kitten. I’ll see you as soon as you get back.”

Yuri disconnects the call and then zips up his bag before doing one last check of his apartment. He’s only going to be gone for four days, but he can’t remember the last time he’s spent more than a night away. Even when he would visit his grandfather it was only ever for one night, so he didn’t have to miss work. As he locks the door now a strange sadness fills him before he brushes the feeling aside and makes his way to the car waiting at the curb.

“Princess!” JJ calls as Yuri hands his bag over to the driver before climbing into the backseat.

“JJ,” Yuri says with an eyeroll.

“Are you excited to see your grandfather?”

“Da, I called him last night to let him know I was coming. He was surprised when I told him I was bringing a friend.”

“A friend?” JJ says with a frown. “Why would you tell him I’m just a friend?”

“Because I’ve never brought anyone to meet him before, and I thought if I told him I was bringing a married alpha who I’ve been seeing, that he would have a heart attack.”

JJ groans and rubs at his eyes with the palm of his hands. “You wouldn’t have to say it like that. You could have just told him that you were bringing an alpha that you’re seeing. I want him to approve of me.”

Yuri lets out a small scoff before laughing. “Good luck with that. He hasn’t approved of anyone who hasn’t earned their way my whole life.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“That you work for your father’s company, and you’ve never had to really fight for something before. Everything I have, I’ve fought for, and you could never understand what that’s like.”

“You don’t know what I had to do to get where I am,” JJ says coldly. “I’ve given up more than you could ever understand.”

“Like what?”

“Like a life that’s my own.”

Yuri rolls his eyes and leans against the car door to stare out the window. JJ’s had everything he could ever want just handed to him, and if he thinks he can convince Yuri otherwise he’s got another thing coming.

 

 

-

 

 

"You have a bed in an airplane," Yuri marvels. "What the fuck, man."

JJ laughs and moves around Yuri to take a seat on the large bed. He wiggles his eyebrows and inclines his chin. "After takeoff you're more than welcome to test it out."

Yuri scoffs and walks around the bed to the other half of the plane. This side has large seats, and if Yuri couldn't see the seat belts attached he would have thought they were just recliners. "This is nuts. I've only flown coach once, and it was nothing like this."

A woman appears out of a small curtained off area and Yuri pauses in his room exploration. "Can I get you gentlemen anything?" She asks politely, her eyes down cast.

"Whisky neat," JJ calls from his place still on the bed.

Yuri shrugs and mutters a, "I'll have the same."

The woman nods and then disappears behind the curtain again. "So, you have your own flight attendant?"

"Of course. This is a short flight, but sometimes we're in the air for hours."

Yuri takes a seat in one of the overly large chairs and fiddles with some of the buttons along the side until he has the seat in a slight recline.

"Here," JJ makes his way to the seat next to Yuri's and then hands him a remote.

"What's this?" Yuri asks with some skepticism.

"Just press this button," JJ motions to the remote and Yuri reluctantly presses the intended button.

As soon as the back of Yuri's seat starts to vibrate a small gasp leaves his lips and his face flushes in embarrassment. JJ just laughs and takes the remote back from Yuri's hands to press a few more buttons. Yuri lets out a small groan as the chair begins to work out a knot in his lower back, and JJ's lips turn up into a satisfied smirk. A few moments later the flight attendant returns with their drinks and Yuri sits up to avoid spilling his. JJ helps him to get his seat back to its original position and then the pilots voice comes across the small plane, informing them of the impending takeoff.

Yuri clicks his seatbelt into place and waits as the plane begins to move along the runway. Takeoff happens quickly, and Yuri squeezes the arm rests as the plane continues upward before settling off.

JJ reaches a hand over to cup Yuri's tensed one and give it a small squeeze. "It's over now. You can stop trying to rip the leather."

Yuri slowly relaxes his grip and then takes a sip of his drink with his free hand. "Sorry."

"It's fine, I don't think I’ve ever seen you look so vulnerable."

Yuri narrows his eyes at that comment, but he doesn't press JJ further. "So, what are we doing when we get there?"

"Well first we'll need to go shopping because we'll be having dinner with my father, and there's no way you can go dressed like that?"

"Dressed like what?" Yuri snaps, embarrassment making his temper short.

JJ's eyes trail down Yuri's body and his face pinches into a grimace. "Like you're not taken care of."

"Excuse me," Yuri nearly yells. "What the fuck does that mean?"

"Calm down," JJ sighs, rubbing at his temple with his free hand. "It means if you're my omega my father will expect you to look the part, and part of that is letting me buy you clothes that aren't from a thrift store.”

“What is your problem,” Yuri snaps. “My clothes are fine. I even packed my dress shirts.”

“You mean the shirts you wear for Lilia’s?” JJ scoffs, and Yuri’s face heats further as he can’t deny JJ’s words. “That’s what I thought,” JJ says smugly. “Once we’ve landed I’ll get you some real clothes.”

“I’m not going to keep them,” Yuri glowers.

“That’s fine, I’ll have them added to your closet for when you move in. Speaking of you moving in, I was talking to Bella and she thinks it would be a good idea if you came over a few days before your heat. She said that if an omega is comfortable they handle the bonding better. So, I was thinking once we get back to Moscow we can just go to the estate. Have you already talked with Yuuri and Lilia about needing the week off?”

“Why were you talking with Bella about my heat? And how would she know what makes bonding easier, she’s never even experienced it.”

“Well no,” JJ frowns, “but she does have friends, and they talk. So, she knows the basics just like anyone else. And you didn’t answer me, have you asked for the week off?”

“It’s fine,” Yuri huffs in annoyance, finishing the last of his drink. “How much longer is this flight?”

JJ glances to his watch and then rolls his eyes. “We still have an hour. Why don’t you try and rest until we land? You’re clearly getting irritable.”

Yuri bites his tongue to keep the first thought he has from slipping out, and instead reclines his seat back. Maybe JJ’s right, it might be better to sleep, or at least pretend to sleep so that he can ignore JJ for the next hour. Honestly, if he has to play nice for the next four days it might be best to conserve his energy.

 As Yuri tries to quiet his restless mind he can’t help but obsess over something JJ had said though, and after nearly ten minutes he sets up with a huff.

“Why would you bring me to meet your father if you didn’t think I was good enough? Why would you even want me at all if you thought I was an embarrassment?”

JJ looks up from his phone with wide eyes before setting it aside and turning to face Yuri fully. “I’m not embarrassed by you, and my father’s just overly critical. It has nothing to do with you. Although I will admit that I do want him to approve of you.”

“Why do you want this to work out so badly? I’m an asshole to you nearly half the time were together.”

Yuri’s not sure what’s caused him to want to pry into this particular issue, but he just can’t understand why JJ seems so determined to have things work between them when they’re so different. It would be easier if JJ found a high-class omega to take as his kept omega. Why does he seem so desperate to make this relationship work?

The corner of JJ’s lips draw up into a grin and he props an elbow on the large armrest that separates their seats. “This is why. You’re so unlike most omegas. You want to be independent, and you have an attitude that refuses to be restrained. You’re wild and I want to be the one to tame you. And you’re the most beautiful person I’ve ever met.”

Yuri’s pulse quickens at JJ’s response, and he finds himself fluctuating between being impressed that JJ had such a well thought out answer prepared and pissed that he sees Yuri has just another stallion to be broken.

“I’m not a plaything for you to tame.”

“No, you’re not,” JJ agrees, “but that doesn’t stop the fact that I want to try. If you would just give living with me a month while not working, I swear you would never want to go back.”

“Why would I do that?” Yuri asks with genuine interest. “What would I even do if I didn’t work? Just sit around and wait for you to get home each day? I can’t think of anything worse.”

“It wouldn’t be like that. If you wanted you could help out with the charity functions, and once we had children you would have them to look after.”

“You know, you’ve never even asked me how I feel about kids,” Yuri says with a frown, trying to subtly lay the ground work for what’s to come in just a few more days. “What if I only wanted one, or none for that matter?”

“But you’re an omega,” JJ exclaims, leaning slightly into Yuri’s space. “How could you not want as many children as you could get?”

“That’s such a stereotype,” Yuri huffs. “Just because I can have children doesn’t mean I have to, and I definitely don’t have any plans to do so right now.”

“Of course,” JJ says with an eye roll. “I wouldn’t expect you to want to try during our first time, but in another three months, once we know each other better, and you’ve settled into the estate…”

“You want to try that soon? What’s the hurry?”

JJ finally finishes the last of his drink before setting the glass aside and looking into Yuri’s eyes. “I’ve always known that I would have children. I’ve always wanted them too, and the sooner I start the sooner the rest of my life can finally start. I understand that it’s all happening fast, but that’s the way it has to be.”

“What if I’m not ready?” Yuri asks quietly.

“You will be, and if you’re still unsure once it happens we can always hire a nanny.”

Yuri’s stomach sinks at JJ’s response and he finds himself wanting to shift further away but there’s nowhere to go. JJ didn’t leave any room for Yuri’s objections. He basically told him that he’s expected to give JJ a baby whether he wants one or not, and it’s that knowledge that has Yuri starting to worry about how he’s going to end things without JJ discovering the ruse. 

“I need to go to the bathroom,” Yuri says in a weak voice, unsure of what he plans to do once he gets there. He can’t call Otabek while he’s in the air, and even if he could JJ would be able to hear.

He walks slowly to the small bathroom at the back of the aircraft, and once he’s locked behind the door he splashes water across his face to try and pull himself together. None of this is real, he reminds himself. As soon as they land back in Moscow he can call Otabek and never have to see JJ again. JJ may want him to come to the estate when they get back, but all Yuri needs is a few minutes alone to slip away. He can do this.

 

 

-

 

 

Yuri cannot do this. He pulls at the collar of his shirt and JJ reaches up to still his movements.

“Stop fidgeting,” JJ commands in a quiet voice, and Yuri’s hands still instantly.

They spent nearly three hours shopping for clothes once they landed, and Yuri still somehow ended up in a shirt that leaves him feeling like he constantly needs to adjust. His fingers burn with the need to tug at the neck of his shirt again, but with JJ’s words ringing in his head he can’t.

JJ’s more tense than normal as they wait for his father to arrive, and Bella sits quietly to his right. She hasn’t said much but a polite hello since she arrived, and although she can’t scent JJ’s anxiety there’s no doubt that she must be able to sense it in his demeanor.

“I’m sure he’s just running late,” Bella finally says, a tight smile coming to her lips. “It doesn’t have to mean anything.”

“It always means something,” JJ sneers. “He knows how important this is to me.”

Bella nods and places her hands in her lap. “You look very nice tonight, Yuri. How was the flight?”

Yuri clears his throat and tries to offer Bella a smile. “Thanks, it was fine. Much faster than taking the train.”

A polite laugh leaves Bella’s lips and she inclines her head. “I’m sure it was.”

Yuri opens his mouth to ask Bella how her day has been, but JJ stiffens even further next to him and he looks up to see the looming figure of an alpha approaching the table. JJ stands quickly and extends his hand out as the man reaches the table.

“Father.”

“Jean,” the man replies, gripping JJ’s hand firmly.

“Mr. Leroy,” Bella says with a smile, and the man’s face softens as he leans down to place a kiss to her outstretched hand.

“I’m glad you could join us, Bella. I hear your fathers kept you busy.”

“No more than usual,” she says politely.

“From what I hear you’re making a trip back and forth nearly every weekend, that must mean good things.” Mr. Leroy takes his seat between Yuri and Bella before placing his cloth napkin across his lap.

“We like to think so.”

“So, Jean, is this the one?” Mr. Leroy asks with a nod in Yuri’s direction, neglecting to even introduce himself.

“Yes, this is Yuri. He’s moving in after his next heat,” JJ says with forced cheerfulness.

JJ’s demeanor with his father is so unlike anything Yuri’s witnessed from the man, and it’s putting him more on edge than the alpha’s bad mood already has. There’s definitely something more going on between the two men than a distant relationship, but now isn’t the time to try and press anything.

“And when will that be?”

“Next week.”

Mr. Leroy hums and picks up his menu. “Your mother would be happy to see you’re finally settling down. I was beginning to think my name would die with you.”

Yuri looks around JJ to where Bella is sitting, but she’s studying her menu intently. She doesn’t seem to notice the slight against her, but at the same time Yuri doesn’t see any way that she didn’t hear the back handed comment. Even if JJ never sought out another relationship he would still have children with Bella, and his line would be carried on. The only way any of this makes senses is if JJ’s father doesn’t see the relationship between Bella and JJ as legitimate, and if that were the case why would he force his son to marry her in the first place?

Once the waitress comes to take their orders JJ and his father chat about work and how things are going within the charity division, they don’t spend any time talking about the shipment that was intercepted a few weeks ago and Yuri wonders if it’s because it’s old news, or because he’s sitting at the table. JJ hasn’t mentioned anymore interference, and Otabek said that he wasn’t going to try again unless he had more information to go off of.

The meal feels rather pointless as it comes to an end, and Mr. Leroy doesn’t speak directly to Yuri the whole night. Instead, he directs questions to JJ that the alpha answers in Yuri’s silence. He asks questions about Yuri’s family, about what Yuri does for a living; to which JJ chose to only mention his work as a personal assistant, and then about when he can expect grandchildren from the omega.

“We plan to give the bond some time to settle before trying for children. You know, to increase our chances.”

Yuri’s ears heat at such things being talked about out in the open, things that should remain private. And even if he knows none of its true that doesn’t change the fact that JJ and his father are talking about his future like it’s already been decided.

“Excuse me,” Yuri says shortly, drawing a pointed stare from JJ. “but I don’t see how it’s any of your business if and when we decide to start trying to have a child. And it’s definitely not any of your business when my heats are.”

“Jean, I suggest you remind your omega that he is to be seen and not heard. If I have something to say to him I will speak to him directly. I’m sure by our next meeting you will have these problems resolved.”

Mr. Leroy then stands from the table and pulls several large bills from his wallet before setting them on the table and walking away. No one says anything for several long seconds, and when the waitress comes by to ask if they need anything else the scent of JJ’s anger sends her fleeing in the opposite direction.

“Let’s go,” JJ finally says, pulling Yuri up by the hand.

His grip is tight, and Bella walks quickly behind them, never losing stride in her tall heels.

“JJ,” she calls as they exit the restaurant. “JJ!”

“What?” The alpha growls, still clinging to Yuri’s hand in an impression of a vice grip.

“Can you not see you’re hurting him? Let him go and calm down.”

JJ looks down to Yuri’s aching fingers and then finally releases his hold. “You could have ruined tonight,” he snaps, “do you have any idea how important this first meeting was?”

“How would I know it’s important,” Yuri shouts, throwing his uninjured hand into the air. “It’s just your fucking dad, I didn’t know he was a dick that still believed omegas are nothing more than incubators for your fucking children.”

“You will watch your tone when you speak to me,” JJ seethes, taking a step closer to Yuri that causes the smaller man to pause.

JJ’s been angry before, but it’s never been directed so fully at Yuri, and all of the sudden Yuri’s not so sure that it won’t be taken further. He thinks of the shattered vase in JJ’s office, and JJ’s words about how he was just ‘sick of it.’

“I’m sorry,” Yuri manages to choke out, taking a small step closer to Bella.

“JJ,” the beta woman snaps. “We have come too far for you to ruin everything again. I didn’t give up my life to be the wife of a non-profit executive. You promised you could make this work.”

JJ listens as Bella speaks, but his eyes stay firmly fixed on Yuri. “I’m sorry I scared you,” he grits out after a moment.

Yuri gives a dismissive shrug of his shoulder, but his hearts still racing and there’s no doubt that JJ can smell the fear still clinging to him. JJ may have apologized but it wasn’t even for the things he said or the fact that he basically threatened Yuri with violence. And now Bella’s talking like there’s something more going on and Yuri’s not sure what to do. He can’t just leave, he has nowhere to go… or does he?

“I want to go to my grandfather’s.”

 “Why?” JJ demands. “We already have plans to see him the day after next.”

“Because I want to see him now. Why does it matter?”

JJ sucks in his cheeks for a moment and then shakes his head. “It’s already late. If you want to talk to him call him. We’ll see him soon enough.”

Yuri looks to Bella for support, but the beta woman is pointedly looking away, probably feeling she’s interfered enough for the moment.

“Fine,” Yuri sulks, crossing his arms across his chest and glaring at JJ just a few feet away. “So, what now?”

“Now we go home,” Bella says with false cheer.

“Back to Moscow?”

“No, silly. I have an apartment in the city. I go back and forth so often that it just made more sense. We’ll be staying there until it’s time to go back, and since JJ has meetings tomorrow I figured you and I could spend the day together. Maybe we can even get you some clothes that aren’t so uncomfortable.”

Bella’s eyes sparkle with mischief with JJ just out of hearing distance on the phone with their driver. Yuri knows there’s something more going on with Bella than he originally thought, and although she won’t be able to help him crack the mystery of where the Maple is coming from, maybe she’ll be able to answer some of his other questions.

 

 

-

 

 

“I am not wearing that.”

“Yuri,” Bella whines. “Please, you’ll look so cute.”

Yuri pushes the soft sweater back into Bella’s arms and shakes his head. “It’s three sizes too big, I’ll be lucky if it doesn’t fall off when I put it on.”

“It’s supposed to be big,” Bella sighs. “You let it hang off one shoulder. And I bet if you wore it for JJ he would flip.”

Yuri grimaces at Bella’s words and sighs as she places the sweater back in his arms. “You’re so weird.”

Bella smiles and pushes Yuri back into the dressing room. “Why, because I want you to have clothes that are actually comfortable?”

“No,” Yuri calls from the other side of the door, “because you’re picking out clothes for me to seduce your husband with. Why do you care if we work out?”

Bella is silent a moment and Yuri peeks his head out the door to make sure she hasn’t left.

“Things are complicated, Yuri, but just know that you and JJ working out means a lot to me.”

“Why,” Yuri scowls. “Why would it matter?”

“It just does. Now let me see you.”

Yuri rolls his eyes and steps fully from the dressing room. The sweater Bella picked out is a light green and it falls just above his knees.

“What the hell am I supposed to wear with this?” He scowls.

“Either leggings or jeans. In fact, I bet your jeans with the holes in the knees would be cute.”

Yuri turns to study his reflection, and he can’t deny the appeal of the sweater. It makes his already small frame look smaller, and the fabric is extremely soft against his skin. It’s definitely not a top he would have picked for himself, but now that he’s wearing it he doesn’t mind it so much.

“I guess this is fine.”

Bella squeals in delight and steps up behind Yuri to give him a light hug. “See, I knew you would like it. Now just give me a minute and I’ll be back with a few more things.”

As Bella hurries from the small room Yuri quietly closes the door behind her and slides the lock into place. He’s barely had any time to himself since this trip started, and while it’s too risky to call Otabek right now, a text shouldn’t hurt.

Yuri searches the floor before digging through the pocket of the slacks JJ bought the day before. Once he’s retrieved his phone he brings up the camera app to snap a few photos. The first picture he takes is just him standing in front of the mirror with the sweater hanging off his shoulder to expose the unblemished side of his neck, although the side JJ had marked has mostly faded away. For the next few he pulls up the hem of the sweater to reveal the slight bulge in the front of his boxers. He ends with one of the sweater bunched up in his free hand and the whole front of his chest exposed.

He doesn’t take the time to talk himself out of sending them and instead sends them all to Otabek. He contemplates deleting them after that, but with things between him and JJ still being tense he decides to send him the first picture he took too.

Yuri sits down after that and waits for Bella’s return, but before she gets back his phone begins to buzz with messages.

Beka <3 - Damn, kitten. You couldn’t have given me a warning????

Beka <3 - If I would have been at work things would have gotten awkward very quickly.

 Yuri bites his lip to try and stop the goofy grin that’s fighting to make itself known.

Yuri - Did you like them??

Beka <3 - Of course. I’m only jealous that I’m not there to see you in person.

Yuri - oh yeah?

Beka <3 - Yeah. I would leave marks all along the top of those pretty thighs.

Yuri squirms in his seat and he’s just about to reply when he gets another message.

JJ - Wow Princess!! You look amazing!! I can’t wait to be done with these meetings

Yuri’s mood instantly sours at JJ’s reply, and the arousal he was feeling slowly fades.

Beka <3 - You still there?

Yuri - Yeah sorry. Mood got killed. I’ll text more later

Beka <3 - Alright, kitten. Stay safe

Yuri sets his phone aside and removes the sweater in a huff. He shouldn’t have send JJ a picture because that dick always manages to ruin everything. He’s tempted to text him back and tell him off, but JJ didn’t really do anything wrong and it would just make Yuri seem like the crazy one.

“Yuri,” Bella sing songs through the door. “I have some more things for you to try.”

Yuri opens the door and takes the items from Bella’s arms before closing it once again.

“Yuri, are you okay?”

“I’m fine.”

Yuri watches as Bella’s feet shift outside the door and the woman calls again.

“Do you want to talk about it?”

Yuri’s forced to cover his scoff with a cough and then clear his throat. “Nothing to talk about. I just hate shopping, that’s all.”

“We can go back to the apartment after this, or if you’d like we can do something else. We have practically all day to ourselves.”

“How did you manage to not have to work today?”

Bella sighs and Yuri listens as she sags against the door. “My fathers started slowly taking clients from me. He thinks I haven’t noticed, but I’m not stupid. I’ve been managing some of them for years, I know when he takes them.”

Yuri finishes the button on the jeans Bella gave him and then gives a light knock to the door before stepping out. “That’s shitty. Why would he do that? I thought you were like amazing at your job, or whatever.”

“I am,” Bella assures, “but my baby brother will be finishing up school soon, and I think he’s going to give him my position.”

“Why the fuck would he do that? You said you’ve had that job for years, and you’re good at it.”

Bella smiles but it doesn’t reach her eyes as she reaches out to grasp Yuri’s hand. “He’s an alpha. It was bound to happen,” she says sadly. “I’m just thankful I was even given the chance to get the experience that I did.”

Anger coils low in Yuri stomach and he squeezes Bella’s hand fiercely. “That’s bullshit. You’re still a beta, why would he give him your job.”

“I was never meant to be permanent, I was always a place holder for my brother.”

For the first time Yuri truly realizes just how different his world is from JJ’s and Bella’s. He always thought they were both being dramatic when they talked about how things haven’t changed as much as Yuri thought they had. But to see even Bella being dismissed by her own father really puts things into perspective.

“I’m sorry that’s happening.”

“It’s okay, really,” Bella says with a smile when Yuri grimaces. “I’m hoping by this time next year JJ will be taking over for his father, and then I can start working with him, and if things go as planned I’ll even advance further than my current position.”

“How do you stay so positive? Like, no offense, but things in your life seem to keep fucking you over.”

“They do,” she agrees, “but I know it will all work out in the end, especially now that you’re here.”

“What do you mean?” Yuri coaxes.

“Just that you make all of this easier, that’s all.”

Yuri’s brows furrow as he inclines his head. “What does that mean? How does my presence change anything?”

Bella chews her bottom lip for a moment before letting out a quiet sigh. “It’s hard to explain right now, but you met JJ’s father. He’s a traditionalist, he believes certain things need to happen before JJ can be considered ready to take over.”

“And how do I play into that?”

“Can we talk about something else?” Bella pleads weakly. “I know I brought this all up, but this is really a conversation for you and JJ.”

Yuri gives Bella a weak nod, but something heavy feels like it’s began to settle in his stomach. Bella clearly feels strongly about Yuri and JJ’s relationship, but how it plays into JJ’s ability to take over for his father Yuri’s unsure. He feels like the more he learns the more questions he’s left with, and with just two days left, any hope he had about this trip delivering useful information about Maple is slowly slipping through his fingers.

Chapter Text

Yuri’s pulse quickens and for a moment he contemplates coming up with a lie to have the car turn back around.  He’s sure his scent is thick with worry, but he is worried, so there’s not anything he can do to rein it in.

“Can you stop the car?” JJ yells to the driver, before turning to Yuri with a worried expression. “What’s going on with you?”

“I- um, I’ve never brought anyone to meet my grandpa before,” Yuri stumbles. “I don’t know what to say to him.”

Yuri’s never lied to his grandfather before, well nothing more than a white lie that is, and this feels different than the times that he sent money without leaving enough for himself, or the time that he snuck out to meet friends when he was still in high school. This feels like a real lie, a lie that he can’t justify away.

JJ’s face softens at Yuri’s explanation and he reaches out to gently tilt Yuri’s face up. “You don’t have anything to be worried about. I’m sure it’s going to go great.”

Yuri nods and pulls his gaze from JJ’s face. What if it doesn’t go great though, what if his grandfather can see through Yuri’s façade and then presses him on it, or even worse, what if his grandfather likes JJ and then he has to give him the news of the breakup. Yuri’s head starts to pound again, and he pulls away from JJ to lean his head against the window.

“Yuri, do you not want me to meet your grandfather?” JJ asks quietly. “I know this relationship has been moving fast, but it would really mean a lot to me if I had your grandfather’s blessing.”

“I’m not a cow being sold off, you don’t have to ask permission,” Yuri groans. “My grandfather wouldn’t want you to ask anyway. He raised me to believe I was equal to any other person, he trusts me to make my own decisions.”

“Of course,” JJ says quickly, trying to cover for any offence he might have just caused the omega. “I know you make your own choices, but you also know that I grew up being told that there are certain things I must do, so it’s a little hard to suddenly push all that aside.”

“I’m not asking you to push anything aside, JJ,” Yuri sighs. “I’m just telling you that you don’t need to ask my dedushka if we can date.”

“But it’s not just dating, Yuri. I’m making you my omega, and that’s going to come with its own expectations. I need to know that he’s not going to try and talk you out of it; that he’s going to approve.”

Yuri pulls his head from the cool glass of the window to swivel and face JJ again. “You keep talking like I should understand all the cryptic shit that you say, but I don’t. What do you mean there’s going to be ‘expectations,’ what expectations?”

“Just the normal things that are expected of bonded couples, that’s all.”

“What are normal things?” Yuri demands. “because as far as I’m concerned all I’ve agreed to is bonding during my next heat.”

“And moving in,” JJ corrects. “You agreed to give this all an honest try, and when you realize how much better things are when you just give in, then you’ll choose to stay, and things can finally start.”

“This is what I’m talking about. What can start? What the hell are you talking about?”

“I- now isn’t the time for this conversation,” JJ says cryptically. “Let’s just meet your grandfather, and then once we get back to Moscow I’ll explain things more fully.”

“Whatever,” Yuri huffs. “It’s not like it’s my life or anything.”

The driver merges back into traffic after a few moments of silence from the men, and Yuri almost completely forgets his nerves until they turn down the road his grandfather lives on. Then he’s filled with a new sense of dread as he realizes JJ is about to see where he grew up, a privilege few others have been granted. Not to mention with the way JJ grew up, there’s no doubt that he’ll look down on where Yuri came from.

“It’s gonna be fine, princess,” JJ soothes as the driver pulls up to park.

Yuri wishes that were true, but this just feels like another first that JJ’s taking, only this time he’s willingly handed it over.

Yuri takes a shuddering breath and slowly opens the car door. JJ follows close behind with a hand to the small of Yuri’s back as Yuri tries to make the short walk last as long as possible, but the pressure of JJ’s hand urges him forward. 

Once they’re in front of the door JJ reaches around Yuri’s smaller frame and knocks loudly, not leaving Yuri any more time to worry over the outcome of what’s about to happen.

It only takes a few moments before Yuri’s grandfather answers the door, and when he does Yuri’s so happy to see him that he doesn’t think of how childish he’s being as he quickly clings to the old man.

“My Yurochka, why would you knock at your own home?” Nikolai jokes, as he clings just as tightly to Yuri. “How are you?”

“I’m good. I’ve missed you so much.” Yuri doesn’t mean for his voice to crack, but this is the longest he’s ever gone without visiting, and the reality of it is finally catching up with him. His grandfather looks older, the lines around his eyes deeper.

“I’ve missed you too, but enough with the emotions,” he jokes, “come in, and introduce me to your friend.”

Yuri’s heart plummets, and he’s instantly reminded of why he came.

“Umm- this is JJ,” he says lamely as they make their way to the small sitting room.

“Jean-Jacques Leroy,” JJ says as he reaches out to shake Yuri’s grandfather’s hand. “I’m very happy to be meeting you, and I hope this is just the first meeting of many.”

Nikolai eyes JJ’s hand for just a moment before reaching out to complete the handshake. “Nikolai Plisetsky. I must admit, I was surprised when my Yurochka called to say he was bringing someone home. This is a first, so you must be someone very important to him.”

Yuri’s stomach churns with shame at his grandfather’s words, and there’s a moment where he wants to deny the old man’s words and tell him that this isn’t who he should be meeting. That the real person he cares for is still back in Moscow waiting for him to return.

“He’s very important to me too,” JJ says with a smile. “That’s why I wanted to meet you. Yuri’s going to be moving in with me in just a few days, and I wanted you to know that he’ll be taken care of.”

Nikolai looks to Yuri with his eyebrows raised in surprise. “You’re moving in with him. I had no idea this was so serious.”

“It is,” JJ answers, giving Yuri’s hand a small squeeze. “Yuri’s even agreed to quit his job at Lilia’s since he won’t be paying rent anymore. Isn’t that right Yuri?”

Yuri’s throat feels tight, he knows JJ knows that he’s never agreed to such a thing, but he also knows that JJ knows that he won’t risk causing a scene in front of his grandfather.

“Yeah, I did.”

“I see,” Nikolai says gruffly. “Yuri, can you help me with the tea in the kitchen? I forgot to offer our guest a drink.”

“I’m fine,” JJ cuts in, his smile just a touch too tight. “I’d really rather we got to know each other more.”

“From what you say we’ll be seeing more of each other, so let me make some tea for us all. You do drink tea?”

“Of course.”

“Then it’s settled. Yuri, your help?

“Of course, grandpa.”

Yuri follows the old man into the small kitchen, and for a moment he doesn’t think anything’s amiss, that is until he’s filling the kettle with water and his grandfather’s hushed voice fills the space.

“Are you in trouble?”

“What, no, why would you ask that?” Yuri replies just as quiet.

“Because I know you, Yuri. You’ve worked since the moment you turned twelve and convinced Mrs. Sokolov to let you watch after her pets when she was away, and I can’t see you willingly giving up your job with Lilia.”

Yuri sighs as he steps around his grandfather to place the kettle on the stove. “I’m not quitting, Grandpa. JJ’s just pouting that I still want to continue to work. He thinks I would be better off waiting around for him each day.”

“Then I can’t understand why you would want to move in with him. Do you need money? I can always go back to work, I know it won’t bring in much, but Mr. Pavlov is always looking for help at the butchers.”

“Grandpa, no. You’re too old to work, I promised that I could take care of us both and I meant it. I don’t need money, everything is fine. You don’t need to worry about anything.”

Nikolai places a hand to Yuri’s shoulder, and uses the other to cup his face gently. “I will always worry over you, Yurochka. I have been doing so since the moment you were placed into my arms.”

Yuri’s eyes burn as they begin to fill with tears, and he leans forward to wrap himself around his grandfather again. “I love you.”

“I love you too, my boy. Come visit me more, I’ve missed you far too much for you to stay away so long.”

“I will,” Yuri chokes out, “I promise I’ll come more often.”

They stay clinging to each other in the small space until the kettle begins to shriek, and then they prepare a small tray with the Items needed before joining JJ again.

 

 

-

 

 

 “I’m so ready to be home,” JJ says with a groan as he stretches out in his seat.

“Me too,” Yuri replies. “I can’t wait to be back in my own bed.”

“You mean your new bed,” JJ corrects.

Yuri rolls his eyes but keeps quiet. The four days away felt like weeks, and he can’t wait till they’re back in Moscow and he can finally see Otabek again. The trip felt wasted as he didn’t gain any new information, and now that his times up he’s unsure of how to proceed. He could tell Otabek that he needs more time, explain to him that things are starting to feel more complicated than he originally thought, but he can’t see Otabek wanting him to continue. And with his pretend heats arrival approaching he has no way to continue without exposing himself. He lets out a deep sigh and shifts closer to the window as he listens to Bella’s sleeping breath fill the silence from the seat behind him.

“What’s wrong, princess? I thought you would be happy to be going back. Aren’t you excited for your heat?”

Yuri shifts against the window again and his stomach fills with dread. There’s only half an hour before they land, and he still hasn’t worked out how to properly end things with JJ. His only real plan is to just jump into it and hope it’s convincing.

“I think we should talk,” he settles on, “about my heat. I’m starting to have second thoughts.”

“What?” JJ breathes out. “But it’s going to start any day now, you can’t be having second thoughts.”

“I just don’t know how I feel about being bonded, or even sharing my heat with someone. We’ve only known each other a month. Things are just moving so fast.”

“They only feel like they’re moving fast because you’ve never dated an alpha before. Once we’re bonded you’ll see how much better things are, and you’ll be more relaxed on the matter.”

“I think we need to take a step back, maybe we should skip this heat and see where we are for the next one."

“No,” JJ snaps. “We have to do this now.”

Yuri listens as Bella shifts in the row behind them, it’s obvious that they’ve woken her, but she stays silent as they continue to talk.

“Why? Why does it matter if we bond for this heat or my heat this time next year? If you really believe there’s a connection shouldn’t you be willing to wait?”

JJ rubs at his eyes with the palms of his hands and shakes his head. “I’m not getting any younger, Yuri, and I’m not going to wait to get my life started. I understand that you’re nervous, but this has to happen.”

“Maybe you need to find someone else then,” Yuri says harshly. “Because I’ve just told you that I want to wait, and if you can’t respect that then I don’t think we should be seeing each other.”

JJ’s jaw tightens at Yuri’s refusal, and his nostrils flair as he sits silently for a moment. “Bella,” he finally calls. “Go make us all some tea.”

“JJ, don’t you think-“ “Now,” the alpha snaps, cutting off whatever Bella was trying to say.

Bella moves to the back of the plane quickly, and the cabin begins to fill with the thick scent of JJ’s anger.

“So, you don’t even want to try bonding?” JJ asks in an abnormally calm voice. “Even if I agreed to put off the sex part of your heat?”

“What do you mean,” Yuri asks in confusion.

“As long as you’re in heat a bond will take, it won’t be as strong as when you’re knotted, but it would work.”

“Why would we do that?”

“Because,” JJ says slowly, as if thinking aloud. “Any bond would be enough for a connection to be established, and once you could feel just how much I want this to work, you’d never have to doubt if you made the right choice.”

Yuri shakes his head to try and rearrange his thoughts. “But what I don’t understand is why it has to be now. What is so important about doing it so quickly?”

“Because the sooner we establish a bond the higher the chances of conceiving will be for your following heats.”

“Conceiving,” Yuri shrieks. “You can’t jump from bonding to having kids.”

“I’ve told you before, princess, any children we had could be looked after by a nanny. You wouldn’t have to do anything. Your life wouldn’t change.”

“My life won’t change,” Yuri hisses. “I’ll have to carry a child inside me. I’d be a parent. My whole life would be different.”

“It really wouldn’t,” JJ assures. “Just think about it for a moment. We can do the light bonding for this heat, and if you’re still unsure when your next heat happens then will just let the bond break.”

There has to be more going on than what JJ’s telling him. It doesn’t make any sense to rush things, and the fact that JJ won’t give him a clear reason why only heightens his suspicions. Why bond at all if Yuri has the option to leave him before his next heat. Why not just continue as things are now and see if they really are compatible?

“I need some time to think. When we land you can take me home, and I’ll call you in a few days when I’ve made up my mind.”

“Just come home with me,” JJ insists. “Your heat could start any day now and I’d feel better knowing you’re safe.”

“My apartment is safe, and I promise I’ll call with a decision.”

“No, you’ll come back to the estate. You have a room of your own, you can make your decision there.”

Yuri’s pulse begins to pound in his throat and for a moment he thinks he might be sick. If JJ is so set on him coming to the estate how is he going to get away? He could always leave in the night, or even call Otabek and have him come and collect him, but either choice feels tainted by the fact that JJ won’t let him go home now.

“No. I’m going home, and that’s final. I don’t care if you don’t like it.”

A low growl leaves JJ’s throat and he starts to lean forward before stopping as Bella’s footsteps approach.

“Do you still want the tea?” She asks quietly, her eyes flicking to Yuri’s.

“Yes,” JJ says as he sits back in his seat. “Thank you.”

Bella hands a glass to JJ and then another to Yuri. The alpha inhales deeply before taking a sip, and Yuri lets the warmth of his mug seep into his hands as he breathes it in. JJ never agreed to take him home, but with Bella with them surely all Yuri would have to do is throw a fit to get his way. He can’t see JJ physically forcing him into the estate.

He finally takes a sip of his own tea and the taste is unlike any tea he’s had before. It’s sweet, but there’s an unfamiliar bitterness to it. He takes another sip as he tries to place the flavor, but he still comes up blank.

“What is this?” He asks.

“It’s something Bella makes. She’s always growing new plants and herbs,” JJ says dismissively.

“Oh, it’s good,” Yuri says with a small smile directed at the woman behind him.

“Thank you,” Bella replies, but she looks sad and her gaze is downcast. “Did you two work everything out?”

“We did,” JJ answers. “Yuri is going to come to the estate for his heat, and then we’ll go from there.”

“Excuse me, but we did not come to the same outcome. I said I want to go home.”

“You are going home,” JJ sighs, as if he’s explaining something simple to a child. “You already agreed to move in.”

“I said after my heat, and if my heat is happening alone then I’m not moving in.”

JJ stands and walks to the bed near the front of the plane. “We’re going to land soon. Come here.”

Yuri feels the tug of the command in his chest and he slowly stands from his seat. He feels a bit unsteady as he wobbles his way to the front of the plane and JJ takes his tea, so he can sit down beside him. Once he’s seated JJ places the glass back in his hand with another command to, “finish it.”

Yuri rolls his eyes and downs the last of his tea. “You don’t have to be a dick. I was going to drink it anyway.”

“Good,” JJ says coldly. “I’m not sure how much of this you’ll remember, but I just want you to know it didn’t have to be like this. You could have just come willingly like you already agreed to.”

“What are you talking about?” Yuri asks, only it comes out slightly slurred, as his tongue starts to feel too large for his mouth. He brings his fingertips up to touch his lips and he feels as JJ gently removes the empty mug from his hand. “something’s wrong,” he slurs.

“Nothing’s wrong, you’re just tired. Why don’t you lay down?” JJ suggests, and as much as Yuri wants to deny JJ’s words he can’t. He’s having trouble keeping his head up and with each passing second, it’s getting harder and harder to keep his eyes open.

“Just for a minute,” Yuri mumbles, as JJ helps to guide his head to the pillow. It’s not until he’s almost over taken by sleep that he realizes the absurdity of the moment, but when he tries to talk again his tongue is too heavy and he can’t. The sound of the pilot’s voice coming over the speaker is the last thing he hears as sleep fully takes him.

 

 

-

 

 

“JJ, I’m having second thoughts,” a voice says softly, “are you sure we should be doing this?”

“Do you want to go back to your father and tell him that the deal is off?  Because I can guaranty you if you’re the one to end this he’ll kick you out of the company so fast you’ll be lucky if your baby brother offers you an assistance position. And how will you find a job then? A beta fired from her own father’s company, unable to succeed even when given such an advantage. I would look like a fool if I hired you on after that.”

“You promised that you would make this one work, but you never said anything about having to do all this. It doesn’t seem right.”

“What choice did I have? You could tell he was going to leave, and I’m running out of time, unless you’ve decided to extend your timeline.”

There’s a short pause and then the sound of someone sighing. “No, I haven’t. My brothers going to be taking over my position in just a few months, and I’m not going to be pushed aside to become a bored housewife.”

“Exactly. That’s why this has to work. It’s just him and his grandfather, no one will notice if he’s not around for a few weeks, and by the time that they do we’ll already be bonded.”

 

-

 

 For a moment Yuri thinks he’s lost his sight, but as he whips his head around he notices a small stream of light filtering in from under a door. It’s too dark to make out his surroundings, but the bed feels oddly familiar, and even with the dim light the room has a familiar shape to it.

He tries to piece together what’s going on, but the last thing he remembers was arguing with JJ on the plane. He had told him he wanted to go home, and then Bella had given him a glass of tea, and that’s all. He sits quietly for a few moments as he listens for a sign of another person, but when none comes he slowly slides off the bed and to the door. He feels around for a light switch and as the room illuminates his heart sinks.

He’s at the Leroy estate. He’s at the Leroy estate and JJ drugged him, or rather he had Bella drug him. It’s that knowledge that has his stomach sinking as he fills with dread. He thought he could trust Bella, she was always so kind and welcoming, it doesn’t make any sense that she would do this to him. He tries to fight back his initial instinct to panic, and instead tries the handle of the door. As it turns slowly some of his fear leaves him. He’s not locked in, so they’re not trying to keep him in the room at least.

He leaves the door closed for now and goes to check out the other areas of the room. The bathroom hasn’t changed from his last visit, but the closet is filled with all the clothes JJ and Bella had bought him during their trip. His suitcase is also in the closet and as he rifles through it he finds all his items still there, including his bottle of suppressants.

He leaves everything where it is, but he can’t help noticing that his shoes are still missing, along with the several pairs Bella had picked out for him. He would assume that they would be on the rack in the closet, but it’s empty. He searches beside the bed for the pair he was wearing on the plane, but they too are missing.

He’s about to go search the closet again when a knock on his door causes him to freeze. He contemplates running and locking himself in the bathroom, but that would show fear, and right now he’s not afraid, he’s pissed. As he stands by the bed debating what to do the door to the room opens and Bella walks in.

“Yuri,” she says in surprise. “You’re awake. How are you feeling?”

“I’m fine,” Yuri replies, eyeing the beta with distrust. “You drugged me.”

“What- I didn’t- Why would you think that?” Bella asks with wide eyes.

“Because you gave me a glass of tea and then I woke up here. What the hell is going on?”

“That was just a coincidence,” Bella says as she walks to the foot of the bed to sit down.  “Yuri, please, you have to believe me. I would never do that to you.”

“Then what the fuck happened? Why am I here?”

“You did pass out, but we don’t know why. It might just be a sign that your heats coming. And you’re here because JJ and I wanted to make sure you’re okay.”

Yuri has to stifle a scoff at the idea of a nonexistent heat being a cause for him passing out. A heat that’s never coming can’t be why he passed out, and Bella’s story has too many holes to be true.

“Well I’m fine now, so call whoever you need to, to get me a ride home.”

Bella chews her bottom lip as she fidgets with her fingers. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. Your heats going to start any day now. It would be better for you to just stay here.”

“I’m not sharing my heat with JJ. He’s proven he’s an ass with no regard for other people. Why would I want to spend my heat with that?”

“Yuri please,” Bella pleads, “I know JJ can be difficult, but I really think you two can work it out. Plus, you’re the first omega he’s brought around that I actually like.”

“I like you too, but I don’t have to be with JJ to hang out with you.” Yuri’s growing impatient of all the games, and if Bella’s not going to help him leave he’ll do it on his own. “Do you know where my shoes are?”

“Why do you need shoes? It’s nearly the middle of the night.”

“Because,” Yuri says with a sigh. “I’m going home. Also, where did my phone go?”

“Just wait till morning to make any decision. You might feel differently once you’ve had a good night’s rest.”

“I. Am. Going. Home.” Yuri says slowly. “I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to share a heat with JJ, so I’m going home.”

Bella slowly stands from the bed, and when she makes eye contact with Yuri she looks near tears, “I understand. For what it’s worth I really did want this all to work out though.”

Bella hugs Yuri tightly before walking to the door, but when Yuri starts to follow she picks up speed and closes the door in his face. Yuri hears the click of a lock being slid into place, and then Bella’s voice filled with tears. “I’m so sorry, Yuri.”

Yuri stares numbly at the door for a moment before trying to open it. He already knew what to expect, but as his first tug against the door provides no give he begins to shake the handle frantically.

“Bella!” he calls through the door. “What the fuck is going on? Bella!”

Yuri’s breath is coming out in panicked pants, and his vision is starting to cloud with tears as he realizes the reality of his situation.

“I’m sorry,” Bella says again from the other side of the door. “I don’t want to do this, really, but I can’t become nothing. I won’t give up everything I’ve worked for.”

“What are you talking about?” Yuri yells as he pounds his fist to the door. Nothing makes sense anymore, and he just wants to go home. “What the fuck is going on?”

“I’ll explain everything after your heat, I promise. For now, I just really need you to bond with JJ.”

“That’s never going to happen. Let me out!” Yuri kicks at the door, but it doesn’t do anything but make his foot ache, and he can hear as Bella slowly starts to walk away. “Bella! Come back and let me out, Bella!”

After a beat of silence Yuri sinks to the floor and lays his head back against the door. Nothing makes sense. Not Bella locking him in here and possibly drugging him, and definitely not JJ being so determined to assure that they’re bonded. They’re both acting like there’s some invisible ticking clock that only they can see, and for some reason it involves Yuri.

After several minutes of silence Yuri pulls himself to his feet and decides to do a more thorough search of the room.

Now that he’s calmer he notices the once empty bookcase is now full, and there’s also empty notebooks along with a decretive glass full of multicolored pens. He leaves them where they are for now and goes to search the bathroom, now filled with multiple soaps and lotions. Lastly, he returns to search the closet again.

The first thing he does is pull his suppressants out of his bag and dump them out to count. He didn’t bring his whole stash with him for the short trip, but he did dump a good amount into the smaller bottle. Once he’s done counting he has thirty-three pills laid out in front of him and he feels a little more settled. There’s no way they could keep him locked away for that long, Otabek would come looking, or Lilia would begin to worry, even Yuuri would want to know where he was, someone would start asking for him. He gathers the pills back into the bottle and then pauses. They might look in his bag at some point, it would be better to keep them somewhere else.

He walks around the room before deciding to just place them under the mattress near the head of the bed. The bottle is small enough to go unnoticed, but with nothing else to do Yuri quickly grows bored. It’s clear by looking out the windows that it’s the middle of the night, but without a clock he can’t be sure. He contemplates reading, but his minds too restless to allow him enough quiet for that. In the end he lays back down in the bed and forces himself to try and sleep. There’s no way out right now, but JJ will have to face him at some point, and when he does Yuri will be ready.

Chapter Text

The knock is light, but Yuri practically rockets up from sleep. He doesn’t remember falling asleep and it feels like he’s barely slept, but the light shining in from the window proves that isn’t true. He slowly makes his way to the door to press his ear against it, unsure if the knock was really on his door or another room. After several seconds he can’t hear any sound, but then the knock comes again, and he jumps.

“What do you want?” Yuri asks, trying to sound firm but failing when his voice cracks from disuse.

“Can I come in? I’ve brought food.”

Yuri contemplates denying the alpha entry, but it would be silly to pretend he has any control in this situation. He can’t keep anyone out any more than he can get out.

“Come in,” he says with little emotion, stepping aside to avoid the opening door. For a few precious seconds he can see out into the hallway, but then the door is closed again and someone on the other side slides the lock into place.

“What do you want?”

“I just wanted to eat breakfast with you, that’s all,” JJ says innocently.

“That’s not what I’m talking about and you know it. Why am I here? What the hell is going on?”

“You’re here because your heat is starting soon, and I wanted you to be somewhere safe.”

Yuri scoffs and walks to the far side of the room to sit at the desk. “Cut the shit, JJ. Something more is going on or you wouldn’t have locked me in here.”

“I don’t know what to tell you, princess,” JJ deflects, shrugging his shoulders as he picks a grape off the tray and pops it into his mouth.

“I would never let you bond with me with what you’ve done now, so you might as well take me home.”

“You said you’ve never shared your heat with someone, right?” JJ asks, ignoring Yuri’s statements completely before continuing when Yuri just glares. “If you’ve never shared your heat you don’t know just how strong the urge to bond can be when an alpha is involved. I bet you don’t even make it through the first day before you’re begging for me.”

“You’re so fucking narcissistic,” Yuri snaps. “I don’t want you. I was stupid to think you were something other than what you are, and I don’t want anything to do with you.”

“And what did you think I was, Yuri?” JJ sneers. “I’ve never lied to you. I told you I wanted an omega and children from the beginning, you’re the one who’s behavior doesn’t add up. You don’t even seem to realize how lucky you are.”

“Lucky,” Yuri scoffs, gesturing around the room. “I’m fucking kidnapped.”

“Don’t be so dramatic, as soon as your heats over you can have access to the estate again.”

Yuri stands from his seat, his heart beating wildly in his chest as his anger at the alpha grows. “Do you hear yourself? You’re fucking crazy if you think I would stay here. Take me home!”

“Sit down,” JJ commands, rising from the bed and walking towards Yuri. “I’ve had enough of this attitude. You’re staying and that’s final.”

“Why,” Yuri shouts, trying to will himself to stand and resist the command still hanging in the air.

“Because I’m running out of time,” JJ sighs with a shake of his head. “I have less than a year to make this work.”

“What happens when the year is up?”

JJ pauses as if contemplating if he should explain things to Yuri, but in the end, he gives up a small piece of information to think over. “If I don’t have a proper heir in a year then Bella will leave, and if she leaves so does everything our marriage brought.”

“Then fuck her and get an heir,” Yuri nearly shouts.

“I said a proper heir. Between an alpha and an omega.”

Yuri pauses then, as he processes what JJ’s just said. “I don’t understand. Why does it have to be that way? And why would Bella agree to this marriage if her children won’t even be considered ‘proper’?”

“This isn’t either of our first choices, princess. I only wish that you would understand that.”

“I do. What I don’t understand is why you think I should give a shit. What did you think was going to happen when you brought me here? That I would magically develop Stockholm Syndrome and fall in love with you.”

“Of course not, but once we’re bonded you’ll feel differently.”

Yuri sits completely stunned for a moment, unable to summon the words needed to make JJ understand just how deranged he sounds. Bonding isn’t something that can create new feelings or emotions, it’s about feeling your partners emotions and sharing a deeper connection. It helps couples know if they’re a good match. It’s not something that can be used to create new feelings.

“I don’t want you anywhere near me when I’m in heat,” Yuri finally says, ignoring the fact that he won’t actually be going into heat anytime soon. “I would rather suffer alone than have you try and bond with me.”

“I’m not going to force myself on you, Yuri, but as soon as you ask I’ll come. Because you will ask for me. Do you really think you can handle a heat with nothing but your hand?”

JJ leaves the room after that and Yuri’s left sitting in the desk chair unable to stand back up.

Every time he gets answers he’s only left with more questions, and if he doesn’t find a way out of this room it’s not going to take long before JJ realizes he’s not going into heat.

 

-

 

“Something is wrong. It’s been a week since Yuri was supposed to be home and no one has heard from or seen him.”

Victor yawns and then reaches out to straighten the papers in front of him. “And what would you have me do about it, Otabek?”

“Call JJ and find out where he is,” Otabek demands. “or let me go there myself and ask him. Yuri wouldn’t just disappear, JJ’s clearly done something to him.”

“You don’t know that for sure, and I’m not going to start a war over one omega. For all you know he decided to stay in St. Petersburg with his grandfather.”

Otabek’s blood feels like it’s beginning to boil in his veins, and it takes just about every ounce of his self-control not to reach across the desk and slam Victor’s face into the smooth surface. The other alpha can be so damn arrogant, and if it wasn’t for Yuri, Otabek’s not sure he would even continue his work for him at this point.

“You know I’m right. You wouldn’t be lying to your mate right now if you thought Yuri was staying with his grandfather, and-”

“Excuse me?” Victor interrupts. “What I choose to share with my mate is of no concern to you, and I’ll remind you that you work for me.”

“With all due respect,” Otabek says tightly, “I know Yuri, and he wouldn’t just drop all contact, especially when he was so excited to come back. Something is going on.”

“Then you have my permission to look deeper into it, but,” Victor says before pausing, “do not go to the Leroy’s estate. We don’t need to stir up any unnecessary drama. I suggest starting with the wife. If she was on the trip, then she should have an idea of where he is now.”

Otabek nods and turns to exit Victor’s office, but before he can the alpha’s voice brings him back to a stop. “There’s something I need you to do before you go off chasing after your omega. A man was brought in last night. American. He’s not like the others. See what he knows.”

Otabek makes an affirmative noise and continues on his way out. Maybe this guy will know something that will lead him to Yuri, and if not, he can at least use him to let out some of his frustrations.

 

-

 

 

“Ouch,” Yuri says loudly, shooting the man holding his arm a death glare.

“How soon will you get the results,” JJ asks, completely ignoring Yuri and his anger.

“It should only take a few hours, so by tonight at the latest.”

The man pulls the needle from Yuri’s arm before covering the puncture with a Band-Aid and placing the three vials of blood neatly into his small carrying case. Each day that’s gone by without Yuri showing any signs of a heat has only increased JJ’s agitation, and he swore to bring a doctor in to have Yuri examined when he reached six days without a heat symptom in sight.

“This is stupid. It’s clearly just stress,” Yuri spits when the doctor and JJ continue to talk above him as if he’s not there. “Ya know, on account of the fact that I’ve been kidnapped!” he finishes with a shout that finally prompts JJ to stop his discussion and focus on Yuri again.

“Be quiet,” he commands, “I’ll talk to you in a minute.”

Yuri’s face heats in anger, and although he’d like to open his mouth and give JJ an earful he can’t. JJ’s realized that the shorter and simpler the command is the harder it is for Yuri to shake, and while he hasn’t demanded anything from him but his cooperation and silence it’s getting old fast.

“He seems to be in good health. It might just be that his cycle is slightly off, but if that’s the case I should be able to tell where he’s at and give you a time line.”

“That would be great. Thank you, Doctor,” JJ says with a smile as he leads the older man to the door.

“Not a problem Jean, I’ll call as soon as I know something.”

With the doctor’s departure JJ closes the door before moving to join Yuri on the large bed.

“Do you always have to be so dramatic?” Yuri silently glares at the alpha until JJ realizes his mistake. “Speak.”

“You are such an asshole. How long do you think you can keep this up? Do you really think no one is going to notice I’m missing?”

JJ sighs dramatically and rubs at his eyes with his thumb and forefinger. “We are not having this discussion again. What can I do to make this easier for you?”

“You could give me my phone back.”

“I’ll get you a new one as soon as your heats over,” JJ says dismissively. “I know you’re unhappy right now, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can continue to work after your heat if that’s what you need to do to feel fulfilled.”

“You think I’m just upset about not working?” Yuri gasps out, anger filling him once again. “I don’t want to be a part of this. Do you even care that you would have to rape me if you really want a child? Because I’m not letting you near me.”

“You only think you don’t want children because you’ve never had a real relationship. Plus, I’ve told you before that we don’t have to try right away. Once this heat is over we’ll have three months to get to know each other better and really establish a connection.”

“You’re delusional. A bond wouldn’t make me want children. If anything, you would be able to feel how much I want to be as far away from you as possible.”

 

 “I want to kiss you,” JJ says suddenly, completely shifting the conversation, and throwing Yuri through a loop.

“What- no way. I don’t want to be with you. Why would I kiss you?”

JJ shifts to his knees on the bed and scoots closer to Yuri. “Because your heat is going to come sooner or later, and the sooner you realize how good it could be the easier this all will be. So, kiss me,” JJ pleads, thankfully without a command.

“No.” Yuri fumes, quickly standing from the bed to retreat to the desk. “I don’t want to make this easier because I don’t want to be here.”

“What if I blew you, or even just jerked you off? We never went past kissing, you don’t know that you won’t enjoy it.”

Yuri’s cheeks flame and even though it’s been over a week since he’s gotten off he’s not desperate enough to let JJ do anything to him.

“No,” he says thickly. “I- I don’t want either of those things.”

“Maybe you want to blow me instead?” JJ says with a cocky smile, placing a hand to his own crotch to highlight the slight bulge there.

“I don’t,” Yuri insists. “I want you to leave now.”

“When your heat hits and you’re left with nothing but your hand you’re going to change your mind. Especially once you realize that bonding will make it all end. Tell me Yuri, how long do you think you’ll last on your own?”

“Let’s pretend that I let you anywhere near me when I’m in heat,” Yuri growls, “and that I did let you bond me. What happens when I still hate you and want to go home? Are you just going to keep be in this room for the rest of my life?”

JJ tilts his head as if contemplating Yuri’s words. “That won’t happen. A bond is a powerful connection, and once we have one you’ll want to be here.”

“A bond isn’t a brainwashing tool. I won’t suddenly have feelings that I didn’t before. So, when I still hate you what happens?”

“If by some chance you didn’t feel the connection that I know we’re going to share, then I guess we would have to reevaluate our relationship, but that’s not going to happen. You’re upset now, but when we’re bonded that will change, you’ll see.”

“JJ, I say this with complete sincerity, you are fucking crazy if you think I will ever have any feelings for you besides distain after all this.”

JJ runs a hand through his hair, disheveling his normally perfectly placed locks. “Princess, it sucks you’re so resistant, but I get that you need time. Once your heat hits and you have nothing but your hand you’ll ask for me, and with how cold you’ve been I might make you wait.”

Yuri glares as JJ finally climbs off the bed and makes his way to the door, knocking so the person on the other side will undo the lock.

Once he’s gone again Yuri sits down heavily in the desk chair and rubs hard at his eyes. He spent the first few days trying to find a way out of this room, but none of the windows open, and even if he managed to shatter one he’s still on the third floor. Plus, the noise would alert the person that sits outside the door. It’s starting to feel like his only way out is a rescue, and as the days tick by that’s feeling more and more hopeless. If anyone was looking for him, they would have already found him. So that begs the question, where the fuck is Otabek, and why hasn’t he come for him? Because at this point Yuri couldn’t give a fuck less if that stupid narcissistic alpha JJ knows about everything that was going on. Maybe he should just tell him himself and get the fuck out of here.

 

-

 

 

Yuri has nothing better to do than sleep and read, so after nearly an hour of reading the same chapter of a book over again for lack of focus he gives up and goes to knock on the door. Someone’s always on the other side, and they tend to listen to most of his requests.

“Hey,” Yuri calls, “can you get Bella, or literally anyone but JJ. I’m going fucking crazy by myself.”

The person on the other side never answers, but Yuri can hear as their footsteps begin to move away, and then several minutes later return.

“She’s not available right now, she sends her apologies,” a man’s voice calls, and Yuri scoffs.

Ever since she locked him in this room Bella’s hardly spoken to him. Yuri’s not sure if it’s guilt or a lack of empathy, but either way it’s annoying.

“Tell her to stop being a coward. I’m fucking bored and it’s her fault just as much as his. The least she could do is talk to me.”

There’s a beat of silence and then the unexpected sound of footsteps walking away again. Yuri stands a little straighter and eagerly awaits the return of the man’s footsteps, only this time they’re accompanied by the distinct sound of heels on marble.

“Yuri?” Bella calls weakly. “Is everything okay?”

“Oh, it’s fine,” Yuri says sarcastically. “Just hanging out, ya know.”

“Would you like me to come in?”

“Are you going to stay for more than two minutes?” He demands.

“If you’d like me too,” she replies meekly.

“Then come in.”

Yuri scoots back from the door as Bella enters. She’s dressed just as nicely as always, but the smile she’s trying to plaster on looks too forced and fake.

“I didn’t think you’d really want to see me,” she says, addressing the floor more than Yuri himself. “I know you’re angry at us.”

“No shit,” Yuri scoffs, “But I’d be less angry if you weren’t ignoring me. JJ said before that he has to have an heir in a year or you’ll leave. Why?”

Bella chews her lip guiltily and continues to avoid eye contact. “Because if JJ doesn’t have an heir then his father won’t give him control of the company.”

“But why does it have to happen in a year? What happens in a year?” Yuri asks, his brows furrowing as he tries to make sense of this mess.

“JJ and I signed a prenup,” she starts slowly, “and we each added in conditions that our parents didn’t know of. In it I have a stipulation that he had to have control of his father’s company within three years or I was out. I knew that my father had plans to replace me with my brother, and I wanted to guarantee a higher position at the Leroy’s firm.”

“Then why not let him screw some random omega and get the job sooner?”

Bella’s face pinches in distaste and she shakes her head. “Whoever JJ ends up with is going to forever be a part of my life. I wanted it to be someone I could see myself getting along with, someone that I thought there was a real chance for friendship with, someone like you, Yuri.”

“Did you not think that kidnapping me would put a damper on the friendship,” Yuri deadpans. “I mean if you liked me, couldn’t you just extend your deadline?”

“It’s not just me, if I leave JJ will lose out too. I only have a few months until my brother will be out of school, and then a few more after that when I’ll train him, then I’ll have nothing.”

“You won’t have nothing,” Yuri nearly shouts. “You have experience, you could find a new job.”

“Not the kind that I want,” Bella defends. “I’m a beta in the business world, I’d have to start over at a new firm and work twice as hard to get to where I am now. Please, Yuri, just try and understand where I’m coming from. I know you’re mad now, but you could like it here. You would never have to worry about anything again, and JJ isn’t as bad as he seems. He can be really kind and thoughtful.”

“If he’s so great you should be with him,” Yuri taunts.

“What can I do to make you give this a chance?” Bella pleads. “Anything you want, and you can have it.”

“I want to go home, and I don’t want to see either of you again once I’m there.”

Bella’s face looks crestfallen and near tears as she nods. “I’m sorry that can’t happen right now, but I could talk to JJ and-“

A loud pounding comes from the other side of the door, startling them both before it opens suddenly. JJ enters the room looking angrier than Yuri’s ever seen him and both himself and Bella freeze at the sight.

“The doctor just called, and do you know what he said?” JJ seethes, approaching Yuri with his hands balled into fist. “He said the reason your heat hasn’t started is because you’re on suppressants.”

Yuri’s blood instantly runs cold and his heart feels like it stops in his chest. He didn’t think the doctor would test for suppressants, he thought he would just look at his hormone levels and see that his heat was still a ways off.

“Well,” JJ demands, “where are they?”

“I don’t- I don’t know,” Yuri says with a small shake of his head.

“Bullshit,” JJ spits. “Tell me where they are, or I’ll have this room torn apart.”

Yuri can feel tears sting at his eyes and he’s almost angrier at that fact than the fact that JJ’s discovered he’s been using suppressants.

When Yuri remains silent JJ stomps back to the door and throws it wide with an instruction of “find them,” to the two men that enter.

“Is this really necessary?” Bella yells, as the two men begin knocking books off the shelf and dumping the drawers of the desk and dresser.

Most of the items weren’t even Yuri’s until a week ago, but the sight of the mess is upsetting nonetheless. Once they’ve finished trashing the main room they move to the closet and begin throwing items to the floor before upending Yuri’s still packed suitcase.

Yuri sits down numbly on the floor and waits. It’s only a matter of time until they find the pills and when they do there’s nothing he can do to stop them from taking them. He’s so stupid. He should have hidden them in different places, spread them out so there was less of a chance of them finding them all.

JJ watches Yuri from across the room and as the men reenter the room he nods to the bed and says, “check there too.”

The men walk to one side to flip the mattress off the box springs, and when the bottle is revealed JJ finally moves to collect it. He doesn’t say anything as he removes the cap and walks into the bathroom. He leaves the door open and Yuri watches as he pores the contents into the toilet and flushes them, along with any hope Yuri had of getting out of here.

“Why would you not tell me?” JJ finally asks Yuri’s still form as he reenters the room. “Why would you tell me your heat was coming when you knew that wasn’t true?” Yuri doesn’t answer, he just stays frozen staring at the now empty pill bottle sitting on the bathroom cabinet. “Yuri,” JJ yells, and the smaller man finally looks up.

“What?” Yuri asks, his voice cracking on the single word.

“Why are you here?”

“Because you won’t let me leave.”

JJ shakes his head and kneels down next to Yuri, taking up all of Yuri’s vision. “That’s not what I’m asking. You clearly hate me, why are you here?”

Yuri contemplates lying, but what’s the point anymore? Whether JJ finds out he was trying to use him now or later it won’t make a difference.

“Because I was trying to figure out if you’re the one responsible for the drugs that almost killed my friend,” Yuri says clearly, looking directly into JJ’s eyes. “But instead I ended up here.”

JJ looks taken back for a moment and he glances to Bella, still standing near the door. “You never had any intention of trying to make this work, did you?” JJ lets out a hollow laugh. “Tell me, what was your plan if you did find out I was responsible?”

At this Yuri pauses. He didn’t have a plan past finding out if JJ was responsible for the Maple. Just telling Victor and then being done.

“I don’t know. I guess just ending things and going back to my life.”

JJ sits down fully onto the floor still facing Yuri. “So, you never wanted me, and you tried to use me. What should I do now?”

“Take me home. I won’t tell anyone about this. About you kidnapping me.”

JJ rubs at his jaw and then inclines his head to Bella. “What do you think? Still like this one better than the others?”

Bella sucks in her bottom lip as she looks around at the now destroyed room. “I know he lied to us, but can we really afford to start over? With the time frame now, I’m already settling for him being pregnant when the three-year mark is here. If you start looking for someone new now there’s no chance of you taking over for your father in the next year.”

“What the fuck does it matter?” Yuri groans. “Whether he takes over in a year or ten years you’ll still have a career, you’ll still have everything that you have now. So why the fuck does it matter when it happens?”

Bella finally looks up to make eye contact with Yuri, and it’s the first time Yuri’s ever seen her look so determined. “Because I shouldn’t have to compromise my life for his,” she says with a nod to JJ. “He will have everything, he will own the company, he will have control of my share of my father’s docks, and he will continue to profit off of my work. Why shouldn’t I get everything that I want too?”

When Bella finishes she’s nearly in tears and she turns slightly to compose herself before continuing. “I understand that this is cruel. What we’re asking of you isn’t fair, but it doesn’t have to feel that way. You can agree to this. Choose to stay here of your own freewill and you will always be taken care of. I hate that you’re locked in this room. This whole estate will be just as much yours as it is mine. We can raise our children together and you can help run the charity. Your life will have meaning here, Yuri. Don’t you want that?”

Yuri sits, totally stunned for a moment before he can even summon enough words to speak. “Meaning. You think having JJ’s shitty kids and running a charity will give my life meaning? My life already has meaning. I fucking love my job with Yuuri, a job that I probably don’t even have anymore with how long I’ve been away. Not to mention how long I’ve been away from Lilia’s. You think I need you two fucks to give my life meaning?” Yuri’s nearly yelling, feeling hysterical with everything that’s happening. “I will never agree to stay here, so you can take your silver spoons and shove them up your asses.”

JJ shifts, and Yuri’s eyes are drawn to him as he yawns. “It’s getting late. I’ll send some people in to clean this mess. You’ll need your strength in the next few days.”

“If you even try to touch me I’ll kill you.”

JJ sighs and stands to stretch his arms above his head. “How long has it really been since your last heat? They say the longer you go between them the rougher they are to get through.” When Yuri remains silent JJ hums. “I’ll see you in a few days, princess. Try not to miss me too much. And don’t forget, I won’t come until you ask for me, and you will ask for me.”

As JJ exits the room several men and women enter to begin the slow process of cleaning and rearranging all the items thrown about. Bella stays standing near the door and Yuri looks to her with a scowl.

“Do you care about anyone but yourself, or was our friendship just you trying to win me over, so I wouldn’t resist when you finally fucked me over?”

“I thought you wanted this,” Bella sighs.

“No, you didn’t. You’re not stupid. It’s like JJ said, he could tell I still hated him, but he went along with it all because he thought I would be easier than trying to win over some other omega.”

“Once you’re bonded- “

“I’ll still be in love with someone else and want you both dead. Bonding can’t create feelings that don’t exist.”

Bella gasps and takes a step closer to Yuri. “What do you mean you’re in love with someone else?”

“I told you, I was trying to use JJ. I never wanted to make things work with him. I always wanted someone else.”

“I- I didn’t know that,” Bella says with a frown.

Yuri scoffs and finally stands to help the woman remaking his bed. “Why should it make a difference if I love someone else? You both didn’t give a shit about kidnapping me when you thought I was available.”

“But if you’ve been seeing someone they must be looking for you now, right?”

“You would think so, but if he really gave a shit I think he would have already found me. Either he’s not looking, or he hasn’t even looked in the most obvious place.” Yuri doesn’t mean to sound so bitter about Otabek, but with no way out of this room it’s getting hard not to get discouraged. He’s never been without suppressants and he has no idea how his bodies going to react. If he’s lucky it will be so overwhelming that he’ll pass out and miss the worst of it.

“Do you think you’ll ever forgive me?” Bella asks quietly. “I never wanted to keep you here like this. I wanted us all to be a family.”

Yuri finishes arranging the pillows on the bed and then turns to face Bella. “Just let me go home, Bella. I don’t see why you’re both so set on me being JJ’s omega. Especially when you both know how much I hate it here. You can’t honestly think that’s going to change at any point.”

“You won’t know unless you try,” she says with a shrug. “I understand that we went about this all the wrong way, but I also really believe that this can all work out. My friend Mel didn’t love her husband when they got married, but she said bonding changed that. It showed her how great he really was, and she’s so happy now. I think that could happen for you too, Yuri.”

Yuri throws himself on his bed and groans into the pillows. “I told you, Bella. Bonding doesn’t create feelings that don’t already exist, and if JJ tries to bond me I’ll still hate him.”

“I hope that’s not true,” Bella says sadly, “for all our sake.”

Bella leaves with the last of the cleaning crew and Yuri stares blankly at the ceiling. He has less than twenty-four hours until he’s in preheat, and with how long it’s been he’ll be lucky if those symptoms last more than a day before he’s in full blown heat.

Chapter Text

Everything hurts, his joins, his head, his stomach, and if Yuri didn’t know he was in preheat he would be sure he had the flu and was dying. He’s turned the water in the bathtub up as hot as he could stand it and has been soaking for the last twenty minutes, trying to take the edge off the worst of the pain, but nothing seems to make a difference. He could probably ask for some painkillers, but he hasn’t gotten to the point of groveling yet.

He almost feels like he’s in a state of shock. He knows his heat is coming, he can feel it with every painful movement of his body, but it still hasn’t set in that it’s completely real. Like maybe if he just stays locked away in this overly hot bathroom it will never truly come. It’s a silly thought, and not helpful in the slightest, but it’s where he’s at right now.

Bella’s came to see him a few times in the last thirty hours, not that she’s had anything useful to say, but it’s getting to the point where anyone’s scent is making him anxious, and Yuri had to ask her to stop visiting. Not to mention, the betrayal is still so close to the surface that Yuri feels like he’s drowning in it when she’s near.

JJ hasn’t even so much as knocked on his door, but he knows he’s still around, Bella’s talked about him a few times, and Yuri’s caught his scent when he stood listening at the door.

He’s spent a long time thinking over Bella and JJ’s justifications for keeping him here, and the conclusion he’s come to is that they’re both selfish assholes. Bella may say that she’s his friend, but all she cares about is getting ahead and maintaining her current career. And JJ’s almost worse, because his only drive seems to involve making sure Bella’s happy and that he lives up to his father’s expectations, which Yuri can’t even understand. It would have been so much simpler if the two of them had just wooed another high-class omega, but instead they chose Yuri.

Yuri tries to shift to a more comfortable position, but his abdomen aches with the change and he’s hit with a sudden wave of need that brings his breath up short. He tries to will the feeling away and instead distract himself with thoughts of what he will do when he gets out of the Leroy’s estate. He’ll start by checking in with his grandpa, then he’ll make sure both his jobs are still secure, and finally he’ll track down Otabek and find out what the hell he’s been doing. As his thoughts linger on Otabek though he feels the need inside him start to stir again, this time deeper and spreading throughout his body.

He forces himself to stop thinking of the alpha because all it does is make him feel more hopeless as the reality of the situation sets in. He’s been gone over a week without a sign of Otabek. He knows their relationship wasn’t conventional, but it felt real.  All the time spent on late night make out sessions and sharing secrets was some of the most intimate moments of his life. He never thought he would allow someone to get this close, but he did, and he wouldn’t take it back for the world.

He refuses to believe Otabek isn’t at least trying to get to him though. If he can just hold out long enough, if he can stay strong, he knows Otabek will get to him. He just has to make it through this heat without breaking and he’ll be fine. He can do this, he doesn’t need an alpha or a bond to make it through.

Bonding. That’s something Yuri’s tried not to think about. JJ said he wouldn’t come until Yuri was begging for him. And while his first heat was awful, he survived it just fine on his own. Although he did have some help. He may have been physically alone, but Lilia had purchased several different toys for him, and when he thinks back on how desperate he was during the peak of his first heat a small seed of doubt fills him. What’s he going to do if his hand isn’t enough, or if his stupid body craves more than he can supply?

Yuri feels tear sting at his eyes and allows them to finally fall. He’s felt so numb since he arrived at the estate, and the reality of the situation finally seems to be hitting. He can’t go through a heat here, he can’t risk bonding with JJ, even though he knows Bella and JJ aren’t right. Bonding won’t create new feelings that don’t already exist within him.

Yuri can’t seem to stop crying once he’s started, and he blames it in large part on all the hormones, but he knows he’s also just scared. It’s been so long since his last heat, what if he can’t handle this one on his own?

 

-

 

Otabek’s been waiting outside the cafe for nearly twenty minutes. It snowed the night before and the sidewalk is covered in a thin layer of sludge from all the foot traffic. When the woman finally exits he walks slowly behind her before grabbing her elbow lightly and pulling her to a stop.

“Excuse me,” he says politely, “do you have a minute?”

Bella looks startled at the sudden contact but turns fully to face him. “I’m sorry, do I know you?” she replies, pulling her bag slightly tighter under her arm. She looks nervous, but that’s not a complete surprise, Otabek can be a slightly intimidating guy.

“No, but I think you know a friend of mine, Yuri Plisetsky. He hasn’t been seen in a while and I was wondering if you might know where he is.”

Bella sucks in her bottom lip and shakes her head. “I’m afraid I can’t help you. I haven’t seen Yuri in over a week. I’m sorry.”

As she tries to walk away Otabek blocks her path, there’s no point in playing nice if she’s just going to lie. “I met Leo. He had a lot to say about you and your husband.”

Bella’s face drains of color, but she continues to shake her head. “I’m sorry, I don’t know who you’re talking about.”

Otabek lets out a hollow laugh and glances around the sidewalk. They’re pushed up against the storefront of the coffee shop, but no one is paying them any mind. They seem like two friends just catching up, and Otabek makes sure to keep smiling.

“You would think it would have been harder to break someone that knew as much as him. I guess they make ‘em softer in the states,” he says with a laugh, as if he’s telling a joke. “Did you know he was working behind your back with JJ to cut you out?”

Bella’s face stays carefully blank, but her voice comes out slightly more strained. “I don’t believe you. Leo wouldn’t do that to me.”

“Oh, so you do know him?” he says with a triumphant grin. “Tell me then, do you really think he didn’t tell me what you and JJ were up to?” Bella’s jaw tightens, and a passerby looks on with a frown. “Smile, Bella, someone might think you’re uncomfortable,” Otabek says with a smile, leaning further into her personal space.

“What do you want?” Bella asks with false cheer, and Otabek grins.

“I want you to tell me where Yuri is, or just take him home, and if I don’t hear from him in the next two hours I want you to tell your husband that Mr. Nikiforov will be in touch with him soon. In fact, you should tell him that anyway. Did he really think he could encroach on Victor’s territory without any consequences?”

“Nikiforov? You work for Victor?” Bella looks worried again and Otabek reaches out to brush a strand of hair behind her ear. “Please, I can’t- I can’t get Yuri to you in two hours. It’s just not possible”

Otabek’s eyes narrow and he’s forced to swallow down his anger in favor of finding out more information. “And why is that?”

“Because he’s not in a condition to be moved right now.”

Otabek twists a lock of Bella’s hair around his finger and gives a slight tug. “What the fuck does that mean?”

“He- he’s in heat,” Bella says quietly, her eyes scanning the sidewalk for any sign of an out.

“Bullshit,” Otabek spits. “Yuri’s on suppressants.”

“You’re him aren’t you,” Bella says suddenly. “The one he said he loved.”

Otabek tries to keep his features impassive, but he feels like he’s just had his heart ripped out through his throat. Does Yuri love him? Has he been asking for him?

“Where is he right now?” Otabek asks, his voice coming out rougher than he intended.

“He’s safe. I promise,” Bella says quickly. “And when his heats over, if he still wants to leave he can, but I’m hoping he chooses to stay.”

Otabek scoffs and then forces the smile back onto his lips. “I don’t think you understand what’s happening. Leo’s told me everything. I know that you’re the one bringing the drugs in. The Leroy’s may be using your father’s ports for other business ventures, but you’re bringing the Maple back with you with each trip. Not to mention your hand in its creation. Do you know how many people have died? How much blood is on your hands?”

Bella’s breaths are coming in fast and Otabek can tell she’s about to start crying. He pulls her closer to his chest to hide her face and continues to talk. “You’re going to get Yuri home, or I’m going to tell Victor everything now and let him decide what to do with you. And you can guarantee he won’t be as forgiving.”

Bella nods her head as a whimpering breath leaves her. “What happens once he’s home? Will you still tell Victor?”

“Of course, I’m not a trader. There may be something you can do to save yourself though. End whatever deal you have with the Leroy’s or move it to a different city. Either way, if I find out Maples still being sold in Victor’s neighborhoods you can be looking forward to another chat. Although I’m afraid it won’t be ending as amicably.”

Otabek loosens his hold as Bella steps back, and although her eyes are ringed in red she doesn’t look too bad.

“I don’t know if we’ll be able to return Yuri so soon. When I left this morning, his heat had already started. It might be too dangerous to move him now.”

Otabek’s hands clinch into fists, and if they weren’t standing out in the open he can’t guarantee he wouldn’t use them. It’s part of the reason he chose to stay in the open, Victor wasn’t wrong when he said that Yuri makes him reckless. If Bella’s telling the truth and Yuri really is in heat he could also be in danger. It’s been so long since his last heat there’s no telling how intense this one will be.

“He shouldn’t be alone right now. His heats aren’t regular, there’s no telling how his body will react.”

“He’s not completely alone,” Bella says with a grimace. “JJ’s offered to help out if he asks for him.”

A deep growl escapes Otabek’s throat and he grips Bella’s wrist to keep her from fleeing. “Take me to him, now.”

 

-

 

Yuri’s back arches as he muffles his cries into the pillows. He’s so overly sensitive that just a handful of thrusts against the sheets where enough to push him over the edge, but unlike an hour ago this orgasm doesn’t provide any real relief, and he’s left hard and trembling in the sheets. His hair is matted to his forehead and back, and there was even a moment where he contemplated cutting it all off just to find some relief from the heat.  

The first day without his meds was uncomfortable, but today has been hell. He had no idea his heat would come on so quickly, and it almost feels like his body is trying to punish him for all the time without one. His wrists already ache from how long he’s been using them, and his dick still refuses to go down. He also can’t remember ever being this wet. He’s tried to avoid touching his ass as much as possible, but that hasn’t stopped the slick from running down and wetting his thighs.

As another wave of need pulses low in his stomach Yuri curls tightly around himself. He’s already exhausted, and he’s not sure how much more he can take. Without an alpha or a toy to simulate a knot he’s unlikely to get any sort of real relief. And although bonding would help to bring the whole ordeal to an end he’s still not desperate enough to call for JJ.

His stomach starts to cramp the longer he spends ignoring the demands of his body, and with only a few minutes of rest Yuri finally gives in and slides a hand behind himself, trying to end this round quickly. He easily slips two fingers in before adding a third, and although it would normally be a stretch, all he feels now is a light pressure and the need for more. He pumps his fingers in and out, but from this angle he can’t turn his wrist fully around to reach the spot he so desperately needs. Yuri slips his pinky in in a frantic attempt to find some sort of satisfaction, but the slight burn of the stretch is just a tease at what his body desperately craves, and Yuri almost bursts into tears.

He weakly takes his aching cock in his free hand, and thanks to the last round it’s an easy slide. He continues to pump his fingers while he works his cock, and he finally feels like there’s an end to this round as his ass provides more slick to ease his thrusts and the hand around his cock spasms as pleasure begins to flood him. The high feeling of his release only lasts a few seconds though, and then the aching need fills him once again.

Yuri screams his frustrations into the pillows and tries in vain to will his body to stop. He’s never experienced anything like this. There’s barely any time between the rounds of his orgasms, and the longer he goes without real relief the hotter he seems to be getting.

Once Yuri finally accepts that this round isn’t ending he drags himself to the edge of his bed and tries to make his way to the bathroom. He stumbles once on his way, but once he’s made it he quickly pushes buttons on the showers pad to bring it to life before laying down inside. The cold of the water pouring from the shower heads is a shock, and Yuri gasps into the tiles as his body shakes. He’s heard of people using cold to bring a heat to an end, and while it sounded stupid the cold is helping to clear his mind.

In his brief moments of clarity his mind flickers back to Otabek and a wave of heat rushes over him so quickly he gets dizzy. He’s always enjoyed Otabek’s scent but now he craves it more than anything. He said he didn’t want to share a heat but the idea of Otabek’s knot causes his insides to cramp so tightly he thinks he might just pass out.

Everything starts to ache in earnest again, and with no real break between rounds he’s not sure how much longer he’s going to be conscious. JJ swore that he wouldn’t come in unless Yuri asked for him, but his word isn’t worth much, and Yuri’s not sure how much he should trust him.

Yuri’s cock is still throbbing painfully between his legs, undeterred by the cold, and Yuri cups it lightly as tears spring to his eyes. This was never supposed to happen. He should be home right now, in his own bed and far away from any of this. How did things get so far off track?

Tears start to slip from Yuri’s eyes, and as angry as he is that this is happening he’d give almost anything to have it end. He slowly moves out from under the spray of the water, but he can’t get his legs under himself to stand and turn the water off again. Instead he lays just outside the spray of the shower as the heat of his body quickly builds again.

This is only the first day and he’s barely holding it together. How the hell is he supposed to survive a whole week of this hell?

Yuri stays shaking on the floor for several minutes as his body continues to betray him with wave after wave of need. When he can’t stand the building pressure any longer he wraps a hand around his cock and begins to tug. It doesn’t take long, but it’s not the release his body is after, and his cock still refuses to go down as his stomach cramps with need.

He needs help.

Yuri tries to use the side of the shower wall to pull himself up, and after several failed attempts he finally manages to get to his feet. He uses the wall of the shower, and then the wall of the bathroom, and finally the wall of the bedroom to get to the door. He doesn’t bother with knocking, mostly because he’s not sure he could manage and keep his feet under himself if he took his hold off the wall.

“I need help,” Yuri croaks out, and his voice is so unlike himself that he’s startled for a moment. “Please,” he calls louder.

There’s a moment of silence before the unfamiliar voice of a woman answers. “Would you like me to get JJ.”

Yuri’s pulse hammers in his chest at the idea of an alpha, but he wills himself to ignore the need. “No, I need- I need something else.” The woman doesn’t answer, and if Yuri wasn’t already red from the heat he’s sure he would blush at what he asks for next. “I need a toy, any toy. I can’t keep going on my own, please,” he begs.

His legs are getting weak again and he decides to go back to the bed. He refuses to refer to it as a nest because it’s not. He doesn’t have even half the things he wants, and the scent is so off that he almost would rather stay in the bathroom where the only scent is that of soap.

A sudden knock on the door causes Yuri to jolt, but he manages to call out, “What?”

“I have something for you,” the woman says, “it’s not what you asked for, but it’s all I can give you.”

Yuri clumsily covers his waist with a sheet and nods to the door. “Okay”

The woman comes in carrying a folded piece of fabric, and even though Yuri can’t identify the article he recognizes JJ’s scent almost as soon as the woman enters. His insides cramp harder at the scent of an alpha, and his fingers tremble with betrayal as he reaches out for the item.

“Can I get you anything else? Some water maybe? You haven’t had anything to eat or drink in quite some time.”

Yuri shakes his head and brings the shirt to his face. As much as he hated JJ’s scent just a few days ago the smell of any alpha is almost a blessing right now. The woman nods at Yuri’s non-answer and quietly leaves him alone again. He inhales deeply, and while not quite the right scent it’s soothing enough that his insides feel like they’re finally relaxing.

With the shirt pressed to his face Yuri’s cock begins to leak precum again, and as much as he wants to pretend he’s not reacting to JJ’s scent he can’t. He rolls onto his front to hump against the bedding, and after just a few moments he comes weakly into the sheets. He breathes in the scent of JJ’s shirt again, and for the first time in hours his cock finally starts to go down. It’s such a relief that there’s a moment where tears spring to his eyes, but he’s so thankful for the break that he falls asleep within moments.

 

-

 

When Yuri wakes it’s to JJ’s shirt still pressed to his face and to the sun still shining brightly into the room. It’s clear from the ache of his body that he hasn’t been asleep long, and it’s that knowledge that causes him to want to start crying in earnest. Nothing is truly helping, not orgasms, not cold showers, not even the scent of an alpha. Nothing is making this end, and for a moment Yuri’s almost sure this is how he’s going to die. His cock has already started to fill again and the low burning in his gut makes him feel like he’s going to be sick.

I’m done, Yuri thinks. No one is coming for him, and there’s no way he can keep this up for a whole week. He’s already so exhausted that he can’t even lift his head.

 “JJ,” he tries to yell, but his throat is so dry that he ends up coughing more than yelling. “JJ,” he tries again, and this time it must be loud enough for the woman on the other side to hear.

“Just a moment, I’ll get him,” she says quickly.

It really does take just a moment because one second Yuri’s eyes are closed and the next the sound of the door opening is drawing him fully awake again.

JJ looks more disheveled than Yuri’s ever seen him. His hair is sticking up like he’s been running his hands through it, and he’s wearing a t-shirt and sweats, something Yuri didn’t even know he owned. But it’s not his appearance that has Yuri’s body drawn tight in anticipation, it’s his scent. It’s warm and thick and the first breath of it is so much better than the shirt he has pressed to his face. His whole body feels tight with anticipation, and his mind keeps chanting ‘yes, yes, yes,’ over and over again.

“Holy shit,” JJ says thickly. “I was beginning to think you would never call for me. You have the willpower of a saint”

Yuri lets out a trembling breath as JJ’s scent bleeds more fully into the room, and his full cock aches beneath the sheets as his stomach cramps in anticipation. He’s never wanted someone so desperately, and it’s messing with his head.

“I still hate you,” Yuri says weakly, although the heat of his words is lessened by the scent of want poring off of him. “I think I’m dying. I- I can’t do this anymore.”

JJ nods and quickly makes his way to the bed. He doesn’t crowd into Yuri’s space, but once he’s close enough to reach Yuri is grabbing him and pulling his face to his own neck.

“Please,” Yuri chokes out, his body heating further at the small bit of contact. “Please make this end. I- everything hurts, I just need it to end.”

“It’s okay, princess, I’m gonna make it all better, it’s okay,”

JJ’s breath comes in trembling pants as his hands caress Yuri’s sweaty shoulders and back, and the longer he spends pressed against Yuri the more Yuri’s body takes interest, and the harder it gets to ignore.

Yuri can’t help as his hands move up the front of JJ’s shirt, and without a word JJ quickly discards the garment before brushing Yuri’s hair back from his neck. Precum leaks from Yuri’s cock as a low growl leaves JJ’s lips, and Yuri’s hand moves to grip his cock as JJ presses his lips to the space just below Yuri’s ear.

Yuri swears his skin is buzzing with how over sensitive he is, and when JJ’s teeth brush his neck he comes with a start, spilling into his hand and leaning more fully into the alpha. JJ doesn’t react to the scent of Yuri’s release, though if he’s being completely honest the whole room probably already smells of it.

Yuri can’t stop trembling in JJ’s hold, and although it feels like he’s forgetting something important, no matter how hard he tries to remember his mind keep circling back to the alpha in front of him. JJ smells better than he ever has before, and the idea of a knot is getting more and more appealing the longer he stays pressed to the man.

“Please,” Yuri begs. “I can’t do a week of this. I won’t make it. Nothing makes it stop.” Yuri grinds his hips forward to emphasize his point and JJ’s nails dig deeper into his shoulders.

“Shhh,” JJ tries to sooth, “I’ve got you.”

JJ takes a deep breath before opening his mouth and pressing his teeth lightly to the space where Yuri’s neck and shoulder meet. He doesn’t press hard at first, but Yuri still goes practically boneless in his grip as a small wounded sound leaves his lips.

JJ responds to the sound with a growl of his own before finally pressing hard enough to break the skin, and the feeling of his teeth is the only sensation Yuri can focus on as his body is suddenly overwhelmed. It feels like small pin pricks at first, but it quickly spreads to a searing pain that spreads outward and down his spine. Everything that was already sensitive feels like it’s been turned up to eleven, and even though he’s only just come Yuri can feel his cock jerk between their bodies.

As the pain in his neck builds to an unbearable level, Yuri comes untouched and with a shout. He had thought the mark in the library was painful, but even with the current flood of endorphins it was nothing compared to the pain he feels now. It feels like white hot heat is being poured into his veins and then sucked back out of his neck. The whole ordeal only lasts a few seconds, but to Yuri it seems to drag on until it becomes so much that he closes his eyes and passes out.

Chapter Text

Before Yuri even opens his eyes, he knows something is off. Gone is the overwhelming scent of his own arousal, along with the desperate need of release. Instead, all he can smell is the sterile scent of antibacterial soap and the burn of rubbing alcohol.

It takes several seconds for his hearing to tune into the distant sound of beeping, and then another minute for him to realize it’s the sound of his own heartbeat.

Once he’s pried his eyes open he’s greeted with low lights and a blank ceiling. He squints in confusion at the plainness of the space, and as he turns to study the machine causing all the ruckus he’s drawn up short by the pain that shoots down the side of his neck, causing him to hiss out a gasp.

“Yuri,” an almost panicked voice calls, and it takes almost all his strength to slowly rotate his head to the other side.

“Beka,” Yuri’s voice breaks, confusion at his surroundings making his thoughts come slowly. “What happened?”

Otabek looks like he’s been awake for days, his clothes are rumpled, and his usually styled hair is a mess atop his head.  Yuri can’t remember a time that he’s ever looked so unkept and the strangeness of the situation is only adding to his feelings of unease.

“Am I in the hospital?” Yuri looks around the small space with his eyes, choosing to keep his head firmly on his pillow where it doesn’t cause any pain.

“You lost a lot of blood,” Otabek says with a frown. “And the doctors were worried that your heat wasn’t breaking on its own. They gave you fluids and some meds to finally end it.”

Yuri’s face scrunches at the mention of a heat. Nothing’s making any sense. “But I’m on suppressants.”

Otabek’s face goes slack and he reaches out a hand to gently cup Yuri’s own. “You were, but something happened when you were with JJ and–“

Otabek continues to speak but at the mention of JJ memories suddenly come rushing back. He was kidnapped, his suppressants were taken, he went into heat, he asked for JJ, he...

“Yuri, Yuri, breathe,” Otabek yells over the sound of the machine beeping and the blood rushing through Yuri’s ears. But Yuri can’t breathe, he can’t make any sound come out of this throat. All he can do is claw desperately at the bandages taped to the side of his neck and listen as Otabek yells for help until everything goes dark again.

 

 

-

 

 

When Yuri awakens again the room is brighter, either the sun has risen, or the curtains have been opened, but either way the room is much more illuminated. He can see several vases of flowers sitting on the windowsill, and there’s an odd moment where he wonders who would care enough to send flowers, and then another moment of panic where he wonders just how long he’s been in the hospital for people to send flowers in the first place.

Yuri tries to clear his throat to call out to see if there’s anyone with him, but his throat is so dry that he ends up coughing and then groaning in pain when the cough agitates the pain in his neck and shoulder. When he pries open his eyes Otabek has moved from his seat to the opposite side of the bed in Yuri’s frame of vision.

“Here, they said you could drink and eat normally once you were awake.” Otabek holds a straw in front of Yuri’s lips, and as much as it makes him feel like a child for doing so, Yuri allows Otabek to hold the cup while he takes several long drinks.

“Thanks,” Yuri says weakly.

“Can I get you anything?”

“No, just tell me what’s going on. How long have I been here?”

“Just three days. You were still in heat the first day, and then once that broke you mostly slept. You woke up a few times, but never for long. How much do you remember?”

Otabek takes a seat on the side of the bed and Yuri shifts over a bit to give him more room. “The last thing I remember was being at— at the Leroy’s, and then I woke up here.”

Otabek nods and reaches up to brush Yuri’s hair off his face, but as he does Yuri’s greeted with a wave of the alpha’s scent and then a strange ache in the center of his chest that almost stops his breath.

“What the fuck,” Yuri chokes out, brushing Otabek’s hand aside and clutching at his chest. “What’s happening?”

Otabek’s eyes go wide and he quickly stands from the bed. “I’ll get a doctor.”

As Otabek rushes from the room the strange ache doesn’t fade, but it does shift into a new feeling, one Yuri can’t place. By the time Otabek returns with the doctor in tow Yuri feels mostly like himself again, except for the strange feeling that he’s now placed as some sort of longing.

“Mr. Plisetsky, I’m so glad to see you’re awake,” a woman in a white coat greets. “My name is Dr. Krasnoff, I’ve been overseeing your care since you arrived. How are you feeling this morning? Your friend,” she says with a glance to Otabek, “says you were experiencing some sort of chest pain a moment ago.”

“It was just like this weird stabbing feeling, it’s gone now though. Now it just feels weird. Like something isn’t right, but I can’t explain what.”

The doctor nods as Yuri talks and then glances to Otabek again. “I have a few more questions I’d like to ask you. Would you feel more comfortable if we were alone?”

Otabek straightens beside the woman. “I can go if you want me to,” he directs to Yuri.

“No,” Yuri says without pause. “I want you here.”

The doctor nods and walks to the end of the bed to pick up the clipboard that’s attached. “It says here that the heat you experienced was your first in nearly four and a half years, is that correct?” Yuri nods. “Due to the severity of your heat we were forced to medically end it for your own safety, especially since it didn’t break on its own once a bond was made.”

Yuri’s breath hitches and for a moment he thinks he’s going to have to be sedated again as his heart begins to race. “So, I— he— he did it? He bonded with me?”

Dr. Krasnoff takes a deep breath and nods. “He did. I’m assuming the pain you were just experiencing was a side effect of the bond.”

“How do I get rid of it?”

Dr. Krasnoff returns the clipboard to the end of the bed before placing a hand on Yuri’s. “We could administer a drug to break the bond, but it could take several doses depending on how deep the bond is, and it’s considered to be a last resort. It’s much more painful than allowing the bond to break naturally.”

Yuri’s stomach clinches at the idea of more pain. “Is there any other way?”

“I’m afraid not,” Dr. Krasnoff says sadly. “If you choose to wait until your next heat you could always replace the bond with a new one to diminish side effects of a broken bond, but as I said that would require the three months of waiting for your next heat.”

“How much would it hurt?” Yuri asks through a wave of worry. He’s never considered his pain tolerance to be low, but the idea of being in pain again so soon isn’t a pleasant one.

“Well, pain is subjective, but medically ending a bond is considered a last resort due to the pain and side effects it could cause. All medication can have side effects, and with this drug the main ones are pain, nausea, and temporary muscle weakness, and if the bond isn’t completely severed you might also have some additional complications.”

Yuri swallows and subconsciously rubs at his chest again. “Will he feel it?”

“He would, although since he’s an alpha the side effects wouldn’t be a severe,” Dr. Krasnoff sighs, and then glances to Otabek again. “I would suggest waiting at least two weeks before making this decision. Your bodies been through a lot of stress lately, and I think it would handle a severed bond better if you were at full health.”

“You mentioned additional complications,” Otabek interjects. “What would some of those be?”

“Some bonds are harder to break than others,” Dr. Krasnoff says with a frown, “and if that’s the case Yuri could experience symptoms similar to that of losing a bonded partner or mate. There’s also the chance that if a bond isn’t completely severed it could try to reestablish itself and the connection could become overwhelming. If that were the case the only way to end the bond would be to allow it to happen naturally. Bonds are very temperamental things and they’re still not completely understood. The final issue, especially with someone such as yourself who has been delaying their heats for so long, is that breaking the bond could trigger another heat. At the very least your heat will come much sooner than the typical three months.”

Yuri listens as the doctor continues to talk, but he’s not sure he’s even absorbing anything she’s saying. He’s so caught up in trying to dissect the strange emotion coursing through him that he doesn’t realize he’s been asked a question until the doctor places a hand on his arm.

“What?” Yuri asks in confusion.

“I was just asking if you had any more questions,” Dr. Krasnoff says with a kind smile. “I know this is a sensitive time, but if there’s anything I can do all you need to do is ask.”

“If I choose to break the bond, can I go back on suppressants and skip the heat that will follow it?”

Dr. Krasnoff’s face pinches and she looks to the foot of the bed where Yuri’s chart is clipped. “I wouldn’t suggest you going back on suppressants again so soon. If you would be willing, I think it would be best if you allowed your body at least a year to reregulate itself.”

“A year,” Yuri interrupts before Dr. Krasnoff continues.

“I haven’t seen a heat as severe as yours in many years, and you’re extremely lucky that you were brought into the hospital when you were. I’m not sure how much your friend has told you, but you were in very poor shape when you first arrived. You we’re so dehydrated that we had trouble getting an IV started, which caused some concerns for your liver in kidney functions, that’s not even taking into account the blood loss and transfusion. You really are lucky that things seemed to have improved as much as they have.”

Yuri can feel as his breathing begins to speed again, and when he’s greeted with a wave of worry through the bond he thinks he might just pass out from the anger that overwhelms him in response. JJ doesn’t get to worry about him. He doesn’t get to act concerned when he’s the reason everything has gone to shit. “I can’t do this,” Yuri chokes out. “I can’t have him in my head. I want this gone.”

“Of course,” Dr. Krasnoff says with a sympathetic nod. “Like I said, you’ll need to wait at least two weeks, but we’ll only need to keep you in the hospital another night for observations. I would also advise that you choose to have your next heat in our heat ward. With the severity of symptoms you experienced with this heat, I think it would be very dangerous to attempt another without the aid of our medical staff.”

“I don’t want to experience another heat at all,” Yuri snaps, and Dr. Krasnoff nods sadly.

“I understand that, Mr. Plisetsky, but your body isn’t likely to give you much of a choice, and if you choose to use our facilities we can make sure this heat is much easier to manage. We can administer medication to lessen the symptoms and pain. The whole process will be easier. At least think about it, for your safety at least.

“Fine,” Yuri sighs, as one of his hands finds its way to the edge of the bandage on his neck, and one of his larger fears brings his breath up short. “What about this? How bad is it?”

Dr. Krasnoff places a hand on the railing of Yuri’s bed and lets out a quiet sigh. “I’ll admit it’s not great. By the time you arrived the worst of the bleeding had stopped, but we did have to put in half a dozen stitches to close off the larger gash. They should dissolve on their own in about a week.”

Stitches? Yuri’s never heard of anyone needing stitches after a bonding bite. It does break the skin, but it’s not so deep that anyone ever needs more than a quick cleaning and a small piece of gauze.

“Why did I need stitches?”

“It appears that when your heat didn’t break your heat partner assumed that the bond didn’t take and continued to try and… reestablish the bonding mark.”

“He what?” Yuri asks weakly, clawing more forcefully at the tape attached to his collarbone. “How bad is it?”

Yuri can feel his heart beginning to trip over itself again, and even as the machine beside him begins to beep wildly he can’t stop his frantic movements.

How bad is the bonding mark if he needed stitches and his whole neck and shoulder bandaged? He can’t seem to catch his breath and although he can hear the doctor talking he can’t make sense of it enough to process what’s being said. All he can think about is how this is all his fault. If he would have turned Victor down, if he would have listened when Otabek said he shouldn’t go to St. Petersburg, if he would have just been stronger when his heat came…

“Yuri, Yuri, breathe.” Otabek pries Yuri’s hands from where they’re trying franticly to peel the gauze from his skin as he continues to talk in a calming manor. “Look at me. Yuri, look at me and breathe,” but Yuri can’t look at Otabek right now. He hadn’t even considered how this must be for Otabek, but it doesn’t make any sense that he’s here right now. He should be as far away from Yuri as he can get. Yuri’s bonded to someone else now, Otabek should be furious.

“Leave me alone,” Yuri cries out, and almost as soon as the words leave his lips Otabek’s hands leave him. It takes several minutes before he can breathe evenly again, but once he does he opens his eyes to be greeted with Otabek’s empty seat and Dr. Krasnoff’s concerned expression.

“I don’t know everything that’s happened, Mr. Plisetsky, but I want you to know that you’re safe here, and if you want to talk to someone I would be more than willing to arrange that.” Dr. Krasnoff seems sincere in her offer, but how is Yuri supposed to tell anyone what happened and have them believe him? No one would believe that someone as wealthy and influential as JJ would kidnap him, and even if they did, then what? He willingly went to St. Petersburg with him, who’s to say that he didn’t also willingly spend his heat with him. It would be his word against JJ’s and no one would side with him.

“Thanks, but I’m fine.”

“Of course, but if you change your mind please let me know. Would you like me to get you anything before I go? Maybe your friend from the hall?”

Yuri looks to the door that he didn’t even see Otabek exit, but he doesn’t know if he should ask for him back. He’s already been such a burden, he can’t expect Otabek to keep waiting around for him.

“He’s been here the whole time,” Dr. Krasnoff says, breaking through Yuri’s internal monolog and drawing his full attention. “He’s barely left your side. I’m not sure of your relationship, but I would say that he seems to care for you.”

Yuri’s chest feels tight with emotions that are threatening to break through his ribs, and he hates that JJ’s probably feeling the echo of it right now. “You can get him.”

Dr. Krasnoff nods and gives Yuri one last glance before leaving and ushering Otabek back into the room. It’s clear that he didn’t go further than just outside the door but seeing him again fills Yuri with a strange sense of guilt. He looks like he hasn’t slept in days and his clothes look crumpled and unwashed, a far cry for his normally put together self.

“When’s the last time you slept?”

“I’ve slept here,” Otabek says without giving a real answer, walking closer to the bed. “How are you feeling?”

“Like I’ve had my throat ripped out by a werewolf,” Yuri deadpans before realizing just how unfunny the situation is when Otabek’s shoulders stiffen. “I’m fine. Sorry I freaked out on you.”

“You’re allowed to need space, Yuri. I don’t want you to feel like you can’t ask me to back off. If you need space just tell me, I won’t ever go far.”

Yuri can’t look Otabek in the eyes when he’s being so kind, but when he trails his eyes down he notices the stains clinging to the shoulder and front of Otabek’s shirt. “You’ve got blood on your shirt.”

Otabek hums and looks down to pull his shirt away from his body for a moment. “I do.”

“Whose is it?”

Otabek lets out a hollow laugh as he rubs at his face before composing himself to look at Yuri again. “It’s yours, kitten.”

Yuri’s hands itch to reach for his neck again but he keeps them firmly in his lap. As long as he doesn’t think about the bite he doesn’t feel like collapsing in panic. “What happened?”

“I came and got you.”

Yuri let’s out a weak sigh and bites his tongue as tears sting at his eyes. “I waited for you,” he says as his voice cracks. “I was so sure that you were going to come for me, and when you didn’t— when you didn’t get to me before my heat started I was so angry.”

Yuri can feel as hot tears run down his face, and he tries in vain to wipe them away. “I was so angry at you, and it wasn’t even your fault, and I knew it wasn’t your fault, and that made it worse. Because I know this is all my fault. I’m the reason this all happened, and— “

“Yuri,” Otabek says fiercely. “This was not your fault. None of this was your fault.”

“You told me not to go,” Yuri cries. “You said that things were more complicated than I knew, and I still thought I could do it all on my own. But I didn’t figure out anything, and now, now I have this fucking bond with someone I would be happy to never see again.”

Yuri can feel as JJ’s emotions flare in response to his own and he clutches at his chest as he continues to cry. “I hate this. I haven’t even been awake a whole day, and I can’t do this. There’s no way I can make it two whole weeks.”

“Hey, you don’t have to do any of this alone,” Otabek says with determination. “I will be here.”

“But you’re not here,” Yuri says with a tap to the center of his chest. “I can feel how upset he is, and I have this ache that wants to fix it, but I don’t really want to fix it because I never want to be anywhere near him.”

“You are so much stronger than you realize, Yuri. You can do this.”

“I don’t feel strong.” Yuri wipes at his face again and wills himself to stop crying. It doesn’t happen right away, but after a few minutes he does feel like he has a better control over himself. He has no idea what he’s supposed to do now though. He has another night in the hospital, and then what? Go back to his apartment like none of this happened? How is he supposed to do that? How can he even go back to work without everyone knowing what happened?

“Is Victor mad?”

Otabek scoffs and the sound draws Yuri’s gaze again. “Don’t worry about Victor. He got what he wanted, everything’s going to work itself out.”

“How? I didn’t find anything out?”

“That man you saw JJ meet with, Leo, he proved to be the key to piecing everything together.”

“You found out how it was being imported? Was it the port?”

Otabek pauses, and for a moment Yuri doesn’t understand why until the ground feels like it drops from under him. “It was Bella. She was meeting with Leo and others during her trips to St. Petersburg and then bringing the product back with her on their private jet.”

“No,” Yuri says firmly. “She— she wouldn’t do that. She was so focused on her career and— and why would she want to…” Yuri knows Otabek wouldn’t lie to him about something so serious, but at the same time he just can’t picture Bella being a part of this. Then again, she did help JJ keep him captive, so maybe he’s just holding onto the pieces of a friendship that weren’t even real to begin with.

“I’m sorry, kitten, I know she was your friend. I do have some good news though. The day after you were supposed to get back, Phichit woke up. I don’t know much, but Yuuri said he seems to be doing better than was expected. He’s not at this hospital, but if you wanted to go see him in a couple of days, I’m sure you could. Yuuri doesn’t think he’s going to be getting out of the hospital anytime soon.”

Yuri’s throat feels tight, but he refuses to cry again so soon. “Thank fuck,” he says while rubbing at his eyes. “I was starting to think… well it doesn’t matter now. I’m just glad he’s awake. Is anyone with him? I know his family isn’t here, but someone should be with him.”

“Yuuri said there was a man with him. I don’t know much more than that though.”

Yuri hums before he’s interrupted by the growling of his stomach. “I think I’m hungry.”

“I’ll go tell a nurse and be right back.”

Otabek leaves and Yuri settles back into the sheets. He’s never felt this sort of tired. It’s more than a physical exhaustion, it feels like his soul is tired, like if he could sleep for a week maybe the exhaustion would ease, but apparently, he’s already been asleep for days and he doesn’t feel any better.

Otabek returns with a small box containing a sandwich and apple, that he hands to Yuri. “They said they’ll call down and get you a tray sent up, but you can have this for now.”

Yuri accepts the box, but even though he just said he was hungry he doesn’t really feel like eating. He has many more questions that he needs answers to so that he can start to piece everything together.  

“What does everyone think happened?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean I’ve been gone for over two weeks when it was only supposed to be four days. Did anyone even give a shit that I was gone?” Yuri looks to the windowsill still filled with flowers and it’s clear that at least some people know that he’s here.

“Lilia thinks you were with your grandfather and that you caught pneumonia and were eventually hospitalized, I’m sure she told the people that you work with the same thing. Yuuri originally thought you chose to stay in St. Petersburg a little longer, but he knows the truth now, there wasn’t really a way to keep it from him.”

“Why would you lie to him at all?” Yuri wonders, “he knew what I was doing in St. Petersburg, you didn’t need to make something up.”

“It wasn’t me,” Otabek insists, “Victor was worried that if he knew you were missing it would put too much stress on him and the babies. He’s technically been ordered to ‘take it easy’ but since it’s not officially bedrest he hasn’t slowed down much.”

A warm feeling works its way into Yuri’s chest at the mention of Yuuri and the babies, and the other omega’s determination to not let his pregnancy slow him down. He hadn’t realized just how much he missed being around Yuuri and helping with the club and the nursery, but he really has.

“Will you tell me what happened? I know you said you came and got me, but how?”

“Ah, that,” Otabek rubs at the back of his head and Yuri can’t tell if he’s trying to figure out how to explain everything or if he’s actively delaying. “I found Bella and had her take me to the estate. When I arrived, you were still in heat and JJ had already completed the bond. He didn’t put up much of a fight to keep you, but I think it was just because he was in shock. You were… you were really pale when I got to you and…”

Otabek trails off and for the first time Yuri starts to really worry. “How bad was it really? The doctor said I needed stitches and you’re still covered in blood.”

“They had to do a transfusion,” Otabek reminds. “Yuri, you looked so small when I got there that I was afraid I was too late.”

“You mean, you thought I was— “

“Yeah, I couldn’t smell anything but your heat and blood, and when I picked you up you didn’t even react. I didn’t know what to think. I just knew I had to get you to a hospital.”

Yuri’s hand moves of its own accord to find Otabek’s and a sickening ache fills his chest. Otabek thought he was dead. He thought he was dead, and he still took the time to care for him rather than go after JJ or Bella. Yuri can’t even imagine the sort of restrain that must have taken, and he doesn’t even know how to begin to thank him for it.

Chapter Text

“Are you sure you want to be here? You could stay at my place, or I could even get you a hotel for a couple of days.”

Yuri scoffs and continues the slow march up the stairs of his apartment building. “I’m not a child, I can stay at my own fucking apartment. It’s not like I ever had him over, he wouldn’t even know which floor I was on.”

Otabek makes a small affirmative noise from behind Yuri, and Yuri’s all the more thankful that the alpha hasn’t pushed him to say JJ’s name aloud. It’s hard enough in his mind to try and accept what’s happened, and he’s not sure he could handle being forced to talk about it right now.

As Yuri pushes the stairway door open though he’s almost instantly assaulted with a familiar scent that causes every muscle to draw tight as his breath leaves him in a rush.

“Yuri? What’s wrong?” Otabek places a light touch to the small of Yuri’s back, but the shock of JJ’s scent has Yuri quickly recoiling and forcing his back against the hallway wall.

“He’s here,” Yuri chokes out, his hand unconsciously reaching up to touch at the bandages he’s yet to remove from his neck.

Otabek lifts his head to scent the air, taking a few steps closer to Yuri’s apartment before shaking his head. “I can’t scent anything. It just smells like your neighbors.”

“No,” Yuri snaps. “He’s here, I can tell.” Yuri’s starting to shake and his hearts racing in his chest. A stupid reaction considering Otabek is there with him, but he can’t stop it. Why would JJ be here? What could he possibly think was going to happen? He must have pieced everything together by now and realized that Yuri was a lost cause, unless he’s come for retaliation.

It’s not until Otabek is directly in front of him that his voice cuts through Yuri’s panic. “I’m going to go in, okay? You just stay here.”

Yuri nods numbly and slowly sinks down the wall until his knees form a protective barrier between him and the rest of the hall. None of this makes any sense, and when a wave of worry washes over him Yuri grips fiercely at the place in his chest where the feeling emanates. It’s extremely foreign to feel someone else’s emotions, and the experience is still shocking each time. Why would JJ be worried though? He doesn’t have anything to be worried about.

Yuri’s only been in the hall alone for a few minutes when Otabek re-emerges with a perplexed look and a small towel bundled in his arms. “You weren’t wrong, he was definitely here. He left this.” Otabek kneels down and Yuri notices for the first time that the towel is moving.

It takes only a moment for Otabek to pull back the fabric to reveal a young kitten with medium length cream and brown fur, and Yuri’s heart clinches at the sight. His first instinct is to reach out for the cat, but he stops short when he remembers just where it came from.

“Why?” he asks weakly, his heart clinching as the animal begins to purr in Otabek’s hold.

“I don’t know. There was food and a litter box in the kitchen. I didn’t look around much though.”

Yuri pushes himself up from the floor rather suddenly, almost knocking Otabek back in his haste to see his apartment for himself.

JJ’s scent is stronger inside the small space, but it’s also clear that he hasn’t been there in several hours. Yuri mentally sorts through his few possessions, and although he hasn’t been home in quite some time everything still seems to be where he left it. It’s not until he looks to his futon that he notices his pillow is missing and in its place is a small envelope.

Yuri’s fingers tremble on the envelope.  A small part of him wants to throw it away without bothering to read it, but the braver side of him knows that isn’t an option.

“Do you want me to open it?” Otabek’s voice is smooth and calm, and Yuri tries to leach away some of his composure as he shakes his head. He can open an envelope. No matter what it says inside it can’t hurt him, it’s just a piece of paper.

With a final deep breath Yuri finally forces himself to rip open the paper. The card inside is white and blank on the outside, the inside though is filled almost completely in neat handwriting.

‘Yuri,

Surprise! You said you always wanted a cat, and there was no way I was going to deny you such a simple thing. She’s the gift I ordered for after your heat, and while things didn’t go as smoothly as we planned she’s still yours. I felt when you woke up, and you have no idea how relieved I was. I thought about you the entire time you were asleep. Could you feel it? Bella told me about Victor and Otabek, but I want you to know that I forgive you. I’m not upset that you think you love someone else, and now that you’re awake you can finally feel how perfect we are for each other. I’ve left your new phone in your kitchen. I hope to hear from you soon, so we can begin moving your things.

JJ’

Yuri can’t breathe. He tries to take in a breath, but it feels too shallow and his head feels like it’s full of cotton. He doesn’t even remember sitting down but suddenly he is. He clutches the card so tightly he can feel it ripping like the last pieces of his sanity.

JJ still thinks Yuri will want to be with him now, and Yuri has no idea how to stop him. Nothing makes sense anymore.

“Yuri. Yuri look at me,” Otabek pleads. His hands are hovering just a fraction of an inch from Yuri’s, and when did he get so close? He sounds desperate and scared, and it’s Otabek’s fear that causes something inside Yuri to crack as tears start to flood his eyes. This isn’t fair. Nothing about this is fair.

“He’s not going to stop.” Yuri sobs, clinging to Otabek’s hands and pulling them to his chest despite the sharp pangs that shoot through him as the alpha’s scent fills his lungs. “He was in my apartment. He could have sent anyone to leave the stupid cat, but he came here himself. He wanted me to know that he knows where I live.”

Fear feels like it’s clogging Yuri’s throat, making it harder to breathe. How could he have been so naïve? Of course, JJ wasn’t going to stop. He knew Yuri was only faking their relationship and he still didn’t let him go. For whatever reason he’s decided that Yuri is the one for him.

“I can’t stay here. What do I do?”

“It’s going to be okay,” Otabek says firmly, prying his hands from Yuri’s to pull the smaller man to his chest. “You’ll stay at my place or Yuuri’s until you get a new place, and I’ll handle the rest. You don’t have to worry.” Otabek runs his hand soothingly down Yuri’s back, but when he tries to let out a more comforting scent it causes more sharp pains in Yuri’s chest.

“Stop,” Yuri pleads, clutching his chest but staying firmly in Otabek’s lap. “I know you’re trying to help, but that’s making it worse. No one said this would hurt so much. Why does no one talk about this?”

“I don’t know, kitten. Maybe we need to go back to the hospital. I’m not sure this is normal.”

“No more hospitals,” Yuri protests. “It’ll stop on its own, it did last time.”

Yuri tries to breathe deeply as the sharp pains give way to a weaker ache, and although being pressed to Otabek isn’t helping he refuses to give up the small physical comfort of the alpha’s arms around him.

“I need to talk to Yuuri. He might know something I can do. He’s been bonded and mated, surely he’s had to deal with something like this.”

“I can call him now if you want, or we can go to the club. It’s early, but he should be there already.”

“Don’t you have work?” Yuri wonders. “You’ve been with me the last couple of days.”

“I told Victor not to contact me for at least a week, so I still have three more days before I need to check in.” Otabek continues to rub up and down Yuri’s spine, and a small seed of guilt begins to grow in the smaller man. Otabek has been so kind an accommodating. What’s going to happen if he finds out about the circumstances that led to the bond in the first place, and the fact that it wouldn’t exist at all if Yuri hadn’t of asked for it.

“Let’s go to the club,” Yuri murmurs, trying and failing to swallow down the guilt that’s slowly building.  

“Before we go we should change your bandages. I know you don’t want to see it,” Otabek continues when Yuri’s scent begins to sour, “but the doctor did say they would need to come off today.”

“What am I going to tell people?” Yuri whispers, afraid that if he speaks too loudly he’ll be admitting to something shameful.

“You don’t owe anyone an explanation, kitten.” Otabek cups the back of Yuri’s head, and even though him doing so places Yuri’s face closer to the alpha’s scent Yuri doesn’t protest. “I think if you saw it you wouldn’t be as afraid of it.”

“What if it’s worse than I think it is?”

“Then I’ll be here to help you through that.”

Warmth floods Yuri at Otabek’s words, but there’s still a part of him that’s worried Otabek is only doing all this because of how kind he is, rather than any sort of feelings he might still hold for Yuri. How can he look at what Yuri has allowed and still want him?

“Okay, let’s change the bandages then.”

Otabek lightly shifts Yuri off his lap and retrieves the bag the hospital sent them home with. While he’s organizing the items on the small coffee table Yuri watches as the kitten climbs its way onto the kitchen counter, where small dishes of food and water are sitting. It’s odd seeing an animal in his space, but as much as he wants to resent the kitten for its existence he doesn’t. It didn’t choose to be here anymore than Yuri chose to be at the Leroy’s estate.

“Ready?” Otabek asks, kneeling down in front of Yuri. Yuri gives a small affirmative noise and Otabek gives Yuri’s shirt a light tug. “You’re going to have to take this off. Is that okay?”

“I’ve sat naked in your lap more than a dozen times. If you’re gonna get weird about everything now I might as well do this myself.” Yuri knows his tone is harsh, but he refuses to be pitied right now.

“Hey,” Otabek chastises, gripping Yuri’s chin to draw his face back forward. “I’m new to this too. I don’t know what you need unless you tell me, and I’m not going to risk fucking things up right now.”

“Well I don’t know what I need right now, but I know I need you not to treat me like I’m made of glass.”

“Kitten, you’re the furthest thing from glass,” Otabek says sincerely, moving his hand from Yuri’s chin to the side of his face. “I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as strong or resilient as you, and I certainly wouldn’t treat you like you’re breakable.”

“You’re a sap,” Yuri says quietly, leaning forward to rest his forehead against Otabek’s, “I’m sorry I keep yelling at you.”

“Nothing I can’t handle,” Otabek grins, leaning forward to brush his nose against Yuri’s. “I know things are messed up right now, but I promise their going to get better.”

“You don’t know that.”

“I do, because I’m going to make sure of it. Now let’s get you cleaned up.”

Yuri pulls his shirt over his head with great care to his injured side and then waits as Otabek gently peels the tape holding on the gauze.

It should probably hurt more than it does, but instead of the physical pain Yuri tries to focus on the small aches that work their way through his chest as Otabek leans in closer. He’s never heard of a bond having such negative side effects, but then again most of the couples he knows wanted the bond in the first place.

As Otabek works his way from Yuri’s shoulder to his neck, Yuri slowly tilts his head to give better access. It doesn’t take more than a minute, but once the last of the bandages have been removed Yuri’s left with a nervous flutter building in his stomach.

Otabek doesn’t slow as he throws the old bandages into a plastic bag and then begins the slower process of cleaning the stitches with the solution provided by the hospital. It doesn’t sting, for which Yuri is grateful, but it does ache dully as Otabek does his best to clean the wounds.

“It’s already looking better,” he says calmly. “It might not even need to be covered. Do you want to see it now?”

Yuri really doesn’t want to see it, in fact, if everyone could just pretend that nothing is there that would be great, but he knows that’s not reasonable, and he can’t continue to avoid it forever. The longer he spends ignoring the marks the more he’s building them up. He needs to know what they look like, so he can accept them and move on.

“Could you describe them to me?” he asks meekly.

“Yeah, whatever you want. Here,” Otabek takes Yuri’s hand in his own and folds his fingers until only Yuri’s pointer finger is extended. He then brings Yuri’s hand to his own neck and begins to draw a wide crescent shape in the space where his neck and shoulder meet. “The stitches are here because two other bites were placed so closely here and here,” he moves Yuri’s finger a fraction of an inch down and draws another semicircle. “There’s another here,” he moves over to the space just before the ball of his shoulder and traces a full circle, “and then one more here,” lastly, he traces another full circle between the others.

“That’s all?” Yuri asks stiffly, curling his fingers around Otabek’s shirt and trying desperately to hide the tremble in them. He doesn’t know what he was expecting of the bites, but he had pictured them as something more gruesome and grotesque.

“That’s all. And they really are healing well. I wouldn’t lie to you about that.”

“I know. I still want to cover them up before we leave though. I don’t want anyone seeing them and asking questions.”

“Okay, you should probably let them breathe tonight though.”

“Fine,” Yuri sighs. “Can you just cover them up now. I don’t- I don’t want to see them right now.”

Otabek nods as he starts to cut pieces of gauze to cover the bites again. “When were done here we can take the cat to my place and then go to The Castle. That is if you want to take her.”

Yuri looks to the cat lounging on the kitchen counter and tries to will himself to leave it behind, but he can’t. He knows how miserable it is to be locked away, alone, and without another person for comfort. He won’t do that to someone else, even if it is just a cat. “Yeah we can take her.”

Once the marks are safely concealed again Yuri and Otabek gather the cats few belongings and head for Otabek’s apartment. It only takes a few minutes and then Yuri waits as Otabek takes the cat up.

Once he’s alone he can feel the phone JJ left behind burning a hole in his pocket. It wasn’t turned on when he picked it up, and although he has no reason to hide it he did make sure to grab it when Otabek’s back was turned. He shouldn’t wonder about its contents, but a twisted part of his mind wants to know if JJ has any more to say, if his letter was only the beginning.

Otabek’s door opening breaks Yuri’s train of thought, and he tries to give a smile that he can feel comes off as more of a grimace.

“Ready?”

“Yeah, let’s figure out what the hell all this means.”

 

-

 

 

Yuri doesn’t know if he should have called before they headed over to the club, but it’s too late to do so now. Instead, he stands outside Yuuri’s ajar office door with Otabek’s silent presence behind him. Even with the door slightly closed he feels exposed though, like Yuuri will look at him and know everything that’s happen, which he will in a way. It’s kind of hard to ignore the bandages that he forced Otabek to reapply or the fact that his scent is no longer his own.

“Hello?” Yuuri suddenly calls through the door. “Otabek, is that you? I thought you were at the hospital with Yuri.”

With a final deep breath Yuri opens the door and enters. “I got out of the hospital this morning.”

“Yurio,” the pregnant omega gasps. “Oh my god.” Yuuri heaves himself from his office chair and practically penguin waddles into Yuri’s arms. “I didn’t recognize your scent. I’ve been so worried about you. I’m so happy you’re okay.”

Yuuri’s belly is the only thing keeping their bodies from being fully pressed together, but Yuuri doesn’t seem to mind as he squeezes Yuri tightly. “I can’t believe I didn’t realize what was happening sooner. I’m so sorry, Yuri.” Yuuri lets out a few quiet sniffles, and when he finally pulls back his eyes are damp with unshed tears.

“It’s okay,” Yuri sighs, because what else can he say? He can’t tell Yuuri that he should have intervened, that’s not fair or true.  Yuuri’s in far too delicate a state to be doing anything too strenuous, and there’s no way he could have known what was happening. “I need to talk to you though.”

“Of course. Chris,” Yuuri calls behind him as they all file into the room. “Can you give us some privacy?”

“You know you’re not supposed to be alone right now, Yuuri. Victor would kill me if anything happened.”

“I’m not going to be alone,” Yuuri snaps, “and you can tell my mate that if he’s so worried he should be here himself.”

The tension between the two men is so thick that it’s practically palatable, and Yuri silently thanks whatever deity it was that made Chris a beta, because there’s no way he could stand the scent of an alpha’s anger right now.

The stare down last only a few moments before Chris turns his attention on Otabek. “Fine, we should talk anyway. But I’ll be close by if you need me.”

Yuuri sighs, slowly lowering himself back into his office chair as Chris and Otabek take their leave. “You would think I was due any day now with how worked up Victor’s been, although I guess the fighting has put us both more on edge lately.”

Yuuri rubs at his eyes with the palms of his hands before placing them on the desk and giving Yuri a weak smile. “I really am happy you’re okay.”

“Has Chris been helping you around The Castle?” Yuri asks, unwilling to dwell on the details of his absence.  

“At The Castle, at home, hell, he even went with me to my appointment last week,” Yuuri scoffs. “Victor’s been worried since the doctor told me to cut back my hours. I’ve barely had a moment to myself. Now that you’re back though maybe things will be better. I know I’d much rather have you around all day than Chris.”

“You want me to come back to work?”

“Of course. Unless you don’t want to,” Yuuri adds quickly. “I would completely understand if you would rather be as far for me as possible. I know with everything that’s happened you might not feel safe being here, and I would completely understand.”

“No, I- I want to come back. I just didn’t know if you would still want me to.”

“Yuri, you didn’t do anything wrong here. I promise I want you around, especially if that means not having to deal with Chris all the time.”

“I don’t want to be the reason you and Victor are fighting though.”

An uneasy feeling sits in the bottom of Yuri’s stomach, and he’s not sure if it’s the bond or the knowledge that what’s happened has been upsetting Yuuri. Pregnancies are hard enough on an omega, and if something were to happen Yuri’s not sure he could handle the guilt.

“You aren’t the reason we’re fighting,” Yuuri reassures him. “Victor made the wrong choice when he chose to lie to me about what was going on, but he knows that won’t stand any longer. We really aren’t fighting about it anymore anyway; the babies just make me a little more hormonal than normal. What did you need to talk about though? I’m sure you didn’t come here to listen to me complain.”

“Oh, that,” Yuri swallows thickly and wills his hands to stay in his lap and away from the marks on his neck. “I wanted to ask you about some of the side effects of bonding. You were bonded before you mated with Victor, right?”

“Just once, but the side effects between the two are really quite similar, the only difference is that everything with mating was more intense. Did you have something specific you wanted to know or just general side effects?”

“It hurts when Otabek gets close,” Yuri brings a hand to the center of his chest and rubs at the phantom pains that had dispersed earlier. “Like we can be in the same room, but if his scent is too strong, or if he tries to help me calm down with it, it feels like I’m being stabbed in the chest. I’ve never heard anyone talk about this before, so I don’t know what to do or if it’s even normal.”

Yuuri gives a sympathetic sigh and reaches a hand out to cup Yuri’s. “That’s normal of a new bond. It’s your body trying to remind you that your alpha isn’t there or trying to warn you off an alpha that’s gotten too close. It never happened when I was bonded, but the first few months after Victor and I were mated were particularly hard. It does get better the longer the bond is established though.”

“How has no one mentioned this to me before? I thought bonds were supposed to feel good?”

“They do,” Yuuri affirms, “They can be amazing. It’s a connection to another person on a level that’s so much deeper than emotions. I remember when Victor and I first mated, I was so overwhelmed that I couldn’t stop crying, but I could feel how elated and relaxed Victor was, and it made everything feel alright again. And whenever one of us is overwhelmed or tired the other can feel it and help to make things better.” Yuuri looks thoughtful as he places a hand to the center of his chest. “And I can feel when he’s thinking of me, it’s nice.”

A deep sadness fills Yuri as he listens to his boss and friend describe some of the positives of being bonded. “I don’t have any of that. I just get flashes of feelings that aren’t mine, and this pain when I’m with the person I actually want to be with.”

“Your situation is different, Yuri. You didn’t choose to be bonded the way I did. You’re fighting the connection. Which is completely understandable, but that doesn’t mean that a bond with someone else wouldn’t be better.”

“I don’t want a bond with someone else,” Yuri declares. “I don’t even want to experience another heat again, and when I get ahold of Lilia again I won’t have to.”

“Yuri, that’s so dangerous. Your body needs time to regulate itself. You don’t know what could happen if you neglect your heats like that again.”

“I’m not talking about this anymore. I can come back to work tomorrow, but in about two weeks I’ll need a day off to have the bond broken.”

A small gasp leaves Yuuri’s lips. “Is that safe so soon?”

“The doctor told me it was fine as long as I gave my body time to heal first, and I’m not dealing with this any longer than I have to. If I could break it right now I would.”

“You can have off until after it’s broken. There’s really no rush for you to come back, your job will still be here for you,” Yuuri reassures him. “And if you need time to rest you should take it.”

“No, what I need is for everything to go back to normal, and if I’m hiding away from everything, that’s not normal.”

A dull ache is working its way behind Yuri’s ribs again, and as much as he tries to ignore it, it only continues to grow. It’s not the same sharp pains he gets from Otabek’s scent though. This feels weaker, almost like a second pulse working its way through his chest.

“Do you know what the different feelings mean? Like my chest is tight and my ribs ache like I’ve been kicked from the inside right now.”

“It could be that your body is trying to get you to seek out your bonded partner,” Yuuri says sadly. “It’s hard to know for sure. It could also be that he’s thinking of you or even missing you.”

Yuri lets out an angry scoff and shakes his head. “He doesn’t miss me. He was using me, the same way I was using him.”

“It’s probably just a side effect of being apart so soon after the bond was established then.”

“It must be,” Yuri says firmly. “Do you think he can feel how much I hate him?”

A quite laugh leaves Yuuri’s throat and he gives a small tilt of his head. “I know I can feel when Victor’s upset, or if something is irritating him, so if the feelings are strong enough I’m sure he’ll feel them.”

“Good. I hope he spends the next two weeks feeling nothing but how much I want him out of my life, because once this bond is broken I won’t have anything to do with him.”

Chapter Text

“Yuri, just let me make up the sofa-bed in the office. You’ll be the first person to use it.”

Yuri glares from his place in Otabek’s bed and pretends like he isn’t clutching his chest like his life depends on it. “I’m fine.”

“You’re not fine,” Otabek sighs. “You’re practically holding your breath, and your knuckles are starting to turn white.”

“Shut up and come to bed,” Yuri snaps.

He knows he’s being unreasonable, that there’s really no way he’s going to be able to get any sleep surrounded by Otabek’s scent, but the idea of being alone right now sounds even more miserable.

“There’s still some of your scent dampening soap in the shower. I could use it and we could sleep in the office on the sofa-bed together.”

A rush of warmth spreads through Yuri at Otabek’s offer, but it’s replaced with guilt almost just as quickly. Otabek has been nothing but accommodating, but Yuri can’t help but feel like he’s keeping a dirty secret.

“That would be great actually. I could make the bed and then shower when you’re done.”

“Whatever you want, kitten. Clean sheets are in the hall closet.” Otabek leans down and places a light kiss to the crown of Yuri’s head before gathering clean clothes and heading to the bathroom, and Yuri doesn’t waste anytime climbing out of Otabek’s bed and heading for the office, feeling only slightly guilty to be fleeing Otabek’s scent.

The sofa-bed is surprisingly comfortable for coming out of a couch. It’s not anywhere as comfortable as Otabek’s bed, but it’s almost on par with Yuri’s futon by the time he finishes applying clean sheets and bedding.

While he waits, Yuri pulls his hidden phone from his pocket and looks it over again. It’s a new model of the one JJ kept from him, but other than that he can’t tell much. While he’s examining it, the phone accidentally slips from his fingers and lands in the middle of his chest with a dull thud. A physical reminder that he needs to make a decision. He can’t carry the phone around forever. He needs to turn it on or throw it away. Face whatever happens or move on now without looking back.

His curiosity wins out in the end, and he powers the device on and waits. It only takes a few moments, but his heart speeds with each passing second. What if there’s nothing? He could have been thinking about this all day for nothing. But then again, what if there’s something?

The phone vibrates in his hand and the message indicator lights up with a small number three. With nervous energy Yuri presses the icon and reads the messages.

JJ- I heard you’re out of the hospital. Did you like your gift?

JJ- You seem upset, is there anything I can do?

JJ- I’ve missed you today. Call me soon.

The last message came in just an hour ago, and Yuri’s not sure what to do now. As silly as it is to admit, he had almost expected the messages to clear things up. Like maybe JJ would admit that things had gotten out of hand and that he didn’t wish to be bonded as well. Or at the very least maybe he would explain why he does. Instead he seems to be moving forward as if the last two weeks never happened. Maybe he’s more damaged than Yuri realized.

It’s while Yuri’s contemplating all this though that the typing icon appears bellow JJ’s messages, and his stomach drops at the sight.

JJ- I was beginning to think you would ignore me forever.

JJ- I would ask how you’re feeling, but I can tell somethings bothering you. Tell me what you need, and I’ll get it for you.

A scoff leaves Yuri’s throat, and for a moment he’s so angry he doesn’t think about the consequences before he writes back.

Yuri- What I need is for you to never contact me again. You’re fucking crazy if you think there is anything but hate between us.

A flash of sadness rips through Yuri, but it’s gone so fast he almost feels like he imagined it.

JJ- Princess please. You must feel how much I want this. Don’t you want to at least try? Why waste such a perfect opportunity

Yuri- You’re delusional. I used you to try and bring your side business down, and you kidnapped me in some insane ploy to make your wife stay with you, so you could profit off her family’s business. We have nothing between us

JJ- There’s something here. I know you feel it, and I’m not going to give up on us so easily.

JJ- Meet with me tomorrow. We can talk and figure out how to move forward.

Yuri- There is no us, and I’ll be moving forward on my own when this bond is broken. Until then I don’t want anything to do with you.

Yuri powers off the phone and shoves it under his pillow for good measure. He’s not an idiot, if JJ wants to meet with him it’s because he thinks there something more to be gained from him, but just what that is Yuri has no idea.

“Hey,” Otabek calls as he enters the room, “you okay?”

Yuri looks up and for a second his mouth goes dry and he’s unable to answer. While him and Otabek have gotten off together several times, he rarely has the opportunity to admire all of him like this. The tattoos across his neck and chest stand out against his lightly tanned skin, and since Otabek’s currently in nothing but low hung sleep pants as he dries his hair with a towel, Yuri watches as drops of water run down the plains of his chest and abs. He wishes the alpha were close enough to touch right now because if he could he would chase the droplets with his tongue.

“I’m good,” Yuri croaks, a light blush dusting his cheeks as the sides of Otabek’s lips rise in a cocky grin.

“Alright, well the showers free now.”

Yuri swings his legs over the side of the bed and swallows thickly. He hasn’t felt any sort of arousal since his heat, but the light sparks that are racing through him now aren’t anything like the hot pain of his heat. It’s not until he’s almost in front of Otabek though that a strange feeling starts to settle in. It’s not the sharp pains he gets from Otabek’s scent, instead it’s almost like something is urging him to step back.

“Fuck,” Yuri whispers, as the arousal he was feeling slowly gives way to new feelings of unease.

“You okay?” Otabek reaches out to cup the side of Yuri’s face.

“Yeah, just a weird feeling.” Yuri rubs at his chest to try and disburse the strangeness. “I can’t explain it, but it’s almost like something is telling me to get back.”

“It could be—"

“I know,” Yuri interrupts, unwilling to spoil the moment further with talk of the bond. “I’m gonna shower now, we can talk about it later.” Only he doesn’t actually want to talk about it, so they won’t.

 

 

-

 

 

The next week passes with surprising normalcy. Yuri goes back to work for Yuuri, getting back into rhythm with the finances and even helping to put the last-minute touches on the nursery. He hasn’t seen Lilia yet, but they both agreed that for the time being he’s going to step back. She doesn’t know what happened yet, but she hinted that she never believed he was sick in St. Petersburg.

He got a new phone, one that JJ doesn’t have the number to, and while he was away Otabek picked up his car from the shop. It’s never drove so smoothly before and having a means of escape from any situation has helped to ease some of the tension that’s been following him.

“They seem to be healing well,” Yuuri says casually, clicking the pieces of the crib mobile into place. He’s gone full out on the jungle theme, and each crib is out fitted with a different mobile with small jungle animals.

“They itch now, but I guess that just means they’re healing.” Yuri doesn’t like to talk about the marks with Otabek, but for some reason it’s easiest with Yuuri. He doesn’t judge or ask probing questions, and Yuri doesn’t feel the sense of guilt he normally gets when he talks about the marks with Otabek.  

“Have you scheduled your appointment to have it broken yet?”

“Thursday. It’s in the morning though, so I should be able to come into The Castle in the afternoon.”

Yuuri inhales sharply but doesn’t look up from where he’s stringing the plastic animals on the crib mobile. “You should take the whole day. It might hit you harder than you think.”

Yuri pauses in his folding of tiny baby clothes and turns to face Yuuri fully. “I want this gone. It’s not going to be something I cry over.”

“I didn’t mean it like that, Yuri. It’s just that you’ve never had a bond break before, it doesn’t feel great.”

“What does it feel like?” he asks quietly.

“Like… losing someone,” Yuuri replies sadly. “It’s hard to explain, but when mine broke I just felt extremely sad. We had both agreed not to reestablish the bond, but that didn’t make it easier. It still felt like I was losing something important.”

“Mine won’t be like that.”

“I hope not. Now, help me up,” Yuuri demands from the floor. “I should have never sat down here.”

Yuri laughs and helps to heave Yuuri back to his feet. “God, you’re heavy.”

“Hey, there’s three of us,” Yuuri whines, “and the rocking chairs should be here sometime next week. Then I won’t have to resort to the floor anymore.”

“That’s good, because if you get any bigger I won’t be able to pick you back up.”

“You could use some more muscle mass, maybe I’ll sit on the floor more often,” Yuuri teases.

“Do it and I’ll leave you there,” Yuri teases back.

Once they get both crib mobiles attached and all the clothes put away, they retire to the sitting room for tea. It’s well past time for Yuri to leave, but Victor isn’t home yet, and no matter how much Yuuri insists that he’s fine on his own, Yuri isn’t willing to risk him and the babies. They chat about The Castle, and some of the changes Yuuri is looking to implement, and Yuuri even asks for Yuri’s opinions on most of the things.

It’s during his second glass of tea though that the aching in his chest starts. It seems to come and go at random, but as much as he tries to ignore it his face must reveal some sort of discomfort.

“What’s happening now?” Yuuri asks, taking both their cups and sitting them on the table.

“Nothing, just that achy feeling again.” He’s almost positive this is the feeling for when JJ is thinking of him, but it doesn’t feel at all how Yuuri made it out to be. He doesn’t feel comforted or warm, just slightly sick.

“Have you talked to him?”

Yuri whips his head up from his chest so quickly he’s surprised his neck doesn’t ache. “Why would I talk to him? I don’t have anything to say.”

“Of course. I just thought it might help with the side effects.”

They fall into a slightly awkward silence before Yuuri finally breaks it.  “Can I ask you something personal?”

 “Sure,” Yuri shrugs; Yuuri already knows more about him than most.

“How are things with you and Otabek?”

Yuri sniffs and wipes his nose with the back of his hand. “They’re fine.”

“Have you talked about what happened?”

“No. We don’t need to talk about it. He can see my neck, he knows what’s happened.”

“Well yeah, but you two are okay?”

Yuri opens his mouth to answer and then pauses. They are good, aren’t they? They haven’t talked about what happened, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t okay. Yuri’s just not sure how Otabek would react to the truth of his bonding with JJ, and a small voice in the back of his head keeps whispering that once he knows all the details he might leave, and that’s not something Yuri is ready to accept yet.

“I think so. Things aren’t completely normal yet, but they don’t feel that weird. Once the bond is broken I’m sure things will go back to normal, it’s just that right now his scent really fucks me up.”

“So, you guys haven’t...” Yuuri trails off, a light blush coloring his cheeks, and when Yuri realizes what he’s asking he blushes as well.

“No, we haven’t done anything like that since I got back. He’s been washing with scent dampeners, but I don’t know how I would react to his scent if he was... well you know.” Yuri takes a sip of his tea to distract himself for a moment. “Is that weird?”

“Not at all,” Yuuri assures him. “I would be nervous about that too. And if you’re having the bond broke in less than a week there isn’t any reason to rush things. Can I ask one more question though?”

Yuri groans and leans back into his seat. “What?”

“Do you think you’ll ever want a bond in the future? With Otabek I mean.”

The achy feeling behind his ribs is trying to make itself known again, and Yuri rubs lightly at his chest before he answers.

“I really don’t know. Before everything I was considering it, but now… what if we do and it’s just as bad as right now, or what if it’s worse?” There’s a light stinging behind his eyes and he tries to ignore it by focusing on the aching in his chest.

“But what if it’s better? I never thought I would find someone that could love me the way Victor does, but I did and it’s so amazing.”

“and I’m happy for you, but I don’t know if I’m ever going to be ready for something like that. The idea of another heat makes me feel ill, and without one there isn’t a chance of being able to bond anyway. I just don’t know if it’s something I’ll ever be able to do.”

“So, you’re still planning on resuming suppressants after the bonds broken? Have you told Otabek yet?”

“I don’t see why that’s any of your business,” Yuri glares. “It’s not like we—" the sound of the front door closing stalls Yuri. He’s managed to avoid Victor since he’s resumed his work, and he’d like to keep that streak going. “I’m gonna head home now. I’ll meet you at the club tomorrow.”

 

-

 

 Yuri’s been parked outside Otabek’s apartment building for a long time. The ache in his chest has only increased on his drive, and there’s a sick pull in his stomach urging him to seek out his bonded partner.

He sits in the silence of his car for another five minutes before he finally opens the glovebox and pulls out the phone JJ gave him. He powers it on with nervous fingers, ignoring the buzzing from incoming texts, and selecting the call button.

It doesn’t even finish the second ring before JJ answers. He sounds out of breath and excited, like he’d been clutching the phone and eagerly awaiting Yuri’s call.

“Yuri, Yuri, is that you?”

It’s the first time Yuri’s heard his voice since he left, and as much as he thought he would be unaffected, that isn’t the case. He can feel as a wave of relief courses through from JJ, and his traitorous body begins to relax at the feeling.

“Princess, please. Say something.”

“Stop thinking about me,” Yuri says curtly. “It fucking hurts, and you’ve already hurt me enough.”

A small wounded sound leaves JJ’s lips. “I never meant to hurt you, Yuri. I didn’t even try to see you until you asked for me. You practically begged me to bond with you.”

“Because I was so desperate I thought I was going to die, and you should have realized how fucked up I was and never tried to establish a bond in the first place. I could- I could have died,” Yuri stutters, closing his eyes as his vision starts to get hazy. “I almost died, and you only gave a shit about yourself.”

Yuri’s breaths are starting to come faster. Maybe Yuuri was right, maybe he should have been talking about everything that’s happened, because right now the reality of it feels like it’s crushing him.

“I would never have let that happen,” JJ says fervently, and Yuri can hear as doors slam in the background of the call. “I promise, Yuri. You have to believe me.”

“You kidnapped me,” Yuri shrieks, his chest heavy as he clutches it tightly, the pinprick of his nails helping to provide some clarity. “I don’t trust anything about you. Why are you still trying to talk to me? I hate you, and I actively tried to fuck you over.”

“I told you, princess, I never lied to you. I want you, and now more than ever is the perfect time. Bella is taking some time for herself in the states, and my father already knows about you. We can make this work, just the two of us. We can- we can go away together, just for a little while, while things settle. We can go anywhere you want, just name a place.”

“I’m having the bond broken. You’re clearly delusional if you can’t even accept that what happened between us was never real.”

The line goes eerily quiet for a moment before Yuri’s hit with a wave of anxiety so strong it brings his breath up short. “You can’t do that. Yuri, this bond was meant to be. How can you not feel it?”

“I. Hate. You,” Yuri enunciates slowly. “How do you not feel that? You’re a selfish, arrogant prick, and if you come anywhere near me I swear to god you’ll regret it.”

“Yuri, please,” JJ whispers, and something inside Yuri twists painfully at the plea. “I need you. My father is in the process of setting Bella up with a position on the board of directors, and as long as I have you everything will work itself out. We only need to go away for a little while, I promise. We can have it all: the company, the connections from the Yang’s. It’s so perfect, Yuri.”

Yuri isn’t quick enough to stifle the sob that rips out of his throat, and he bites down on the knuckles of his free hand to bring the noise to an end. JJ isn’t listening. He doesn’t care about how Yuri feels or what he wants, he just wants what he thinks he’s owed in life.

“Hey, don’t cry, princess,” JJ coos, and Yuri can feel as waves of concern and worry wash over him from the bond. “I know things are complicated now, but they won’t always be. Let me come get you. I promise what happened last time will never happen again.”

Yuri chokes on another sob and tightens his grip on his phone until his fingers ache. “I don’t want you. I never wanted you. Just leave me alone.”

“I wish I could, princess, I really do, but I made a commitment and I can’t take it back. My father knows that we risk losing the Yang’s if Bella isn’t happy, but he’s still not willing to hand over the company without his demands being met.”

“Then hire a surrogate and leave me out of it. Why would you want someone that so clearly doesn’t want anything to do with you, anyway? Is that what gets you off? Chasing after something that you will obviously never have.”

Yuri’s phone lets out a small beep to indicate the call was disconnected, and he pulls it from his face to gape before the opening of the passenger side door draws his attention.

The scent of an alpha quickly fills the small space, and it’s so sudden that Yuri feels frozen with it. Every part of Yuri aches with the need to reach out and touch his bonded partner, to sooth the sense of longing that’s clung to him since he woke up in the hospital, but the rational part of his brain knows better, and he quickly reaches for the handle of the door.

“Stop,” JJ commands, a grimace coming to his face almost as soon as he says it. “Please, Yuri. Just hear me out.” He says the last part as a request rather than a command, but Yuri’s pulse is already racing in his veins. JJ is here. He’s basically trapped Yuri in his car, and with the safety of Otabek’s apartment so close.

“I’ll scream,” Yuri says tightly. “I won’t go with you willingly. Someone will hear me.”

“I’m not here to take you right now,” JJ sighs. “I only wanted a moment to prove to you that this can work.”

“I’m with Otabek. No matter what you’ve been able to delude yourself into thinking, I’ll never pick you. I’ve already chosen and it’s not you.”

JJ’s nostrils flair and his hands fist into tight knots before he takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, relaxing his hands and shoulders as he goes. “That thug doesn’t care about you. He never put his mark on you or tried to bond you. He left you with me for more than a week, that doesn’t sound like the work of a man that gives a shit.”

“He didn’t mark me because he respected my feelings on the matter, and the fact that I was trying to fool you into a relationship. And he didn’t ‘leave me with you’, he couldn’t get to me.”

“And how do you know that?” JJ scoffs. “because my sources tell me that he wasn’t even attempting to find you. He carried on like you were never gone and only gave a shit when he realized he was going to be losing a piece of tail to me.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” Yuri growls, but a small seed of doubt is working its way through him. Why did Otabek take so long to get to him? “What I have with Otabek is more real than anything we pretended to have. Now get the fuck out of my car.”

“Ask him where he was while you were gone,” JJ sneers. “See just how much he cared about your ‘disappearance’ because I can assure you he only wants what I have, and I do have you, Yuri. Whether you want to admit it or not, there’s a connection between us, and it’s deeper than whatever feelings you think you have for that henchman. I could give you everything. What can he offer you?”

JJ’s scent has slowly been taking on a more oppressive tinge, and as his anger grows so does Yuri’s inability to think clearly. He feels like he’s constantly fighting the instinct to bare his neck in a sign of submission to bring some peace to the situation, and the longer he spends in JJ’s presence the tighter his skin is feeling. It’s as if every part of him is urging him to just give in and accept what’s happened, but his biology doesn’t get to control him anymore. He won’t make the same mistake a second time.

“Get out, and take this with you,” Yuri tosses JJ the phone he gifted him with. “This is the last time I ever want to see or hear from you. I mean it, JJ.”

JJ reaches out and snags the neck of Yuri’s shirt, pulling him closer before using his free hand to stretch the fabric back to reveal the bite marks. He presses hard at the space separating two of the bites, and as much as they’ve healed over in the last week it still hurts like hell, leaving Yuri gasping in his grasps. “You can break our bond, but you can’t hide these. I’ll always be a part of you, Yuri, and the sooner you accept that the easier this all will be.” JJ places an open-mouthed kiss to the mark nearest Yuri’s nape, only releasing him when Yuri lets out a broken sob. “Don’t cry, princess. Just stop fighting it. I can feel how resistant you are, but it will all be so much easier if you just relax and give in.”

The words are spoken directly into Yuri’s ear, and it feels like a piece of his sanity is breaking with each one. Even with JJ pressed too him his chest is aching, as if his biology and mind are at war trying to get him to both flee and press himself more firmly to the alpha.

“I’m not going anywhere with you. You’re crazy and I hate you.” Yuri’s voice only cracks once, but JJ releases him all the same, slowly drawing back until their faces are just a hair’s breadth apart.

“I want you, Yuri. I know it doesn’t make any sense, and I know it would be easier to find someone else, but there’s something about you that I can’t let go of. I want you, and I always get the things I want.”

JJ pulls back the rest of the way slowly, leaving Yuri with a sinking feeling of fear as the alpha exits the vehicle and disappears into the night.

 

 

-

 

 

Yuri stumbles into the apartment on uncoordinated feet, his head a fog of emotions and racing thoughts. Otabek doesn’t appear to be anywhere in the main area, and he had to use his key to get in, so he assumes he’s alone and quickly makes his way to the kitchen to begin opening cabinets. He doesn’t drink often, it was never allowed when he was dancing at The Castle and now that he works mostly with numbers it wouldn’t be possible, but right now, now he wants to be drunk enough to forget the feel of JJ’s hands on him.

It’s in the third cabinet that he finds an expensive bottle of whiskey with only a quarter missing. He uncaps the bottle and takes a few deep pulls, fighting past the burning sensation that races its way down his throat.

He only stops when he has to pull back with a gasp to breathe, and then he fills a tall glass and makes his way to the living room. His head is already pounding, but there’s a slight buzz under his skin, reassuring him that the alcohol is as effective as it is expensive.

He’s about half way through his glass when he notices the aching in his chest has let up, and whether it’s a side effect of the alcohol or JJ finally dwelling on something else, he’s not going to risk getting sober enough to find out.

It’s close to an hour later, and most of the glass more, that Otabek arrives home. He must not notice Yuri’s terrible mood upon first entry because he greets Yuri like normal, bypassing the living room and stepping around the cat as it tries to weave its way between his legs. It’s his discovery of the bottle of whisky though that brings him back into the room with the bottle and a frown.

“Yura, did you drink all this yourself?” The bottle isn’t empty by any stretch of the imagination, but it is significantly lower than when Yuri started, and with the price tag Yuri wouldn’t be surprised if that’s part of the issue too.

“No, I shared it with all the people here,” Yuri scoffs, taking another swig from his glass before laying back on the couch. The room is starting to spin and for some reason Otabek’s presence is making him angry. He wasn’t here when Yuri arrived, and he doesn’t know what’s just happened, so he doesn’t get to judge him.

“I’m not judging you,” Otabek says calmly, and maybe Yuri was still speaking out loud, “but did something happen?”

Yuri sits his glass aside before struggling up and stumbling his way to Otabek. “You left me,” he accuses, poking Otabek in the chest with one finger.

“We both had work today. What do you mean I left you?” Otabek reaches down to grasp the finger Yuri is using to drive into his chest, cradling Yuri’s hand gently in his own.

“You left me there for nine days,” Yuri seethes, scoffing when a look of clarity passes over Otabek’s face. “Nine days with no way out, while I wondered where you were. Where were you? What was so much more important than the fact that I was missing? Did you even notice when I didn’t come back, is that why it took you so long? You didn’t care enough to notice I was gone.”

“That’s not true. I noticed the moment you didn’t call me when you should have, and—" Otabek takes a deep breath before going extremely still. “You saw him,” he says quietly, clearly clueing into JJ’s scent still clinging to Yuri’s skin.

“No. We’re talking about you right now,” Yuri snaps, pulling his hand back from Otabek and staggering back to his drink. “Why didn’t you look for me?”

“I did, Yuri. I looked for days, but I couldn’t storm the Leroy’s estate. I never would have made it onto the grounds, and I didn’t have any proof you were there, not until Bella confirmed it. And the moment I knew you were there and in trouble I went to you.” Otabek takes Yuri’s glass and sets it aside again, earning a glare from the omega. “Tell me what happened today. Where was he?”

“My car,” Yuri says wetly, his anger dispersing as his trembling hands reach for the neck of his shirt. “I called him. Not because I wanted to see him,” he adds quickly, “but because I wanted to know why. I never expected him to come to me, but I think he tracked my phone.”

“He touched you,” Otabek states flatly, and a broken sound escapes Yuri’s throat.

“He… He,” Yuri’s hands continue to flit around the neck of his shirt, and he lets out a growl in frustration. “It shouldn’t matter. He’s done worse.”

“That doesn’t make it okay. He never should have been allowed to get as close to you as he did. It won’t happen again.”

“You don’t know that.” Yuri sits back down and Otabek follows, giving him just enough space to not feel suffocated. “He’s not going to stop. Bella is gone and he’s still desperate. I don’t know what to do.”

“You don’t have to do anything, kitten. He never should have been able to get close to you again. Things are taking longer than we planned, but I swear he won’t be able to get to you for much longer.”

“Whatever you’re doing won’t change things. He said that it didn’t matter if I broke the bond because he would still be here.” Yuri’s finger tips linger around the bite marks, and Otabek reaches up to gently pull them away. “He’s right, Beka. These are going to scar and there’s nothing I can do.”

Yuri leans his head against Otabek’s shoulder and lets the tears gathered in his eyes fall. He wants to blame it on the drinking, but it wouldn’t be true. He’s been pretending everything is normal when it’s not, and JJ’s visit has forced him to face up to that fact.

“Scars don’t define you, Yuri. They change and fade, they’re a part of you, but they’re not you, and no matter what happens they will never count for anything unless you want them to.” Otabek runs a gentle hand through Yuri’s hair, helping to calm both Yuri’s breathing and his nerves.

“Do you think less of me?”

“Of course not,” Otabek says vehemently, cupping the back of Yuri’s head. “Nothing that happened was your fault, and I would never think less of you for it.”

“I asked for him,” Yuri whispers into Otabek’s shoulder, the confession bubbling up against his will. “When it was happening, and I was scared, I asked him to do it.” Something in Yuri cracks at the confession, like the floodgates have been opened, and he begins to cry in earnest. He’s been so afraid of Otabek finding out that he asked for the bond, and now that he knows there won’t be any reason for him to stay. He’ll see how weak Yuri was and he’ll hate him.

“I don’t care,” Otabek vows, and Yuri’s chest aches for and entirely different reason. “You were in heat. I know that if there had been any other way you wouldn’t have done that, but there wasn’t, and I don’t fault you.”

“He got to take everything,” Yuri sobs quietly, clinging to Otabek’s shirt. “If it had to happen it should have been you.”

“I told you before, he can’t take anything you don’t give him. This doesn’t count. He doesn’t count.”

“But they’ll still be there,” Yuri laments, bringing a hand up to touch the healing marks.

“Then you’ll get them covered,” Otabek says sternly, bringing Yuri’s hand up to touch the tattoos that cover his own neck. “or you’ll grow to see that they never mattered. Either way they don’t get to define you.”

“I don’t want to have another heat,” Yuri confesses. “I don’t care what the consequences are, I can’t go through that again.”

“I know,” Otabek sooths. “But you might not get to make that choice. The doctor said breaking the bond could trigger one, and if that’s the case I don’t see them allowing you to leave the hospital.”

Yuri crawls into Otabek’s lap, letting the alpha hold him close as he continues to cry. “I don’t know what to do.”

“You’ll be at the hospital, they can make sure this heat isn’t like the last one. It doesn’t have to be terrible, it’s not supposed to be terrible.”

“But it will be,” Yuri sniffles, “I’ll still be alone, and I don’t know if I can handle that again.”

“You don’t have to be alone,” Otabek says quietly, running a hand through Yuri’s hair when the smaller man’s breath catches.

“What do you mean?”

“What do you think I mean?” Otabek laughs, although it comes out a little hollow. “Yuri, I know things have gotten messed up, but that doesn’t change how I feel about you. If you don’t feel the same anymore I’ll understand, but I still want to be with you. Like actually be with you. I don’t want to hide our relationship in the shadows or pretend that I don’t want to be with you in every way. I care about you more than anyone, and I would be honored to help you through your heat.”

Yuri’s heart feels too large for his chest as it beats out an unsteady rhythm. If nothing’s changed for Otabek then he’s been keeping him at arm’s length for nothing. He’s been so afraid to push for anything more than simple comfort, out of fear that Otabek would reject him, but he doesn’t have to. Otabek still wants him.

“I want you too,” Yuri whispers, pressing his lips to Otabek’s neck as trembling breaths leave him. “I was so sure you wouldn’t want me anymore once you knew what happened.”

A broken whine leaves Otabek’s lips and he holds Yuri closer until their bodies begin to feel like one. “That could never happen, and I’m so sorry if I ever made you feel like that was a possibility.”

Otabek places light kisses to the side of Yuri’s face, and the fact that it’s the most physical they’ve been since Yuri’s returned almost makes Yuri start to cry again. “You didn’t. There was just this stupid voice in my head that kept telling me you wouldn’t want me anymore. That what happened was too much for you to overlook.”

“There isn’t anything to overlook, kitten.”

They stay in comfortable silence for a long time. Just breathing each other in and absorbing the physical comfort that Yuri has been denying to them both. He never knew he could miss someone he sees everyday so much, but with the barriers he built up crumbling he’s realizing just how much he’s missed all the small physical comforts Otabek affords to him, and while he has no idea what’s going to happen with JJ once the bond is broken, he does know that he wants Otabek to be there for him when he finds out.

“Did you mean what you said about wanting to help me if I go into heat?” Yuri asks, breaking the silence.

“Of course, but that’s only if you want me to. I’ll understand if you’d feel safer doing it alone. I meant what I said about the doctor’s being able to help you. It won’t be like last time.”

Yuri hums into Otabek’s shoulder and contemplates what a heat would look like alone while knowing that Otabek wants to be there, and the outcome is one that surprises him.

“I want you to be there,” he shivers. “I think if I knew you could be there and I denied myself, it would only make it harder.”

A small rumble emanates from Otabek’s chest, and a shiver runs down Yuri’s spine at the sound.

“I promise you this doesn’t have to lead to bonding. I know how you feel about it and I won’t push you.”

“Is that even a promise you can make?” Yuri considers. “Isn’t it supposed to be something instinctual? I mean if you help me by - by knotting, is there even anyway to avoid it?”

“Of course,” Otabek soothes. “Alpha’s are more in control than movies and books would have you believe. Hospitals and clinics wouldn’t be able to provide omegas with heat partners if they weren’t.”

Less than a month ago he was considering the possibility of bonding with Otabek, and now they’re ironing out the details on how to avoid it. Yuri nuzzles closer to Otabek’s neck and tries to only breathe through his mouth. He’s starting to sober up, and Otabek’s scent is beginning to cause some of its more negatives side effects. It makes his stomach feel sour to know that a scent he used to crave is now the cause of his discomfort.  

“I told Yuuri earlier tonight I was going to resume my suppressants again against my doctor’s advice. He thought I should have told you.”

“I already knew,” Otabek laughs, “or I had guessed as much. I know you don’t want children, Yuri, and that still isn’t a deal breaker. I don’t think I could in good conscience bring a child into this life. So, you wanting to do whatever you want with your body isn’t a problem, and you don’t have to answer to me. The only problem is if it becomes too much, and you end up using them as a way to harm yourself.”

“I don’t want to lose the control,” Yuri whispers. “It was the one thing that I got to decide. The one thing that I always had a say in. I don’t know what happens if I lose that.”

“You won’t be losing control by having your heats. You’ll be taking some of it back. You decide how they happen, where, and with who. You don’t have to lose anything by allowing your body time to heal.”

Otabek grips Yuri’s hip with one hand while the other brushes through his hair, and Yuri’s never felt as delicate or cared for as he does right now in this moment.

“I’m afraid if we bond it would be just as terrible as it is right now. It hurts when he thinks of me, and when I’m with you. I don’t think I could stand that happening with you too.”

Otabek slides his hands up to cup Yuri’s face, forcing the smaller man back enough to make eye contact. “What you’re experiencing right now isn’t typical of a bond, but I would never force you into one. I don’t need to bond with you to know that you’re the one that I want. As long as I have you like this, it’s enough.”

Yuri leans his forehead to rest gently against Otabek’s. He’s sobered up enough that the aches in his chest are starting to work their way back in, but even breathing in Otabek’s scent isn’t enough to make him move. He can feel words locked behind his teeth, threatening to break free, but now isn’t the time. He doesn’t want to tell Otabek how he feels with another alphas bond still swimming through him. He wants… he wants a bond with Otabek to show him how he feels.

“I want you to have all of me though.” Yuri closes his eyes tightly, purposely avoiding Otabek’s eyes.

“Yuri,” Otabek coaxes, “Yuri, look at me.”

Yuri does so slowly, opening his eyes with great effort, as if the weight of his confession holds them down.

“Do you mean that? Because I don’t want this to be something you say just because you think it’s what I want.”

“I mean it,” Yuri insists, reaching up to take Otabek’s hands in his own. “I was pushing you away because I was afraid, but before… before everything that has happened, I wanted it. And if you still want me like this, then I still want you like that.”

“You talk in circles,” Otabek grins, leaning forward to run his nose along Yuri’s. “And of course, I still want you. I’ll always want you, kitten.”

Yuri finally presses his lips to Otabek’s, and for the first time since his heat the pleasure that builds doesn’t feel shameful.

Chapter Text

Yuri grips Otabek’s hand tightly, hoping to steal away some of the alpha’s composure as the nurse presses the needle to his skin. The days leading up to this appointment have been difficult. Yuri could feel JJ’s anger and panic building, and while he doesn’t know what Otabek’s plans entail, he can tell they must be doing something to upset the alpha attached to his bond.

As the nurse discards the needle Yuri observes the small bandage she placed over the mark. It felt like nothing more than a common flu shot, and there’s a small part of him that’s almost disappointed. He expected something dramatic and all consuming, but nothing happens.

He closes his eyes and really tries to focus on the bond, and he’s greeted with an eager pulse in response. Almost like JJ’s taken notice of him pushing at their connection.  

“I don’t understand, I thought—” Yuri starts, but he’s cut off short when an icy wave of heat rushes through him. All at once he feels like he’s been dipped in ice so cold that it’s burning, and he can’t seem to catch his breath.

His whole body locks up as waves of pinpricks start at the top of his head and quickly work their way down and up again. It’s almost the same feeling you get when your leg falls asleep, but it’s constantly moving and growing in intensity. He tries to cry out, to reach for something other than Otabek’s hand, but he can’t move. He’s held immobile by the pain until suddenly it stops only to be replaced with a new ache starting in his chest and quickly spreading throughout his body.

“Keep breathing,” Otabek rumbles, petting Yuri’s hair back, and Yuri is suddenly very grateful that he allowed the doctor to talk him into taking the shot in a heat room with a real bed. “It’s going to get worse, but you have to keep breathing.”

Yuri cries out as feelings quickly flicker over the bond, first worry and shock, and then an anger so strong he feels he might choke on it. He tries to claw desperately at his chest, but Otabek’s there with gentle hands to coax Yuri’s nails away.

“You can do this,” he whispers vehemently into Yuri’s hair. “You’re so strong, Yura. Don’t fight it, just let it happen.”

Yuri tries to be strong, he really does, but tears spring to his eyes when his chest feels too tight to breathe. It doesn’t feel like a panic attack, it seems more real than that. As if his chest has actually been placed into a vice grip and someone is slowly turning the handle tighter.

“Plea— please,” Yuri manages to squeak out, and Otabek’s hold on him shifts.

“Can’t you give him something? Anything?”

“I’m afraid not,” the nurse replies meekly. “It’s mostly psychological at this point, so any pain medication we administer wouldn’t have an effect. I can assure you though that he seems to be going through the stages quickly. The bond doesn’t appear to be a strong one, so it shouldn’t be too long before it breaks.”

Otabek nods and places a light kiss to the crown of Yuri’s hair where sweat has already started to gather, trying to sooth him in any way that he can.

“I’m gonna be sick,” Yuri chokes out suddenly, just in time for the nurse to hand him a bowl to empty the contents of his stomach into.

Otabek holds his hair back, and Yuri can’t help but feel guilty for everything that’s happening. “I’m sorry,” he chokes out, acid still burning his throat.

“Nothing to be sorry for, kitten.” Otabek brushes more tangles from Yuri’s hair as Yuri clings to his chest with a grimace.

“I- I can feel him fighting it.” Tears cling to Yuri’s eyelashes as waves of panic and anger wash over him in quick succession. He knew breaking the bond wouldn’t be easy, but he never considered how it would feel to have JJ’s feelings on the matter racing through him. JJ seems to be holding onto their bond tightly, and with each breath Yuri can feel his resistance.

“What do I do?” He sobs, reaching blindly for Otabek’s hands. “Just make it stop.”

“I’m so sorry, kitten,” Otabek says helplessly, wrapping Yuri tighter in his arms. “It’s almost over.”

Yuri can feel sweat clinging to his skin, dampening his clothing and wetting his hair, but he’s so incredibly cold he’s shaking.

“Something’s wrong,” he cries, trembling in Otabek’s hold. “My- my heart feels like it’s going to beat through my chest.”

“Take deep breaths, Mr. Plisetsky,” the nurse interjects. “This next stage won’t be pleasant.”

Yuri has only just enough time to start to form a reply when something inside him suddenly feels like it shatters. It’s not a smooth break, sharp and clean. It’s a teacup slowly falling and smashing into dozens of tiny pieces, far too small to be reassembled. It feels like he’s had his insides ripped out and then sown back in wrong, like something important was left out. But overall, the feeling brings the overwhelming realization that whatever it was that tied him to JJ is gone, and that brings its own sense of peace, even as sobs begin to wrack his body.

Phantom pains of the bond echo across his skin, and no matter how hard he tries he can’t seem to stop the tears pouring from his eyes. Otabek doesn’t seem the least bit bothered by the display though, as he calmly pets through Yuri’s hair, letting small words of praise and encouragement fall from his lips.

“It may take some time before he feels like himself again,” the nurse murmurs to Otabek, “but he’s very lucky. Some bonds can take hours to break, it’s clear this one wasn’t strong.”

Otabek nods above Yuri’s head, pressing the smaller man closer to his chest. “You hear that, kitten? It’s over now, really over.”

Yuri cries quietly for several more minutes, pressing his face firmly to Otabek’s chest and only startling when he realizes Otabek’s scent is once again his own, full of comfort and warmth.

“Beka,” he croaks, sliding up to place his face closer to Otabek’s neck and breathing in deeply.

“I’m here, kitten. I’ve got you.”

“You smell like you again.”

“So do you,” Otabek laughs, placing light kisses to the top of Yuri’s head.

“I’m sorry to interrupt,” the nurse says modestly, “but I need to draw some blood to test for any heat hormones, and then you’re more than welcome to clean up while we wait for the results.”

Yuri rolls over with only a slight blush on his cheeks. After their talk the idea of a heat with Otabek doesn’t seem near as daunting as it once was, although he’s so exhausted, he’s not sure his body could manage it.

The nurse leaves once she’s done, informing Yuri of a tooth brush in the attached bathroom that he makes quick use of. When he returns to see Otabek calmly lounging on the bed a small burst of joy spreads through him. If he does have to face another heat, he’s glad to know it won’t be alone.

 

 

-

 

 

Yuri sleeps for several hours. The nurse comes and goes but each time he’s so exhausted he barely stirs, and it’s not until midafternoon that he’s fully awoken.

“Mr. Plisetsky,” a familiar voice calls, encouraging him into wakefulness.

“What?” he grumbles, his voice thick from sleep.

“I wanted to discuss some of your options regarding your heat.”

The mention of a heat causes hot waves of panic to race through Yuri as he’s forced quickly into full alertness. “It’s happening?” he asks weakly, startling when he realizes his joints have a familiar ache to them.

“It is,” Dr. Krasnoff confirms. “but you have several options available to you. If you’d like to stay in this room with your…”

“Boyfriend,” Yuri supplies, his ears heating at the word he hasn’t even said to Otabek.

“Then that can be arranged. You are also able to have the room to yourself with minimal monitoring if you prefer. The last option would be a clinic supplied heat partner but—” she pauses momentarily when a short growl escapes Otabek’s throat, continuing only when a sharp look to the alpha causes him to quiet.  “but I assume that option won’t be needed.”

“I want Otabek here,” Yuri says firmly, reaching back to grab Otabek’s hand.

“Then we need to talk contraception. If you would like we can administer a shot to prevent pregnancy, although with the intensity of your last heat I think the chances of being able to conceive so soon are relatively low.”

“I want the birth control shot. I’m not risking something like that.”

“Of course. I’ll have a nurse in shortly to administer it. There is one thing I’d like to discuss before I leave you though. I know all of this started due to an unwanted bond but if there’s any chance you’re going to replace it with a new bond I think we should talk about a timeline.”

“What sort of timeline?” Yuri asks with slight dread. Bonding didn’t end his last heat, but if it can work this time, he’s willing to try it sooner than later. “If bonding will make it end faster then I want to get it over with as soon as possible.”

“I understand that, but there is still the worry that without a full heat your body will still continue the heat anyway. Bonding right away may lessen some of the symptoms, but I really think your body stands the best chance of fully reregulating if you allow at least forty-eight hours before trying to establish a bond.”

Yuri can feel tears stinging his eyes at the doctor’s words and he rubs them to disperse the feeling. “I can’t do forty-eight hours. The last time… there was so much pain. I really thought I was going to die. I can’t do that again.”

“I’m confident that with a partner this heat will be much easier for your body to manage, but if that isn’t the case there is a few options when it comes to pain management. I think it would be best to start out without any aid though and only include it if you feel it’s needed.”

Yuri nods as he tries to will away the nervous flutter in his stomach. “How much time do I have?”

“Based off your blood test we expect your heat to arrive by morning. Since it was triggered by a bond break the warmup period isn’t nearly as long as a typical heat, but that also means the heat itself shouldn’t be as intense. Try not to worry too much though, Yuri. Just try and rest while you can.”

Once Dr. Krasnoff leaves Yuri rolls over to hide his face in Otabek’s chest. Otabek’s scent is warmer and more appealing than it’s been in weeks, and Yuri can’t stop himself from pulling in deep lungful’s until he’s dizzied with it.

A small chuckle causes him to pause though as heat floods his cheeks. “Don’t make fun of me.”

“I’m not,” Otabek assures, scooting down in the bed to align his face with Yuri’s. “I’ve just never heard you purr when you’re not sleeping.”

“I wasn’t purring,” Yuri snaps, warmth spreading from his face to his chest.

“If you say so,” Otabek smiles, placing a kiss to the warm skin of Yuri’s cheek. “How are you feeling?”

“A little tired but not bad yet.”

“Are you nervous?”

Yuri pauses at this. Is he nervous? He’s scared of the pain that’s possible with his heat, but he doesn’t regret asking Otabek to stay for it.

“No. I know you’ll take care of me.”

Otabek’s breath leaves him in a rush and his eyes soften as he brings Yuri’s hand to his lips for a firm kiss. “Always.”

 

 

-

 

 

Yuri paces around the small room for several minutes before Otabek interjects.

“What’s wrong, Yura?”

“I don’t know,” Yuri snaps back, rubbing at his nose. “It smells wrong in here.”

It’s nearly dawn and Yuri hasn’t been able to sleep for the last several hours. The sterileness of the room didn’t bother him at first, but now it seems to be all he can focus on. He can feel his temperature rising with every step he takes, but he can’t be bothered to care when the smell of bleach and disinfectants is still burning his nose.

“I can’t be here. I can’t have a heat here, Beka, I can’t.” Yuri’s aware of how dramatic he sounds, but it’s getting harder and harder to think rationally.

“Okay. Let me go make a call and I’ll be right back.” Otabek stands from the bed and Yuri’s eyes go wide as instant panic seizes him.

“You’re leaving?”

“I’m going into the hall. I’ll be right back, you won’t even notice I’m gone.” Otabek places a kiss to the top of Yuri’s head as he passes, and Yuri has to resist the urge to pull him back from the door. His throat feels tight as the door clicks closed, but he refuses to cry over something so miniscule. Otabek can leave the room, he’ll be back, he’s not going to leave him in here.

The alpha’s only gone a few minutes but the second he opens the door Yuri’s in his arms.

“Hey, it’s okay, kitten,” Otabek soothes, running his hands along Yuri’s smaller frame. “I’m here.”

“Don’t leave me,” Yuri croaks, hating how weak and vulnerable he sounds. “Please.”

“I won’t,” Otabek vows, reaching down to scoop Yuri up and carry him to the bed, “I promise. If we need anything else, I’ll page for the nurse. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“I’m not scared,” Yuri lies, hiding his face in Otabek’s neck. “It’s just that trying to do this alone didn’t go so well last time.”

“I know. I’m sorry, kitten. It won’t happen again.”

“It’s okay,” Yuri sighs, soaking in Otabek’s scent while trying to discreetly rub his own onto the alpha, although judging by the upturn of Otabek’s lips he’s not being as inconspicuous as he thought. “Who did you call?”

“Yuuri. I needed a favor and he seemed like the best option.”

“You asked your bosses husband to do something for you?” Yuri scoffs. “What was it?”

“You’ll see soon. Why don’t you try and sleep for now? You’re getting pretty warm so I don’t think it will be too long now.”

“It still smells wrong in here,” Yuri pouts, but being pressed against Otabek has caused most of his anxiety to fade and be replaced with a bone deep exhaustion, so as much as he’d like to continue to complain he really can’t.

“Just sleep,” Otabek urges with a smile.

 

 

-

 

 

When Yuri wakes again it’s to the sound of the door closing, and panic grips so tight to his chest that he loses his breath before he spies Otabek still inside the room.

“It’s okay,” Otabek quells, lifting a suitcase. “Here, I thought this might help.”

Otabek unzips the bag and Yuri is almost instantly assaulted with the comforting scents of home; well, Otabek’s home. The first item Otabek removes is the comforter from his bed, followed by several shirts, a mix of both his own and Yuri’s.

“Here,” he holds the blanket out to Yuri. “To help with the smell.”

Yuri’s throat feels tight as he clutches the comforter to his chest and reaches for the shirts still scattered at the foot of the bed. They haven’t slept in Otabek’s bed in over two weeks, but their combined scent still clings to the fabric, and something in Yuri settles at the scent. “You got these for me?”

“Well technically Yuuri did, but yeah. I know you can’t really nest here, but I thought maybe a few things would help with your anxiety.”

Otabek sits back down on the edge of the bed and Yuri reaches to pull him closer. “Thank you,” he whispers, nosing along Otabek’s jaw.

“Don’t mention it, kitten. I want this to be a good experience for you. How are you feeling?”

“Warm,” Yuri shrugs, as his tongue snakes out to lick the hinge of Otabek’s jaw. “You smell really good.”

 Otabek’s exhale is harsh as he lets Yuri continue to lick along his neck, tracing the lines of a tattoo until he reaches the place he bit Otabek many weeks ago. The mark has long since faded, and it was never deep enough to scar, but a small voice in the back of his head is urging him to bite down again and show everyone that this alpha is spoken for.

“I—I think my heat might be starting soon.”

Otabek lets out a startled laugh and cups the back of Yuri’s head. “It’s definitely close. You smell amazing.”

Otabek reaches down to squeeze Yuri’s ass through his pants and it feels so good Yuri practically keens as he slides their lips together. “Do that again,” he moans, and when Otabek slides his thumb to press between Yuri’s cheeks Yuri realizes just how wet he’s gotten.

The heat that sizzles through him as Otabek slides his hands up isn’t at all like the all-consuming pain of his last heat. It feels much calmer, like he’s slowly being brought up to temperature rather than boiled alive, and when Otabek slides his hands up the back of his shirt he can’t help but arch into the touch. They’ve avoided anything more than light kissing since Yuri’s last heat, and Yuri didn’t realize just how starved for touch he’s been. He pulls off his own shirt before helping Otabek discard his, and it’s almost instantaneous how quickly skin-on-skin makes heat burn below the surface of his skin.

He can feel as dampness spreads between his cheeks, and while it would normally fill him with untold embarrassment all he can think about right now is how good Otabek feels caging him in as he rolls his hips in slow circles.

“Fuck, I’ve missed you,” Yuri moans, slipping his tongue into Otabek’s mouth and trembling when the alpha snakes a hand into his hair.

“I’ve been right here.”

“You know what I mean,” Yuri growls, reaching out to pull Otabek’s hips more firmly into his own. “I can’t even remember the last time we got off together.”

“The day before you left,” Otabek grins, tilting Yuri’s head up so he can place searing kisses to the underside of his jaw. “I held you down and sucked you off until your toes curled.”

Yuri whimpers and pushes Otabek’s shoulders until the alpha begins working his way down Yuri’s chest, stopping to nip at Yuri’s hipbones. He sucks a deep bruise that has Yuri panting with effort to restrain himself.

“Fuck, just get me off already.”

“You’re very demanding for someone who’s not even fully in heat yet,” Otabek teases, kissing down to nose at the light dusting of hair just below Yuri’s navel.

“I’m always demanding. Don’t act like you don’t like it.”

Otabek lets out a warm chuckle and slowly starts to ease Yuri’s pants down, looking up for confirmation before pulling his boxers off as well. Once Yuri’s naked it’s almost impossible to ignore the slick clinging to his thighs, and Otabek lets out a choked off moan before burying his face in Yuri’s hip.

“You smell so fucking good, kitten.” Otabek licks a strip up Yuri’s cock, holding his hips in place when the smaller man cries out. “and you taste amazing.”

Otabek continues to lap at Yuri’s cock, only sucking the head into his mouth long enough to clean it of any liquid that begins to pool, and Yuri swears he can feel his temperature rising with each pass of the alpha’s tongue.  He can feel as slick pushes out of his hole, preparing him for what’s to come, and he grabs Otabek’s hair in both hands, crying out loudly when the alpha only sucks the head of his cock for a moment.

“Beka, please,” Yuri cries. “I’m so close, please.”

Otabek’s smile is wicked when Yuri pries his eyes open, and his breath has just enough time to catch in his throat before the other man swallows down his cock in one smooth motion. His hips attempt to leave the bed, but Otabek keeps them down easily while he growls around Yuri’s cock, causing a burst of precum to leak from the head.

“Oh fuck, oh fuck,” Yuri shouts, pushing Otabek down until he can feel his cock hit the back of the alpha’s throat. He can feel his orgasm just out of reach and when Otabek circles his thumb around his entrance it crashes around him suddenly, and he spills down the other man’s throat with a cry.

Otabek waits until Yuri’s stopped shaking to slowly release his cock, and Yuri wills the muscles in his hands to release the alpha’s hair, smiling at how disheveled the other man looks.

“That was amazing.”

“Just wait until your heat fully hits,” Otabek purrs. “I’m gonna make you come so many times you’ll forget how to walk.”

“I’m holding you to that,” Yuri smiles, pulling the other man up to lay beside him. “Ugh, I’m already a mess.” Yuri lifts his hips slightly and grimaces at the wet spot bellow him.

“I’ll get some towels. You should eat something and then try and rest. With the way you smell I don’t think we have more than an hour before your heat will fully hit.”

 

 

-

 

 

Yuri doesn’t remember falling asleep, but when he wakes up, he can tell things have changed. His skin feels too tight, his joints ache like he’s just run a marathon, and he’s covered in a layer of sweat despite being on top of all the blankets. When he rolls over, he’s greeted with Otabek’s warm chest and a high-pitched whine leaves his throat as he grinds his already hard cock into the alpha’s thigh. Everything feels so much more real than the last time he was awake, and there’s a hollow need in the pit of his stomach that aches harder with each lungful of Otabek’s scent.

“Hey, kitten,” Otabek hums, reaching back to slide a hand through Yuri’s hair.

“You smell so fucking good,” Yuri moans, licking along Otabek’s neck and nipping lightly at the space he bit before.

Otabek slides a hand down the back of Yuri’s naked body, letting his fingers ghost along the place where Yuri is warm and already leaking slick. He presses lightly with the pad of two fingers and Yuri feels like a spring ready to snap with how tightly he convulses and then presses back into Otabek’s hand, letting the tip of the alpha’s middle finger enter him.

“Oh god, more,” Yuri demands, rolling over and pulling Otabek on top of him. He reaches for Otabek’s groin and is almost offended to see he’s still wearing pants. “Off,” he says shortly, unbuttoning the jeans and trying to pull them from Otabek’s body.

“Yes, sir,” Otabek laughs, helping Yuri undress him before reaching down to rub along Yuri’s opening with two fingers. He slips one in easily and Yuri rocks down hard on the digit, lifting his hips and trying to silently ask for more.

“I can take more than that.”

“I know you can,” Otabek placates, “but this is the first time we’re going to do this, and I want to make sure it’s good.” He crooks his finger up until he hits a spot that makes Yuri cry out, grinning when Yuri tries to swivel his hips to make it happen again.

Yuri always thought it would be strange to have another person doing this for him, but now he can’t believe he’s gone so long without it. His fingers never felt like this, and when Otabek slips a second one in it’s only a tease that makes him want more, and he makes that known with a low growl.

“Actually fuck me or I’m going to lose my damn mind.” He reaches down to stroke his own cock, but Otabek lightly knocks his hand away and leans down to suck the head of it into his mouth. As he does, he adds a third finger, curling them all upward until he has Yuri crying out with each thrust. It doesn’t take long until Yuri’s spilling down the alpha’s throat, but with how thoroughly Otabek was sucking him Yuri doesn’t think it was supposed to.

It’s when his cock remains hard though that Yuri finally accepts that his heat has fully arrived. Otabek doesn’t seem to mind though, switching to lighter licks as he continues to work Yuri’s hole with his fingers.

“Fuck, fuck.” Yuri cries out when Otabek massages his prostate with the pads of his fingers. “It’s too much.”

When Otabek eases off, Yuri thinks he’s taken mercy, but then he slowly eases his fingers back in with his pinky included. It’s a tight fit, but the stretch only makes Yuri feel hotter, and his hands grip the sheets tightly.

“Breathe, kitten,” Otabek rumbles, kissing Yuri’s inner thigh when it trembles. “You still okay?”

Yuri lets out a deep breath and groans as he feels slick leak out around Otabek’s fingers. It doesn’t hurt like he thought it would, in fact it just makes the aching in his lower stomach increase as he grinds down onto the alpha’s fingers.

“Beka, please.  I need your cock.”

Otabek moans and nips lightly at the skin between Yuri’s ass and thigh. “I know, kitten. Your heats only just started though. If we knot too quickly it could hurt. I have to make sure you’re ready first.”

Yuri whines pathetically and reaches for his cock again. Logically Otabek is right, but his body keeps telling him that the only thing he needs to make the ball of heat in his stomach subside is Otabek’s knot, and he can feel his need growing with every passing moment.

“I’m ready, I swear. Please, Beka.” Yuri plants his feet flat on the bed and thrusts his hips up onto Otabek’s fingers. He can feel all the places sweat has began to gather, behind his knees, along his hair line and shoulders, and the longer he goes without a real release the more desperate he feels. “I need your cock, Beka.”

Otabek slowly withdrawals his fingers as he kisses his way back up Yuri’s body, stopping only to slip his tongue past Yuri’s lips.

“Are you sure you’re ready?”

“I swear to god,” Yuri groans. “If you don’t fuck me right this minute, I’m gonna spontaneously combust. I need you so bad.” Yuri gasps as waves of heat sear across his skin, and he nips harshly at Otabek’s bottom lip, hoping to spur the alpha into action.

“Is it okay if I turn you around? The first knot always lasts the longest and I think you would be more comfortable that way.”

“I don’t care, I don’t care,” Yuri shouts, and even as he hears the frantic edge to his voice he can’t seem to calm down. The hollow ache has only continued to grow, and as much as he wants this moment to be special, he can’t seem to think clearly enough to make that happen. He’s so afraid of the pain his last heat brought that it’s wiping out all attempts at rational thought. “Beka, it’s starting to hurt, please.”

Otabek works quickly to help guide Yuri onto his front, and from there instincts take over. Yuri shifts onto his knees with his face buried in the pillows, giving his back an attractive arch. He tries to keep in the small whines that work their way through his throat as Otabek’s soothing growl quell some of his building panic.

“Take a deep breath,” Otabek hums, pressing the tip of his cock to Yuri’s entrance, and just when Yuri begins to exhale, he slowly eases his way forward.

“Oh fuck,” Yuri gasps, clutching the sheets. Having Otabek’s cock in his mouth was one thing, but this is a whole new sensation that no toy had prepared him for. Otabek is large and hot, and Yuri can feel as his body begins to relax and make accommodations. He presses forward steadily, and leaves Yuri gasping into the sheets.

“Deep breaths, kitten. You’re doing so good.” Otabek leaves hot open-mouthed kisses along Yuri’s shoulder blades as his cock finally settles fully inside the other man. “That’s it, baby, I’ve got you.”

Yuri moans into the sheets and slowly rolls his hips back, gasping when it forces Otabek’s cock against his prostate. Every touch only adds to the fire burning under his skin, and when Otabek lightly grips his cock he could swear he blacks out for a moment.

“Oh god, Beka. I’m so close.”

Otabek tightens his grip as he grinds his hips into Yuri, forcing muffled cries from the omega’s lips. “You’re taking my cock so well, kitten. Can you come for me?”

Yuri feels like his whole body is trying to shake apart at Otabek’s words, and as much as he wants to reply he can’t summon the words. His head is a fog of sensations and feelings, and all he can think about is how badly he wants Otabek’s knot. He’s never craved something so desperately, and when Otabek begins to slowly work his cock in and out all rational thoughts leave him.

“Oh god, oh god. Please,” Yuri sobs, working his hips back into Otabek’s.

Otabek’s pace on Yuri’s cock increases with Yuri’s cries and as he thumbs the tip Yuri’s forced over the edge with a shout of pleasure. His whole body draws tight and Otabek is forced to muffle a groan of his own in-between Yuri’s shoulder blades as he stills with the tight squeeze of Yuri’s muscles. The high last for several long moments, but just like with his last orgasm Yuri is still left hard and desperate.

“It’s not stopping,” he yelps, and his heart starts to beat harder in his chest. What if being with an alpha doesn’t matter? What if he’s messed up his cycles so much that nothing will bring respite from the heat threatening to take him under?

Otabek lets out a soothing rumble as he kisses along the side of Yuri’s unblemished neck and shoulder, and Yuri can feel his panic receding as the alpha’s scent becomes thicker and stronger. He tries desperately to cling to the sense of comfort wafting from the alpha, and after several long moments he can feel his heartrate slowing as the panic he was feeling is replaced with hot waves of want.

Otabek must be able to sense when the panic leaves Yuri’s body because his scent lessens, and he lets out a relieved sigh. “That’s it, kitten. You still with me?”

Yuri nods and reaches for one of Otabek’s hands, lacing his fingers with the alpha’s. “I’m okay now, keep going.” Otabek squeezes Yuri’s hand in reply and slowly begins to grind his hips forward again.

The brief moment of panic doesn’t seem to have weakened Yuri’s heat at all, and when Otabek begins moving faster Yuri’s stomach aches sharply in anticipation. With each forward thrust he can feel the slight burn of Otabek’s growing knot, and his own cock still aches so badly he thinks he might come again just from the friction of the sheets.

Otabek loops his free hand under Yuri’s chest to gently pinch at a nipple, and the shock that rocks through Yuri at the touch is enough to have him reaching climax again as he clamps down on Otabek’s cock. This time Otabek doesn’t still with Yuri’s release though. He continues to slam forward as his knot begins to swell and Yuri lets out a loud moan as the growing knot stretches his rim.

“Holy shit. Don’t stop, don’t stop,” Yuri exclaims, driving his hips back onto Otabek’s cock.

Otabek lets out a deep groan as he grips Yuri’s hips, and with a final forward thrust his knot locks into place, causing stars to burst behind Yuri’s closed eyes. Yuri can feel Otabek’s seed begin to fill him, and with each new spurt he can feel the ache in his belly relaxing.

“Oh god,” Yuri moans, grinding slowly back into Otabek. Each movement forces Otabek’s knot against his prostate and Yuri could quickly become addicted to the feeling. It feels like riding the constant high of an orgasm and each new wave of pleasure is better than the last.

“Fuck, kitten,” Otabek yelps, gripping Yuri’s hips in an effort to still his movements. “You’re gonna kill me. You gotta be still for a moment.” Otabek nuzzles the back of Yuri’s head before placing light kisses to the omega’s neck and shoulders. “I’m gonna move us onto our sides. Is that okay?”

Yuri hums his acceptance and then lets out a low whine when moving pulls sharply on their connection. Once their settled Yuri grinds back into Otabek’s embrace and the alpha places delicate kisses along the side of his face.

“How are you feeling?”

“Amazing,” Yuri purrs, feeling almost high with pleasure. “I never understood why omegas would fall all over themselves for an alpha but if all heats can feel like this, I think I get it.”

Otabek laughs warmly as he trails a hand up and down Yuri’s chest. “I’m glad you liked it. The knot should only last for another twenty minutes, then we can get cleaned up and wait for the next round.”

“I don’t think I can do another round,” Yuri yawns. “I’m already exhausted.”

“Then rest now. We still have at least two more days.”

 

 

-

 

 

Yuri ends up enjoying his heat for almost seventy hours before he even considers ending it early with a bonding mark. He never intended to allow it to go on for a moment longer than he had to, but each round seemed to lead seamlessly into the next, and before he realized almost three days had passed.

It’s not until the early hours of the third morning though that they’re both lucid enough to talk about bonding, and as much as Yuri thought he would be nervous he’s filled with nothing but anticipation. Him and Otabek have just finished another round, and he’s resting comfortably on the alpha’s chest while they wait for the knot to deflate.

“Ya know,” Yuri yawns, nuzzling the side of Otabek’s neck. “It’s been over forty-eight hours.”

 Otabek draws his fingertips down Yuri’s spine and hums. “It has. So far, your heats been reasonably normal. I bet it only last a couple more days at max. If you don’t want to, we might not even have to bond.”

“Oh,” Yuri frowns. Otabek’s right. His heat has been completely normal, and without a need to end it early there really isn’t any rush for them to bond. He might have some lingering side effects of the broken bond, but that isn’t anything he can’t handle. At the same time though the idea of not bonding with Otabek leaves him with a hollow feeling in his chest. They spent the days leading up to his possible heat discussing all the ways it could go wrong, but they also talked about what some of the benefits could be, and Yuri was almost looking forward to seeing what a real bond was like.

“Hey,” Otabek calls lightly, drawing Yuri’s face upward. “I wasn’t saying I didn’t want to bond. I was just letting you know that we don’t have to rush if you’re not ready. You didn’t get a real say last time, so I want this to be your choice. I don’t want you to have to decide based on fear.”

“I’m not afraid,” Yuri vows, swallowing down the butterflies that flit about his stomach. “I want this.”

“I do too,” Otabek grins. “We could now, if you want that is. We could also wait until your heats closer to its natural end.”

“I’m tired of waiting to have the things I want. I—I’m ready now. How do we do it?”

“Well first we knot, so we can check that box.” Otabek rocks his hips to tug on their connection and then chuckles when Yuri gasps. “And then we just bite.” He runs a thumb along the side of Yuri’s neck, and Yuri feels his pulse jump with the movement.

“Everyone’s going to think all the marks are from you. I haven’t seen anyone at Lilia’s in weeks, they won’t know what’s from you and what’s not.”

“You can tell them if you want, but I don’t mind them thinking they’re all from me. As long as you know I would never hurt you like that, I don’t care what everyone else thinks.”

Yuri leans down to place a kiss to Otabek’s neck and let’s out a deep breath. “It’s not anyone’s business what happened. All I care about is that I want you and you want me. Everyone else can think whatever they want.”

Otabek lets out a deep purr and nuzzles the opposite side of Yuri’s neck. “I’m ready whenever you are then.”

Yuri doesn’t reply in words. There aren’t any he could say that would speak better than actions, so he opens his mouth and bites down, trying to stifle a moan when he feels Otabek’s teeth pressing an echoing mark onto his own neck.

The moment seems to drag on as warmth and pleasure rush down Yuri’s spine, and for a moment everything goes pleasantly hazy as a wave of desire threatens to take him under. Heat emanates from the places Otabek’s teeth are pressing and Yuri can feel a warmth to Otabek’s skin too, almost as if he’s taking on some of the heat from Yuri’s.

Otabek is the first to release his hold and the moan that falls from his lips causes Yuri’s skin to tingle in pleasure, and Yuri moves back to find the alpha’s mouth so he can taste the moan directly. Their tongues move together slowly, and Yuri feels euphoric as he takes full control of the kiss, greedily swallowing down their echoing moans.

It’s while they’re kissing that Yuri notices emotions that aren’t his own beginning to filter in, but they feel like such an echo of his own that he’s not even sure it’s happening at first. It starts as just a mix of pleasure and want, but in the background is an overwhelming fondness that’s so sticky sweet it makes his heart jump, and he breaks their kiss to look Otabek in the eye.

“Do you feel that?” he asks huskily, eyes wide with wonder as a wave of joy pulses through him.

“I do,” Otabek confirms, cupping Yuri’s face to bring him closer for another short kiss. “Can you feel this?”

Otabek rocks his hips up lightly and the wave of pleasure that courses through Yuri feels unlike any he’s ever felt before. He feels the pleasure of Otabek’s knot, but he also feels an answering desire in his chest, one that swells when Yuri clamps down on the knot.

“Holy shit.”

“Yeah. It’s like feeling everything twice.”

They rock against each other for several more minutes, not so much searching for release but exploring a new element of their connection.

When Otabek’s knot finally does deflate so does Yuri, collapsing on Otabek’s chest. He’s slept very little over the past three days, and as his body slowly begins to cool, he finds almost all of his remaining energy slipping away.

“We should shower before you sleep,” Otabek whispers, but Yuri shakes his head in response.

“I don’t want to. I want to stay right here.” He can’t remember a time he’s ever felt so happy, and he’s not about to ruin it by moving.

A wave of fondness washes over Yuri, and his heart quickly jumps to his throat as a feeling he’s not able to decipher follows. It feels a lot like the feelings he’s been ignoring, and he’s not entirely sure they’re not his own emotions.

“You don’t have to be afraid,” Otabek says softly. “I feel the same way.”

Yuri’s thoughts are racing almost as fast as his heart and he’s not sure he believes what Otabek is saying. What if Otabek is misinterpreting what he’s feeling, or what if he’s not, but he’s just trying to make Yuri feel better about how blatantly head over heels he is for the alpha. There are a million different ways this conversation could go, and Yuri is so afraid he’s going to ruin it before it even gets started.

“Yuri,” Otabek coaxes. “You don’t have to say anything right now, but when you’re ready, just know I will be too.”

“I love you,” Yuri blurts, and the echoing emotions from the bond are enough to let him know his confession wasn’t misplaced. He feels nothing but pure warmth and adoration from the bond, and Otabek’s breath catches before he can even reply.

“I love you too,” he professes, gripping Yuri tighter to his chest. “You’re it, Yuri. You’re all I want, and I’m going to do whatever it takes to keep you happy, I swear.”

“Just kiss me,” Yuri demands, slipping his hands into Otabek’s hair as he brings their lips together.

He’s not sure what he did to deserve someone like this, but now that he has him, he’s never letting go.