Actions

Work Header

love you in the way you needed love

Work Text:

The Stableboy Knight, they called him.

His common birth should have been enough to disqualify him from the Royal Tourney, but - unfortunately for the King - the young Alpha was a bit of a folk hero. There were tales spread widely of his adventures, fending off bandits and saving fair Omegas, the wildest proclaiming that he had arrived to this land in fulfillment of some ancient prophecy. The Stableboy Knight was naturally a crowd favorite in previous local contests, distinguished by his affable demeanor and shabby armor, performing with such unexpected brilliance that the eccentric Duchess of Burgonet herself had supported his entry.

The King was disapproving, but there was little he could do. The Stableboy Knight would be allowed to compete in the land’s grandest tournament, for a prize purse dripping with riches … and the right to Prince Adequinn’s virginal heat.

What was his game? Adequinn shifted miserably in his seat, his eyes narrowed on the Stableboy Knight - or, as Adequinn knew him - Thomlein of Yvetlund. Large, blond, darkened by the sun and with the same dry smile which had once dizzied Adequinn but merely infuriated him now. It had been two years since the Royal Stablemaster’s son had disappeared from the castle, and Adequinn was still reeling with the shock of seeing him here.

To ... to compete for Adequinn’s hand? More likely for the purse, which was a year’s work in wages for the like Thomlein was familiar with. Adequinn just hoped Thomlein did not truly believe the prophecies

For now, Adequinn was relieved to be the only one who had realized Thomlein's true identity. At least amongst those sitting in the Royal Stands.

“Oh how base,” Lady Aphena tittered behind her fan. “Imagine being mounted by an Alpha with no standard!”

“I rather think the idea is that they take the standard off prior to mounting,” Prince Adequinn smiled tightly. He was a slender young man, tall and rather plain for an Omega, with sharp, regal features and auburn hair which had a tendency to curl into his eyes. Irritably, he waved for the servant to refill his goblet, trying to ignore Thomlein, who was currently receiving adoring cheers from the peasants crowding along the sidelines.

Adequinn had little interest in the specifics of tourneys, but he knew enough to pick out the lack of formal training in Thomlein’s style. Yet the young knight still managed to remain undefeated through the first three events by displaying a surprising amount of ingenuity, raw talent and, most importantly, a bull-headedness with which Adequinn was well familiar.

Jousting and sword fighting were scheduled for the afternoon. Adequinn declined to raise from his seat in between the rounds, sitting in the stifling stands as he sipped his wine and told himself that he was not avoiding Thomlein. 

Perhaps it was the wine, perhaps the dewy summer air. Most likely it was Adequinn’s upcoming heat which was making him squirm in his seat, imagining Thomlein’s large, coarse hands upon his skin, making Adequinn moan helplessly as he touched him everywhere-

A successful breeding meant that the Alpha who took Adequinn would become his Royal Consort. Of course, the chances were so small that Thomlein could manage it, but ...

No. No. Adequinn pulled fitfully at lapels of his brocade-embroidered jacket. He had left behind his helpless, adolescent longing ... even if the Alpha still made his heart throb with the barest of glances.

As if hearing Adequinn’s thoughts, Thomlein turned his eyes to the Royal stands, his gaze sliding lazily over the Lords and Ladies, causing them to whisper animatedly amongst themselves. Adequinn looked away before Thomlein's eyes could meet his own, settling his attention firmly upon Ser Peyton. He was a knight in gleaming silver armor sitting astride a fine-looking stallion, the type of Alpha an Omega of Adequinn's ilk should be dripping for, the man whom Adequinn’s father had chosen to be his First. When the horn for jousting sounded, Peyton turned and inclined his chin at Adequinn, the angle so precise that Adequinn wondered if the knight practiced it in the mirror each night to display the most flattering angles of his face.

But that was petty, perhaps.

Earlier that day, Adequinn had dutifully given Peyton his token, a bunch of marigolds tied with a silver ribbon. The knight still wore the flowers tied upon his standard, but they were wilted now from the summer air, a feeling Adequinn echoed.

Unbidden, his eyes drifted once more to Thomlein. Now that Adequinn thought of it, wasn’t part of the prophecy that a commoner would one day be king … ?

Well, through his cunt was certainly one way to go about it ... Adequinn bit his lip, pressing his thighs together as he watched Thomlein’s lance smash through the steel guards of his opponents.

A hot knife through butter, Adequinn thought, and his fingers tightened around his armrest.

Prophesy or not, there must have been some powerful blessing upon Thomlein’s hand. After each win, he would lift his visor, throw back his head, and laugh, as if surprised at the outcome of his own match. Adequinn’s gaze did not linger upon the handsome line of this knight’s neck, or the attractive sharpness of his eyeteeth.

The sun was three-quarters across the sky when the jousting finished. Soon, darkness would steal over the horizon and the torches lit for the celebration banquet, which would be filled with drinking and feasting and congratulations of the newest royal couple. And after, when the heat had finally turned his head to pudding, Adequinn would finally receive his first knot.

“My prince,” a voice pricked Adequinn’s attention, and he looked down to see Ser Peyton at the side of the stand, astride his dancing grey stallion. “I have come to beg a show of favor from your most delicate of hands.”

Adequinn smiled, though it was more as a grimace. Peyton’s begging was in a tone hardly a shade lighter than the manner he ordered about servants, and Adequinn’s hands had never been delicate in his life. Begrudgingly, as he was under his father’s eye, Adequinn extended his fingers for Ser Peyton to kiss, wondering why the man’s pheromones stirred him not at all.

Then, a clatter, as of kitchen pans upon one another.

“Is this a manner of honor which I might ask leave of as well?” a sarcastic voice, leaning heavily into its base city accent.

Adequinn swallowed, slipping his hand back from Peyton’s dry lips. Thomlein’s scent, upon the change of the wind, made Adequinn shudder, feeling warm between his thighs. In the look exchanged between them, it was evident that Thomlein knew the prince had recognized him, but his expression betrayed nothing but bemusement.  

“I may only offer my favor upon my Royal Champion,” Adequinn said, raising his chin. “Ser Peyton has my token.”

“That is quite right,” Peyton growled, eager to intimidate or incite the other Alpha.

But Thomlein did not acknowledge Peyon at all, the placid, neutral smile returning to his face. “‘Tis a valuable currency, then, to be held close to his Highness’s breast. I shall do what I must to earn that right.”

A shiver danced up Adequinn's spine. Somehow, that sounded like a promise.

At the bell, the contestants approached each other in the ring, drawing their swords. The contrast between the two was almost starkly comedic, with Ser Peyton in his shining steel versus Thomlein in his ancient, dented armour, which creaked loudly with each step.

Peyton immediately began on the offensive - aggressive, though still measured and well-trained. Thomlein had the advantage between them in both height and weight, but did not display the necessary reflexes, taking a hard hit to the sternum, and another to the ribs which made Adequinn wince in sympathy.

Before he knew it, the prince was perched upon the edge of his seat, his fists clenched bloodlessly in his lap. No one reprimanded him, believing him worried for the fate of his champion, but it was Thomlein whom Adequinn kept within his vision, Thomlein who’s every fall, every injury, made Adequinn catch his breath ...

But like the wheel turning upon the cart, like the sun which ascended the sky each morn, Thomlein somehow managed to rise from the dirt again and again, battered and bruised and smiling with unfaltering humor. Each time, Adequinn silently pleaded for the silly lad to remain down for surely Peyton would kill him upon the next blow …

“What are you?” Peyton growled incredulously as his opponent spit a mouthful of blood into the ground and pushed up once more to his feet, grinning at Peyton guilelessly as he resumed his stance.

“I am moved by motives you cannot understand,” Thomlein murmured, making Adequinn frown. That damn prophecy again! Did Thomlein believe it worth his death?

“You think your filthy hands are worthy to touch the prince?” Peyton sneered, flipping his sword in his hand with slightly less flourish than he had been capable of earlier in the fight. Despite his attitude, he was tiring. “I shall sever your fingers before you lay a single one upon his Highness!”

What an Alpha,” Lord Alain breathed, fanning himself.

“A bit demonstrative,” Adequinn muttered, his eyes tracing the two knights who were circling each other once more. Peyton was more cautious in his attacks now, beginning to breathe heavily, his face ruddy under his heavy helmet. In contrast, Thomlein almost seemed to grow … vitalized, bouncing upon the balls of his feet and shaking his body like a great, shaggy dog, as if he had been playing into his earlier injuries all along, and was at last prepared to bring Ser Peyton to his knees.

Adequinn gaped when Thomlein did just that, his blunt sword carving a definitive clang from Payton’s helmet which made the older knight sway, then crumple soundly upon the ground. After a beat of pure shock, a roar went through the crowd and healers and squires swarmed the field. The audience in the stands were cheering, money exchanging hands. Though the Stableboy Knight had possessed extraordinary luck thus far, none had expected him to win.

Adequinn focused on maintaining his neutral expression, his heart pounding in his chest as he kept his gaze trained forward, avoiding his father’s grimace, his mother’s furious whispers. All around him, Lords and Ladies began sliding the young Prince glances which ranged from pitying to curious.

“Imagine bedding an Alpha such as that,” one said, none-too-quietly.

“Imagine mating him!” said another.

--

Adequinn would have skipped the banquet if he could, but there was a prideful part of him that did not wish the poisonous whisperers of the Court to think him cowed. At least the pause in festivities gave him time to return to his chambers, change his suit and slick-damp drawers, and press some cool water to his forehead and scent points until he felt as if he could sit through five courses without thoroughly embarrassing himself.

Staring in the mirror made Adequinn sigh. He had long accepted that he would never be a soft-hipped beauty, but his gawky frame embarrassed him so much more tonight. Though it was not as if Thomlein could be surprised by what he looked like … Adequinn grimaced, wondering if Thomlein would wear an expression of lust this night, or merely one of duty.

Somehow, the thought of the latter made Adequinn feel devastated anew.

In the banquet room, Adequinn was shown to his seat beside the king and queen, Thomlein awaiting to be seated upon Adequinn’s other side. The Alpha wore the golden tourney medallion atop a well-fitted cobalt suit, no doubt a gift from his patron.

“Your Highness,” Thomlein bowed his head to Adequinn, making the prince narrow his eyes as he held forth his hand. Though the kiss Thomlein pressed to Adequinn’s knuckles was chaste, the way he slid his callous-rough fingers across the scent gland on Adequinn’s wrist was nothing short of a filthy promise. “It seems as if I have earned the right to your favor after all,” Thomlein said, his voice low. “Though I wonder what I still must do to win the position within your heart.”

Shakily, Adequinn took back his hand and sat with as much dignity as he could muster. His nethers felt like water and his senses were rapidly leaving him, filling his mind with lascivious, sinful images of climbing upon Thomlein’s lap, kissing him and grinding upon his clothed cock until it filled, then sinking down upon his knot …

If only it were purely physical. Adequinn drew in a sharp breath to gird himself, but only succeeded in taking Thomlein’s rut upon his palate. It shouldn’t matter … it shouldn’t matter that Thomlein was doing this for coin and power just like all of Adequinn’s other suitors, that Adequinn would never see the regard he so craved from the Alpha’s eyes ...

“I wish I knew what wrong I have committed, to have fallen so low in your favor,” Thomlein said, so quietly that Adequinn thought that he must have imagined it.

“Was leaving without a word-” Adequinn swallowed his next words with brittle smile as a countess and her consort stepped close to the table to bow to the new royal couple. When they spun away, Adequinn turned his attention to his first course, refusing to look at Thomlein. “No matter your … personal feelings.” Adequinn muttered. “It was cruel.”

“My personal feelings,” Thomlein said, with a trace of bitterness. “Yes. I shall endeavor to keep them out of this, your Highness.”

They did not speak another word to each other through the rest of dinner.

--

Adequinn was a mere five and ten when he first caught notice of the stable master’s boy, a strapping young Alpha just a few years older. At first, it was just idle gawking, joining his Omega attendants at the palace windows as they giggled over the sweat-damp tunic moulded to Thomlein’s chest and shoulders, the way his back rippled when he hefted a particularly large bale of hay.

It was not until a few years later that Adequinn realized the trembling in his stomach, the warmth which blossomed between his legs when he looked upon Thomlein (and other well-shaped Alphas, but mostly Thomlein) to be attraction. A slow development to be sure, but noble Omegas (say nothing of Royal Omegas) were prized for late innocence. And the King and Queen were tiresomely traditional, determining it imperative that their only Omega child be kept pure as the driven snow until he was mated by tourney, as the creed of their land dictated.

Leaving Adequinn to learn all he could of his wedding night duty from eavesdropping on his servants and sneaking books from the forbidden wing of the library.

Adequinn was reading one such novel (an intriguing story of a fey Omega who ensnared an Alpha knight into his lush glen) while hiding, or so he thought, in the disused Eastern tower when the stableboy stumbled upon him.

“Is that The Golden Bower?” Thomlein asked, and Adequinn jumped, closing the book with a snap.

“What … what are you doing here?” Adequinn asked faintly, a flush rising to his face as he watched Thomlein ascend the staircase. Only now did Adequinn realize that he was alone in a room with an Alpha, and there was even a bed in the corner …

“Apologies for disrupting you, your Highness,” Thomlein said, pausing in his steps. “I didn’t think anyone used this place. I come here sometimes to … think.”

Adequinn nodded, glancing to the window. It did offer a nice view over the valley, the brisk spring breeze making the room feel refreshing. His gaze fell to the book on his lap and he flushed. “Have you read this?”

“It’s … a bit deviant,” Thomlein confessed.

“Oh,” Adequinn blinked. What he had read thus far had seemed quite intriguing. Though he had been wondering about the scene with the vines … “I wouldn’t know.”

Thomlein looked abashed. “Right. They keep you locked up tight, don’t they?”

“My virtue and my curiosity both,” Adequinn said, irritably setting the book aside.

A beat of silence, then Thomlein crossed the room, lowering himself atop the bed and drawing his ankle over his knee. “Well,” he cleared his throat. “Your secret would be safe with me, your Highness. If you wished to ask any questions.”

Adequinn threw Thomlein an accessing glance. He had no doubt that the stableboy’s easy-going manner drew him all kinds of partners. It would be improper, certainly, to hold such base conference with a commoner. But so was stealing away to read forbidden books, alarmed anew at each horrific detail of Omega defloration he encountered.

Was it true that an Alpha’s knot would split an Omega open if they were not true mates? How much would he bleed when it happened? What if he didn’t fall into heat? Adequinn’s cycle had ever been impossible to track, some months so light that he scarcely felt more than a bothersome fever, others torturing him for weeks, reducing Adequinn to sobbing as he rutted against his own fingers, for even a wooden knotting toy was seen as improper for such a fine-bred virgin. Adequinn already felt vulnerable enough at the prospect of sharing his heat with a near-stranger, but he would not begin it in ignorance as well.

Thomlein smiled as Adequinn walked across the room to stand before him. “I am yours to command, my Lord.”

“Doubtless I will be determined to be ready for mating within the next few years,” Adequinn said, his eyes lingering on the hollow of Thomlein’s strong throat, the golden springs of hair which peeked from the collar of his tunic. “Before that, I would like to know what occurs between an Alpha and an Omega.”

Thomlein’s smile turned rueful, leaning back on his arms. “Sheltered indeed,” he said, his voice strangely husky as his gaze passed over Adequinn’s face.

The things he said … of how an Alpha might worship their Omega with fingers and mouth, how slick and lush the Omega would become, their cunt blossoming like a hothouse flower, how the Alpha would slot their cock into their Omega and fuck them until-

How big?” Adequinn squeaked, at this point sitting next to Thomlein on the dusty bed, his knees pulled to his chest as Thomlein made a fist with his hand.

“At least mine,” Thomlein said, and flushed.

“Let me see it,” Adequinn commanded breathlessly, and Thomlein unbuttoned his braies with unaffected eagerness.

The cock which sprang up before Adequinn’s wide eyes was nearly as thick around as his wrist, with a half-filled knot which made Adequinn’s mouth feel dry.

“That’s … that’s never going to fit!” Adequinn protested, flicking his eyes to Thomlein as he squeezed his hands under his knees.

“It will,” Thomlein said breathlessly, stroking himself under Adequinn’s gaze. “If your Alpha prepares you. It’ll slide in easy as butter.”

“What … what would you do to prepare me?” Adequinn asked, knowing that he was playing a dangerous game as he saw lust darken in Thomlein’s eyes. Oh, but he wished he could take Thomlein’s hard cock in his hand, put his tongue on the Alpha’s swelling knot … but that would … that would surely be unchaste behavior ...

Instead, Adequinn sat frozen, trying to hide his uneven breathing as Thomlein stroked himself to completion, knotting his fist with a grunt. The image seared itself in Adequinn’s mind such that long after he had dashed away from the tower and bundled himself into bed with complaints of a poor head to avoid dinner, he still thought of it, sliding a hand into his damp drawers as he pictured Thomlein’s cock pulsing in his large, strong hand, the other boy’s face as he panted-

Adequinn would meet Thomlein in that room many more times. He learned how to kiss, explored Thomlein’s body with his hands and shyly accepted pleasure in return, all under the guise of sexual education. And after, they laid together and spoke of dreamy things, Adequinn’s unfashionable taste for learning and Thomlein’s dreams of becoming a knight.

“It’s impossible, I know,” Thomlein said with a strained smile. “I’m too old to become a squire, and am cursed with common blood, besides.”

“I wish I could do something for you,” Adequinn said, biting his lip. “When I am mated, perhaps I could ask my Alpha …”

“No,” Thomlein said curtly, shaking his head, and Adequinn had dropped the subject.

Adequinn knew that it was foolish, but he was falling for Thomlein. His easy smile, his gentle hands, the way he wasn't afraid to speak his mind to Adequinn despite the difference in their stations. More and more, Adequinn’s heart felt pained at the thought of parting his thighs for another. Though it would lead to nothing but tragedy, he could not help but hope that Thomlein felt the same ...

“If I was your Alpha,” Thomlein growled darkly, pressing his teeth against Adequinn’s neck. “This is where I would bite.”

Adequinn quivered, panting upon his hands and knees, having practiced presenting for Thomlein until the Alpha had mounted him and ground his cock against the slick crotch of Adequinn’s smalls, the final barrier which separated their play-mating from … something altogether more dangerous.

Adequinn buried his face in the pillows and thought fervently that he did not care.

“I would claim you so you would never need another,” Thomlein whispered in Adequinn’s ear, making him whimper. “I would protect you with my life, swell you large with my pups.” Here, he put one, large hand upon Adequinn’s lower belly, petting against it before dipping his fingers lower, frigging Adequinn’s throbbing cocklet.

With a moan, Adequinn came, shuddering as he felt his cunt clenching around nothing, the hollow feeling between his thighs making him sob and rock back clumsily against Thomlein.

“Here it comes,” Thomlein said with a low groan, his knot swelling against Adequinn’s arse, making him sob as it ground against his oversensitive cunt.

The spill wasn’t satisfying for Thomlein either, Adequinn knew, even as the mattress under him grew damp with Thomlein’s seed. Thomlein had once described knotting outside of a tie as dropping a ripe plum when you anticipated its juice upon your tongue, though he never refused a single of Adequinn's whims, nor asked him for more than he offered with eagerness. 

“Will it feel better … inside?” Adequinn asked later, tucked against Thomlein’s broad chest.

“For your new consort? Undoubtedly,” Thomlein said with a strangely sad expression as he pushed a strand of Adequinn’s hair behind his ear. “You’ll make some Alpha very happy.”

Flustered, Adequinn slapped weakly at Thomlein’s chest. “I mean for me, of course.”

“Hmm,” Thomlein said, smiling as he pressed a kiss to Adequinn’s forehead. “If I were your first … I would make you come until you couldn’t walk the next morning. I'd keep you in my bed until you grew bow-legged and happily carry you about to your duties. ”

“Crude,” Adequinn muttered, but his cheeks were flushed and his heart beat fast. Even if it was wrong, even if it was dangerous … before he gave himself away forever to an Alpha he’d never even met … perhaps he could have a taste of his sweet, painful first love.

“If I … if I said that I wanted you to be my first,” Adequinn inclined his head against Thomlein’s shoulder stroking the line of his jaw with one finger. “Would you lay with me?”

Thomlein was silent and Adequinn’s heart sank. Of course, the risk would likely be too much. If Thomlein was discovered to have deflowered the prince before his tourney, he would surely be beheaded-

Adequinn made a breathless noise as Thomlein suddenly drew him forward, pressing a fervent kiss to his lips, then another. “I would, your Highness,” he whispered in between kisses, biting the moans from Adequinn’s lips. “I would give you everything I have.”

--

Adequinn felt thoroughly embarrassed at the letter he wrote to Thomlein that night, a shaking profession of desire just short of confessing love, offering Thomlein the dangerous, precious thing that was a prince's virtue (but which still felt safer than baldly offering Thomlein his heart). 

If you return any manner of tender feelings towards my person, if you would consent to share just one more secret with me …

Before Adequinn could deliver these bashful, shameful words, before they ever met again, Thomlein disappeared from the castle.

--

They were straight-backed and silent when they exited the celebratory banquet, departing for Adequinn’s chamber amidst ribald merry-making and crude suggestions of the mating night events soon to occur. Thanks to Thomlein’s lessons, Adequinn understood every innuendo.

Stepping into the candlelit chambers and watching the servant close the heavy doors behind them, Adequinn drew a quick breath. He knew that he must smell of heat, that he was sweltering with it, his pheromones responding to the presence of a virile Alpha.

And despite this, Thomlein had not touched him at all.

It seemed that dark thoughts weighed heavy upon the Alpha’s brow as he moved to the middle of the room, turning to Adequinn with a grim expression upon his handsome face. “You don’t want this,” Thomlein said bluntly, and Adequinn swallowed.

That was the problem. He did want this … more than anything in his memory. But he also knew that he would die rather than to admit it to Thomlein, to expose more of his heart than he had already.

“I am resigned to my duty,” Adequinn said thinly, and saw Thomlein flinch.

“There was a time when you were more than simply resigned,” Thomlein said, the halting pain in his voice making anger flare in Adequinn’s chest.

“What of you?” Adequinn demanded, striding across the room to shove Thomlein’s broad chest. He remained still as a rock, but Adequinn did it again anyway. “Come … come to my bed to fulfill some prophecy? Had you designs to become king when even we first met?

“No!” Thomlein exclaimed, capturing Adequinn’s hands in his own. “I …” he glanced down. “I admit I used the rumors a bit, when I caught wind of this. But that’s not why I left. That’s not why I entered the tourney.”

Adequinn took a shaky breath, knowing that he should pull his wrists from Thomlein’s grasp, struggling with his instinct to melt forward into Thomlein's warm chest. “Why did you leave?” he asked quietly, hating the plaintiveness in his tone. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I didn’t want to make any promises I couldn’t keep,” Thomlein ducked his head, pink covering the curve of his ear. “It was a foolish gambit … there was no way it should have worked. And I did not want to appear … presumptuous. Coveting one above my station.”

“Me?” Adequinn asked, flushing when Thomlein pressed a hard kiss to the palm of one hand, then the other.

“I wish to say that I had noble motives, that I did all this to save you from a mating you did not want,” Thomlein said, drawing Adequinn to him, the pull between them as powerful as the tide returning to shore. Thomlein did not even seem aware of himself when he traced the curve of Adequinn’s neck with his nose, his breaths making Adequinn shiver. “But truly, I just wanted you for myself. Only for myself.”

“Prove it, then,” Adequinn ordered with shining eyes. "Kiss me." With a groan, Thomlein complied sliding his lips over Adequinn’s in a manner that felt strange and familiar all at once.

The meeting of their mouths quickly turned slick and ravenous. Gods, the scent of Thomlein’s rut. Adequinn didn’t know he was crawling all over the Alpha until he felt strong hands gripping the underside of his thighs, hauling him up against Thomlein’s large, solid chest.

And the throbbing hardness between his thighs.

“Ah!” Adequinn gasped as he felt himself carried a few steps and flung backwards onto the bed, Thomlein immediately following after, the heat and weight of his body making Adequinn whimper as it covered his own. 

They were wild for it, clawing off each other's clothing as buttons rained upon the floor. If Adequinn was in his right mind, he might have felt shame for the way he whined, how desperate he felt for the warmth of Thomlein’s skin, the richness of Thomlein’s scent and the sweet pain of his bite.

Adequinn sobbed when Thomlein put his mouth between his legs, coming on Thomlein’s tongue until he was whimpering from oversensitivity. Then Thomlein carefully stretched him with fingers, making Adequinn sob with pleasure, his limbs loose and useless.

Knot me!” Adequinn rasped, rolling onto his stomach and pressing his chest into the sheets, back in a perfect arch as he presented his untouched cunt to the man who already held Adequinn’s heart in his hands.

“Gods,” Thomlein said, his voice sounding raw. Adequinn breathed out as he felt the press of Thomlein’s hard cock against the slick lips of his cunt. “I’ll be gentle,” Thomlein whispered.

Don’t,” Adequinn ordered, and pushed his hips back abruptly, spearing himself on Thomlein’s cock with one, sudden, thrust.

“Your Highness,” Thomlein panted, his hips beginning a scattered rhythm, his body shaking from trying to hold himself back. “I'll hurt you.”

Adequinn just shook his head, too preoccupied with moaning to respond. The pain had been but a moment, then the slide of Thomlein’s thick cock had grown so pleasurable that he could not help but writhe, gasping wordlessly as he tried to claw himself to an orgasm.

“My darling prince,” Thomlein rasped, and Adequinn released a sharp cry, shuddering as his cocklet spilled beneath his stomach, his cunt clenching tight around Thomlein’s cock. With a growl, Thomlein sank his teeth into the back of Adequinn’s neck, thrusting deeply. The sudden swell of Thomlein’s knot made Adequinn scream, the mix of pain and pleasure sending him headlong into a peak more intense than he had ever felt, his body jerking helplessly, tugging on the tie until Thomlein folded strong arms around his chest and pinned him to his chest.

Adequinn felt as though he were floating in the aftermath, his cunt sore and satisfied, wrapped in Thomlein's thick, warm arms. When he felt Thomlein’s hand rubbing his lower belly, Adequinn flushed.

“I can feel the swell of seed,” Thomlein said, his voice sounding awed.

“Stop saying such embarrassing things,” Adequinn admonished sleepily, snuggling tighter into the Alpha’s hold.

“What if I said that I loved you?” Thomlein said, after a pause.

Adequinn swallowed, shuddered. “That is … that is allowed.”

Thomlein hummed, nosing against Adequinn’s mating bite as the prince dissolved into pleasurable trembling. “You do not need to respond, your Highness," Thomlein whispered sleepily. "I’m happy enough to be in your sweet regards. The tourney was merely to turn your eye to me, but I will court you properly in order to win the prize of your heart.”

Adequinn thought of the letter hidden in his writing desk, which he had not been able to burn even in the depths of his heartbreak. Safe in Thomlein’s arms, his cunt full, his nape marked, Adequinn smiled faintly at the thought of delivering Thomlein the truth of his feelings, developed in full long before Thomlein had set foot inside a tourney ring.

Perhaps later, Adequinn would worry about the likelihood of his body taking the seed, of being able to keep Thomlein after everything the Alpha had done to earn a chance for them.

Or perhaps … he would trust in something like destiny after all ...