Kevin Alartis groaned when he stood straight, his hands on his lower back, stretching out as much as he could until he heard a soft pop.
And holy fuck was that ever painful.
“Ow, Alistair, you stupid bastard.”
“What did I do this time?”
His alpha lion shifter reached his hand out, taking Kevin’s so he could have something to lean against, which was good because Kevin’s ankles were swollen to hell and back.
“You got me knocked up, and now I can’t do any basic gardening for more than ten minutes before this giant watermelon inside me makes me have to pee or ache all over my body.”
“Poor baby,” Alistair said, a complete lack of empathy in his voice, the bastard.
“You can shut the hell—hey!”
Kevin couldn’t help the small, feminine-sounding scream he let out when Alistair scooped Kevin up into his arms. Despite how big and fat Kevin had become, Alistair was still all wide muscle and strength. That must have been nice considering he was an immortal knight created by the Gods. Being super strong and having the ability to eat as much as he wanted whenever he wanted without any consequences must have been amazing.
Kevin hated him for that, and sometimes he hated the man for getting him pregnant, but right now, he loved him again as Kevin leaned against that massive chest and let himself be carried away.
“You need to lie down a bit.”
“Not in bed. I can’t handle being in bed anymore.”
It wasn’t as if men were getting pregnant all the time, and ever since Kevin’s belly started to stick out so much, his mate had gotten it into his handsome head that Kevin needed to be tucked into bed at all times, whenever possible, and if Kevin wanted something, Alistair seemed to think he had to get it.
It had been fun and sweet at first, but as time went on and Kevin realized Alistair wasn’t playing around, well, he was starting to lose his mind.
Kevin was lucky to be let out to play around in the garden and check on the tomatoes he was growing, but he couldn’t seem to get very far with that before his back started to act up and he got irritable, which, in turn, made Alistair think he should be back in bed.
“Come here, how about this?”
Kevin opened his eyes, seeing that his mate was taking him to the deck. There were lawn chairs on the deck.
“Really?” Kevin closed his eyes and smiled, leaning his ear back against Alistair’s heart. He liked the sound it made. A nice, muffled thumping noise. It reminded Kevin that this wasn’t a crazy dream. This was real, and even though Alistair was being a pain in the ass, Kevin still loved him.
“I am not a pain in the ass.”
Kevin grinned. “Was I talking out loud?”
“A little, and in third person. I’m starting to get worried for you.”
Kevin snorted a laugh then groaned when his mate put him down onto the lawn chair where he could lie down in the warmth of the sun. It was an abnormally warm spring, which was why he and his mate were outside.
Well, there were stranger things in the world. Like immortal shapeshifters who were charged with protecting humanity against their villainous brother. That was some weird stuff.
Kevin felt the press of lips against his forehead. “You know, I wouldn’t insist on you staying in bed all the time if you could stay awake more than a few hours at a time.”
Kevin told Alistair to stop worrying, but of course it came out sounding more like a groan as he turned onto his side, snuggling into the lawn chair under the warm sun.
Alistair chuckled above him. He said something, but Kevin didn’t catch it. Kevin was too focused on how much he liked it when Alistair’s hand touched his hair, his fingers threading through the strands.
Kevin would enjoy it if his mate touched him more, but the most they’d done was some kissing in the shower, and Alistair had given him a hand job a couple of days ago, and a few days before that, he’d given him a blow job in the shower.
The problem was Alistair wasn’t letting Kevin touch him. Not much and not really, and Alistair hadn’t been inside Kevin in a long time. Almost two months. Kevin didn’t like that his mate wasn’t letting Kevin touch him. It seemed weird and wrong on so many levels, but it wasn’t as if there was anything he could do about it.
Kevin was waddling around the house lately, and that was when he was allowed to be up to walk around.
He would fight Alistair on that, but it was true. Kevin was sore and tired all the time. It wasn’t as if Kevin could be a responsible parent and run around the house and garden when he was either constantly tired or constantly feeling some sort of discomfort and pain.
Then there was Keaton. That asshole was still running around.
“Who are you calling an asshole?”
Kevin snapped his eyes open. The sun has gone, behind dark gray clouds, and it was windy. It was as if it were winter all over again.
Keaton stood above him. If the sun had been out, he would be blocking it with the way he stared down at Kevin, his lips pulled down in a harsh frown.
“He can’t hear you. It’s just you and me here.”
Kevin tensed. “You’re…you’re not supposed to be here. The house—”
“Yes, yes, the house is spelled to keep me out. The asshole who has the audacity to want you to bring his mate back to life. That would be me, right?”
“You can’t tell me that you haven’t been thinking about this, too.”
Kevin bit his lower lip when Alistair’s hand clenched a little around Kevin’s hard cock. Clenching in just the right way, not too hard, but not too soft, either.
If Alistair walked out on him now and left him to deal with this on his own, he was going to be so furious with the man. That was for damned sure.
Alistair shook his head, a thread of resistance still there.
Kevin felt kind of bad. He knew Alistair wasn’t doing this to punish either of them. Kevin was too horny to bother with taking precautions. He wanted to throw it all out the window because he desperately needed the sex.
Yeah, he was going to be a real responsible parent.
“Come on, please. I know you’ve been thinking about it. I know you’ve been touching yourself when I wasn’t doing it for you.”
Alistair’s cheeks turned a bright shade of red so suddenly that it was kind of funny to watch. Kevin laughed a little at him.
At least it was proof that he was right.
“Just kiss me a little bit. I’m…I’m still freaked out by that dream. I need you.”
Alistair made a noise that sounded halfway between a purr and a growl. “That it not fair, and very cruel. You would use your encounter with Keaton to guilt me into bed with you?”
“At this point, with the way you’ve been making me wait, yes. Absolutely. Yeah.”
He couldn’t deny it. His mate was clearly onto him.
Alistair made the groaning noise again. Kevin’s heart rate spiked.
“If you’re going to turn me down, at least have the decency to stop making those sexual noises. You’re turning me on so much more, and it’s not fair.”
“Says the man who is attempting to guilt his mate into bed. I thought that was a bad thing to do.”
“How about we make a deal? You and I together right now. If you ever want me in bed with you, then you can guilt me all you want and you will forever get a free pass from me. In return, I’ll do the same for you.”
Alistair smiled at him, his palm moving up and down, stroking, giving just the right amount of pressure and friction through the pajama pants to make Kevin hiss.
“I think I could do that. What will happen if you and I cannot have sex at all?”
Kevin glared at his mate. “If you’re trying to make me think that we can’t have sex right now, then you’re being an asshole about it. Just tell me either way.”
“All right, I am not convinced that you are in a proper state of health for me to be inside you.”
Kevin swore his heart actually stopped in that moment. He could feel the sudden cease and desist of blood flow inside him, and it hurt.
Then Alistair leaned in good and close, their noses touching as he spoke through his teeth.
“But you’re such a damned tease that you bring out the worst in me, and I’m going to fuck you anyway.”
Kevin exhaled a deep breath of air. “Oh, thank God.”
“Good, now get back on the bed. Right now.”
* * * *
Alistair had to admit it was sort of amusing to see his mate scramble and beg for sex. At least Alistair knew he was doing all right by his mate that Kevin wanted to be touched so badly all the time.
Though Alistair did feel some guilt for that. He’d thought he’d been taking care of his mate in a decent enough manner that Kevin would be satisfied without their bodies being joined all the time. Alistair still touched and loved his mate as much as he thought Kevin needed. Alistair had been forcing himself to go without because if he’d lost control he would need so much more than Kevin might be able to give him, and he didn’t want to put that sort of pressure on his mate. He didn’t want Kevin in pain, or bleeding, because Alistair had been unable to control himself.
Kevin had apparently done his research on sex during pregnancy. Well, Alistair had done the same, and that was why he’d insisted on staying away.
Except for right now. He needed to be inside his mate right now.
Kevin shoved down his pants and took off the T-shirt he’d been wearing, exposing his body. He was different, bigger in some places, the same in others, but Alistair still saw how lovely Kevin was. Kevin was just as handsome as he’d always been, and that was the thing that made it so difficult to stay away from him.
Especially when Kevin reached his hands out, his legs spread, inviting Alistair forward.
“Come here, please.”
Alistair did. He climbed on top of his mate, but he didn’t settle himself on top of Kevin’s body, for obvious reasons.
“Tell me that you need me again.”
Kevin nodded. “I do need you. I love you.”
It was the sweetest thing, the way Kevin said those words so easily, as if he didn’t have to think about them because it was his instinct to be in love with Alistair.
After hearing his mate had another scare with Keaton, Alistair needed to hear those words.
He was failing too damned much lately. He didn’t know if that dream had been just a dream or something real that had been done with magic, but he wouldn’t take the chance.
“Roll to your side for me.”
Kevin nodded, doing that, too.
His cock was hard, dark in color and so red at the crown that it was nearly purple. Alistair gave it a relieving stroke to take some of the pressure away from it. “I have been neglecting you, haven’t I?”
Kevin gasped, humping into Alistair’s hand. “N-no kidding. Was t-taking you long enough to notice.”