The Omega lion who was to be his mate—Will, Alex reminded himself—shook so badly throughout the ceremony that he started to wonder if he made a mistake. Alex might be a lot of things, he was ruthless when it came to protecting the pride and made tough decisions no one else would, but he wasn’t an asshole who’d force himself on another.
Alex’s lion picked up the fear emanating from Will and didn’t like it one bit. For a moment there when he glimpsed the slender brown-haired man with the bright blue eyes walking down the aisle, determination printed on his features, he thought this might not be so bad after all.
Alex changed his mind as the ceremony proceeded, because Will seemed to grow apprehensive every second. He tried to put himself in Will’s shoes. Yes, mating a stranger would be frightening, but for some reason, it stung that Will seemed afraid of him.
His lion grew restless inside of him, but only because the animal wanted to speed things up. Strange. Why was the lion still pushing at him to claim Will, despite the fact the Omega was terrified?
“You may kiss the groom,” the priest said.
He turned, didn’t fail to notice Will still had that distracted look on his face. This wouldn’t do, because Alex knew that this moment was crucial. He refused to start their arranged marriage like this, with Will trembling and not able to look him in the eye.
Suppressing the growl that might only worsen the situation, he grabbed Will’s shoulder, catching the Omega by surprise. For the first time that day, he touched his mate, running his fingers over the curve of Will’s jaw. The Omega widened his eyes, clearly not expecting that. Will opened his mouth, but he took that opportunity to lean forward for their first kiss.
Alex started slow, tentative, wanting to feel Will out first. When Will responded with a passion that took him by surprise, his lion became pleased. Alex shifted his hand to the back of Will’s neck. Their tongues tangled. Sweetness exploded on his mouth, and his dick thickened in his trousers.
The last thing he expected was explosive chemistry between him and his mate. When he pulled away, shock remained on Will’s face, too. The Omega hadn’t been expecting that either. Alex knew his next words were crucial. He brushed his lips against Will’s ear, liked how the Omega shivered, entire body tensed and waiting for Alex’s next move.
“I know you didn’t want this, never asked to be mated to me. Neither did I, but we’re both here now. We can start by being friends first.”
The guests erupted in applause and congratulations, probably only seeing the image they projected. Will was a good actor, too, he realized.
Will looked at him warily and touched his bottom lip, still swollen from Alex’s initial kiss. Will snorted, and that left him intrigued. Only a moment ago, this Omega trembled in fear, but now, Alex glimpsed fire in those eyes, steel in Will’s spine.
His lion roared in approval.
“That’s not how a friend kisses,” Will stated, and for the first time that day, he smiled.
Maybe this little Omega could prove to be a welcomed challenge after all, would provide some spice to their marriage of convenience.
“Maybe I want to be more than your friend,” Alex continued in the same conspiratorial whisper.
He reached for Will’s hand, gave it a squeeze. The Omega huffed, probably saw it as a challenge, and gripped his hand. Alex gently steered them down the aisle.
“I don’t get you,” Will muttered under his breath in a voice only Alex could hear. “First you want to be friends, then more?”
“It’s because I saw the fire in you. I thought you were going to break down mid-ceremony.”
Will scoffed. “I’m made of sterner stuff.”
“Indeed.” The more Alex spent time with his mate, the more he became interested.
He knew next to nothing about Will, only saw his duty when it came to this entire affair, but Alex began to see that was a mistake. They could build something between them, he realized. Will was not the timid little Omega he pictured but was turning out to be someone more complex. First, though, he needed to get past some of Will’s defenses.
Alex wasn’t naive. Trust needed to be built for any relationship to bloom, and he planned on spending plenty of time with his new mate. This might end up being beneficial for both of them after all.
“You should wipe that scowl off your face, baby. Others might think you don’t like me,” he remarked.
“I don’t like you. That’s the truth.”
“Oh? Then I’ll have you know that I’m not the sort of man who backs down from a challenge.”
“Now, you’ve caught a glimpse of the package,” Will said, gesturing to himself. “What’s your verdict?”
He reached out, let his claws slide out of his hand. Will caught his breath but didn’t move, only breathing hard as he dragged his claws down Will’s shirt, making all the buttons fly off.
“You know what I want. Do you want the same thing?” he had to ask.
Will nodded, resolution in his eyes. “Yes. Take me, Alex. Make me yours.”
Whether Will resounded out of recklessness or care, it no longer mattered. A lion prince didn’t ask again. He nodded to Will’s clothes. “Take them off.”
“You, too,” Will said, making him laugh.
Nonetheless, he peeled off his jacket, followed by his shirt. Will paused as he worked on his belt buckle.
“What?” he asked. “Who gave you permission to stop?”
Will huffed. “I was about to compliment your rock-hard abs, but never mind.”
“Compliment me nonetheless.”
Will stuck out his tongue. “Maybe next time.”
“Oh, Omega, we’re going to have so much fun. Now take off your pants before I rip them off you.” Will must have sensed the threat in his voice, because the Omega hurriedly undressed.
He enjoyed the sight of Will, naked, vulnerable, and all his. He could imagine Will’s creamy fleshed marked by his bite marks and smirked. The lion inside him roared in approval. Alex dropped his bottoms. Will sucked in a breath, staring.
“You’re so big,” Will said.
“That another compliment?”
“Can you really fit inside me?” Will asked in wonder. Alex detected no trace of fear in his voice. Good.
“I can, and I will.” Alex gave Will a push on the chest so the Omega landed on his back on the bed. “Scoot up.”
Will obeyed, and he joined Will in bed, crawling above his mate but keeping his hands on either side of Will’s head, keeping his weight off Will. Will looked so stiff, uncertain, so he lowered his head and kissed his Omega again. Will responded hungrily, and he did the same, letting Will explore and touch the length of his body.
He pulled his mouth away, started to go lower. Reaching the side of Will’s neck, he gave the spot connecting shoulder and neck a kiss. Will shivered. It probably hadn’t escaped Will that spot was special, where Alex would eventually put his mate mark. Shifters bonded for life, and once the mating bond took hold, they were bound forever.
Alex used to dread it, but not anymore. In fact, he felt freer than he’d ever been. He bit Will there, not hard enough draw blood but sufficient enough to leave a bruise, before moving lower. Alex took Will’s left nipple into his mouth, sucking hard, before biting down, too. At the same time, he reached for Will’s dick and started to stroke.
The Omega moaned as he left more nips and bites down the line of Will’s body. Reaching Will’s cock, he gave the leaking tip a kiss, before using his tongue to swipe away the pre-cum. Will shuddered, but he gave Will’s thigh a warning squeeze.
“Not yet, I want to taste you.”
Will snorted. “Easy for you to say.”
Will was still capable of retorts, which meant Alex hadn’t been doing his job well. Alex tongued Will’s cockhead, traced the entire length of Will’s prick from tip to root. Even Will’s balls, he didn’t neglect. He sucked at them until Will buckled above him and started to beg him for release.
Not done yet, he pried Will’s legs further and went past Will’s crease to reach the Omega’s puckered entrance.
“Alex,” Will said, voice breathy. “Not there. No one’s ever—”
He traced Will’s entrance with his tongue, before pushing it in. Alex knew that Will already cleaned up for today. Will groaned above him, and he didn’t need to raise his head to know Will had colored.
“Oh my God.”
Alex smiled and pushed his tongue in and out. Will was like any male Omega, self-lubricating, making things handy for him. Alex pulled his face away and crawled back up, only to squeeze Will’s prick.
“Come for me. Do it now.”
At his order, Will erupted, spilling strings of his cum over his fingers. Alex savored the unguarded expression that crossed Will’s face. The Omega expelled a sigh, but they weren’t done yet. To make his point, he gave Will’s softening cock a squeeze.
“I need to fuck you, right now,” he said.
Will smiled lazily at him, just like a pampered house cat. Well, Alex would make it a point to render Will undone as many times as he could. He liked that look of satisfaction on Will’s face. “Exactly my thoughts, my Rex.”
He grinned at the title. “Call me ‘Your Majesty’ next.”
Will blinked. “You’ve got to be joking.”
“I never joke.”
He rolled off the bed, held his dick, already engorged and thick, and gave it a few pumps. Will slid lower down the bed, until his legs dangled off the edge.
Will glared at him in answer.
“Tell me, kitty cat.” Damn it, Alex couldn’t stop himself. “You ready for this? To feel me buried so deep inside you that you can’t breathe?”