Alastor's hand tingled from when he'd struck Marty on the face. Alastor hardly ever had to punish those in his pack. They were loyal, usually did as they were told, and never had anyone put the entire pack in danger by just...leaving.
Anything could have happened. In a sense it was lucky those hicks had found Marty first and not some rival pack. A rival pack would have tortured him for information, the numbers of betas in Alastor's pack, the land, the food, and the pups.
They could have come when Alastor least expected it and so many could be dead.
That was partly why Alastor had struck Marty and simply threatened to lash him. In truth, his punishment for being so foolish should have been a hard lashing anyway, but Alastor was weak.
He never thought he would have had to punish Marty. Not his Marty.
But Marty betrayed the pack. He put everyone in danger when he'd left, and Alastor had spent days thinking he'd either been killed or kidnapped. He'd worried. He'd fretted, hadn't slept or eaten, only to find Marty had left of his own free will and had been captured by those humans.
Now Alastor had him back, and he didn't know whether he should kiss the man or kill him. He opted for kissing him. In front of his betas, it didn't matter. He would make something up later. Alastor grabbed Marty and crushed their lips together, needing to feel him, to feel that he was real.
He was real. He was real, and he was warm. His lips were chapped and harsh from weeks of being held by those people, but it was what Alastor needed. The kiss was made all the sweeter when he thrust his tongue between Marty's lips, forcing them to part for him.
Everything reacted. Alastor's blood bubbled as though boiling. His cock and balls tightened and twitched, and despite how utterly furious he was, it was all Alastor needed to know he wasn't finished with this man.
He had to pull back from the kiss before his cock could stand to more than half erect. This was too much as it was.
* * * *
When Alastor pulled back from the kiss, he didn’t so much as look Marty in the eyes all the way back to the pack.
Marty was too scared to ask what that had been about or to look back at the betas to see if they were glaring at him. Maybe they thought he'd manipulated or tricked their alpha in this somehow. It wasn't good, considering the amount of trouble he was already in. When he felt a little braver, he tried stealing glances at them. He definitely heard the betas muttering. They were curious, that much was obvious. Even Dimitris, who was sometimes nice to Marty, wouldn’t look at him on the journey back.
Marty didn’t know what he was supposed to do about any of this.
The walk took twelve hours. It had seemed such a shorter distance as Marty had run away from the pack, and his feet were hot and throbbed as if they'd been beaten.
Probably because he had been running. Marty was not a wolf, and he couldn’t keep up in the same ways that the alphas, betas, or even the omegas could, but he was still fast, and he could go long distances before he had to slow down.
If Alastor could just run it would likely take him only four hours instead of twelve. The betas had carried those cows back to the farmers that had wanted to kill Marty to bless their crops and feed their children, so it was apparent that they were not carrying Marty as a form of punishment.
Marty’s mouth burned dry on the walk back. He stared at the back of Alastor’s head while the man held the other end of his chains, and he seriously considered begging for water.
No. He wouldn't ask. Not because he was worried Alastor would hit him again, but because his pride wouldn't allow it.
The thirst and pain and quiet left Marty with a lot to think about. Why had Alastor kissed Marty? To punish him? To show him what he would never be getting ever again? The worst part was the way Marty's body had reacted to the immediate pleasure, to the touch of Alastor's tongue, but he pushed it away and ignored the painful lump forming in his throat.
Why did Alastor have to kiss him? It was a worse punishment than walking until his feet bled. Those damned backward-thinking, superstitious farmers had taken his shoes when they’d imprisoned him. Marty really wished he had something right about now. He wished Alastor would tell him he was forgiven, that Marty was wrong and Alastor did care. He wished Alastor would notice he was in pain and thirsty, but Alastor didn't care. He never did. It was a lie, and Marty was likely to receive more punishments when he got back to the pack.
No one betrayed a pack and got off with nothing.
A lashing was worse than bruised and aching feet. Lashings could kill, and Alastor hadn’t told Marty how many lashings he would get.
Not to mention the threat of what would come after if Marty kept on talking. He shivered at the thought.
The cold season was coming. It had been bad enough sleeping in that hole for two weeks, but sleeping outside, when it could rain or snow at any time, that could also kill. Humans with no shelter died all the time.
Alastor wanted him to say nothing. Then he would say nothing. Marty wouldn’t have begged for rest anyway. He didn’t want to give any of these men, not Dimitris, Alastor, or the other betas, the satisfaction of seeing him at his lowest.
His throat continued to feel swollen and aching, however. There seemed to be nothing much that he could do about that, or the pain in his chest.
“Swallow it. Just like that.” Alastor grunted. “That’s it.”
Marty did as he was told, and he sucked back a third swallow before Alastor decided that was enough and pulled his wrist back.
No more. He didn’t need to give his mate any more than that because now all Alastor wanted to do was kiss and lick all the blood from Marty’s lips.
Marty moaned, his hands finding and gripping tightly to the hair on the back of Alastor’s head when their mouths came together. Alastor couldn’t stop moving. Too good. The pleasure that swelled inside him, in his cock and testicles, ballooning just under his belly…it was all Marty doing this. Marty had been the only one to ever be able to do this to him. No one else, and now Marty was his for life.
If only it had happened some other way, some better way, but Alastor was more than willing to take whatever he could get out of this. He had his mate. He didn’t care for anything else other than taking his orgasm from that.
Marty panted and cried out like that again and again whenever their mouths weren’t connected. With each thrust of Alastor’s hips, Marty cried out a soft word, Alastor’s name, or a plea for more. He was very good at it, and judging from his scent, he was already close to his pleasure one more time.
That’s it. You’re mine. You’re going to come for me, and I’m going to come inside you. Mark you. Mate with you. Mine.
The wolf was speaking there. It’s mind coming to the forefront along with Alastor’s.
Alastor liked it when his wilder side came out. He wanted more of it. He wanted to take his mate with the wolf in his mind.
Wild and wanting.
“I’m going to come inside you. Everyone will smell my scent on you. Understand?”
Marty nodded, his cheeks flushed and eyes still dilated. It was a wonder he could even understand a word that came from Alastor’s mouth.
“Turn around. Present yourself to me.”
The wolf wanted that. Alastor wanted that even more.
It might not be the most comfortable position for Marty’s knees, but at least it would give him some form of control, and Marty’s back wouldn’t be digging into the hard edges of the stairs.
Marty did as he was told, understanding just how he was meant to get into position. He put his knees onto the steps, his hands up and out of the water. He looked over his shoulder, and that wanton expression on his cheeks had to be an accident. There was no way he could be purposely so sexy and wanton.
It was the bruising on Marty’s back that gave Alastor pause. He hadn’t noticed it before, but this was the first time he was looking at Marty’s bare back up close in proper lighting.
He hadn’t been lashed, but with marks like that, they’d definitely belted him several times.
And Alastor had made him walk all the way back home in bare feet.
Marty reached back, his hand finding Alastor’s hip, the warm touch getting his attention. “Look at me. Not at that. Is this how you want me?”
There was no hint that Marty was broken from this. No sign that he couldn’t recover or would fall apart at the wrong word. His strength turned on the alpha inside Alastor. He liked it. He wanted to see more of it.
Alastor rumbled his approval, his cock pulsing. He had to give it a mercy stroke to ease the ache. “Exactly like this. You are the most sexual thing I have ever seen.”
Marty smiled, as if this pleased him and relieved him. Alastor hoped it did a little of both.
Beside the bandages he’d brought for Marty’s feet after Alastor had finished washing them, there was a cream for his cracked skin. Alastor hadn’t needed it. He’d picked it up with the hope and expectation he would be using it for this, and he was glad he’d been right to prepare for it.
He grabbed the wooden jar, untwisted the cap, and scooped some of the cream from the pot.
He immediately put his two fingers to Marty’s hole. Marty jumped cutely.
“What is it?”
He looked over his shoulder again, his mouth set in an adorable frown. “It’s cold.”
Alastor chuckled, going back to the task at hand. “It will warm up. Give it time.”
Why was everything about Marty so wonderfully perfect? Why did he have to bring out all of Alastor’s protective instincts? Why did they have to be soul mates?
Alastor was never going to tell Marty such a thing. Marty had seemed displeased enough at the idea of letting Alastor mate with him, but it was true, they were soul mates.
Alastor hadn’t been lying either. When he’d gone to retrieve the food, that was when he’d discovered the wants of the pack when it came to Marty. He’d rushed back as soon as possible, grateful to find Marty still here, and unharmed.
Alastor would have to be careful from now on. With his feelings, and with Marty’s life. The mating would do only so much to keep Marty safe.