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Grigg chewed nervously on a nail as he waited the requisite three minutes.

Nigel was still asleep. It had been a little over three weeks since the alpha had come to stay with him. He’d taken the time off work at short notice to help settle him in and so far it had been… fun. Sightseeing, brunches, lots of sex. It had also given them the time to really start getting to know each other better - which suddenly felt long overdue.

In three weeks he’d managed to show Nigel around the local area as well as fill him in on his life - where he worked, what he did there, what he did out of work. One thing was clear from the alpha’s reactions, this was not a lifestyle he was used to. Grigg couldn’t pretend not to have noticed the tattoos and scars that marked his lover’s skin that told the story of a life so different from his own. He could tell Nigel’s own stories in return were edited, though from embarrassment or concern he wasn’t quite sure. Even so, he grew to know the man - his likes and dislikes. His favourite shirt - the little dog one because it reminded him of a pet he’d had growing up. This had resulted in Grigg instantly stealing the shirt as he’d always wanted a dog as a child and was never allowed one. The shirt, scented with his alpha and soft to the touch ended up bunched under his pillow as a sort of comfort - and Nigel didn’t seem to mind one bit.

The alpha had adapted well, he enjoyed the hot weather and insisted on taking Grigg to the beach for an evening stroll on more than one occasion. Grigg had considered himself somewhat of a romantic before, though realistic with it, but Nigel was a whole other story. He had no idea alphas could be so sappy. The ones he knew personally, including close friends and family, certainly weren’t.

They had fallen into a comfortable routine in Grigg’s house. A house he hadn’t lived in for that long, a blank canvas new build that suddenly felt like more than just a house. With Nigel’s, laundry hanging up, his shoes in the hallway alongside his own and favourite beer in the fridge - it was starting to feel like a home.

It was comfortable and easy in a way no previous dalliance had ever been. He loved the way Nigel could effortlessly make him smile with a stolen kiss or stupid joke. He loved the way his smile made Nigel’s face light up in return and pulled something tight in his chest that he had never felt this keenly before.

He loved Nigel.

Things going well only made loving him easier, but even so, as much as they had come to know each other better in a short amount of time, there were lots of things they still hadn’t discussed. Children for one - their thoughts and feelings on them.

Not that it wasn’t already a moot point. Not that sitting in the bathroom waiting for the stick he just peed on to tell him something he already knew, wasn’t a waste of time. Yeah, Grigg was pretty sure that their reunion sex during his heat had got him pregnant. Because of course.

It wasn’t as though he’d been on the ball with taking his birth control when he’d returned from Romania and had his health hit rock bottom. In fact his life had been turned upside down since the moment he met his alpha and it didn’t look like it was going to go right side up again anytime soon.

He tapped his foot. Then moved from the edge of the bath, to sitting on the closed toilet lid. Began tapping his foot again and resisted the urge to look at the pee stick. He’d decided it was better to wait the time then look rather than watch it develop.

But he already knew.

Grigg sighed and rubbed his hand over his belly.

This wasn’t exactly the path he had expected his life to take when he’d relocated, or when he’d agreed to attend the conference in Bucharest. Or at all! He’d been happy to leave the settling down to his sisters.

Perhaps meeting Nigel either way might have changed his mind. The alpha definitely appealed to the romantic side of him. But had they not bonded by accident maybe things would have gone differently, slower at the least. He had worked so hard to forge a life for himself without having to rely on an alpha.

It had become clear that this was not an issue for Nigel. This hadn’t exactly been his future expectation either, but if anything he had been relieved to find himself bonded with an omega who could take of himself.

Maybe this could work? Maybe it could have… but a baby?

“Morning gorgeous.” Grigg jumped, turning to see Nigel in the bathroom doorway, grinning at him sleepily. The very sight of the alpha calmed him a little, but moreover lifted his heart. When they were together he had an absolute certainty that they were meant to be, that they would get through anything. But right now that certainty was stretched to the limit.

“I... I…” He could feel the colour draining from his face as Nigel’s expression turned to one of concern.

“Are you alright darling?” Nigel took a step into the bathroom as Grigg looked at the wall clock.

Three minutes.

He looked down at the fate changing piece of plastic in his hand.

Positive.

“I… I’m pregnant.”

Nigel froze and Grigg watched his warring expressions. There was delight in there, but also a huge amount of trepidation. It was pretty reflective of his own feelings. Both of them finally settled into a bewildered silence.

*

Nigel stared into the darkness that had fallen over the backyard, the wind gently swaying the porch swing he stood next to as he took another drag on his cigarette.

The day seemed to be endless and silent. Nigel didn't dare say anything. Had no idea what to say. Not that it mattered. He’d barely seen Grigg all day as the omega suddenly seemed fixated on clearing out the garage.

He had never wanted this - to settle and have kids. He'd never thought it something someone as fucked up as him should even attempt. And then he’d met Grigg.

Grigg made him feel like someone good. Someone who could be good. It helped that the omega was as happy to have an alpha who had little ability to provide, as he was to have an omega who wouldn’t depend on him. They didn’t fit the boxes society made for them, so they easily fit together in a way they would with no one else. In that sense neither of them were a catch, which made them perfect for each other.

Grigg was perfect.

And pregnant.

The thought sent a tremor through him.

He didn’t hear the door to the porch open until it closed with a wooden thud back into the frame and then the creaking sound of the loose slat that he knew drove Grigg mad. He had teased the omega over the flaw in his perfect house a few days earlier, but felt none of that joviality now. He turned and watched as Grigg went still and looked down, then to the garden before finally at Nigel.

“Hey.” Grigg pulled his arms up around himself against the slight chill on the breeze and Nigel was tempted to move towards him and warm him, but Grigg’s eyes fell to his cigarette.

Nigel plucked it from between his lips and stubbed it out on the side of the porch railing and dropped it into the ashtray on the small table out there. “Shit.” He mumbled then turned a grin on Grigg. “Guess I better quit that?”

A smile spread on Grigg’s face and Nigel felt a mirroring spread of warmth in his chest. He opened his arms and Grigg moved into them, pressing himself against Nigel’s chest and scenting at his neck.

“Yeah, I guess so.” Grigg confirmed. Nigel could hear the smile in his voice and was comforted by it.

He wrapped his arms tight around the omega and buried his nose in Grigg’s hair. It had a sweet omegan smell, citrus of shampoo, and that lingering scent of sunshine and outdoors that seemed to adhere to Grigg’s skin. Scents that Nigel had begun to associate wholly with his mate. Sunshine and happiness - yellow.

The impact of the previous silence near knocked the wind out of him as he realised why they had avoided each other all day -

“We’ll keep it?” He was nervous to ask, his heartbeat picking up. They had both spent the day avoiding this conversation and the possible responses they might have for each other.

“I never… This wasn’t something I had ever planned for. I don’t…” Grigg stumbled over his words and Nigel tensed. The omega pulled back then and looked at him, smiling again as the deep blue of his eyes captured Nigel’s. “Yeah, I want to have the baby. Do you…”

Nigel let out a breath he didn’t know he’d been holding as Grigg’s question trailed off unasked and he answered it anyway. “Yeah. I… I didn’t think I’d… but yeah. I want this. With you.” He basked in Grigg’s beaming smile.

They fell into a slow and deep kiss that made Nigel’s heart swell as Grigg moaned into his mouth and pressed close to him. Once his heat had subsided and they had left the hotel and moved to Grigg’s house they had taken the time to get to know each other in every intimate way and in every area of the house.

It wasn’t at all like anything back home. It was bright and airy, clean and tidy. Neat rooms full of books and gadgets, just enough to give insight into the omega’s personality without being cluttered - even the mantle that was covered in a variety of robots that Grigg called ‘collectable’. It wasn’t the dark and dingy shitholes he’d lived in before or the beer-stained sofas of friends that he had passed out on. It was very much the opposite of anything he had ever been accustomed to expecting in life and yet Nigel had felt instantly comfortable - like he belonged. With Grigg.

They had made love often, each time as good as the last if not better as they became more attuned to each other’s bodies and pleasures. He couldn’t imagine ever finding this with anyone else. And he didn’t need to, this was it. This was forever, he was sure of that.

He let out a low growl, rumbled from deep within his chest, as he scooped the omega up into his arms.

Grigg let out a laugh and made a little show of struggling against him. And yet when he got to the door it was Grigg who reached out and pulled it open so they could move back within the house.

Nigel moved through the house until he could deposit Grigg on the sofa, not for the first time. In fact the sofa had seen a lot of recent action, but Nigel was hesitant. Instead of dropping himself on top of the laughing omega and pressing him down into the cushions, he found himself gingerly crawling over him. Careful to keep his bulk from weighing down onto him.

Grigg tilted his head with a grin. “You won’t break me.” he laughed. “You won’t hurt me… us.” Grigg flushed a little.

Even so Nigel continued to hold himself over Grigg, watching the beautiful face that he had so missed all day. His arms shook a little as he repositioned himself to continue the stance but lean in to kiss Grigg again.

The omega laughed into the kiss and Nigel trailed his lips across to the bonding bite mark on Grigg’s neck, turning that laugh into a moan as he knew it would.

“All meant to be, gorgeous. You were always meant to be mine.” Nigel growled the words against Grigg’s skin and felt the omega shudder under him.

“Yes alpha.” Grigg moaned and then laughed again. “Romantic fool!”

Nigel laughed as well then and gently lowered himself onto his side next to Grigg, careful not to crush him as he might have intentionally in the past. He reached his long fingers out and spread them across Grigg’s belly, smoothing the soft material of his shirt out.

“Wow.” was the only word that Nigel could find. Grigg smiled and closed his eyes as Nigel’s hand played over him until he was purring.

They’d make this work.

*

Two weeks later and Grigg felt like he’d been pregnant for a million years.

He’d never been so tired in his life. It didn’t help that he wasn’t really eating at work because the combination of food and staring at a computer screen made him sick to his stomach. He felt almost constantly queasy and the slightest thing would set it off. It was making him irritable and cranky. He wasn’t sleeping well and work was made worse by the almost everyone else there insisting on treating him like some fragile little thing. Turned out that despite wanting to keep the pregnancy private until at least the second trimester – especially given the sudden circumstances - throwing up several times a day and almost falling to sleep at your desk were big giveaways.

He knew he was being quiet and moody when he got home from work and he felt terrible about it, even though he found himself not really able to stop it. He didn’t want to take it out on Nigel, but at the end of a shitty day, he found the alpha just as annoying as his colleagues. Made worse on the nights when Nigel tried to coddle him like he was precious and needed to be wrapped in cotton wool. The fact that they hadn’t had sex since his positive test was also driving him more than a little crazy. Going from having the most sex of his life to just sweet touches and gentle kisses, when he was getting hornier by the day, made him irrationally angry with the alpha.

The worst of it was coming home to find Nigel had started repairing the loose slat on the back porch. Grigg put his bike in the garage and went straight into the kitchen to grab some water. He’d wanted to drink it on the porch and enjoy the cooling breeze, but instead nearly tripped over a bag of tools as soon as he opened the door.

He swore before looking around for the alpha. “Nigel?”

There was no reply so he put down the water next to an overflowing ashtray and started to heft the tool bag to one side so he could at least get to one of the chairs and try to relax.

“Wait.” Nigel was suddenly behind him and grabbing the bag like he was some sort of invalid. Grigg let it go, and Nigel put the bag under the table out of harm's way before taking hold of Grigg’s elbow and guiding him around the loose slat and to the porch swing.

Nigel lowered him down into the seat and smiled down at him. “How was your day gorgeous?”

“Fine.” Grigg muttered before taking a sip of his water. Each day he got home and Nigel was tinkering with something or other. He’d even started to clear up the smaller of the two spare bedrooms that they had decided would be the nursery. They hadn’t got as far as discussing how to decorate it, for which Grigg was thankful. Chances were if they had, he’d come home to find it painted and ready for the baby. But he didn’t want that, not yet, he wasn’t ready for the baby yet. And besides, Nigel would likely leave as much mess as he cleared.

Grigg found himself angry at Nigel then, even though logically he knew he shouldn’t be - Nigel was trying as hard as he was. Nigel was trying to be the alpha he and the baby needed whilst Grigg tried to get used to not being able to be the omega he always had been, for the time being at least. This was all a lot harder than he thought it would be. He wasn’t sure it would have been any easier if they had planned it - neither of them were an obvious choice for parents.

Grigg huffed without realising and Nigel sank down next to him and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. “Want to talk about it?” The alpha asked as his weight made the porch swing sway in a way that had Grigg’s stomach churning.

He stood abruptly, spilling his water down himself. Not that he cared, he just needed everything to stop moving for a damn minute.

“I’m having a bath and going to bed.” He forced the bile down and words out before moving purposely from the porch and back into the house.

*

Grigg was fast asleep by the time Nigel went to bed, balled up tight on his side. Was this going to be their life now? Was the honeymoon period over? They had moved quickly and, now bonded and expecting a baby, there was no going back.

Though, that wasn’t quite true. Nigel wouldn’t be the first shitty alpha to leave an omega high and dry and he couldn’t say the thought hadn’t occurred to him when Grigg left him alone all day and then came home to snap and him and ignore him. Was this what the future was for them? Wouldn’t they both be happier suffering heats and ruts apart as best they could without their mate, than stay together if it wasn’t working?

He showered and dried off before climbing into bed. Tomorrow was Saturday, Grigg wasn’t working so maybe they could do something together? Go to the beach? They hadn’t done anything like that since they found out Grigg was pregnant.

Grigg stirring and moving closer, though still not touching, reminded Nigel all too well that they hadn’t had sex since then either. It wasn’t for want on either side as far as he could tell on Grigg’s behalf. He just hadn’t managed to get his head around it.

He wasn’t stupid, he knew sex wouldn’t hurt the baby. He knew the baby wouldn’t be aware of what was happening. But it was one thing knowing that logically and another dealing with the reality. The fact was since he discovered the omega was pregnant he had a deep welling desire to reclaim him every day. To take him hard and rough and sink his teeth in and reopen that bonding mark over and over so others could be in no doubt he was claimed. It brought out the possessive alpha in him more than he’d have ever believed possible. How roughly he wanted to handle the omega scared him, and he was sure would scare Grigg. And no matter what the books said, he really was worried that he might hurt Grigg and the baby.

He wasn’t going to fool himself with the ease with which he had slipped into this new life. He was a man with a great capacity for violence. What if he lost control of this possessiveness and was too rough? What if he did hurt Grigg or the baby? The thought chilled him and brought a lump to his throat.

Maybe he was really fooling himself that this would work out. He wasn’t good enough for Grigg. He wasn’t a good man. Memories of exactly what he was capable off swirled in his brain as he drifted into an uneasy sleep.

Grigg was gone when he woke up, his side of the bed already cold. Nigel rolled over and looked at the clock - just after 9am. Grigg would have been up for at least an hour and probably pissed off that this no good alpha would sleep the whole morning away. Likely with little consideration that he came to bed late, after having stayed out in the fading sun fixing the damn porch flooring.

He groaned at the ache in his shoulder from the repetitive work of the day before. It had been too long since he’d been to a gym. Maybe he should look into that… the thought died as he wondered whether there was a point in looking into a membership when he had no job and might not even be in the area much longer. That sent a stab of pain through him along with the sudden urge to find Grigg. He wasn’t sure what he would do when he found him - he wanted to snuggle into him and take in his scent, but he couldn’t imagine that would happen. Grigg would likely pull away as usual.

Nigel got out of bed and pulled on some sweatpants before heading to the stairs. He started to run through in his head what he could say to Grigg to make it all better. He was at the top of the stairs when he heard someone knock at the front door and Grigg answer it. He could hear a woman’s voice and Grigg talking jovially as he lead her into the kitchen. The scent hit him as he reached the bottom step - alpha.

He felt his chest tighten and heat prickled over his skin.

Another alpha, in his home, with his omega.

“I was worried we’d chased you away after only one meeting, I tried to call…”

“I got an early night, I’ve… been tired. I’m sorry, Joss, I forgot. Please give my apologies to everyone.”

Nigel tensed up as he heard them conversing so easily, and moved quickly and cautiously to the kitchen - a low rumbling growl welling in his chest the whole time. When he walked into the kitchen both Grigg and the other alpha froze at the sight of him. They were stood casually leaning against the kitchen counter, fresh cups of coffee in their hands and smiles on their faces.

“Oh.” The alpha said as she raised a brow before finally looking back to Grigg. “You… uh, I didn’t realise you…” She was studying him then and must have taken a closer look at his collar, barely hiding the fading scar.

Nigel could practically feel her tense up in response to the situation and the truth of it hit him. Grigg had been with this alpha. The realisation must have showed in his face when he too looked at Grigg and found the omega looking upset and a little scared. He could smell it then, the fear seeping from Grigg. Maybe not directly fear of him, but fear of being in a room with two rival alphas, standing there pregnant and glum.

“Get out.” Nigel growled at the woman.

Perhaps had things been different. Perhaps if they hadn’t had the couple of weeks that they’d had. If Nigel didn’t feel like he was losing grasp on his mate. Perhaps then he might have been cordial. Joined them for a coffee and asked how they knew each other. Instead his hind-brain shut down all other thoughts. All he could focus on was his omega, his baby, reclaiming Grigg before this other alpha could attempt to rival him and harm the child.

Even so, his mind blurred, when he looked at Grigg he didn’t see what he might have expected. He didn’t see anger or disappointment or annoyance. He saw pride and love and lust.

The other alpha said something but Nigel didn’t hear it, his entire attention trained on the omega and every breath he took. The front door clicked somewhere in the distance like it had been relocated to another planet.

“Mine.” He growled and watched as Grigg shuddered in response.

The omega nodded and drew in a deep breath - scenting the air and finding his mate. “Yes alpha.” The words came out on a low moan.

Nigel closed the distance between them in easy strides as Grigg moved forward, the omega’s hands finding his shoulders and legs wrapping around his waist as they came together with growls and groans.

“Mine.” Nigel said again, softer as he buried his face into Grigg’s neck, inhaling the beautiful scent of his mate. Grigg whimpered his reply.

Nigel moved them around the counter and into the living room, down onto the large sofa.

“I need you.” Grigg breathed the words against him as Nigel nuzzled into his neck, pressing him down on his back and grinding their hard cocks together.

He knew he should be holding back and yet he couldn’t find the strength to. His need to claim his omega again was so intense he could think of nothing else. Nigel moved back and pulled Grigg’s pyjama pants down as he went - the omega lifting his hips to allow one fluid motion until the lay crumpled on the floor. Nigel kissed his gently rounding belly, the flesh there soft and firm at once.

Grigg was hard, slick coating his thighs. Nigel wanted to move lower and taste it, but that sort of slow and gentle pleasure could wait. It wasn’t what they both needed right now.

He moved forward again, hitching his sweatpants down over his hips and to his thighs as he nestled between Grigg’s legs. He entered the omega in one hard thrust which had them both crying out.

Grigg’s fingers dug into the meat of his shoulders as they found purchase and gripped him close. The omega’s head lolled back, the pleasure flooding through him betrayed by the jerking of his cock against Nigel’s stomach.

When Grigg’s legs wrapped up and locked around him, pulling him in as deep as he could go, Nigel growled again and pulled back enough to thrust in hard. Grigg’s sharp cries turned to whimpers as he repeated the action over and over, pressing Grigg down as he fucked into him harder than he ever had before.

Grigg was writhing and gasping, hot puffs of breath against Nigel’s bare shoulder as he shuddered into the rhythm Nigel was setting. Deep, hard thrusts had Grigg gripping him tighter with his thighs almost enough to bruise. Nigel braced himself with one hand and used the other to grab one of Grigg’s thighs and pull them as close as possible as his knot started to fill.

“Yes. Nigel… please… please…” Grigg moaned beneath him and it was almost enough to make Nigel cum. He held back from the edge as he thrust sharply once, then twice, enough to push his knot into Grigg and make the omega cry out again. Grigg whimpered and sobbed as Nigel swelled to fill and stretch him. He weakly groaned “alpha” again as he came between them, spurting hot ropes of sticky cum that mixed with their combined sweat.

Nigel felt his own orgasm welling again and this time he didn’t hold back. He sank his teeth into Grigg’s neck and tore open their bonding scar again as he spilled inside the omega with a violent shudder as Grigg cried out with pleasure.

Grigg’s legs remained wrapped around him, his arms relaxed and wrapped up too, one hand snaking into Nigel’s hair and playing there as the alpha’s weight pressed him completely down. Nigel lapped at the reopened wound, running his rough tongue slowly over the skin and making Grigg shiver when he reached ticklish spots. But Grigg didn’t laugh, neither of them made a sound other than their panted breaths. They just held each other close as they lay, tied together, sated and reclaimed.

It wasn’t until Nigel’s knot deflated and he went to pull back that Grigg spoke, tightening his arms and legs around him and holding him in place.

“Hold me a little longer.” Grigg’s voice trembled with emotion and Nigel could feel the dampness of tears against his shoulder. He relaxed down into the omega and relished Grigg’s contented sigh. “I… I missed you. I’m sorry.”

“It wasn’t just you.” Nigel sighed. “I need to be better, I need to be what you need me to be.”

“I just need you to be this Nigel. I need you to be my mate.” Grigg’s voice quivered and he let out a little sob.

“I’ll always be that gorgeous. Forever. No matter what.” Nigel realised the absolute truth in his own words.

He repositioned them then, pulling out of Grigg and moving onto his side, drawing Grigg into an embrace as gentle as their fucking had been hard. He held Grigg close as the omega let out the pent up emotions, let him cry himself out and relax against him.

“You just need to talk to me darling. You just need to let me know what’s going on in that gorgeous brain. We’re a team now. We have to be, for this one.” He shifted to move his hands between them and over Grigg’s still barely rounded belly.

He felt Grigg nod against his chest.

“Nigel… I… I love you.”