Jared sighs as he stretches in the early morning sun shining through the slight part in the curtains covering their bedroom window. He blindly reaches out for his mate, frowning when all he encounters are cool sheets instead of Jensen’s sleep-warm body.
His eyes flutter open for a moment – groaning when he sees it’s after nine. Jensen must have gotten up to take Drew to school.
Their oldest is already being groomed to be the next Alpha – his birthright – but Jared kind of hates that his poor little boy has to go through it at the tender age of six. He wishes he could keep his oldest pup a little boy just a little bit longer.
He strains his ears, listening to the baby monitor he hasn’t been able to bring himself to remove from the twins’ room just yet – even though they’re two and doing perfectly fine now. Brie’s still a bit smaller than Lizzie but she can run circles around both her older siblings, having fully made up for her rough start and shaky first six months.
He doesn’t hear any sounds so that must mean that either Jensen or Donna got the girls as well. Jared honestly can’t remember the last time he got to sleep in so he rolls onto his back, stretching once again. His hands instinctively go to his belly, rubbing gently over the slight swell. Despite all the trouble with the twins, once things settled down and Jared was sure that they were really okay – and Jensen spent a shit-ton of time convincing Jared that he really didn’t do anything wrong – he was totally willing to extend their family. But this is definitely the last time he’s going to do this – at least for a while.
“Have I ever told you how beautiful you look like that?”
Jared smiles, his eyes still closed, at the low rumble of his mate’s voice. Unlike when he was pregnant with Drew and their bond disappeared completely or with the girls where it was overwhelming, their bond is spotty this time. Sometimes Jared can sense Jensen when he’s in town at work, sometimes he can’t even sense his mate when he’s in the same room.
“Like what?” Jared asks, letting his eyes flutter open finally so he can look at Jensen. His mate is leaning against their closed bedroom door, muscular arms crossed over his broad chest, his adorably bowed legs crossed at the ankles, one eyebrow raised and a smirk curling up his plump lips. Even after eleven years, just seeing Jensen is enough to make Jared’s heart beat a little faster.
Jensen licks his lips, trapping the bottom one between his teeth for a moment before letting it scrape free, his intense gaze traveling down Jared’s body from head to toe. Jared trembles a little, the weight of that stare almost like a physical caress. He pushes off the door, slowly stalking across the room, knee-walking his way up the mattress, his hands trailing up Jared’s thighs to his hips, stopping to span across his belly. “Like this,” Jensen murmurs. “Spread out, naked, your belly growing with my pup.”
When they conceived their most recent child, Jared had threatened Jensen with life and limb – and castration – if he ended up pregnant with twins again. Not that he doesn’t love his girls, he just doesn’t think his body could take it again. Jim quickly put his fears to rest and assured him – several times – that there’s only one in there this time.
Jared’s eyes flutter closed again, his neck arching back. “Jensen,” he breathes, half aroused, half embarrassed.
Jensen chuckles and Jared feels the mattress shift, his mate’s nose nuzzling under his jaw. “What, sweetheart?” He nips at Jared’s pulse, laving over the slight sting with his tongue. “You’re beautiful.”
Jared doesn’t think he’ll ever get used to the feelings that Jensen invokes in him, hopes like hell he never does.
Jensen cups his cheek, his thumb brushing over Jared’s bottom lip as Jared feels him move, stretching out on the mattress next to him. He reopens his eyes, staring up into his mate’s leafy-green eyes. “Hey,” he whispers, smiling against Jensen’s lips when he dips down for a kiss.
“Hi,” Jensen says back, grinning.
Jared sighs and turns, cuddling up against Jensen’s t-shirt covered chest. As much as he’d love to strip Jensen’s clothes off and pull him back under the covers and spend the rest of the day wrapped around each other, he knows that that’s not possible. “Thanks for takin’ Drew to school,” Jared says softly, nuzzling under Jensen’s jaw.
Jensen hums softly and drags one hand through Jared’s hair. “’s no problem, love. You looked so peaceful, I didn’t wanna wake you. Figured the two’a you needed your rest.”
“My mom and our sisters took them to the woods.”
“What’re you doin’ today?” Jared asks, his fingers trailing up and down Jensen’s side.
“Just this,” Jensen murmurs, nosing through his hair. “Took the day off. Wanna spend all day with you.”
Jared pulls back enough to look at Jensen, a bright grin splitting his face in two. “Really?”
“Mmhmm,” Jensen hums, chuckling against Jared’s lips. “’s a special occasion.”
Jared tilts his head to the side, his brow furrowed. “What special occasion?”
Jensen mock-pouts, his eyes widening in his best impression of Jared’s own puppy eyes. “I can’t believe you forgot.”
Jared huffs a sigh and gives him the puppy eyes the way they’re supposed to be done and whispers, “Jen.”
Jensen melts like he always does, dipping to press a kiss to Jared’s pout. “’s our anniversary, baby. Eleven years ago today I found you in the woods.”
Jared smiles, his heart warming at his sentimental mate. “Jensen,” he murmurs. “That’s not our anniversary. We mated weeks after that.”
“You were mine the moment I saw you,” Jensen growls, mouthing over Jared’s mating scar. Jared moans, his head tipping back. “Would’a mated you that night, right there in the woods. But I was too worried ‘bout makin’ sure you were okay.”
Jared scoots impossibly closer, his hand sliding between them, cupping Jensen’s already hard cock in his palm. Jensen groans, his hand sliding down Jared’s back, gripping his ass cheek. “Fuck, Jare,” he drawls. “Want you. C’mon, sweetheart.”
Jared pulls away, tugging at Jensen’s shirt, one eyebrow quirked. “Ya need’ta get naked, Alpha,” Jared drawls. “Then ya can have whatever ya want.”
Jensen pulls away, practically ripping his clothes off. Jared laughs, his gaze soft and fond as he watches his mate. Watching Jensen, it would seem that they hadn’t had sex in months instead of just last night. The laughter trails off as soon as Jensen’s naked though, the sight of his mate’s thick, hard cock making his mouth water and his own cock twitch and his hole leak.
Jensen reaches for him, his strong hands wrapping around Jared’s waist. He tugs Jared forward until Jared gets the hint and throws one leg over Jensen’s hips, his ass settling back against Jensen’s thighs. Jensen’s leaning back against the headboard, his hands gently kneading Jared’s hips. “Want you to ride me,” Jensen rasps, his tone taking on that whiskey-rough growl that makes Jared’s body freaking tremble.
Jared shifts forward, reaching behind himself to grab Jensen’s cock, steadying it so that he can sink back on the thick length. Between how wet he already is and the fact that they just did this last night, Jared knows he doesn’t need any prep; doesn’t think he has the patience to hold out even if he did. The one thing all his pregnancies have had in common is how freaking horny he is, all the damn time.
Jared rolls his hips back, taking Jensen all the way to the hilt in one slow but steady slide. Jensen growls, his fingers digging into Jared’s hips even harder and Jared knows that there will be bruises left behind. He stops once he’s sitting flush against Jensen’s thighs again, his chest already heaving slightly. Jensen’s hands finally unclench from his hips, sliding up his flanks, over his belly, anywhere he can reach. “So beautiful, love,” he murmurs quietly. “So freakin’ gorgeous.” He pulls Jared against his chest, Jared crying out when the shift in the angle pushes Jensen’s cock right against his prostate. Jensen nips at his bottom lip before slotting their lips together, his tongue tangling with Jared’s. Jared gasps into the kiss, his hips twitching. Jensen pulls away enough to whisper against the spit-slick skin, “Do it, baby,” before sliding his tongue forward again.
Jared pulls himself away from the addictive slide of their lips and tongues, sitting up fully in Jensen’s lap. His eyes flutter closed for a moment before he forces them open again, locking with lust-blown, leafy-green. He rolls his hips, just a small, tight movement, and Jensen growls, his hands once again gripping Jared’s hips. Jared slowly licks his lips and starts to grind down against Jensen’s cock, teasing his mate as much as himself.
“Jared,” Jensen rasps. “C’mon, do it.”
“I am,” Jared replies, still just slowly rocking back and forth. He bites down on his bottom lip, his hands sliding over Jensen’s shoulders and chest, tweaking his nipples playfully with his thumbnails. Jensen’s grip tightens and he forces Jared to pull up until just the head of his cock catches on Jared’s rim and holds him there. Jared whimpers, trying to fight his mate’s strength, to impale himself completely on Jensen’s thick length all the way again. But Jensen holds fast, obviously his turn to tease.
Jared is just about to beg, not caring that he is, when Jensen snaps his hips, thrusting into Jared hard and fast. Jared cries out, his head falling back as he braces himself against Jensen’s chest and lets his mate fuck up into him almost brutally for a few long, perfect moments. His hands curl into useless fists against Jensen’s chest when Jensen loosens his grip enough to let Jared thrust back, meeting each perfect snap of Jensen’s hips.
They both moan when Jensen’s knot starts to catch on his rim, slowing the fast, dirty pace they’d picked up. “Fuck,” Jensen groans, slamming Jared down, grinding his powerful hips up against Jared as Jared grinds down, urging his mate along. He wraps his hand around Jared’s leaking, aching cock; strong, thick fingers moving over the tip, smearing pre-come down his shaft. “’m gonna,” Jensen warns and Jared can feel the burn every time Jensen’s knot is forced in and out, his own release just barely being held back. “Come for me, sweetheart,” Jensen half-commands, half-begs and Jared is helpless to stop it.
He cries out Jensen’s name, his head falling forward as he curls in on himself slightly with the force of his orgasm. Dimly, he registers Jensen’s knot catching and holding, pressing perfectly against his prostate and prolonging his climax a few more moments. The first pulse of Jensen’s release causes Jared to moan, his come-sticky, half-hard length twitching against Jensen’s palm where he’s still loosely fisting Jared.
He collapses forward, Jensen’s knot tugging on his rim with a delicious spike of pleasure/pain. Jensen’s arms wrap around his waist, holding him against his chest. “I love you,” Jensen whispers against the top of Jared’s tousled, sweat-damp hair.
“Mm,” Jared hums contently. “Love you, too.”
Jared’s drifting in that pleasant post-orgasmic haze for a while, not really paying attention to the time passing. Eventually though, Jensen sighs softly and rubs one hand up and down Jared’s spine. “I gotta head out tomorrow for a few days,” he says quietly.
Jared pulls back enough to look own at Jensen, one eyebrow quirked. “What? Why?” It’s not that Jensen never goes out of town, it’s just extremely rare.
“Eric called this mornin’ and wanted to set up a meeting. He has some ideas he wants to run past me.”
“Can’t you do that on the phone?” Jared asks, his fingers absentmindedly drawing random patterns over Jensen’s chest.
“No, not really.” Jensen sighs and leans up to press a kiss to Jared’s lips. “’m sorry, sweetheart. But I shouldn’t be gone but a day or two tops.”
Jared leans forward, once again resting against his mate’s chest, convincing himself that the churning in his stomach is just morning sickness or the thought of not having Jensen around for a few days, not the terrible, bad feeling that something may happen to his mate while he’s gone.
Jared hitches Brie higher up on his hip, Lizzie gripping his other hand and Drew standing in front of him as they watch Jensen drive away from the front porch. He understands why Jensen has to go – since they met Eric when Brie was sick, they’ve tried to open up resources with the human city, gain access to more medical care and things that they can’t always get in their isolated little town – but he can’t say that he doesn’t hate watching his mate leave, not really knowing how long he’s going to be gone.
He’d begged Jensen to let him go with him but he’s got the kids to deal with and at just barely over three months pregnant – and showing a bit already – Jensen wasn’t about to let him go into the city with him. But Jared still has that bad feeling in the pit of his stomach that showed up when Jensen told him about the trip the morning before.
He sighs and takes the kids inside, smiling at Donna when he passes her on the porch. He’s not surprised when his surrogate mom follows him inside, picking Lizzie up and settling the two-year-old on her hip as well. She and Jared climb the stairs to the nursery in silence, working side-by-side to get the girls down for their nap. They’re more trouble than they usually are – Jensen really is the only one who can put them down without it turning into a struggle, and they’re obviously already missing their papa.
Thankfully, in the end, it doesn’t take all that long and Jared and Donna slip out of the room, pausing to check on Drew who’s in his own room, playing a video game. “Not too long with that, puppy,” Jared reminds, gentle but firm.
Drew looks up and wrinkles his freckled nose, his green eyes flashing defiantly for a moment. “Papa lets me play for two hours.”
Jared sighs and shakes his head at his head-strong little Alpha. “Well, papa’s not here and you have to go with grampy this afternoon.”
Drew huffs a sigh but mutters a quiet, “Yes, Daddy,” before turning his attention back to his game. Jared hates that he can’t just let the boy play, that he has to send him with Alan to help groom him to take over for Jensen one day.
Donna smiles as she hooks her arm through Jared’s and leads him downstairs and into the kitchen. “Ya know, when Jensen was Drew’s age, he was even worse ‘bout the Alpha classes,” she says softly around a chuckle and a head shake. “Oh, he used to fight me somethin’ terrible.” She pauses and leans closer, lowering her voice like she’s sharing a secret. “And some days? I’d let him skip ‘em, just so he could play and be a little boy.”
Jared grins and presses a kiss to her cheek, glad for the fact that she can so easily read him – almost as well as Jensen – and can give the kind of advice only a mother can. “Thanks, Momma Donna.”
She nods and pats his shoulder before heading toward the fridge to get out a pitcher of iced tea. “And Jensen’ll be fine,” she adds, not looking at Jared as she pours them both a glass.
Jared snorts a laugh and stares at the back of her head. “Is there anythin’ you don’t know?” he asks around another laugh.
“Not when it comes to my boys,” she says fondly, handing him his tea and a plate of crackers to help settle his stomach.
Jared’s whole body tenses, a phantom pain ripping through him hard enough to bring him to his knees. His hands automatically cup his stomach, fear for his unborn child first and foremost in his mind. But somehow, even through his blind panic, he knows it’s not his own pain he’s feeling. He gasps, his eyes sliding closed as another pain shoots through him.
Drew looks up at him, his green eyes – Jensen’s eyes – huge and unsure. “Daddy?” he whispers.
“Go get grams, puppy,” Jared manages to mutter, smiling as best as he can at his son. He watches Drew run off to find Donna until he can’t see him anymore and collapses onto his ass, his chest heaving as his eyes slide closed.
“Jared?” Donna gasps and Jared forces his eyes open again to look up at her when she runs to his side. She brushes the hair back off his forehead, one hand automatically sliding across his belly. “What is it, honey? D’ya need me to get Jim?”
“No,” Jared whispers, looking around, breathing a sigh of relief when he doesn’t see any of his children. Still, just to be sure, he asks, “Where are the kids?”
“Alan has them. Drew was so upset. I didn’t… We weren’t sure what was going on so he kept them in the kitchen with him.” She pauses, once again petting through his hair. “Please, what’s wrong?”
“’s not me,” he breathes, grabbing her hand. “Donna, ‘s… There’s something wrong with Jensen. I can feel it.”
Her eyes widen but she helps Jared to his feet and over to the couch. Jared collapses against the cushions and the sudden lack of pain – the cold numbness – scares him even more than the agony of the pain in the first place. “What… I don’t… He was just headin’ out to meet with Eric.”
“I know. But I just… There was this sudden pain that shot through me. And I can’t explain it but I know that it wasn’t my pain I was feelin’. Our bond… it gets wonky when ‘m pregnant. Sometimes I can’t feel him at all, sometimes ‘s overwhelming.”
Donna nods and pulls him into a hug. “Far be it from me to question the two’a you after all these years.”
“What’s wrong?” Alan asks as he stalks into the living room. “Drew’s havin’ a fit and the girls are pickin’ up on it.”
Ignoring her mate for the moment, Donna remains focused on Jared. “What do you feel now, Jared?”
“Nothin’,” he mutters, tears stinging his eyes.
“Well, that’s good right?”
“No,” he says, shaking his head. “I mean like nothing, nothing. I can’t… it’s empty. Even when I was pregnant with Drew and our bond was all but gone, there was still an echo of it there. Now it feels like…” he swallows thickly, looking up at Donna with wide, pleading eyes. “’s like he’s gone,” he rasps, tears finally falling down his cheeks.
“What the hell? What’s he talkin’ about?” Alan demands.
“He,” Donna starts softly, pausing to clear her throat and Jared can hear the emotion in her voice, “He felt a sudden, severe pain and it wasn’t from himself. It was Jensen. He felt it through their bond,” she trails off again for a second, pulling Jared into her arms. He inhales deeply, tries to let the familiar scent of his surrogate mother calm him like it usually does. It doesn’t work this time. “Now he can’t feel anything. At all. No hint of Jensen.”
Jared hears Alan curse and the heavy sound of his steps as he stomps over to the phone. After a few moments, he jerks when he hears the low growl of his father in law’s voice – so much like Jensen’s when he’s in full-on Alpha mode. “Eric? Yes, it’s Alan Ackles. Did Jensen make it to meet with you yesterday? Okay, well that’s good. When did he leave? Shit…” Alan trails off and Jared looks up from where he was hiding against Donna’s neck, sees Alan rubbing the back of his neck. “Listen, Eric. Jared has had some sort of… I don’t know, reaction of some sort. There was sudden pain that wasn’t his own and now nothing, an emptiness. Can you check on things? If he only left a little over forty-five minutes ago…” he trails off, nodding even though Eric can’t see him. “Great, yes. Thank you. Please, call us as soon as you have news.”
Alan hangs up and comes back over, sitting down on the table in front of Jared and Donna. “Eric said he left to head home a little over forty-five minutes ago. He’s going to drive out the way Jensen would have taken to come back and let us know if he finds something.” Jared nods, slumping heavier against Donna’s side. “It’ll be okay, son,” Alan states, patting Jared’s leg. “Jensen is strong and stubborn. ‘m sure it’s nothing.”
Jared blinks, staring at the far wall. For eleven years, he’s always had that faint hint of Jensen in his mind – even when their bond was stretched thin or seemed to be blocked. He hadn’t realized that even during those times, there was still a part of Jensen with him always. But this is completely different. There’s nothing. No hint of his mate. It’s like before they were mated, before they met and Jared feels hollow and empty and hopeless.
When he was in labor with Brie and Jim lost him for a few minutes, Jensen explained that it felt like Jared was ripped away from him. Jared finally understands what he meant even though his mind shies away from what that might imply.
Jared inhales deeply when Brie crawls up into his lap, Lizzie and Drew right on her heels. Alan reaches for her, gently scolding, “Thought I told you guys to stay in the kitchen while I talked to daddy?”
Brie turns to her grandpa then looks back at Jared, her eyes huge and wide and wet and something else inside Jared breaks. All three children have Jensen’s eyes and for the first time ever, he wishes that they took more after him. He doesn’t realize he’s crying until Brie’s tiny fingers trace over his cheek and she leans forward, pressing a kiss to the tip of his nose like they do with her. “Shh, don’t cry, Daddy,” she whispers, curling against his chest as much as she can around the slight swell of his belly.
The phone rings and Jared jerks, startled. He hadn’t realized that much time had passed. His head snaps to Donna, wide-eyed and terrified. “The kids,” he breathes.
“Shh, sweetie. ‘s okay,” she whispers.
“No, if there’s something… if it’s bad news, I don’t want them in here. Please, momma?” He rarely calls her momma, even though she pretty much is.
Understanding flashes in her green eyes and she nods, deftly picking up both twins. “C’mon, puppy,” she says to Drew. “We need to leave Daddy and grampy alone for a moment.”
As much as he doesn’t want her to leave – is pretty sure he’s going to need her calming presence and quiet strength – he’s thankful that she gets it and is taking their kids away.
Alan has already answered the phone and Jared’s heart stops when he looks up and sees the look on the older man’s face – his eyes wide, his face pale. “Thank you, Eric,” he rasps, all traces of the stoic, in charge former Alpha gone – standing in his place is a worried father. “I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
When Alan turns to him, Jared breaks the rest of the way. A sob gets caught in his chest when Alan crosses the room and pulls him into a hug. He doesn’t know how he knows, he just does. Something is very, very wrong with his mate.
“Jared, shh,” Alan mutters. “You have to calm down. Think of your pup.”
“Jensen…” he whimpers, looking up at Alan.
“Eric found his car not too far outside of town,” he starts softly. “He’s not sure what happened but it looks like he either lost control or someone ran him off the road. He, uh, he was in pretty bad shape when Eric found him…” he trails off, shushing Jared again when he sobs. “Maybe you shouldn’t hear this.”
“No!” Jared yells. “You have’ta tell me. If he’s… if he’s gone, I have’ta know.”
“Eric is rushing him back to the hospital, he wasn’t… he isn’t breathing.”
Jared throws his head back, howling pitifully; a horrible, pain-filled sound. Donna comes running, tears pooling in her eyes. She takes over holding Jared and he’s barely aware of what’s going on around him; the sound of Donna’s soothing words, Alan on the phone to Josh, his children’s cries. Nothing really registers, just that lost, hollow feeling in his heart and mind where Jensen is supposed to be and the knowledge that he essentially felt his mate die.
Josh, Jeff, Mack and Megan all show up within minutes; his sister trying to calm the kids while Jeff tries to talk Jared into calming down for his unborn pup. Jared knows he needs to, that he’d never forgive himself if he lost the baby – possibly his last piece of Jensen – but he just can’t convince himself to listen to reason. He lashes out at his brother, Jensen’s siblings, everyone.
It gets even worse when Alan tells him that he’s heading toward town, then forbids Jared from coming with him.
“That’s my mate,” he cries. “If he’s d-,” he cuts himself off, mindful of his children in the other room, “if there’s something wrong, I need to be there.”
“Jared, you are in no condition for this,” Alan argues, shaking his head. “And Jensen will never forgive himself if something happens to you.”
“If he lives, he can take that up with me then!”
Everyone stops, staring at Jared. He can’t stand the looks of pity on their faces, the way they’re trying to coddle him. He stands to his full height, shooting a quick glance at his sister. “Keep them here,” he grits out, indicating his children with a jerk of his chin before he runs out the back door, shifting mid-stride, his clothes tearing away as he goes.
He’s aware of Alan, Jeff and Josh behind him but he’s got a head start on them and the benefit of his longer legs – even in wolf form. He runs as hard as he can, ignoring the strain on his muscles, the burn of his lungs. He doesn’t stop until he breaks through the tree line, stumbling to a halt, his tongue lolling out of his mouth, his sides heaving. He can see the hospital right in front of him, is about to shift back and tear through the place until someone tells him what’s going on with his mate, before he remembers that he doesn’t have any clothes to put on.
Looking around frantically, he sees a house with a clothes line in the back yard. Only hesitating for a moment, he sneaks closer, senses open to make sure there’s no one around. He doesn’t see anyone, so he shifts and grabs a pair of jeans and a shirt off the line, quickly pulling the clothes on. They are entirely too small for him but he doesn’t care, just rushes across the street and through the doors, heading toward where he vaguely remembers Eric’s office is.
He finds the older Alpha in a hallway half-way there, blood staining the front of his scrubs and Jared can smell Jensen, knows that’s his mate’s blood. Eric looks at him, eyes wide. “Jared?” he gasps, grabbing him by the elbow and leading him into an empty room. “What the hell?”
“In surgery,” Eric sighs, rubbing at the top of his balding head. He looks Jared over and shakes his head. “C’mon,” he mutters, leading Jared out the door and into another room. As best as he can tell, it’s an employee break room or something and for a moment, the older man is silent as he rummages around in a cabinet, pulling out a fresh pair of scrubs. Jared’s about to scream that now is not the time to worry about that, when Eric hands the clothes to him. “’s obvious that you ran here,” he says pointedly with a glance to the too small t-shirt that doesn’t hide his bump and the too-short jeans that barely hit below his shins. “Change into these and then meet me back out in the hall.”
Jared bristles at the command from an Alpha that’s not his mate or someone in his family but does as Eric says, changing into the scrubs, grudgingly admitting that they feel better and the waist of the pants isn’t cutting into his belly.
Eric is a few feet down the hall when Jared exits the room, pacing in front of a closed door. He looks up when Jared approaches, smiling sadly and shaking his head. “I take it you took off against everyone else’s wishes.” It’s not really a question but Jared nods and shrugs one shoulder.
The adrenaline of running here and trying to find Eric and everything else has worn off, leaving him tired and emotional all over again, the reminder that he can’t feel Jensen like a big slap of reality. “Eric,” he whispers, his hand sliding over his belly.
Eric watches the movement of his hand before looking up into his eyes. “You sure you wanna be here? Wanna know?”
Jared stands to his full height, his arms dropping to his side. He’s had enough of everyone handling him with kid gloves, like he’s some fragile, delicate thing that will break. He may be an omega and inside he might feel like he’s dying, that he’s torn apart at the prospect of losing Jensen, he is still pack Beta and being with Jensen these last eleven years has given him a strength he never thought that he’d possess.
“I need to know,” Jared says evenly, forcing the emotions to the side for the good of his children, his pack, his mate. It’s what Jensen would do.
Eric nods and Jared sees what he thinks is respect flash through the older Alpha’s eyes. “He was in bad shape when I found him, Jared. It’s been kinda touch and go since then. Even with our accelerated healing rate…” he trails off, shaking his head. “Anyway. He was unconscious and not breathing. We intubated him and rushed him into surgery. He’s got several broken ribs and one of them punctured his right lung. His skull is fractured and once we get the bleeding under control, we’ll have to do an MRI to make sure there’s no swelling in his brain. That’s not to mention the broken leg.” He stops again, wiping one hand down his face. “I… I’m not going to lie, Jared. It’s… he may not make it outta this. But I’ve got the best people I can workin’ on him, people I trust. We’ll do whatever we can to save your mate.”
Jared nods and clenches his jaw, trying to bite back the sting of tears. It won’t do him any good to fall apart now. “Thank you, Eric,” he says softly. “When, uh, when will I be able to see him?”
“Once he’s out of surgery and stable enough to move. It might be a while yet. There’s a cot in my office if you want to try to get some rest.”
“Thanks but no. I’m sure that Alan and our brothers will be here soon.”
Eric nods and claps him on the shoulder before heading back into the closed room, the room he instinctively knows his mate’s in. He still can’t quite feel Jensen like usual but it doesn’t feel so cold or empty so he holds onto that and makes himself walk across the hall to the small waiting room. He knows that it’s because they have him on life support, that it’s artificial but for now it’s good enough.
Not too long after he settles in for the long wait, Alan, Josh and Jeff run into the waiting room. Alan’s face is thunderous but Jared knows it’s from worry more than anything. “What the hell, Jared?!” Alan demands. “You can’t just… you can’t just run off like that. You had all of us worried sick.”
Jared sighs and looks up at the older man, shaking his head. “You knew where I was goin’. And you know why I had to do it.”
“But the kids…” Josh starts.
“Are fine,” Jared interrupts, glancing at Jensen’s brother. “They’re with their aunts and their grandmother. Right now, there’s nowhere safer for them to be.” He stops, shaking his head and looking between the three older men. “What if it was any of your mates? What would you do in my shoes?”
Alan sighs and drops into the seat next to him, his head in his hands. “Of course you’re right,” he eventually mutters. “But, damnit, Jared… You’re like… you are my son, as much as Jensen and Josh and I don’t want to see something happen to you. You’re pregnant and the emotional as well as physical toll on you and the baby…”
“I get it, I do. And I appreciate it. But this is my place, with my mate.”
“What’re they sayin’, JT?” Jeff asks, taking a seat next to Jared, leaving Josh next to Alan. Usually Megan is the only one to call him by that nickname and for some reason, hearing it from his brother almost undoes all of Jared’s carefully constructed walls.
Swallowing thickly, he relays what Eric told him about Jensen’s condition. His tone his raw and somehow hollow when he finishes – telling their family was actually much harder than hearing it in the first place. Alan excuses himself to call home and let Donna and their sisters know and Jared lapses into an uncomfortable silence with Jeff and Josh, staring at the door that Eric went through, willing it to open. He doesn’t really know how much time passes but he vaguely registers Alan coming back and the three older men talking around him but it feels like an eternity before the door opens again and Eric exits.
He’s still stained with Jensen’s blood but the haunted look that was in his eyes before isn’t quite as bad. Jared’s on his feet before Eric takes a step forward, his long legs eating up the distance between them. “Eric?” he asks, unconsciously holding his breath.
“He’s stable,” Eric says right away and Jared sags with relief, his brother’s strong arm around his waist the only thing keeping him up. “He’s not outta the woods yet, though, Jared. The next twenty-four hours are crucial. We’re moving him to the ICU now so if y’all will follow me, I’ll take you there.”
Jeff presses a hand gently to the small of Jared’s back to get him moving and the four of them follow the Alpha doctor to a private room in the back corner of the ICU. “My team will be the only ones in with him and they are all weres so there’s no risk,” Eric explains and that was honestly one thing Jared hadn’t even considered. “Unfortunately, you are limited to the number of visitors at a time but I can let all of you in for now and then if one of you wants to stay with Jared, that’s fine.”
Jared barely pays attention, pretty much chomping at the bit to get to his mate. He can sense Jensen, just a barely-there hint, but it’s real – not that artificial feeling when he was in surgery – and he needs to get in that damn room. Finally, Eric leads them inside and Jared’s heart almost stops a third time in the span of one day.
His strong, beautiful, full-of-life Alpha is laying there, looking impossibly small in the sea of stark white. Even though Jared’s taller, Jensen has always been larger than life in his mind so it’s shocking to see him look so small and weak. There are wires and tubes and IVs, bandages and casts and Jared just kind of wants to throw up.
He hovers in the background while Eric talks about the next twenty-four hours and treatment and chance, while Alan and their brothers spend a few moments with Jensen but it’s like he’s watching everything from outside himself, like some kind of haze. He remembers Alan asking if he wanted anyone to stay with him, vaguely remembers saying no. He hears Eric tell Alan that at one point, Jensen officially flat-lined on the way to the hospital and once during surgery and was gone for just over three minutes.
It’s at that point that his knees do collapse. Luckily there’s a chair behind him and his brother was watching him like a hawk. Jared stares at Jensen’s face and if he blocks everything else out, he can almost pretend that his mate is just sleeping. It doesn’t really work.
Eric asks if he wants to be checked out, to check on the baby, and Jared merely shakes his head no. His child is moving a bit and deep down, if he concentrates on it, he can feel his pup, safe and healthy. Eventually they leave him alone with Jensen and as soon as the door closes, Jared breaks.
“Jensen,” he whimpers, scooting closer to the bed, to his mate, mindful of his various injuries and the machines that are helping him to heal, helping to keep him alive. “Please? C’mon, don’t do this to me. You… You promised me, Jensen. You promised me forever. So don’t you dare go back on that,” Jared finishes on a whisper, his voice cracking, irrational anger filling him.
He lies his head down on the bed near Jensen’s limp hand, wanting so badly to feel those thick fingers card through his hair. “I love you,” he rasps, nuzzling closer to his mate’s side, his eyes falling closed. “Come back to me, Jensen. I need you.”
There’s a warm, fluffy weight across his shoulders that Jared vaguely registers is a blanket when he finally reopens his eyes. He’s not sure how long he’s been out but everything comes rushing back as soon as his eyes focus and he just wants to go back to sleep, to his dreams where Jensen is awake and healthy and they’re playing with their kids.
At first, he thinks the slight movement against the top of his head is his imagination until he feels it again, a definite movement, something moving slightly through his hair. He lifts his head, choking on a broken sob when he’s met with hazy, leafy-green eyes. “Jensen,” he gasps, pushing up fully so he can get a better look at his mate.
Sometime in the middle of the night, Eric or one of the other doctors removed the breathing tube and Jared’s never been so fucking grateful to see his mate take a breath. “Hey,” Jensen whispers, voice low and rusty and wrecked from having the tube shoved down his throat.
Despite the fact that Jared has been desperate for his mate to be okay, to wake up, he finds himself staring at Jensen, unsure what to do or say. Jensen licks his lips, his fingers twitching toward where Jared’s hand is lying on the bed. “Jay? Baby, you okay?”
That’s what breaks Jared all over again. Tears stream down his cheeks as he falls forward, his head once again pressing against Jensen’s side. His mate’s fingers slide through his hair weakly and Jensen murmurs, “Shh, love. ‘s okay. ‘m alright, sweetheart.” Jared feels Jensen shift, obviously trying to move, to get closer, trying to comfort him.
He pulls back, one hand pressing gently against Jensen’s chest. “Easy,” he whispers hoarsely. “You’re gonna hurt yourself more.”
Jensen smiles softly and pushes himself up some in the bed, a harsh grunt escaping his lips. Stubborn freaking Alpha. “’m fine, Jare,” Jensen says, his chest heaving a little with the exertion. “I wanna make sure you’re okay.”
Jared blinks owlishly, shaking his head a bit. “Jensen,” he sighs. “I’m fine. I wasn’t the one… I’m not the one in a fuckin’ hospital bed right now.”
“No, you’re not,” Jensen agrees. “But you’re upset and you’re crying. You know I hate to see you cry.” He pauses, some of his strength returning as he reaches out and grabs Jared’s wrist, tugging slightly. “C’mon, c’mere.”
Jared knows that he shouldn’t, that Jensen is still hurt. He knows that he should go get Eric and let Alan and their brothers know that Jensen’s awake. He knows all of this in his head.
But it’s his heart that has him carefully climbing up into the bed, curling up against his mate’s uninjured side. It’s the fact that he can finally feel Jensen again – both physically and through their bond – that has him letting Jensen wrap his arm around his shoulders, and his hand to slide into his hair. Jared whimpers and nuzzles under Jensen’s jaw. “Shh,” Jensen coos. “’s okay, sweetheart. ‘m right here. Everything’s gonna be fine.” He presses a kiss to the top of Jared’s head, his other hand reaching toward Jared’s bump. “How’s the pup?” he asks softly, just barely able to move enough to brush his fingers over the slight swell.
“Okay,” Jared whispers. “Quiet now but he was wiggling around a bit earlier.”
Jensen chuckles, trailing off a soft groan. Jared sits up, immediately concerned but Jensen pulls him back down against his side. “’m fine. Just remind me not to laugh for a few days. So you think ‘s another boy?”
It’s still too soon to tell the sex of their new baby and the little pup has been extremely shy anyway every time they went to an appointment. But Jared just has a feeling. He grins up at his mate, his eyes falling closed when Jensen dips down to press a quick, chaste kiss to his lips. “Yeah,” he breathes. “I think ‘s another boy.”
Jensen smiles and settles against the mattress, a soft sigh escaping his lips. “So how bad was it?” he asks eventually.
Jared licks his lips and struggles to sit up. “I should go let Eric know that you’re up.” He can’t talk about this again, can’t let himself think about how close he came to actually losing his mate for good.
“Jared,” Jensen states, soft but firm enough to be a command and Jared curses his biology. Sighing softly, Jared shifts enough so that he can look up at Jensen. “Tell me.”
Jared’s eyes slide closed for a moment as he tries to gather that strength he was able to tap into before. “I felt it,” he starts before reopening his eyes. “I didn’t know what the hell I was feelin’ at the time, but I did feel it. Alan called Eric and had him head out to look for you…” Jared pauses, inhaling deeply before exhaling slowly. “After he called back and told us he found you, Alan wasn’t going to let me come with him to see you. I… I took off, ran all the way here…”
“Jared,” Jensen starts, tone a low warning growl.
“No,” Jared interrupts. “Damnit, Jensen. I knew something was wrong. Turns out, I felt you fuckin’ die. There’s no way in hell I was not going to be here.” He stops, inhaling deeply to calm himself down again. “Anyway… You were in surgery when I got here. You weren’t breathing when Eric got you out of the car. You broke several ribs and punctured a lung and your skull is fractured. There was some internal bleeding. And your leg is broken.”
Jensen licks his lips, bringing one hand up to cup Jared’s cheek. “Baby,” he sighs, shaking his head. “You should’a stayed with the kids. In your condition…”
“Don’t,” Jared grits out, cutting Jensen off. “Don’t you fuckin’ dare. You know damn-well that if the shoe was on the other foot, you’d’a done the same damn thing,” Jensen opens his mouth, no doubt to argue, and Jared growls, “I swear, Jensen, if you say ‘s different, hurt or not, I will punch you. I don’t give a fuck that you’re the Alpha here and that’s supposed to mean that the rules are different. They’re not. My mate was hurt, was dying. Where the fuck else would I have been?” The anger quickly turns on Jared, heart-wrenching pain and sadness replacing it, tears once again stinging his eyes. “I almost lost you,” he rasps, “if it was the end… I had to be here, Jen. I had to.”
“Okay, alright,” Jensen soothes. “You’re right. ‘m sorry, baby. Calm down, okay? ‘m fine. Everything’s okay now. I promise, love.”
Jared sniffles and buries his face in Jensen’s neck. “You promised you’d never leave me,” he whispers. “You promised me forever.”
“And I meant it,” Jensen promises. “Believe me, baby. Even half-dead, there was no way I was gonna leave you.”
Jared snorts out a watery chuckle. “Alan said that you’re stubborn, that you’d be okay.”
Jensen hums in agreement. “My father’s a smart man,” he says dryly.
“I really should let Eric know that you’re up,” Jared says softly.
“I know,” Jensen sighs, tightening his arm around Jared’s shoulders. “In a few minutes, ‘kay?”
“Okay,” Jared agrees quietly, snuggling closer to his mate’s firm chest. “I love you, Jensen.”
“I love you, too. So fuckin’ much, baby.”
All in all, Jensen has to stay in the hospital for two days, much to his – very vocal – displeasure. He threatened on more than one occasion to just get up and leave whether Eric released him or not. In fact, the only thing that kept him there was Jared’s pleading and puppy eyes.
“Jensen,” Jared sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose, shaking his head at his extremely impatient mate. “Can you please wait and let them help you? Or hell, let me help you?”
Jensen looks up from where he’s trying to get a pair of jeans over the cast on his leg. With their healing rate, it’ll be able to be removed in a few more days but Jensen’s already getting sick of it. The broken leg is pretty much the last of his injuries to heal – thanks to the surgery, the healing rate of his broken ribs and punctured lung was much faster than his leg.
“I don’t need help,” Jensen growls, scowling at Jared.
Jared raises one eyebrow and stands up from the chair he was slumped in while waiting for his mate to get ready to go home. “First, don’t take that tone with me. Second, yes you do. Even great and powerful Alphas need help sometimes.”
Jensen sighs and drops his hands, looking up at Jared with a sheepish smile. “’m sorry, baby,” he says softly, grabbing Jared by the waist of the borrowed scrubs that Eric keeps bringing him because he refuses to leave Jensen long enough to go home and get his own clothes. He pulls Jared closer, so that he’s standing between Jensen’s legs. Jensen looks up at him, his chin resting on the slight swell of Jared’s belly. “’m just tired of all this. I wanna go home, see my pups and stretch out with you in our own bed.”
Jared brings one hand up and runs his fingers through his mate’s short hair, lightly scratching behind his ear. “I know, babe. And you’re almost done with it. We’re headin’ home today and in a few days you’ll be able to take the cast off.”
Jensen presses a kiss to Jared’s cloth-covered stomach. “Yeah,” he breathes, his hands sliding over Jared’s hips. Jensen looks down at his hands then back up at Jared, one eyebrow quirked, a hint of heat in his gaze. “Have I told you how hot you look in this get-up?”
Jared snorts and shakes his head, leaning down to drop a kiss to his mate’s smiling lips. “Don’t even think ‘bout it, Alpha,” he warns, playful but serious. “You’re still healin’ and ‘m not doin’ it in a hospital room.”
Jensen pouts, sliding his arms completely around Jared’s waist. “’m feelin’ fine,” he counters. “And I wasn’t talkin’ ‘bout doin’ it. I just wanna make out with you for a little bit.”
“We haven’t stopped at ‘just makin’ out’ since you claimed me,” Jared reminds him, shaking his head, a fond smile curling up his lips. Honestly, if they weren’t expecting Eric any moment, he totally wouldn’t be opposed to a little making out. He’s just happy that Jensen’s okay and that he’s still around to bicker with.
Jensen grins at him and waggles his eyebrows. “Not m’fault you can’t get enough’a m’knot,” he purrs ridiculously, natural drawl exaggerated, tugging Jared even closer, his hands sliding down to cup Jared’s ass.
Jared swallows thickly, his heart rate kicking up despite the fact that, deep down, he knows that this really isn’t going to go any further. But still, two can play at this game. “’s not my fault you can’t get enough’a m’ass,” he drawls back, tone breathy.
Jensen growls, his fingers digging into the meat of Jared’s ass. “Jared,” he warns.
Jared chuckles and dips down, nipping at Jensen’s earlobe before pulling back just enough to whisper, “Somethin’ wrong, Alpha?”
Jensen tugs him forward, trying to pull Jared off-balance and down onto the hospital bed. Jared laughs, struggling to fight the hold his mate has on him and they end up tangled together on the mattress, a little breathless, from laughter and exertion. They spring apart like guilty teenagers though when Eric pushes the door open. The older man raises both eyebrows and shakes his head with a smile. “I take it that you two are ready to get outta here?”
“God, yes,” Jensen groans, pushing himself up on one elbow as he glances over at Eric. “Jared was helping me get my jeans on.”
Eric chuckles and Jared groans, burying his face in Jensen’s side. “Jen,” he whines, his cheeks heating up when Eric laughs harder.
Eric gives Jensen his discharge papers and Jared does actually end up being able to help Jensen into his jeans. Alan’s waiting outside in his car and Jared’s relieved yet disappointed to not see the kids with him. He curls up against Jensen’s side in the back seat, napping off and on for the few hours it takes to get home.
Donna is the only one waiting when they pull up in front of the house and Jared can’t help but frown, worry for his children overcoming him for a moment. Jensen must feel it, because he grabs Jared’s hand and kisses his palm, smiling when Jared looks over at him. “’m sure they’re just inside.”
“I know,” Jared admits. “I just… I’m gonna be a mess for a while, worryin’ every time y’all aren’t right in front of my face.”
Jensen smiles and pulls him from the car, both of them stopping to hug Donna before heading inside. As soon as the door is closed behind them, Jared hears the pitter-patter of little feet come running down the stairs.
Jared smiles as he sees his children heading toward them, choruses of Daddy and Papa ringing through the house. Jensen drops to the ground and opens his arms, all three kids hitting his chest at once. He feels tears stinging his eyes as he watches his mate with their pups, the thought that this could have all been taken away from them still in the back of his mind.
He jumps when he feels a hand on the small of his back, turns his head to look over his shoulder, smiling at Donna. “How’re ya doin’, sweetie?”
“’m okay,” he says around a frown. “Why?”
Donna raises an eyebrow. “Are you kiddin’ me right now? I’ve know you almost half your life and you’re my son.” She smiles softly, reaching up to cup his cheek. “He’s okay, Jared.”
“I-I know. But I just… I don’t ever wanna go through that again. I can’t…” he trails off, looking over at his family again. “Look at ‘em,” he jerks his chin toward them, “they could’a lost him. I could’a.”
“But you didn’t,” Donna reminds gently. “He’s almost as good as new. Believe me, Jared, I know my son. He’s too damn stubborn to leave you, in any way.”
Jared smiles when Jensen looks up at him over their kids’ heads; a soft, loving smile on his mate’s face. He gives Donna kiss on the cheek before flopping down on the floor next to Jensen, letting all three kids crawl all over them.
Things settle down after that and Jensen heals completely as the days pass. Jared still feels slightly on edge but he tries to hide it. Still, he finds himself hovering over Jensen, never letting his mate out of his sight. Donna keeps shooting him these knowing looks but thankfully she doesn’t say anything.
A few times, Jensen looks at him like he wants to say something, his brow furrowed and his lips pulled down into a slight frown. But Jensen’s learned well over the years to not push a clearly upset, hormonal, pregnant Jared and wisely keeps is mouth shut.
Four days after Jensen gets home from the hospital, they’re sitting around the table having lunch with Donna and the kids. Jensen’s wounds and broken bones are completely healed but Jared’s still a nervous freaking wreck.
“So,” Donna says suddenly, looking around the table, smiling at her grandkids, “Who wants to go see Uncle Josh?” All three kids cheer and jump up, running toward the front door. Donna smiles at Jensen and Jared, pressing a kiss to both of their cheeks. “Alan is in town with JD and I’ll be at Josh’s for a while. Have fun, boys.”
Jensen sighs and shakes his head, looking back at Jared after watching the kids take off. “So much for them missin’ me, huh?”
Jared chuckles and pushes himself out of his chair. “Well, Uncle Josh does have a pool.” He shrugs one shoulder, looking back at Jensen with a grin. “You think you can compete with that?”
“What’re you doin’?” Jensen asks softly, grabbing Jared’s wrist and tugging him closer.
“’m cleaning up,” Jared answers, one eyebrow raised. “Why?”
“You do realize why my mom took the kids right?”
“Um, to go visit with Josh?”
“Not really,” Jensen murmurs, pulling Jared down into his lap despite his protests. “She took ‘em so that we can spend some time together.”
“No, no way,” Jared argues, trying to get up but Jensen holds him firm. And no matter how tall or broad he gets, Jensen will always be stronger than him. Usually, he loves that. Right now, it’s just irritating. “You’re still healin’,” he adds, even though he knows damn-well that Jensen is back to a hundred percent.
“Baby, ‘m fine,” Jensen says softly, sliding one hand up and down Jared’s thigh. “’m good as new and I miss you,” he adds, leaning up to press a kiss to the underside of Jared’s jaw. “C’mon, love.”
“Jensen,” Jared breathes, tipping his head back despite the protests still swirling in his mind. The truth is, he misses Jensen as well, he’s just so afraid that something will happen to him and he’ll lose his mate and it’s making him more than a little irrational.
Jensen slides his arm under Jared’s knees, effortlessly picking him up. Jared squeaks and wraps his arms around Jensen’s neck, holding on tight. “Jensen,” he repeats, a warning this time. “Put me down.”
Jensen chuckles and heads toward the stairs. “Calm down, sweetheart,” he murmurs. “This isn’t by far the first time I’ve carried you.”
“Not the first time I’ve carried you when you’re pregnant.”
“You died,” Jared whispers, his voice breaking. “I… I almost lost you.”
Jensen gently sits Jared down on the edge of their bed, kneeling between his legs, his arms wrapped around Jared’s waist. “Baby, ‘m okay. I promise, I am. I know that it scared you and I’m so sorry for that. But you can’t treat me like ‘m broken. ‘m not.” Jensen scoots closer, sliding one hand into Jared’s hair. “I miss you, Jare. And ‘m not just talkin’ about sex… although I miss that too. I miss bein’ close to you. You won’t even let me hold you or kiss you.”
“I… ‘m afraid, okay?” Jared finally whispers, looking up at Jensen.
“’m sorry, Jay. I really am. But I don’t know what I can do to make it better. It was an accident, sweetheart.”
“I know,” Jared sighs. “Logically, I get that. But… damnit, Jensen. These fuckin’ hormones are driving me crazy. And all I keep thinkin’ about is how it could’a been worse. What I’d’a done if I lost you.”
Jensen hums softly and presses a kiss to Jared’s lips. “It’ll be okay, love. I promise.” Jensen’s hand slides over Jared’s hip, his fingers tucking under the hem of Jared’s shirt, pads ghosting over the skin above his waistband. “You gonna let me?” Jensen asks, sliding his fingers back to Jared’s ass, tips teasing the cleft.
Jared sighs and collapses forward, leaning heavily against his mate’s chest. He should know after all this time that there’s no way he can resist Jensen, he honestly doesn’t know why he even bothers to try at this point. He nuzzles under Jensen’s jaw, pressing a soft kiss to the skin beneath his lips. “That’s it, sweetheart,” Jensen murmurs, pulling back enough to press a kiss to Jared’s lips. “I love you, baby.”
Jared smiles and lets Jensen pull his shirt up and off. “I love you, too,” he whispers, his eyes fluttering closed when Jensen nips at his bottom lip.
Jensen nudges him back, standing to his full height when Jared scoots back on the mattress. He watches – his bottom lip trapped between his teeth – as Jensen strips, the sight of his Alpha’s strong, firm body never failing to make his heart beat faster, arousal to shoot down his spine. He obediently lifts his hips when Jensen undoes his jeans, letting his mate strip him of the rest of his clothes.
Jensen settles onto the mattress next to him, his hand sliding across the swell of Jared’s belly as he leans forward to press a kiss to the side of Jared’s lips. “Turn over for me, sweetheart. On your side,” Jensen murmurs.
Jared does as Jensen asks, his eyes sliding closed when Jensen scoots up all the way against his back, his cock slipping between the cheeks of his ass, sliding through the slick already leaking from his entrance. “Jensen,” Jared breathes, reaching back, his fingers curling over Jensen’s hip.
“Shh,” Jensen soothes, pressing a kiss to the sensitive skin beneath Jared’s ear. “I got’cha. ‘s okay.”
Jared thrusts his hips back, moaning when the head of Jensen’s cock catches on his rim. Jensen grabs his hip, trying to still the movement but suddenly Jared can’t wait anymore. It all kind of catches up to him and hits him all over again that he could have lost this, lost Jensen and he needs to feel his mate, needs to know that he’s alive and that everything truly is okay. “Jensen, please. Just do it. I- I need you.”
“’m right here, love,” Jensen whispers against his ear, sliding one hand between their hips, his fingers circling around Jared’s entrance. It’s been nearly two weeks since they’ve been together and Jared knows that he should probably let Jensen prep him – at least a little – but he wants the burn and the stretch.
His fingers dig into Jensen’s hip bruise-tight and he shakes his head, barely muffling a frustrated whimper when Jensen continues to tease. “Just do it,” he eventually blurts out. “C’mon. Fuck me, Alpha.”
“Jared,” Jensen warns.
“No, please, Jen. I want… I wanna feel it. Please?”
Jensen huffs a sigh, shoving his arm between Jared’s neck and the pillow, wrapping his arm around Jared, his palm resting over Jared’s heart. He uses the hand between them to guide himself inside, only letting go when his swollen cock-head breaches the first ring of muscle. Jared’s eyes squeeze closed and his hand tightens on Jensen’s hip. His mate stops, pressing a kiss to the back of Jared’s neck, his other arm wrapping around his waist above the swell of his belly. “Ya okay?” Jensen asks softly, still not moving.
“Yes,” Jared hisses, trying to shove his hips back. “C’mon, Jensen. Please just do it.”
Jensen presses forward, not stopping this time until he’s buried to the hilt, the slight bulge of his knot pressing against Jared’s rim. “Holy fuck,” Jensen breathes, his arms tightening around Jared. “Are… are you sure you’re okay?”
“Mmhmm,” Jared hums, already thrusting his hips back as best as he can.
“Hey,” Jensen says softly, nosing through his hair. “C’mon, baby. Calm down. ‘s okay, I promise.”
Jared swallows thickly and grabs the hand Jensen has splayed over his belly and brings it down to his cock. He’s rock hard, pre-come leaking steadily and the stiff flesh twitches when Jensen wraps his fingers around the shaft. “’m okay, Jensen,” Jared reassures his mate. “Just need you… wanna feel it.”
“Okay,” Jensen mutters, drawing his hips back just enough to slam back inside. Jared cries out, turning his head enough to press a sloppy, off-center kiss to Jensen’s lips. Jensen leans up enough to slot their lips together perfectly, his tongue sliding forward, licking at the seam of Jared’s lips. As soon as Jared opens up, Jensen slides his tongue forward, the kiss instantly turning heated and passionate.
Jensen keeps up the quick, dirty pace of his hips, his hand jerking Jared in time with his thrusts. It doesn’t take long for Jared to feel that familiar tingling at the base of his spine, his balls drawing up close to his body. “Jensen,” he whimpers.
“I know, baby,” Jensen says softly and Jared has no doubt that he does. Jensen knows his body better than he does himself and he knows that he doesn’t need to warn his mate. “Go on, sweetheart.”
Jared cries out again, his climax hitting him like a tidal wave. He vaguely registers Jensen thrusting forward, grinding his hips, his knot swelling all the way to lock them together. Jensen growls his name and Jared feels the first spurt of his mate’s release hitting his fluttering inner muscles.
They ride out the trembling aftershocks together, Jensen kissing and biting at his neck and shoulders, all the while whispering words of love and praise and devotion. Once their breathing has evened out a bit, they collapse against the mattress, tied together, Jensen’s arms tight around Jared. “You okay?” Jensen asks again.
This time, Jared doesn’t feel like he’s lying when he turns his head and smiles at his mate, pressing a kiss to his lips and whispering, “Yes, ‘m okay. ‘m perfect.”
Jared wakes up with a gasp, his stomach clenching painfully. Even though he’s been through this twice before it still takes him a few long moments to figure out what’s going on. Another wave of pain hits him and he grabs Jensen’s shoulder, blunt nails digging in so hard he smells the coppery tang of blood. “Jensen,” he grits out.
“Not now, baby. ‘m tryin’a sleep,” Jensen mutters.
“Jensen,” Jared repeats. “’m serious. Get the fuck up. ‘m in labor.”
Jensen sits straight up and flips the lamp on, flooding the room in soft light. “What?” he asks, blinking owlishly.
Jared whimpers and curls in on himself. “’m in fuckin’ labor,” he growls.
“Okay, alright,” Jensen mutters. “’m up. Go on. Do it.”
Jared inhales deeply and closes his eyes, following the natural instinct to shift. His head flops against the mattress, his eyes sliding closed when Jensen rubs his hand through the fur on his soft underbelly before Jared feels the mattress dip and feels his mate move his tail out of the way. “Alright, love. Go on and push whenever you’re ready.”
Jared does as his mate says, whimpering when another contraction rips through him. He bears down, pushing through the pain, collapsing back against the mattress, panting, when it lets up some. “You’re doin’ so good, Jare. Just a little more.”
Jared pushes again, surprised when he feels his child slide out completely. This was by far his easiest delivery. He picks his head up enough to look at Jensen, sees his mate cradling a snow-white pup against his chest. Jensen smiles at him and sets the pup against his belly, gently urging their child forward when he noses around, looking for a nipple. “Well, you were right,” he says around a chuckle. “We got another little boy.”
Their pup had been extremely shy every time Jared had an ultrasound, never once letting them get an idea of gender. Somehow though, Jared just knew.
He gently lays his front leg over his son, his eyes sliding closed as he lazily leans down enough to clean their child up some. “Rest, baby,” Jensen murmurs, pressing a kiss between his ears. “I love you, sweetheart.”
Jared wakes up to his mate gently stroking one hand through his fur, their pup curled up between them. Jensen smiles at him, sliding his hand up to gently scratch behind Jared’s ear. “Mornin’, sleepy head,” Jensen murmurs softly.
Jared closes his eyes and shifts, smiling tiredly up at his mate. “That may’a been the easiest one yet but ‘m still freakin’ tired.”
Jensen chuckles softly and their pup makes a tiny, whimpery noise at the vibration of Jensen’s chest. Jared reaches out and runs one finger down their son’s back, smile growing when he looks back up at Jensen. “He’s beautiful,” Jared murmurs. “Got your coat.”
Jensen nods and holds up their son’s tiny tail – which is a soft tawny color like Jared’s. “Mostly,” Jensen agrees with another chuckle. “Name?”
“Riley?” Jared asks, once again petting gently through the pup’s fur.
“I like it.”
Riley choses that moment to open his eyes and look up at Jared. He gasps softly when he sees his own eyes staring back up at him. All three of their other children inherited Jensen’s brilliant, bright green gaze – and Jared loves that – but it’s amazing to see his baby take after him in even that slightest way.
Jensen smiles when he notices it as well, leaning over Riley to press a kiss to Jared’s lips. “He’s gonna take after you,” Jensen murmurs softly.
Jared sighs softly and scoots a little closer, his arm sliding over Jensen’s waist. “You tell everyone?”
“Yeah, called my mom. She’s got the kids…” Jensen trails off when there’s a soft knock at their bedroom door. “C’min,” he calls out as quietly as he can, mindful of their once-again sleeping child.
Donna pokes her head in the door, smiling brightly when she sees them before her gaze lands on Riley. She moves further into the room, tears shimmering in her green eyes. “Oh, boys,” she breathes. “He’s gorgeous.” She looks to Jared, smile softening. “You okay, sweetie?”
“Yeah,” Jared breathes, relaxing back against the mattress. His nerves kick in slightly – that overwhelming momma-bear attitude that Jensen teases him about burning through him when Donna picks up their son. It’s just his natural instinct – deep down, he knows that she won’t hurt Riley, it’s just in his biology to protect his children.
Donna cradles him to her chest, cooing softly and rocking him slightly back and forth. After a few moments, she looks back up, smiling once again. “The kids wanna come in,” she says softly. “They’re in the hallway, practically chompin’ at the bit.”
Jared chuckles, knowing his children well enough to know that Donna isn’t even close to exaggerating. He sends Jensen a grateful smile when his mate pushes up off the mattress and heads for the door. He blocks their way, crouching down in front of them. “Okay,” he starts, looking each child in the face. “Y’all can come in but there are rules. One, indoor voices,” he looks pointedly at Drew, who still hasn’t quite grasped that concept, “Two, your little brother isn’t even a day old yet. So no one gets to hold him. You can look at him and touch him while me or Daddy or Grams has him. And three, Daddy is still sore, so be careful.” He pauses, once again looking from one child to the next. “Deal?” Three light blondish-brown heads nods in unison. “Alright, go on.”
Jared smiles as his children climb up in the bed with him and Brie curls up against his side instantly. Ever since the scare when she was six months old, she’s turned into a Daddy’s girl while Drew and Lizzie usually seek out Jensen.
Donna hands Riley back to Jared, kissing between his ears before kissing Jared and Jensen’s cheeks. As soon as she’s gone, Jensen lies back down on his side of the mattress, and Jared puts Riley back on the bed between them. The kids all take turns meeting their new sibling while Jared and Jensen watch carefully. His heart swells when the older kids shift, curling up in a puppy pile around Riley. Jared looks up at Jensen, tears of sheer joy burning in his eyes, not surprised to find his mate already looking back at him.
Despite the rough patches – however few and far between they were – Jared’s pretty damn convinced that his life is perfect. And all their struggles and hardships have only managed to make them stronger in the end.
He smiles at Jensen, pressing a kiss to his lips as their children all nap – peaceful and healthy – between them. “Thank you,” he whispers thickly.
“This. Everything. Givin’ me what I never thought I’d have… for givin’ me a family.”