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Buck pushed himself up with a groan from where he was laying face down in his bed. He hadn’t realized he’d fallen asleep - he was still in his uniform for fuck’s sake - until his phone’s buzzing had apparently caused it to fall off the bed. Crawling forward groggily, he reached over and patted around the floor half dazed before bringing it to his face. Where his heart promptly stopped. Swiping quickly, he pressed the phone to his ear. “Carla?!”

“Buck,” sniffed Chris.

He bolted upright in bed, a cold wash of fear dowsing all dregs of sleep from him. “Christopher?! Are you okay? What happened, Buddy?!”

“Can I come stay with you? Daddy’s sick.”

Buck’s mind immediately tripped and fell into a wild descent of horrors. He was up and moving about his room for his keys - and promptly bumping into things - in an instant. “What do you mean, sick? Are you with Carla? Carla, can you hear me?!”

“I’m here, Buckaroo,” she said calmly. “Everything’s fine. I’m taking Chris to Isabel’s. Eddie’s going to need checking in on, but it can’t be me.”

“Why not?!” Buck sputtered, standing frozen in the middle of his bedroom.

“Because it looks like the stress of the well rescue has got our boy in a fairly heated spiral, if you catch my drift.”

“A what?” Buck replied dumbly. His brain felt disconnected from his body. Which was just as well because his mind didn’t feel too tethered to reality in the present moment.

“You know…” she said, pressing. When Buck’s end just remained silent, she sighed and added. “He’s a bit stuck in a rut at the moment.”

It took Buck’s brain a full minute to catch on. “OH!” he said, surprise filling him. “He’s-I mean...How?!”

“Buck, when did you get off shift?” Carla asked instead.

“What time is it?” He looked around, not realizing he could just pull his phone away from his ear and get the answer that way. “What day is it?”

“Honey, did you just come off twenty-four hours?”

“Forty-eight actually. I took Eddie’s shift too.”

“Nevermind.”

“Oh no, you don’t!” he snapped in response. “You can’t just call me in the middle of the night-”

“It’s six A.M.”

“Is it?” he squeaked, trying to peer out his window without actually moving any closer.

“Buck, how many hours have you been sleeping?”

“Two?” he guessed.

“There’s no way I’m letting you get behind the wheel on two hours sleep after a double shift,” she informed him.

“But, we need Bucky,” Chris protested from the backseat.

“Buck needs to sleep, sweetheart,” she explained.

“Daddy’s sick. You told Abuela Buck’s the only one who can help. You said-”

“I know what I said,” she replied with a heavy sigh. “Buck...he’s really agitated. I think...I think you might be the only one who can go into the house without riling him up.”

“Okay,” he replied, raking a hand through his hair.

“Take a shower first,” Carla instructed. “Get as clean as you can and put on something familiar and don’t forget your suppressants.” She said it as if Buck didn’t live on the damn things. “You don’t want to spook him.”

Buck made a scoffing noise, but started unbuttoning his shirt anyway.

“Take your time,” Carla said sternly. “Don’t rush this because you’re worried, Buck, do you hear me? Any change in your scent could just set him off.”

“Yes, thank you, I know how to deal with Alphas,” he drawled.

“Yes, but Eddie’s not just another Alpha and I think it’s time we acknowledged that.”

Buck shifted uncomfortably.

“Do you have protection?”

“Carla!” Buck gasped, scandalized.

“Daddy won’t hurt Buck,” Christopher argued adamantly.

“Oh believe me, sweetheart,” Carla soothed. “Hurting Buck’s going to be the last thing on your Daddy’s mind.”

Carla....” Her name was dragged through his clenched teeth. He couldn’t believe they were having this conversation at all. Let alone with Christopher present.

“Boy, you forget how well I know you,” she replied, no nonsense.

Buck pressed a hand to his face, glad she couldn’t see the blush he could definitely feel.

“Go get some supplies. Then shower. Then see him. The last thing we need is him catching a whiff of some sales clerk and-”

“I am hanging up now!”

“Do you need me to call someone to drive you? I could come get you after I drop Christopher off.”

“No, thanks. I’ll be okay.” At a lack of reply he added, “I’ll be careful. I promise! I just...I need to do this on my own.”

After a moment, Carla responded. “Okay then. You just...you be careful. You still haven’t told him.”

“Yeah, I-...” His fingers gripped his own skin a little more firmly. “I keep meaning to.”

“And now is certainly not the time!” She waited for a response and upon receiving none, continued. “Buckaroo, I mean it. Now is not the time. You go in, you make sure he’s okay. You leave. You leave before the...before you get...sick too. No amount of suppressants can bring you out of...being sick...if you stay too long. You know that. And then you’ll both be down.”

Buck heaved a sigh. “I know.”

“And the last thing the rest of us need is to suffer through you being desked again because you need a year off.”

“Why would I--It’d be a YEAR?!”

“Buck, sweetie, it comforts me that that is the issue you’re taking with this entire scenario, truly.”

“Why would it be a YEAR?!”

“Evan Buckley. Don’t make me turn this car around.”

Buck tried to do the math in his head, but he honestly couldn’t make it make sense. He probably did need to sleep more, but if he did that, Eddie’d be worse by the time he made it over. And that would probably not go as well, because if Eddie was in a full rut by the time they came face to face, no amount of suppressants in the world would be able to mask the reaction Buck would have to him. He wasn’t ready to lose the best thing that had ever happened to him. Once had been more than enough for an entire lifetime, thanks.

“I’ll head to the store first. He’s not going to be able to cook like this, so…”

“Five minutes tops, Buck. Drop things off, make sure he’s secure, and you leave. Do you understand me?”

“Yes, Carla. I understand you.”

“You do not want to risk everything because you both lost your damn minds.”

“No...I don’t.”

“Good. You call me the moment you leave the house. The exact moment.”

“Sure.”

“You say the words, Evan.”

“I will call you the moment I leave Eddie’s house so you know I haven’t been dragged into a pit of depravity.”

“What does...Dep-depra-”

“I’ll tell you later,” Carla interrupted, saving Buck from abject humiliation. “Text me before you go into the house so I can time you. I will call if you go so much as ten seconds over five minutes.”

“Okay.” He could practically feel the look through the phone. “I will text you before I go in and call you the minute I’m out.”

“The second!”

“I have to lock the door,” he replied cheekily.

“You be careful,” she told him, voice grave. “If it weren’t an emergency-”

She wouldn’t have even called him. Eddie must be spiraling badly. Buck ached, knowing Eddie as he did. He’d blame himself for all of it, even if these sorts of things just happened sometimes and there was nothing for them but to ride them out. “I know...Chris, be good for Abuela, okay? I’ll see you later!”

“You promise?”

“I promise. And I’ll take care of your Dad. No matter what.”

“Evan Buckley,” Carla growled.

“Don’t worry. I’ve got this!”

 

He most definitely didn’t have this.

Buck shuffled in front of the front door, trying to calm himself down. He’d taken exactly two showers and a bath, washed and dried the clothes he planned to wear, moved all the groceries and necessities into brand new brown paper bags, and practically doused himself in scent stabilizers after taking an extra dose of suppressants. Some people would call it overkill. Those people had never met Eddie Diaz.

On a regular day Eddie was everything a person associated with an Alpha. He may not be very tall, but he was solid. Every muscle clearly defined and pieced together artistically. He was strong, both physically and mentally. He was breathtakingly beautiful, with a jaw that a body couldn’t look away from without thinking about what it might feel like to be bitten by him. He was decisive and confident and a natural leader. But where Eddie truly stood out was on the inside. Because he was tender and kind, considerate, compassionate and while he wouldn’t stand for people’s crap, he also wasn’t motivated by arrogance or ego. He had no qualms with taking orders from an Omega - as many Alphas seemed to - and was respectful and protective of their Captain. Always ready to defend him when an Alpha tried to pull shit, but entirely silent and watchful, understanding that Bobby didn’t need the protection, but appreciated the sentiment all the same.

Being held by Eddie was like being wrapped up in security and Buck had spent a long time fighting himself to keep things between them at an even keel so Eddie would never find out the truth. He wasn’t afraid of Eddie finding out, nor was he intimidated. He knew Eddie would treat him the same as he always did. But if Eddie found out that Buck was an Omega, it might start to clue him in about other things Buck would rather he never notice. Because Eddie’s tastes ran exclusively toward Omega and Beta women and Buck respected that. The problem was that once Eddie had cottoned on his Alpha nature would naturally start to catalogue everything about him, completely without conscious thought. Buck understood he’d be doing it because he considered him family and Alphas were especially observant where the Omegas in their family were concerned - the better to provide for and protect them. Eddie would learn the subtle shifts in his scent, become aware of his rhythms, he’d take more notice of Buck’s moods and most frustratingly, he’d be more present than ever. Buck knew for a fact that their relationship only worked as long as no one ever acknowledged how compatible they were. The minute it became obvious to Eddie, he’d turn away and leave and Buck would not be able to survive that. He wouldn’t.

He took a few deep, calming breaths. He couldn’t afford to be anxious. Eddie would pick up on it, even with the suppressants, and Buck was trying to avoid sticking around too long. Regardless of his designation, Eddie considered Buck part of his family. And as a masquerading Beta, Buck fell under his umbrella of care. If he walked in jittery, he’d just set Eddie off. Once he felt as good as he was going to get he unlocked the door and peered inside. “Eddie?” he called into the house. “It’s me. It’s Buck. Carla asked me to come check on you.” Suddenly reminded, he shuffled his phone out and started his timer before firing off a quick text, completely missing the groan from further inside.

Kicking the door closed, he marched determinedly into the kitchen and began to unpack. His phone vibrated with a return message, but he didn’t have time to look at it. Besides, he knew what it said already, there was no need to confirm it. He’d managed to get the groceries put away, stacking sandwiches and carb loaded sides, pasta dishes and a pair of pizzas to the forefront of the refrigerator - unlike Omegas, Alphas needed to load up on food during ruts to keep from burning themselves out; the mere thought of food during his heats made Buck want to hurl - before he could feel Eddie at his back. Buck’s instincts screamed at him to turn around and throw himself into the Alpha’s arms. Eddie was young and healthy, a strong mate who’d provide for him and their babies--WOAH, WOAH. Buck closed his eyes and tried not to breathe in too deeply. His face was still in the fridge, the cool air circulating past him, which protected him from Eddie’s scent. He squeezed his knees together and begged the universe that he’d make it out of the house before his body did something stupid like respond to the call of his best friend’s rut.

“What’re you doing here, Buck?” Eddie asked. He sounded wrecked; body amped up to mate and no willing body around to appease the raging need. His voice had dropped two whole octaves and rumbled from his chest with all the force of a bassline in a club.

Buck held his breath, a string of curses at the forefront of his mind. With strength from God only knew where, he pushed himself to his feet and turned to grin at him. “Carla told me you got taken by surprise. Figured you didn’t have anything, so…” He shrugged, gesturing to the mostly empty bags on the counter.

Eddie looked at him for so long, Buck began to panic that he’d somehow given himself away. Then the Alpha heaved a sigh, shoulders rolling and stance shifting. “You didn’t have to do that, Buck,” he replied, every word hitting Buck square in the chest. Jesus. Fuck.

“Hey, what’re best friends for?”

Eddie nodded, smiling softly. “Thanks, man.”

“Any time. So. I didn’t know what you needed, or if you needed anything, or what you were into…” He picked up one of the bags and held it out to him. “So I got you a little bit of everything. Whatever you don’t end up using I can always take back.” And by take back, he meant to his apartment because he was fairly certain he’d be mewling for Eddie his next heat after this experience, and with any luck, some of Eddie’s rut scent would linger. He fought back a shiver at the thought, a little upset with himself for not feeling guilty about taking advantage of his friend in need. Too busy considering his own future issues. He was a horrible friend.

Eddie blinked at him, eyes a little hazy. Buck swallowed. His phone gave a warning buzz that startled them both.

“I uh...I should go,” Buck said, a little too breathless for his liking.

Which Eddie definitely noticed, because he took a step closer. A motion that was all power and desire without direction. Eddie’s head tilted, brow furrowing slightly in confusion.

“Call me if you need anything!” He did his best to move quickly without actually fleeing - because that would definitely cause Eddie to give chase, whether he realized Buck’s true nature or not.

“Buck.”

Buck walked right into the front door. “Shit!” he gasped, hands over his nose reflexively. And then suddenly, Eddie was there. His hands pulling Buck’s away from his face, body crowding Buck’s into the door. He lifted Buck’s chin, squinting at his nose, turning his face in a few directions before gently pressing his fingers around Buck’s nose and cheeks.

“Are you okay?”

And oh fuck was Buck most assuredly NOT okay, but that had absolutely nothing to do with the state of his nose. “I uh...it’s not broken. I’m fine. Don’t worry about it, Eddie.”

Eddie leaned in, eyes closing as he breathed in deeply against Buck’s hairline. Buck’s heart kicked up in his chest and he swallowed down the urge to submit to Eddie’s inspection. A Beta would be unaffected by the state Eddie was in. Maybe a little intimidated, maybe a little turned on. But a Beta didn’t have the same instincts as the ones currently urging Buck to press his hips into the heat radiating off Eddie’s body and spread his legs so the Alpha could-

His phone buzzed and didn’t stop. His time was up. That was most definitely Carla and he’d absolutely gone over the alloted time in the house and he needed to leave. Now.

Buck licked his lips nervously, tugging his lower between his teeth. Eddie’s gaze instantly locked on his mouth and Buck froze. He groped frantically in his pocket for his phone, holding it up suddenly between them as if to ward Eddie off, then sliding accept. “Hi Carla,” he said loud and panicked. “How’s Chris?”

“Damn it, Evan,” she said into his ear. “I’m on my way.”

“No, we’re all fine here,” he replied, inching along the door until he could grab the knob. He ducked under Eddie’s arm and pulled the door open so suddenly he nearly slammed it right into his own face. “I was just leaving!” He took a few hurried steps, muttering, “I’m out! I’m out!” into the phone quickly.

“Get in your car right now. I want to hear you drive away.”

Buck walked right into his car, bouncing off it slightly, then started scrabbling for his keys. He tugged the door handle uselessly, mind in full panic, suddenly afraid he’d locked his damn keys in the car before realizing he’d left them on Eddie’s kitchen counter. He groaned, two seconds from beating his head against his car door when they suddenly dangled in front of his face.

Buck jumped a whole foot, nearly dropping his phone. Eddie stood behind him at a considerable distance, his arm outstretched, Buck’s keys dangling from his index finger. “Th-thanks,” he breathed out with a short huff. “Sorry Eddie.”

Eddie didn’t say anything right away, just stood, observing Buck. Whatever he was looking for was found pretty much right away because he immediately shrunk down again. “I’d never hurt you, Buck,” he told him, eyes sad.

“I…”

“Drive safe. And thanks. For this. I really appreciate it. Especially after you covered my shift on top of yours.”

“I...Yeah, of course.” He smiled at him, feeling less panicked by how calm Eddie was. “Any time, man.” Gut clenching at the thought that he’d somehow hurt Eddie, he quickly stepped into his space and gave him a tight hug. Eddie’s arms wrapped around him squeezing back at half the strength he’d normally embrace anyone. Buck stepped back and smiled at him again. “Take care of yourself. And seriously call me if you need anything!” He got in his car and had pulled out of the driveway before he called out, “And Eddie!”

Eddie raised a brow.

“I know you’d never hurt me. I was never worried about that.”

With a wave he drove off, forgetting the call he’d been on, having tossed his cell phone into the passenger seat. His bluetooth kicked in a minute or two later.

“Evan! Evan?! Lord, this boy…”

“I’m here, Carla. I’m driving away.”

“I hear that.” There was silence for a long minute before she said, “I’m sorry.”

“For what?” he asked, frowning slightly out his windshield.

“Riling you up like I did. It was dangerous and reckless and I should have known better.”

“You were just concerned, Carla. Nobody blames you for that.”

“Yeah, well, we got lucky.”

“Eddie wouldn’t have hurt me.”

“I know. I wasn’t worried about that. I never would have told you if I was.”

“Then what were you so worried about?”

“I know you, Evan Buckley. And you are way too invested in this to survive a one rut stand with your best friend.”

“Am I that obvious?”

“Honey, you may smell like a Beta and you may act like a Beta but the way you look at Eddie screams, ‘Take me, I’m yours!’”

Buck flushed in embarrassment. “Do you...do you think anyone else can tell?”

“Only people who really know you.”

That still left a good few people. People who actually mattered.

“When this is over, you sit him down and you tell him the truth and you let Eddie decide how he feels about all of it. Understand? Evan!”

“Yeah...I-I understand.”

Carla sighed. “Good. Now, you’ve done your duty - thank you, by the way - go home and go to bed. You need to sleep so you don’t do something stupid.”

Buck huffed out a laugh. “Like what?”

“Like what, he says,” she grumbled to herself. “Don’t forget to take a shower when you get home. And eat something for God’s sake, you’re wasting away!”

Buck laughed. “Yes, ma’am.”

 

He’d meant to take a shower as soon as he got home. But he was so damn tired. Coming down off the adrenaline crash, and the busy morning, he’d fallen right into bed - again - and passed out.

By the time he woke up, he was thirsty as hell and his body felt jittery. Buck pushed himself up and scrubbed at his face. Eddie’s scent bloomed around him. Safe in his own bed, Buck moaned. Dropping back, he reached for his already hard cock. His fingers had barely touched himself when he was coming. The orgasm was so sudden and strong it stole his breath. Buck blinked away the stars in his vision as he stared up at the ceiling trying to breathe through the feeling and find his way back into his body.

His legs felt like jelly and all his muscles were so relaxed he thought he might just ooze straight through the bed to the floor beneath. He couldn’t say how long it took him to muster the strength to get out of bed, but when he did, he nearly collapsed to the floor. His head was swimming and he couldn’t be certain he wouldn’t slip and brain himself in the shower, so he crawled into his bathroom and started a bath. His underwear clung to him, sticky from both ends, as he stripped on his bathroom floor. He reached back, fingers sliding between his cheeks far too smoothly. Grumbling to himself, he climbed carefully into the tub, where he inevitably passed out again - which he would be telling absolutely no one about, ever. The water was cool, but he felt loads better when he woke up the second time. Eddie’s scent was mostly gone, save where it still clung to his clothes. Buck decided to leave them where they were as he hunted down whatever meal it was time to eat.

 

Two days had passed before Buck received a disturbing text message. It was nothing more than a random string of letters and numbers, but it was from Eddie. Buck paced the length of his apartment in turmoil for exactly two hours, debating how best to approach what could have as easily been a cry for help as an accident. He knew some Alphas got through their ruts with cyber assists and Eddie’s phone had probably reacted to an orgasm - and didn’t that just heat his blood - and sent him whatever the hell this message was supposed to be. Or, Eddie could have hurt himself. Maybe he wasn’t eating properly or hydrating. Maybe he’d strained something and he needed Buck’s help! There was absolutely no way of knowing for certain. Especially when Eddie wouldn’t answer his damn calls!!

Having worked himself into a proper fit, Buck climbed into his car and drove over to Eddie’s. He didn’t bother knocking, just let himself in and closed the door behind him. The house looked just fine, but the scent...Buck breathed in deeply and felt slick pool. A part of him knew he wasn’t going to make it out of this encounter with any secrets left. Most of him was relieved by the prospect. Eddie smelled SO. DAMN. GOOD.

Buck followed his nose to Eddie’s bedroom, pushing the door open slowly. Eddie lay panting on the bed, frustration heavy in the air. His cock jut out from his groin, dark and angry. Buck knew enough medically speaking about the process to know that was a bad sign. Eddie’s rut wasn’t progressing. His heart could give out if he didn’t find relief soon.

He crossed the room, dropping into the bed, hand sliding down Eddie’s sweat slick thigh. Eddie started, but he was clearly too far gone to defend himself - which was also a bad sign.

“Buck…”

If he’d had any hope at all of leaving, it was ruthlessly dashed at the sound of his name. Eddie needed him. He needed his help to come through the other end and seemed to think Buck would refuse him. “Shh...Eddie. I’m here. I have you.”

They’d never really talked about it. Couldn’t even begin to discuss it, when Eddie didn’t know about Buck’s situation. If it were anyone else, Buck would fear consent. But Eddie trusted him with his life - he’d said as much to him - and his life was very much at stake. A hospital couldn’t fix this. This was a horrible case of something most commonly known as mate waste. An Alpha or Omega abandoned by their mate - usually through death, but sometimes by other means - and left to contend with a biological urge that required their presence. It was one of the only things all the advancements in medicine and science simply could not cure. The bond between mates just couldn’t be quantified. Buck was most assuredly not Shannon, but sometimes the afflicted mate could still survive if given a willing partner. Their mind superimposing their mate’s presence in their delirium over the person they were with. If they survived they were put on suppressants for the rest of their lives. Very few were ever able to form another bond with someone else strong enough to endure the strain of a cycle.

He sighed, heart breaking. Eddie deserved better than this. But, he needed saving and Buck would give his life for Eddie’s for far less than this. After all, Eddie - if he managed it - would think he was Shannon and make love to him and Buck would finally know what that felt like. To be wanted. To be loved. To be cherished. Adored. He knew there was no way he’d survive the encounter with anything resembling sanity. He’d never let an Alpha knot him before, and Eddie would definitely be doing that. A lot. And it was Eddie. Buck might have to go on suppressants for the rest of his life when it was over, or risk death his next heat, but Eddie was worth it. He’d always be worth it.

Eddie groaned in agony again, squirming on the bed. Buck stood up and began to strip. “It’s okay Eddie…” he murmured. “I’m going to take care of you. You’re not alone anymore. You’re not alone. I’m here.”

Once he was naked - and dripping slick - Buck climbed back on the bed, settling between Eddie’s knees. He reached out, fingers stroking Eddie’s dangerously swollen cock, which caused a not entirely pleasant shudder in the Alpha.

“I know…” he whispered in the dark of the room. “I’m so sorry, Eddie…”

Eddie’s hands gripped his hair vice like as he took him in his mouth, fingers tightening in his hair with such strength it brought tears to Buck’s eyes. He shifted uncomfortably beneath him until Buck had managed to take most of him - seriously Eddie was fucking huge - into himself. He stroked the base of his cock with his hands, fingers smoothing gentle circles over his knot. As Eddie began to relax, Buck began to move his head. Soon enough, Eddie’s grunts were less pained, more desperate for release.

Buck braced himself - it’d been a while - and worked Eddie down to the root, lips working against his knot in delicate flutters. Eddie roared, hips stuttering and choking Buck more than a little bit, as he came hard and powerful down his throat. His whole body collapsed into the mattress, chest heaving in relieved breaths. He dragged Buck up by the hair, drawing him close and ravaging his mouth, rambling into the space between their lips with absolutely no filter. Buck listened with half an ear to the ‘I love you’s and ‘Finally’s and ‘Need you so much’es trying to calculate how much time they had before Eddie’s body took stock of an available warm body and went into overtime. He wanted to get some food into him, definitely a whole lot of water, and maybe wipe him down a bit. The smell didn’t bother him - quite the opposite, in fact - but it had to be uncomfortable for Eddie who so obviously had been trapped there for hours if not days.

He tried to get up, but Eddie’s arms around him held him close and didn’t give him an inch. Buck made soothing noises, stroking at his jaw. “I’m just going to the kitchen, Eddie,” he informed him. “You need to eat something. Drink something at least.”

Eddie’s hold didn’t budge. Buck wracked his brain, trying to remember Shannon’s pet names and hoping like hell they worked, because he could help Eddie through this, but he could still die, could still go into shock and code if he didn’t maintain some sort of equilibrium.

“Baby,” he purred, voice low. “We have to get something into you if you’re going to knot me. You want to knot me, don’t you?”

Eddie growled lowly, arms flexing about him.

Buck smirked and leaned in, hoping the proximity wouldn’t ruin the facade. His pheromones should be enough, but Eddie also knew him very, very well, and there was a fifty-fifty shot this could backfire. Not that it couldn’t still backfire later - because Buck owned a cock of his own, thanks - but one problem at a time. “Come on, Eddie,” he whispered into his ear. “I want it so much. You’ll give it to me, won’t you? Please…please…” And if his whining was a lot more genuine by the end of his plea, well, that was between him and the Almighty.

Eddie moved beneath him, gearing up to flip them over. Apparently, his plan had worked...Almost.

He clucked his tongue, hands to Eddie’s chest. “Food first,” he demanded.

Eddie snorted, dragging him closer so their eyes met. “You have exactly three minutes to get something and come back here before I come get you. Do not make me come get you.”

Buck’s entire body went languid at the demand. Half of it was instinct, sure. The other half...the other half had been looking for this his entire life in all the wrong places. “Yes, Alpha,” he breathed. Eddie swatted him possesively on the ass and dropped back bonelessly into the bed. Buck stood on shaking legs, wondering if Eddie was strong enough to make good on his demand. Some part of Buck wanted to test him on it, but thankfully the sensible bit reminded him he had a job to do, and that Eddie’d suffered enough. His cock was already hard again, making Buck swallow at the sight of it.

“Omega,” Eddie growled.

Buck dropped to his knees, head tipping back to expose his throat. Eddie rolled over swiftly in the bed, catching him by the back of the neck, cradling his head in his palm. He bit him across the throat, teeth catching with just enough pressure to have Buck’s body oozing slick in response, a whine rising in his chest.

“I’ve got you, querido,” Eddie whispered against his damp skin before bringing his face close for a searing kiss. “Amor de mi vida…” Buck wasn’t sure who Eddie was talking to just then, but it made his entire body warm in a way that had very little to do with lust.

Eddie pulled him back into the bed, arranging the sheets about him. Where he got the strength from, Buck didn’t know, but he found himself unable to argue. “Stay here,” Eddie said, kissing him again before stalking out the room on very steady legs.

Buck lay in the bed confused as hell. An Alpha in mate waste should not have been able to get up for any reason, bar one. Had he been wrong? Eddie’d had all the signs of advanced mate waste when he’d entered. Delirium, frustration, exhaustion, an inability to spend...Buck licked his lips and rolled over, grasping the sheets in his hands and bringing them to his face. The scents supported his theory, but he couldn’t tell how long Eddie’d been suffering. Every case of mate waste was different, which was one of the reasons it was impossible to treat. There were no guidelines to follow. Someone could be showing absolutely no signs and die an hour later and someone else could linger for an entire week before dying in an absolutely horrific way. Even the levels of diagnosis were more fluid than should strictly be allowed, left mostly for first responders to decide for themselves based on the information at hand. Buck didn’t think he’d necessarily been wrong in his diagnosis. Maybe Eddie was just more resilient than most. The thought comforted him.

He rolled over onto his belly, unable to refrain from rubbing himself all over Eddie’s sheets. They’d need a hell of a wash when all was said and done - if Eddie didn’t just toss them - but for the moment, the most important thing was to build a nest of safety and comfort. Somewhere they could focus on what was most important and leave the world to itself for a while.

The bed dipped as Eddie dropped back into the mattress heavily, causing Buck to bounce slightly. The Alpha wasted no time in scooping an arm around him and sweeping him back into his embrace. Eddie felt more solid beneath him, more like himself. Buck realized he had no idea how long Eddie’d been gone. He’d been too busy trying to make sense of everything to pay the Alpha any mind.

“You need to eat something, querido,” Eddie cooed at him, pressing a sandwich to his lips.

Buck made a face and turned his head away. He’d bought and put them away himself, so he knew they couldn’t have gone bad that quickly. The fridge door had been closed when he’d passed the kitchen on his way to Eddie’s bedroom. He had no idea how they could have spoiled, but it certainly had. A despondent whine made its way free of him without his knowledge or permission.

Eddie smoothed his fingers through his hair with a sigh, drawing him close to press a kiss to his brow as the long, low, mournful sound kept right on coming. Laying back, Eddie set the sandwich back down on the plate and proceeded to open it up. He peeled every single layer completely free of the others, then started offering Buck layer by layer. Buck really wasn’t hungry, but Eddie was determined, so he negotiated the cheese slices and bits of tomato and spinach, turning his face into Eddie’s neck when he absolutely couldn’t stomach anymore. Well practiced in finishing food others had left behind unwanted, Eddie haphazardly relayered the sandwich and finished it off in a few large bites, his free hand maintaining constant contact with Buck’s skin.

It felt nice. But not nearly as nice as watching Eddie eat the food Buck had procured for him; which he apparently found nothing wrong with. When he was done, Eddie set the plate aside, Buck rolling slightly with him by virtue of being gathered so close. He plucked up a few water bottles. Setting them down on the bed beside him, he opened one and gently coaxed Buck into taking a sip. Once Buck had, he realized he was actually quite thirsty and finished off the bottle. Eddie watched him with a smile, hand still stroking over him. He handed Buck a second one and only started on his first after Buck had settled in to drink it.

Buck didn’t want to distract Eddie from hydrating, but he also didn’t want to leave him unattended for too long. Concern led him to reach out his hand, fingers trailing featherlight up and down the underside of Eddie’s cock. It twitched at his touch. Pleased Eddie wasn’t in pain, Buck trailed the shape of it with his fingertips, delighting in the lust his touch stirred in Eddie’s blood. Desire thickened in the air around them, but Eddie didn’t make a single demand, instead laying still and letting Buck do as he pleased.

He shifted against Eddie’s side, leaning into him, careful to keep his hips free of Eddie so as not to break the spell through a chance brush of his own erection, he curled his hand loosely about him, teasing him with light, gentle motions.

Eddie cursed in Spanish, arching into the touch.

“What do you want, Eddie?”

Whatever Eddie said, it was lost in the thickness of his accent and the low rumble of his tone. Eddie’s voice was generally attractive to Buck, but this...this was a whole other level of sexy. He idly wondered if he could come off Eddie’s voice alone, maybe whispering to him in Spanish.

Buck hummed to himself, picking up one of the discarded toys. He poked at the head of it, noting Eddie’d opted for the bit of anatomy Buck had. It was a bit of a relief, knowing Eddie was an ass man. It’d make this whole thing easier on them both. He slid a finger inside, feeling the lube had gone slightly tacky. Surprisingly, Eddie didn’t try to curtail him. He lay back and watched as Buck searched for the lube. Once he’d found it, he sat back up, pouring a generous amount into the toy. He looked back to Eddie who regarded him passively, a small smile on his face.

Smiling back, Buck positioned the toy over him and slid it down. Eddie grunted as it fell short, but said nothing as Buck began a series of long strokes. Looking to Eddie once more, his eyes met Eddie’s, which burned with desire, compelling him to put a little more effort into pleasing the Alpha. No one had ever looked at Buck like that before. For a few breathless moments, he forgot the stare wasn’t for him. “I can do better,” he informed Eddie, tossing the toy aside.

“You can do anything you want, querido,” Eddie husked back.

Humming in satisfaction, Buck straddled Eddie’s hips. Eddie’s eyes went wide, hands reaching up, thought whether to stop him or encourage him, Buck would never know. He gripped Eddie and aligned him, thankful for the extra slide as he worked him inside. The moment he started to seat Eddie fisted his hands tightly in the sheets, whole body trembling. His chest arched off the bed, head thrown back as he gasped spanish at the ceiling. His hips however, remained remarkably steady, even as his heels slid about the sheets further down.

Buck was genuinely surprised by his control. Surprised and incredibly turned on. Eddie was letting him set the pace, which meant he’d accepted the delusion that Buck was his mate. Pleased to be an acceptable stand in, Buck let himself enjoy the intrusion, head tipping back, exposing his throat to the Alpha beneath him. His hands curled into fists against Eddie’s abdomen as he finally, finally felt Eddie’s knot meet his entrance. “Eddie,” he moaned, body trembling about the cock that had him so full, every one of his pleasure centers was engaged. No Alpha had ever fit inside him so perfectly. Made him feel so delirious with pleasure without even moving.

Eddie’s hands closed about his hips, gripping tightly but merely holding on. “Move,” he begged, hips shifting beneath Buck’s, rocking side to side so as not to start thrusting unwelcome. “Please...cariño…”

Buck hummed and mirrored the motion. Eddie’s adam’s apple bobbed, his own neck straining as he stretched out below the Omega seated on his cock. It was so damn hot. Buck began to grind his hips, pulling the most beautiful sounds from the Alpha beneath him. He hadn’t known an Alpha could make those sounds. That Eddie could make those sounds. They spurred him on, making him more eager with each pass. He rocked up on his knees, Eddie’s cock sliding almost completely free of him before dropping back down. The feel of Eddie’s cock inside him, reaching all the lost, lonely parts of him, blazing a path of ecstasy with every sweeping pass went straight to his head.

If Eddie was a complete mess, then Buck was no better. He rode Eddie with an urgency he’d never felt before, body virtually spasmodic as Eddie filled him with every motion. “Eddie...Eddie…” he sobbed, thighs burning. Eddie’s hands clamped tightly about his hips and a moment later Buck was left with no choice but to hold on as Eddie’s hips collided with his in a series of swift, tight thrusts. The world went white as Buck’s entire body went off like a roman candle. He was only distantly aware he’d actually screamed because of the ringing sound echoing about the room. By the time he came back to himself, Eddie’s knot was firmly lodged and Buck collapsed into his chest as another orgasm ripped through him unexpectedly.

“Shh…” Eddie soothed, hands stroking over the length of Buck’s back. “I have you. Alpha has you.”

After a moment, his palms flattened and he eased himself up enough to roll them over.

Buck’s shivering eased as Eddie rearranged himself so he was covering all of Buck’s body with his own. He readjusted Buck’s limbs, hands smoothing over them as far as he could to ensure he hadn’t trapped any part of Buck in an uncomfortable position, before his face suddenly hovered over Buck’s. There was contentment there and pleasure - he was still coming after all, and would be for a while - but there was also a distinct light of joy in his eyes that made Buck feel special.

Eddie’s hands found their way to Buck’s face, cradling it gently. “Are you alright, mi amor?” he asked with such tenderness that Buck legitimately burst into tears. Eddie frowned immediately, shifting above him in discomfort. His knot still pulsed warmly inside, adding a sense of euphoria to Buck’s release.

“Buck...Evan? Evan, háblame.” He pressed his thumbs to Buck’s cheeks, smoothing the tears away. “¿Que te pasa, mi amor?”

Buck scrubbed at his own face, somehow keeping his hands from colliding with Eddie’s. “I love you,” he sobbed brokenly.

Eddie blinked at him. “Querido, I love you too.”

Buck shook his head. “I love you! I love you!” he tried to explain.

Eddie sighed. “I feel like we probably shouldn’t be having this conversation while we’re tied,” he noted absently. He moved his hips and they both shuddered at the pleasure being tied together brought. “Or while we’re...you know…”

Buck grunted, lifting his legs to wrap them securely about Eddie’s hips. “Jesus, Eddie...do it again. Please!”

Eddie leaned down to mouth at his jaw and began to roll his hips. His knot rocked in Buck, who against all odds, felt himself climbing again.

He threw both arms about Eddie, clutching him close. “Fuck,” he hissed. “Fuck! Eddie...Eddie…don’t stop! Whatever you do, don’t stop!!”

Eddie’s teeth scraped against the side of Buck’s neck as he wedged his knees under Buck’s hips to draw his body impossibly closer. The new angle drew a gasp from him after a moment, and he ground deeper into Buck with a low growl.

“This...this is the most…amazing…oh!”

“Buck...can I...I need to…”

Locking his legs tightly about Eddie’s hips, Buck reached up to guide his head closer, tilting his own all the way back to expose his throat. Eddie needed no further invitation. Tied together and bringing Buck back swiftly back to orgasm, he kissed the skin sweetly, almost reverently then bit down hard. Buck jerked in his embrace as Eddie’s entire body weighed him down. An instinctive motion during any Alpha claiming. His next orgasm was so intense he actually blacked out. Waking to Eddie’s tender application of kisses and licks to the line of teeth adorning his skin.

“You back with me?” Eddie asked, nuzzling the mark lovingly.

Pleasure sparked up Buck’s spine at the contact. He moaned deeply in response, cock hardening between them.

“That’s not a yes, querido,” Eddie replied with a soft laugh.

“Are we still tied?” Buck asked, his own voice unrecognizable. In response, Eddie shifted his hips, knot rolling against Buck’s insides once more. “Okay...I have a new favorite thing.”

Eddie laughed and kissed him.

“No, seriously,” Buck responded, feeling the most like himself in...days, if he were being honest. “What the hell? Why is that not a thing people do all the time?!”

“You’d have to let someone knot you first to even know it was possible,” Eddie pointed out.

Buck hummed in agreement. “That’s true.”

“So…”

Buck grinned up at him. “So?”

“I realise this is the absolute worst time to ask this, but-”

Buck laughed. “You’re my first knot,” he told him, pecking his lips adoringly. “My only knot.”

Eddie cursed, shifting above him as his knot pulsed.

“Did you just-?”

“Not a word!”

Buck wound his arms about Eddie’s neck, laughing along with him. “You’re remarkably clear headed for someone in rut,” he informed him.

“You should talk,” Eddie replied. “Am I crushing you?”

“No. I like it.”

Eddie nodded and relaxed slightly, the muscles of his back unwinding a little, which had the absolutely wonderful side effect of bringing all of his warmth seeping into Buck.

He hummed. “You’re so warm…”

“Yeah well, you’re on fire, Buck. That’ll happen.” He pressed a few kisses to Buck’s hairline, leaving him feeling a little dizzy. “How can you be ready to go again?!” Eddie gasped. “We’re still tied!!”

“I’m an overachiever,” he replied.

“I can’t exactly fuck you like this,” Eddie pointed out.

Buck raised a brow at him.

“You are such a brat,” Eddie replied, hips already moving.

“Yeah…” Buck breathed. “Definitely my new favorite thing.”

 

The next few days passed in an array of hazy and clear moments that would have been absolutely terrifying if not for the fact that he spent them with Eddie. He’d lost track of the number of positions they’d indulged in, though he’d kept track of the ones he liked best. He’d been fucked unconscious and fucked awake, and spent more hours than was probably recommended tied with Eddie and just riding the wave.

He woke slowly, body warm and languid with the memory of Eddie fucking into him so deeply they’d both collapsed into the bed unable to move for several minutes. He wondered if Eddie’s fingers had bruised his hips. Despite being in a full, unexpected rut, Eddie had been surprisingly gentle, patient and tender with him. He’d never once pushed or made demands and generally seemed to enjoy Buck making decisions for them, which he then took over and did as he pleased, which honestly, was no real hardship. Eddie’d been attentive and observant, coaxing and compelling but never outright forcing anything on Buck, be it himself, food or any of a number of other things most Alphas would feel their due. In truth, he was everything every Omega dreamed of in an Alpha. And everything they were always bitterly disappointed not to get. Buck had no idea what he’d done to get so lucky.

Eddie’s hand smoothed over his lower abdomen, cupping gently. He liked to hold him there, Buck had noticed. Especially when he was rutting into him deep and slow. Buck sighed, head turning to take in the Alpha beside him in bed. Eddie was radiant, stretched out beside him, sheets obscenely low on his hips and covered in love bites that thrummed satisfaction in Buck’s very bones.

“Hey.”

Buck smiled, shifting with a light arch that pushed his belly into Eddie’s hand. Eddie’s fingers made soft, slow circles over his skin. “Hey.”

“You with me?” Eddie asked, one brow raised.

“I think so,” Buck replied. “I’m exhausted.”

Eddie huffed out a laugh. “Four days of nonstop sex will do that to you.”

Buck shifted closer, shimmying his shoulders across the absolutely ruined sheets. Eddie towed him in closer, extending an arm so Buck could settle in his embrace, though his hand never left his abdomen. “Man...Bobby is going to kill me.”

“Bobby knows.”

Buck pushed himself up on his elbows, which Eddie used to his advantage to knock him over so he collapsed into his chest. Deciding he was comfortable enough where he was - and maybe in need of a little Alpha smothering - Buck made himself comfortable. “How does Bobby know?”

“Because I called him.”

“When?”

“The first night.”

“Where was I?”

“Unconscious on my knot.”

Buck shivered and pressed closer eagerly.

“Still with me?” Eddie asked, peering down at him.

“Yeah. So, you called another Omega while you had one literally tied to you.”

Eddie rolled his eyes, but his fingers moved to trail over Buck’s skin in a typical Alpha apology - though whether Eddie was conscious of it or not was an entirely different matter. “I wasn’t exactly sure what day it was and I wanted to make sure Bobby knew you needed leave.”

Buck snorted. “You called about my leave in a moment of clarity? What about your own?”

“You’d already handled that for me,” Eddie replied, drawing Buck closer and nuzzling against the mark on his throat. “You did such a good job taking care of me, Buck.”

He arched into Eddie, pleasure at being praised suffusing his body.

“Bobby asked if you needed anything and I told him I had it covered. There was...a conversation.”

“Oooh,” Buck cooed. “You told Bobby you defiled his baby!”

“You are not his baby!” Eddie huffed.

“You’re right. I’m everyone’s baby. Equally.”

Eddie growled low, tugging him close. Buck felt the possessive spark settle deep inside him as Eddie’s hand gripped him a little more firmly. He arched into the touch, filling Eddie’s hand with his belly. It soothed him somewhat, because he turned to press kisses and love bites up his throat.

Buck hummed. “So Bobby took it well?” He was honestly a little anxious about Bobby’s reaction. For all they joked, they were the only Omegas in the 118 and Bobby had felt distinctly responsible for him - more than he ought sometimes - since the day he showed up for his first shift.

The Alpha at his neck heaved a sigh. “He did not,” he replied. “But by the time we hung up, he wasn’t about to turn up on our doorstep so…” He shrugged. “Besides...I had more important things to occupy my time.”

He grinned low, smoothing his fingers down Eddie’s chest. “Yeah, we need to talk about what the hell that was.”

Eddie raised a brow.

“When I came in, you looked like you were well into advanced mate waste.”

“I was,” he admitted.

“Yeah, okay, but...you turned around really fast.”

“Of course I did, Buck,” he replied, losing a hand in Buck’s hair. “You walked in. And in heat no less. Once you got me sorted...Heat trumps Rut. You know that.”

Buck did know that. Every first responder knew that. The biological imperative was just too strong for an Alpha to ignore. They could literally be dying and effectively suck it up in order to attend to a heat stricken Omega. Especially their own. “I still can’t believe I was in Heat. I took my suppressants. I took an extra dose even!”

“Believe me, you were gone,” Eddie informed him, fingertips rubbing against his scalp. “If it weren’t for our bond, I’d have worried about consent.”

“Our...what?”

“Our bond?”

“We’re bonded?!”

Eddie flexed his fingers over the bondmark on Buck’s neck. Buck swatted at his hand. “I know about that. I was there. What the hell are you talking about Eddie?!”

Eddie frowned down at him. “Are you serious?”

“Eddie, I swear, I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.”

The Alpha pushed himself up, Buck scrambling to wrap limbs around him to keep him from pulling away. “I thought...I mean, it’s obvious...”

“Apparently not,” Buck argued. “Because Carla never saw it.”

The Alpha’s frown darkend. Buck threw a leg over him and hauled himself into his lap. Sitting back on Eddie’s thighs, he took Eddie’s hand and settled it low on his abdomen, keeping it there. Eddie calmed after a moment, hand moving against Buck’s skin.

“You know...we wouldn’t have had this…” He touched Buck’s bondmark lovingly. “Without our bond. You have to have the bond first.”

“I didn’t know that, no.”

“Buck, you’re an Omega.”

“It’s not like they hand out a pamphlet, Eds. And when’d you figure out I was an Omega?”

“I started to suspect when the ladder truck fell on you,” he replied, stroking Buck soothingly. “You came out of surgery and...they don’t give you suppressants in hospital. But, they do use scent scrubbers, so I couldn’t be sure it was you. Then you threw that clot.” His hand flexed against Buck’s abdomen. “You can’t be on blood thinners and suppressants. And I...I’d noticed we were compatible, but…” He gave Buck an aggrieved look. “After Shannon…”

“Wait. Shannon wasn’t an Omega?!”

“No, Shannon was a Beta.”

“Shit, Christopher really is a miracle.”

Eddie smiled at him, stroking him gently and leaning in to kiss him sweetly. “He really is, yeah.”

“So...when you thought I was a Beta...I was still male, Eddie. It wouldn’t have been the same.”

“No, I understand that. It’s just...It’s stupid.”

Buck cupped his face in his hands. “Hey, it’s not stupid. I’m your mate, you can tell me anything...I...I am your mate, right?”

Eddie laughed and kissed him, fingers trailing over the bondmark on Buck’s neck. “Yeah, Buck. You’re my mate.” His had flexed again, waking little butterflies in Buck’s belly. “I...I just always wanted it, you know? The Omega spouse, the pack of kids, the picket fence, all of it. When we got married, Shannon and I...we’d been together so long, I just...I thought it’d be enough. Then she left me with a sick kid and I got so lost. The next time I looked up, there you were. And the moment I saw you, I knew you were mine.” He smiled. “I thought the antagonizm was because you were an Omega used to Alphas giving you shit and I’d need to earn your trust and attention. But, then you came over and your body said Omega but your scent said Beta and it rubbed me the wrong way. I wanted you. I couldn’t stop wanting you. But, I knew that even if it worked out, if we got our shit together, we married, we’d never be able to mate and I couldn’t...I wouldn’t let us fall apart because of it.”

“For the record, that was why I was pissed at you. Bobby’d brought you on and I’d spent a long time earning respect and the only way I found it stuck was by passing as something else. And then in you come, all Alpha swagger and confidence. I wanted to punch you in your goddamn mouth almost as much as I wanted to get on my knees and present. Which, really did not go over well with me, as you saw.” He sighed. “I’d never had that reaction to an Alpha before and I thought, what the hell made you so special?!”

“When I realized you were an Omega...I always thought that you’d tell me. That we were close and we loved each other and one day, if I was patient enough, you’d trust me with your secret and I could tell you how I really felt about you.”

“You could have always told me regardless,” he defended.

“You never went out with anyone. And whenever I asked about your past people just laughed and told me crazy stories that weren’t relevant to what I needed to know.”

“Which was?”

“If you were even attracted to Alphas.”

“I’ve never put a label on it,” Buck admitted. “Which I would have told you if you asked.”

“Would you have? Buck, why did you keep it a secret for so long?”

Buck sighed. “It’s-”

“Stupid?” he asked with a grin.

Buck sighed again and raked a hand through his hair. “The entire time I’ve known you you’ve only ever been interested in Omega and Beta women. I thought-”

“Beta women. Sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt. It’s just an important distinction.”

“Beta women,” Buck echoed. “And Shannon who I thought was an Omega because of Christopher and how you reacted and the pregnancy. I mean, really the odds on that happening twice without assistance is astronomical, Eddie.” The Alpha nodded. “You considered me family. Which meant the moment you realized I was an Omega, you’d start keeping tabs on me. And I couldn’t have you doing that because if you did you’d realize how much I…”

“Wanted me?”

“Wanted you. Loved you. How much I wanted all this…” He gestured about them randomly. “I thought you’d spook and leave.”

“Buck...I’d never leave. Look at me. I’d never leave. Not you. Not ever.”

“But the lawsuit…”

“Made me so angry because I couldn’t be there for my Omega if he needed me!” he cried in exasperation. “God, Buck, do you even know all the nightmares I had about losing you all because I wasn’t legally allowed anywhere near you?! You! You, who were mine!!” He wrapped his arms around Buck and dragged him close. “I was literally filled with rage over it. We saw how that turned out.”

Buck hummed, wrapping his arms around Eddie and resting his chin to his shoulder.

“Is that why you…”

“Why I what?”

“Is that why you ran from me that first day? You thought Shannon and I?”

Buck nodded.

“Dios, Evan...What brought you back? The heat?”

“Your text. I didn’t even realize I was in heat.”

“Text?” he asked, pulling away to look Buck in the eyes.

“You sent me a line of gibberish. Which I agonized over for two hours before deciding that I didn’t care what happened to me, I just had to know you were okay. And then I found you here and…”

“And thought the mate waste was because of Shannon. Is that why you called me Baby?”

Buck winced. “Not my best moment, but, in my defense, I was trying to save your life.”

Eddie gathered him close. “I feel like we should have been able to figure this out sooner, but I’m kind of afraid of thinking too far down that path. We’re together now, that’s all that matters.”

The Omega hummed in agreement, shuffling closer and getting comfortable in his mate’s embrace.

“Buck?” Eddie asked, once they’d gone horizontal again.

“Hmm?”

“Do you want kids?”

“Yeah. Why?”

“We never talked about it. Even when I thought you were a Beta, we just...never discussed it.”

“I always figured I’d cross that bridge when I got to it. I’m a male Omega, outside of an Alpha being involved in some way, adoption was my only means of kids.”

“And...now?”

Buck leaned back to grin up at him. “I’d be happy to have kids with you Eddie. If you wanted more.”

“I’ll take as many as you want to give me, Buck. But, what about being a Beta?”

He shrugged. “It was a means to an end. It wasn’t a lifestyle change. I don’t mind coming clean to the whole house. Especially because I won’t have to do it alone. Anyone who gives me shit is going to have to deal with you.”

Eddie laughed. “I’m your Alpha shield now, am I?”

“No. But, I know you. You’ll let me deal with the ones you think I can handle, then turn around and threaten them anyway. And the ones you think I can’t...there won’t be flowers enough for their widowed spouses.”

“You act as if Bobby’s not going to hand them their ass before either of us get the chance.”

“True enough,” Buck agreed. He threaded their fingers together over his abdomen. “If...I mean, we won’t know for a few weeks…”

“We went into cycle at the same time, because of each other, physically sealed our bond, spent four days screwing each other stupid and not once thinking about condoms. Which wouldn’t have helped anyway because your new favorite way to come is through my knot. And that definitely would have split the condom and we’d be here anyway.”

“Jesus, Eddie. Tell me how you really feel.”

“When,” Eddie said. “When, not if.”

“I could still-” Eddie stared at him. “Okay yeah, when. When the test comes back positive. Are you...Would you be...ready to start a family now?”

Eddie kissed him. “We’re already a family, querido. You, me and Chris.”

Buck’s hand squeezed Eddie’s over his belly.

“But, I can’t wait to add to it,” he informed him, pressing an adoring kiss to his jaw. “Now, are you hungry? Do you want breakfast? Or are you still feeling like food is the devil incarnate?”

“I could eat.”

“Heat’s clear then.” He leaned in to nibble at Buck’s bondmark. “What do you want?”

Buck tipped his head back to give him more room. “Chocolate chip pancakes.”

“Bit of a sweet tooth after, huh?”

“You really gonna deny me pancakes after four days on your knot?”

“Hey, I fed you as best I could. You were the one who didn’t want to eat anything.”

“Yeah, the next one’s gonna be wild. At least we got the learning curve out of the way.”

“Steep as it was.”

“Go make me pancakes, Alpha.”

Eddie nipped at his jaw. “So demanding,” he teased, love in his eyes as he drew away.

“This baby pans out, I’ll show you demanding.”

Buck squeaked as Eddie tackled him to the bed. Apparently, baby talk so soon was a little too much for the lingering rut in his blood. Or maybe Eddie just wanted to be absolutely certain. Either way, it was a while before Buck got his pancakes.