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I’ll Stain Your Body Like Red Wine

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It’s nearly 10 pm by the time you make it to the courthouse. You hurry through the dimly lit hallway, hoping you don't run into a coworker while wearing your sushi pajamas. Putting on real clothes was the last thing on your mind when you realized you forgot to print out the plea agreements for Andy’s hearing Monday morning. Even after four months on the job, you're still getting used to how different the DA’s office is from your normal position in the Civil Division. You’re thankful Andy’s normal admin was coming back from her maternity leave on Thursday. 

As bosses went Andy wasn’t bad, just intense. He worked you long hours and tended to hover, probably because he didn’t 100% trust you. You made a few mistakes during your first week but he’d been kind about the whole thing. Just smiled and gave your shoulder a gentle squeeze before correcting you. Most of the other Alphas in the office had been less than kind, especially Neal. He seemed to delight in pointing out any little error, at least until Andy laid into him publicly much to your embarrassment. You’d been doing better as of late but things still slipped your mind. Case in point: your late-night trip to the office to print and collate the plea agreements.

“Come on, come on,” you mutter to yourself as you watch the old copy machine spit out the paperwork slowly.  

You glance at your watch with a sigh. At this rate, you’d be here until midnight collating and stapling everything. Gathering the first batch of paper you turn to head back to your desk when a hand clamps over your mouth and a strong arm wraps around your middle, pinning your arms to your side. A cloyingly sweet scent blooms in your nose as the palm used to muffle your scream tightens. You struggle against the Alpha, twisting and turning in his grasp as the papers in your hand flutter to the floor.

“Stop moving or I’ll snap your pretty little neck,” he warns with a low growl. 

A whine bubbles up from your throat as you go completely still in his arms, terrified of his threat. 

“You just won the wrong place, wrong time Olympics, sweetheart,” the Alpha tells you with a cold chuckle. 

He groans and presses into you from behind, the action bringing a fresh wave of tears to your eyes as fear sours your scent. The hand around your middle smoothes up your stomach to cup your breast and you jerk in his grasp. His touch renews the dormant fight within and you jam your elbow back at the same time you bring your heel down on his foot forcefully. He lets go of you with a strangled grunt and you dart away, your shrill, terrified scream filling the room. You don't get far before he's on you again, his fingers tangling in your hair to bring you to heel as his other hand clamps over your mouth.

“Fucking cunt,” he growls, pulling you back against him. 

“Pronge!”

You both startle at the sound of the new voice. A large dark-haired man stands in the open doorway of Andy’s office, the light behind him casting shadows over his face. He looks familiar but you can’t quite place him, too terrified to think straight.

“Found a stray pussycat wandering in the dark. Was just about to feed her some cream,” the man behind you says with a lewd chuckle. 

“Take your fucking hands off her.” 

Hope swells in your chest at the sound of Andy’s voice as he appears beside the other man. His normally kind face is twisted into something hard and angry. 

“You know this Omega?” the man questions with a frown. 

“Yes,” Andy growls. “She's mine and if your dog doesn’t let her go we’re going to have a real problem.”

“Funny, your Omega doesn’t smell like you,” Pronge says, scenting your neck noisily. You whimper and flinch away but his grip keeps you from moving far. 

“Let her go,” the other man says, eyeing Andy warily. 

Pronge releases you with a growl of his own. You stumble from his grasp, gaze darting between Andy and the empty hallway to your left. You hover, uncertain until he speaks.  

“Come here, sweetheart,” he urges, tone gentle. 

The subtle warning you see in his eyes has you moving towards him instead of the hallway as your instinct demands. When you get close enough he grabs your wrist and pulls you flush against him, dropping his face to the crook of your neck. His mouth brushes over your ear and you shiver. 

“Play along,” he whispers before straightening to his full height. “Thought I told you to wait for me in the car,” he says loud enough for both men to hear him as he rubs your arms in a comforting gesture.

“Sorry,” you whisper, dropping his gaze to stare at his chest. Your heart is beating painfully fast against your ribcage and you feel hot all over.

“Wanted to get started on that paperwork, huh?” He asks, his tone almost teasing as he tips your chin up so you have to look at him.

“Yes, I’m sorry,” you say again, trembling in his grasp. 

“It’s alright Omega,” he soothes.

You can’t decipher the emotion in his bright blue eyes but you understand you’re in danger. It’s why you don't flinch when he dips down to capture your lips in a kiss and you open your mouth to his persistent tongue. When he pulls away you’re breathless and panting, the shock of it all keeping you compliant as he draws his nose along your neck, laying his scent over that of the strange Alpha.

“That’s better,” he murmurs. “Got the smell off you. Okay now?” He asks, gazing down at you with a tender expression you’ve never seen before.

“Yes, thank you.”

You don’t resist the hand that encourages you to lay your head on his chest, shielding you from the long-haired Alpha whose gaze you can feel boring into your back. Up close Andy’s scent of warm leather and bourbon overwhelms your senses and you close your eyes, inhaling deeply. You always thought he smelled nice but now, terrified and confused, his scent and the feel of his strong arms is the only thing keeping the whine building in your throat from escaping. 

“You didn’t answer my question Barber. Why doesn’t she smell like you?” Pronge asks. 

“You got any idea the heat I’d get for fucking my secretary?” Andy says with a cold laugh you’ve never heard before. “The Omega rights people would be up my ass and the last thing any of us need is someone looking at me too closely.”

“Whatever she is, she shouldn’t be here when we’re conducting business,” the dark-haired Alpha says. 

“You wanted to meet at my office,” Andy snaps. 

The timber of his voice and the slight shift in the scent of the other two Alphas have you whimpering. Andy’s quick to wrap a hand around the back of your neck and squeeze, the pressure enough to make you gasp and then sigh into his chest as your body goes lax against him. Although the action makes your heart rate slow and your breathing even out, your mind continues to buzz with fear and uncertainty. 

“Anyway, we’re done here. Your men will plead out and serve minimal time. They’ll be outside in four months.”

“That’s longer than we agreed to,” the other Alpha growls. 

“Yeah well, maybe you should put your dog on a shorter leash. I’m not exactly feeling generous after what he just did.”

The strained silence that falls over the room makes you tense in Andy’s arms. A purr reverberates in his chest in response and you feel him draw a hand down your back in a comforting motion. Your hindbrain urges you to burrow into the warmth and protection he offers. Behind you, the other Alpha grunts in annoyance and you hear the sound of something heavy hit Andy’s desk. 

“Until next time Barber. Come on Pronge.”

You shift in Andy’s arms to watch both men leave. The long-haired Alpha who grabbed you earlier pauses, giving you a predatory grin.

“Be seeing you kitten,” he promises, pursing his lips together in a gesture that makes you shudder, and Andy growl in warning. 

Andy doesn’t release you until the men are gone but even then he still keeps a hand wrapped around your bicep like he thinks you might run. When you open your mouth he’s quick to silence you. 

“Not here,” he tells you, reaching behind you for a small, thick envelope on his desk. 

Andy doesn’t speak until you’re in the front seat of his sleek Audi. You watch the tendon in his jaw jump and see the way he grips the steering wheel tightly before blowing out a harsh breath. 

“What the fuck were you doing at the courthouse so late?” 

“I- I forgot some paperwork,” you tell him, a whine lacing your words as fear blooms in your chest again.

“Hey,” he says softly, turning to face you. “I’m sorry, it’s okay. You’re okay,” he promises, cupping your cheek. “I didn’t mean to yell. It’s the adrenaline.”

“What was that? Who were those men?” you ask him, pulling away from his touch. 

“A payoff,” he tells you, expression hard again. “For helping his men avoid serious jail time. And...it’s better you don’t know who they are, honey.”

You stare at him, surprised by the honest way he answers you. Andy was known to bend the rules occasionally but anyone could tell he truly believed in the justice system.

“They got me right after law school,” he says, answering your unspoken question. He looks away from you, the muscles in his neck straining as he works his jaw. “Once they get their hooks into you there’s no getting out,” he admits bitterly. 

Beneath the fear, you feel a strange sort of pity for Andy. It isn’t hard to see the shame in his expression. He was quick to protect you in his office but you wonder what he’d do with you now. You blink rapidly to stem the tide of tears you can feel waiting to fall. Swallowing heavily you stare at your clasped hands, thumb rubbing over your wrist in a self-soothing gesture. 

"I can see those gears turning, sweetheart. I know you’re a good little Omega so you're probably thinking about saying something to someone when we get to work tomorrow.”

Your head snaps you, eyes wide with alarm. 

“Are you….are you threatening me?” 

“Not at all, honey,” he says reaching for your hand. 

He pushes the cuff of your jacket up and smoothes his thumb over your pulse point, mimicking your earlier gesture. The drag of his skin against yours makes you shudder and sigh. It’s an intimate act and it reminds you of the way he scented you with those two Alphas present. When you try to pull away his grip tightens, holding you in place as a low sound in his throat that isn’t quite a growl makes you still.

“I’m just explaining the situation. You think I’m the only one in that office working with those men?” He asks, brows raised. “This is Boston, sweetheart and elected officials need a lot of money and support to get where they are.”

“The DA?” You ask, voice barely above a whisper. 

“Among others,” he admits. 

“Am I in danger?”

“Not if they think you’re with me,” he says, his expression soft. 

His hold on your wrist loosens and he starts to slowly drag his thumb back and forth across your skin again.

“What happens now?” You ask quietly. 

“You’ll come home with me tonight, that little shit stain Pronge is probably watching us now,” he says, glancing behind him. 

You follow his gaze to a van idling at the other end of the street. It’s too dark to determine the make or color but the sight of it is enough to make you shudder at the memory of the Alpha touching you.

“Shhh, you’re safe with me,” Andy reassures, a purr lacing his words. “We’ll figure out the rest in the morning but I won’t let anything happen to you. Okay?” He asks, dipping his head to catch your eyes. 

At your hesitant nod, he smiles, releasing you to turn and start the car. The ride to his apartment is quiet but once you arrive you hesitate at the threshold of his apartment. Your Omega instincts make you wary of entering the den of an unbonded Alpha, even one you know. 

“I want to go home,” you say, pulling away from him and wrapping your arms around yourself. 

Andy frowns, tongue darting out to wet his lips as he looks up and down the hallway. 

“I know you do,” he soothes, cupping your elbows gently. “I’ll take you back in the morning but right now it’s not safe.”

When you try to pull out of his grasp, anxiety squeezing your chest, Andy purses his lips.

“Come inside.” 

His words are laced with an Alpha command. One that’s tough to ignore in your emotional state. You whine and he purrs in response, tugging you across the threshold. His scent is everywhere here. Your hindbrain relaxes a fraction, already associating his smell with the protective way he behaved earlier but the rational part of you resists. As much as you think you know Andy, tonight has proved that he’s essentially a stranger to you.

“Come on,” he urges. 

Andy continues to make that low, soothing noise from before as he steers you to the couch. You watch him decant a large pour of amber-colored liquor into two glasses. He downs his own drink quickly, shoulders drooping slightly once he’s finished. He presses the other glass into your hand, but when you make no move to drink yours Andy cups the back of your head and urges the glass to your mouth with two fingers on the bottom of it. The liquor, whiskey you think, burns, and you cough as you struggle to swallow all of it. Andy doesn’t release you until you’ve finished the glass, your eyes watering. 

“There we go,” he murmurs, sliding his hand down to grasp your neck. “That’ll help.”

You blink up at him, warmth from the drink settling in your stomach as his fingers stroke the sides of your throat. He helps you out of your heavy coat and urges you to lie back on the couch before slipping your sneakers off your feet. He tucks a blanket around your body next. Your head is buzzing, body weighed down and sluggish. The alcohol is hitting you faster because you skipped dinner earlier. 

“Andy,” you start to protest but he’s quick to quiet you with a large, warm hand over your cheek as he kneels next to you.

Your eyelids flutter closed at the contact and the way he strokes the crown of your head sweetly. With his wrist so close to your face, all you can smell is him. You feel the pull of sleep as the alcohol works its way into your overwrought system.  

“We’ll talk in the morning. It’s been a lot today. You’re scared and overwhelmed. Sleep Omega, you’re safe,” Andy promises, his words bleeding the anxiety and fear from your hindbrain as you drift into the inky blackness of sleep.

--

The next morning Andy takes you back to your apartment. When he tells you to pack a bag to stay with him for the next few days you protest until he shows you the white van parked across from your apartment. The tinted windows make it impossible to see inside but its presence is enough to make your chest go tight with fear. At your distressed expression, Andy moves closer and strokes the tense line of your back, making a low sound. As much as you hate it your hindbrain responds to him, going slack under his touch. 

At work, you eye each of your coworkers with newfound suspicion, wondering who else is hiding a secret behind an unassuming face. Andy had been vague when you pressed for details this morning so you’re left feeling strangely vulnerable and alone among your colleagues. Despite this, your workday is remarkably mundane, clerical tasks and emails keeping you so busy you end up skipping lunch. 

By the time you leave the sky's alight with the colors of the setting sun and the parking garage is empty. Andy picks up Thai from the little takeaway place near the courthouse for dinner and you’re surprised to find he remembers your complicated order. You eat together on the couch but you stare unseeing at the news program he puts on. Your stomach’s in knots and you find it difficult to eat. You sense Andy watching you and see the frown on his face from the corner of your eye. 

You know he’s worried about you. You caught him looking at you periodically throughout the day, brows furrowed. Each time you met his gaze his eyes would dim with guilt and shame and that little seed of pity in your heart would bloom. You had to remind yourself he was the reason you were in danger to begin with. He was only saving you from a mess of his own creation.  

“You need to eat, honey,” he says with a sigh, setting down his own empty container of food. “Take a few more bites at least.”

When you don’t respond he clenches his jaw, the tendon in his neck jumping. You remember the Alpha command from the night before and force the fork to your lips. 

“That’s a good girl,” he tells you with a smile, running a hand down your back. “I know it’s been a hard 24 hours but you need to take care of yourself. I see how you run yourself ragged at work.”

When you try to shift away from his touch he drops a hand to your hip, keeping you in place beside him. You finish your meal under his watchful gaze, remaining seated when he leaves to clean up the takeout boxes. 

“You’re going to sleep in my room,” he tells you when he returns to the living room. “You need a good night's sleep and you won’t get that on the couch.”

“Where will you sleep?” You ask him, hyper-aware that his apartment only has one bedroom. 

“With you,” he says. “We’re both adults. Go wash up and get in bed. I have to call Neal, he fucked up the paperwork on the Killian case,” Andy tells you, annoyed. 

Your hindbrain responds to his command before you have a chance to process his words. It’s not until you’re in the shower that you realize what he did and how easily you accepted it. When you return to the bedroom you try to take solace in the fact that Andy’s king bed means you’ll have enough space to sleep without touching him. The sheets are soft and cool against your skin but they’re also soaked in his scent. As uneasy as you feel about everything you can’t deny his smell bleeds the tension from your body. You know you’re safe here.

Laying in the semi-darkness you try to sleep but end up tossing and turning, unable to get comfortable. It’s nearly midnight by the time Andy comes to bed. You hear him shuffle towards you and the bed dips as he sits beside you. You keep your eyes closed and breathing light, pretending to be asleep. When he brushes his knuckles over the swell of your cheek, his touch gentle, you don't react. He continues to stroke your face for a moment longer before his hand falls to your shoulder. You feel him push your hair away from your neck before ghosting his fingers over your mating gland. 

“I’m going to take care of you, honey,” he promises softly. “You don’t know it yet, but you need me.”

You don’t react to his strange words or unwelcome touch, unsure how to respond because some small part of you finds comfort in his actions. After another moment passes he stands and gets in bed behind you. A large hand settles over your hip and you feel Andy press himself into your back. He’s broad and firm behind you and the heat his body throws off makes you want to sink into his touch even as you’re unsettled by his familiarity. You lay unmoving beside him as he nuzzles the back of your neck and squeezes your hip before falling still behind you.

As uncomfortable as you feel, it doesn’t take you long to drift off into a dreamless sleep. When you wake in the morning, Andy’s in the shower. The next two days progress much the same as the first. Anxiety and uncertainty permeate your waking thoughts but at night you sleep well. The one consolation that keeps you hopeful is that the white van no longer seems to be following you both. 

On Thursday, Andy’s normal admin returns and you can’t hide the relief you feel to be away from him. It’s surprisingly easy to fall into the routine of your old job and by 5 pm you’ve managed to forget about your predicament. That feeling evaporates when you look up to see Andy standing at your desk. The chatter of the other admins and clerks fall silent at the sight of him. You don’t get many visitors in your department. 

“Ready to go?” He asks, a soft smile on his face. 

You stare at him, mouth parted in a mix of confusion and shock. He’d be so insistent on being careful the last few days, leaving and arriving separately so no one would know you were staying with him. You understood and agreed, afraid of office gossip. 

“Andy,” you start, glancing behind you to the surprised faces of your coworkers. 

“Come on, sweetheart,” he says, head tilted to the side.

You feel your face grow hot at the endearment, shame and anger making your hands shake as you gather your things. Arguing with Andy in front of people will only make things worse. You let him guide you out of your office with a hand on the small of your back. Your hindbrain likes the feel of it there but another part of you itches to move away from his touch. You spin to face him once you’re out of earshot.

“What was that?” 

“There are a lot of eyes in the courthouse and we need to make this look real. I'm not your boss anymore and if you were really mine I wouldn’t be hiding our relationship. I’ve already submitted the paperwork to HR.”

“You didn’t tell me you were going to do that. People are going to talk...assume,” you tell him, distressed at the thought. 

You worked hard to get where you were and you didn’t want people thinking you were that type of Omega. 

“You don’t think I know that?” Andy asks heatedly, pulling you into a little alcove as the sound of his raised voice turns a few heads. “You think I like the idea of people believing I’m the type of man that sleeps with his admin? They’re going to think I took advantage of you when the reality is I’m just trying to protect you.”

Your lip trembles and you look away from him, feeling oddly guilty. Your emotions are all jumbled up, a mix of anger and embarrassment bringing the hot press of tears to your eyes. You swallow heavily, a whine escaping from between your clenched teeth as you fight to regulate your breathing. Andy pulls you to him easily, even as you try to resist. He presses your face to his throat as he drops his chin on your head. His thick arms hold you close to him, hands soothing up and down your back. The accompanying purr has your body sagging against his, responding against your will to his cues. 

“I’m sorry,” he mummers. “I know it’s my fault you’re in this mess. Believe me when I say this is the last thing I wanted. There’s a reason I never mated or had kids. I didn’t want to drag someone else into this world with me.”

Your heart clenches at the distress in his voice but it does little to soothe the panicked, angry feeling in your chest. 

“Andy.”

You both tense at the familiar voice. The low rumble from Andy’s chest makes the skin of his throat vibrate against your lips.

“What is it, Neal?”

“We need to talk about the Killian case before you leave. It can’t wait, Lynn wants to see us now.”

Andy huffs out an annoyed breath against your head. 

“Fine, I’ll meet you upstairs,” Andy says, his irritation clear.

When he pulls away Neal gives you a nasty smirk that brings on a fresh wave of shame and anger. 

“Wait here for me,” Andy instructs. 

You bristle at the way he speaks to you but he’s gone before you can respond. Pressing your palms to your eyes you take a deep breath to stop the tears. You can’t fall apart here, no matter how much the powerless feeling that settles in your chest makes you want to. 

In Andy’s absence, you’re overtaken by a sudden, desperate desire for the safety of your home and nest. You want to smell like yourself again and to forget everything that’s happened. Before you think too hard on it, you pull out your phone and order an Uber. 

--

When Andy arrives at your door, you’ve showered and changed, burrowed deep in your nest. For the first time in days, you feel like yourself. He pounds on the door, equal parts angry and pleading. It makes you tense and anxious but instead of answering him, you burrow deeper, slipping on a pair of headphones to drown him out. Your hindbrain wants to go to him, he’s done nothing but keep you safe but he’s also the reason you’re in this predicament. Eventually, Andy leaves. 

As comfortable as your nest is, you find it hard to sleep that night, plagued by strange dreams. You call in sick to work and try not to think about Andy or whatever the office gossip pool is saying about the two of you. The three text messages and voicemail from Andy go unanswered as you putter around your apartment, cleaning and doing laundry before finally working up the courage to go grocery shopping. A quick peek out your window confirms no white van or Andy waiting for you. You breathe a sigh of relief and grab your coat and keys.

The grocery store is busy when you arrive and you snag the last available cart. You normally shop off a list, carefully curated to take advantage of sales and coupons but today you meander through the aisles, grabbing whatever you want. You’re busy contemplating the merits of blueberry versus orange scones when a familiar sickly sweet scent invades your nose.

“Hello, Kitten,” Pronge greets, caging you against the shelf with his body before you can react. “You’re a hard one to get alone. Barber’s possessive, huh?”  

You can feel the heat of Pronge along your back and you jolt when he brushes the hair away from your neck, dropping his face to your throat. 

 “Still don’t smell like him and that pretty little neck is unblemished,” he whispers, running two fingers over your mating gland. “Thought for sure a man like Barber would mark you up real pretty.”

“We’re waiting,” you lie, voice shaking with the effort it takes not to cry. Your gaze darts down the aisle, looking for a friendly face but you're alone.

“Hmm, I wouldn’t hesitate to knot you and tear into all that soft skin,” he says. “Make you howl my name so no one would mistake who you belonged to.”

“You should let me go,” you tell him, sounding braver than you feel as you turn your head to look at him over your shoulder. “Andy will be angry.”

“Oh, I’m sure that pretty boy lawyer doesn’t like the thought of me getting you dirty. He puts you on a pedestal. His little Madonna but I always preferred the Whore,” Pronge tells you, licking his lips loudly. “I see the way he looks at you. The longing in his gaze. Makes a man wonder if you’re really his.”

“Is everything alright here?” A new voice asks. 

“We’re fine,” Pronge says with a grin, stepping away from you as he turns to face the young Beta behind him. “Was just helping the little lady reach the top shelf.”

“Uh-huh,” the man says, unconvinced. “Ma’am?” He questions, looking around Pronge to catch your eyes. 

“I’m fine,” you tell him, your smile brittle. 

“You have a good day now,” Pronge says. “Tell your 'Alpha' I said hello.”

The young Beta remains beside you until Pronge disappears down the aisle. You wave off his offer to walk you to your car as you dig frantically through your purse with trembling hands, swiping on the last missed call notification. 

"Please pick up, please pick up," you whisper as the phone trills in your ear.

The sound of Andy’s warm voice nearly makes you burst into tears and you have to take a moment to swallow down the sob. 

"He’s here, Andy. He found me.”

“Where are you?” Andy asks, the fear in his voice enough to make another wave of terror pass through your body.

“Whole Foods.”

“Alright, stay in the store. Make sure people can see you. I’ll be there in ten minutes, honey.”

By the time Andy arrives, you’re barely holding it together, wide eyes searching the sea of people for any sign of Pronge. For the first time since this started you don’t resist Andy when he pulls you close. The sobs you’ve been holding back burst free and you cling to him as they wrack your body. Not even the feel of his arms around you or the purr rumbling in his chest can calm the hysterical feeling that’s overtaken you as you struggle to breathe. It terrifies you, how easily Pronge found you. You’d been naive to think just because the van was gone that he was too. 

“It’s okay, sweetheart,” Andy murmurs, settling his hand at the base of your neck as his fingertips stroke the skin of your throat. “I’ve got you, sweet girl,” he promises.

You’re desperate for comfort and something to ease the emotions from your body so you welcome the pressure of his fingers against the glands on your neck. He squeezes them hard enough to make your whole body tense up and then go lax, a long-buried biological response forcing you into submission. You take deep, measured breaths on instinct and your heart rate slows. 

“That’s it,” he encourages, holding you close as your breathing evens out. 

He only draws back once you quiet down. Fingers in your hair urge your head back and he scents you, dragging his nose along each side of your neck. You know people are staring, scenting someone like this isn’t done in public but you find you don’t really care. All you want is to feel safe.

“Come on, let’s get you home.”

Back at his apartment Andy pours you both a glass of whiskey. This time you don’t hesitate to down the glass in one go, wincing at the burn. Pronge’s words run on a loop in your brain and you can’t stop your hands from shaking. 

“He isn’t just going to go away, is he?” You ask. 

“No,” Andy admits quietly. “Not until you’re mine in every way that counts.”

“Every way?” You question even though you already know the answer. 

“I’m sorry sweetheart,” he whispers, pulling you to him as he nuzzles the crown of your head. “I never wanted this for you or anyone else.”

“I can’t be bonded to someone like him.”

"Sweetheart,” he says, pulling away to look down at you. The expression on his face makes you go cold with fear. “That's not the type of Alpha he is. He won't bond you after. He calls it,” Andy starts, pausing as he licks his lips and looks away, “a fuck and chuck."

You stare at Andy horrified.

“I won’t let anything happen to you. I’ll keep you safe,” Andy promises, cupping your face in his large hands. His thumbs sweep away the tears that fall. “But I can’t protect you unless we’re bonded.” 

“Isn't there something else?” You plead. “Can’t we go to the police?”

Andy shakes his head, looking pained. “This is the only way.”

“I- I don’t want this,” you tell him.

“I know,” Andy starts. “But I can’t be with you 24/7. My scent and a mark will only go so far. If Pronge was bold enough to approach you in a public place, I worry what he’d do the longer we wait. ”

“There has to be another way,” you tell him.

“If you have a better plan, I’m all ears.”

“I don’t,” you admit quietly. It’s hard to think straight with the alcohol clouding your brain and your emotions heightened after everything that’s happened. 

“I’ve kept you safe so far, haven’t I?” Andy asks gently. “He didn’t get near you until you ignored me and left. Right?”

Your answering yes is quiet, barely above a whisper.

“Do you trust me?” Andy asks. “To keep you safe and do what’s best for you?”

You’re not sure if you do trust Andy or if it's just that you have no other choice. He’s the only thing standing between you and whatever awfulness Pronge has planned for you.

“Okay,” you agree, reluctant and afraid. 

“Then we need to do it now. Tonight.”

You close your eyes as more tears fall. 

“I’m going to take care of you sweetheart. Be a good Alpha for you.”

You say nothing, letting your actions speak for you as you expose your throat to his gaze. 

“Close your eyes,” he instructs, tone gentle as he noses along your neck. 

“That’s it,” he purrs, his hand slipping into your hair. “Doing so good for me, Omega,” he praises, trailing his lips over the skin of your mating gland. 

You expect him to bite you immediately but instead he places featherlight kisses along the arch of your bare neck and shoulder. The hand on your lower back presses your body flush against his before finally sinking his teeth into the tender skin of your throat. Sparks of pain and pleasure emanate from the mark and your fingers curl into his shirt. His tongue soothes over the bite, easing the sting. When he pulls back you stare at the blood on his lips that he’s quick to lick away. You touch the mark tentatively, tracing the grooves his teeth left behind. When you pull your fingers away from the torn skin of your neck they’re bloody.  

“You did so good,” he tells you with a soft smile, his hand moving across your back, gentle and soothing.

When Andy offers you his throat you hesitate, fear and uncertainty swirling in your gut. If you do this, there’s no going back. You’ll be bonded to him forever, tied irrevocably to him by a link only death can break. Pronge’s words rise unbidden in your mind and you squeeze your eyes shut, standing on your toes to nip at Andy’s throat. You break the skin and draw blood, making him shudder above you in response.

The beginning of the bond fizzles to life at the back of your mind, a spark of something that’ll grow into a full inferno once Andy knots you and completes the connection. 

He walks you back to his bedroom that still smells faintly of you, kissing you thoroughly. His tongue claims every inch of your mouth as his hands squeeze and knead your body. When you try to cover your body after he strips you bare he grasps your wrists and forces them to your side.

“Let me look at what’s mine, Omega.” 

The adoration you see in his eyes is at odds with the possessive nature of his words and you’re reminded of Pronge’s words. I see the way he looks at you. The longing in his gaze.

“Get on the bed. Spread your legs,” Andy commands, removing his tie and unbuttoning his dress shirt as he watches you.

You do as he asks, trembling as the bond hums with his barely suppressed desire. Andy strips out of the rest of his clothing, revealing a muscular and toned body. Your gaze lingers over his powerful biceps and massive thighs before coming to rest on his cock. He’s bigger than you expect, thick and large in a way that’s almost frightening. You take a shuddering breath and look away, overwhelmed.

Strong fingers ghost up your thighs as Andy lowers himself between your legs. His broad shoulders force them even farther apart and he noses your folds. He takes a deep, noisy breath that makes you burn with embarrassment. You squirm against him and he lays an arm over your stomach, pinning you down. 

“You smell so sweet,” he purrs, tongue darting out to taste you. “Even better than I imagined,” he admits, making you gasp and cant your hips towards him as he uses the flat of his tongue to press against your clit. 

Andy sets his mouth on you like a man starved, exploring every inch of the most intimate part of you in a way that reduces you to a twisting, whimpering mess. You come apart under him humiliatingly fast and he makes you come a second time only minutes later. You push at his head when he curls two fingers inside your cunt, begging him to stop but he ignores you, intent on dragging another orgasm out of your body.  When he finally draws away your heart is pounding wildly in your chest and your thighs ache. 

“You’re doing so good for me Omega,” he praises, standing up. “I’m going to give you everything you need now. Fill you full of me.”

His words make your cunt clench reflexively, your hindbrain responding to his approval with a small chirp. 

“Present for me,” he says. “Need you to be my good girl.” 

You turn over sluggishly, legs quivering as you do as he asks. A hand on your hip helps to steady you as his other dips between your thighs, making you jolt forward. Behind you, Andy growl and your body goes lax at the reminder of who is in control. You force yourself to remain still as he continues to touch your tender cunt. 

When he pulls away his fingers are replaced with the thick head of his cock. You feel him slick himself up before sinking into you slowly. He’s large enough that the feel of him inside you treads the line between pleasure and pain. You let out a thin, needy whine that makes him groan and snap his hips forward, burying himself in your warmth. 

“Fuck, sweetheart,” he swears. “Your cunt was made for me. Knew from the moment I saw you that you’d take me well.”

“Please,” you beg, the feel of him inside you igniting a feverish need in your belly. 

“I got you, honey,” he promises, dropping kisses along your shoulder and back as he works himself in and out of you with increasing urgency. 

You can feel his pleasure through the bond and it adds to your own as you climb higher and higher. 

“Gonna fill you up, make your belly swell with all my come,” Andy promises, sounding breathless. “Fuck you until you know nothing but my knot.”

His words and the way his deep thrusts hit that special spot inside make you keen and pant as a powerful orgasm blooms in your belly. Behind you, his rhythm falters and you feel the beginning of his knot catch at the mouth of your cunt as he comes with a groan, sounding wrecked. Warmth floods your insides and Andy wrenches your neck to the side, sinking his teeth into the bonding mark on your neck again. 

When the feel of his teeth in your throat begins to hurt you whimper. 

“Alpha, please,” you gasp.

He releases you, drawing his fingers down the sweat-soaked skin of your back. Exhaustion makes you slump forward and the action tugs at Andy’s knot inside you, making you both moan. 

“Come here, Omega,” he urges, easing you both onto your side. He curls a hand over your stomach to press your back to his chest.

The contentment he feels flows through the bond and your eyes flutter closed at the knowledge that your Alpha is happy.

“You’re safe from him now, honey,” Andy promises, nuzzling the side of your face. “No one will touch you but me. You’re mine now, in every way that counts and I’ll never let you go.”