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“So, why couldn't you just marry your Alpha lover, then? How’m I more suitable than whoever left their scent all over you?” Eggsy asked, taking a deliberate sniff of the air, probably horrifying the old bat in the corner, given the way she gasps and looks completely scandalized. Eggsy doesn't even bother to hide his glee, just smirks at her. It’s ‘not done’ in high society, to mention what scents you can detect on other people, not when you’re talking about sex scents at least. But War Lord Harry Hart, who’s conquered more territories for King and country than just about anyone, ever, absolutely reeks of Alpha scent. Mating scent. And, hiding just under his collar, only the smallest sliver visible, is what’s probably a mating mark.

Which begs the question, why does Harry Hart need a mate, when he already has one?

The elderly Lady in the corner started to speak, meaningless words that Eggsy’d already sat through twenty times. He looks at the woman who’d orchestrated everything, from his being taken away from his mother to being in this room, being introduced to Lord Hart and told that they were to be mates, a wonderfully suitable pair, and sneers. He’s sure his sharp teeth glint menacingly in the light, and she looks scandalized again. It’s not done to threaten Omegas, either, but he’s not from high society, whatever the blood that runs through his veins, and he ain’t gonna play by their rules.

“Bullshit. ‘M a bastard you’d’ve spat on rather than look at three months ago. I ain’t suitable for any o’ you posh toffs, far as you’re concerned. Even if I am the best of your grand kids.” He’s seen those in line for the throne; it’s a wonder that anything gets done, if they’re the ones who’re in charge. He doubts any of them could tell which end of a sword to grab, let alone swing it.

“Quite right.” Eggsy’s broken from his stare down with the lady who’s technically his grandmother, not that she’d like to admit it, by Lord Hart.

“You see, it’s been decreed by the crown that I need to be properly mated, to set a good example for the gentry. When I informed them I was already mated, it was decided that he was not suitable, and a new mate had to be found.” Though his expression didn't change at all, Lord Harry Hart had turned from a well mannered Omega into something deadly during the explanation. He was not a happy man, and who would be, told that they’d have to break their mating off to satisfy a royal who probably had his thumb up his arse. Lord Hart looks at Eggsy steadily, and Eggsy knows he shouldn't bait the man, has seen enough dangerous men in the military to know to leave well enough alone, but he can’t help it. They took him away from his mum, his sister, for this. No choice, just an ultimatum. A threat.

“And how reprehensible’s the bloke you shacked up with if I’m a better choice?” Lord Harts lips thin, before he says,

“He’s a Scot.” Which, that is a surprise. The crown’s been trying to make inroads into the highlands for years, and have been unsuccessful every time. Though currently at peace, Eggsy’d learnt from his time in the army that there was massive hostility between the British nobles and, well, all of Scotland. Eggsy himself didn’t much care, neither did anyone he’d grown up with; it was a rich mans game, and people had enough trouble getting by where he was from, without adding anymore.

“Still doesn’t explain why you ain’t shaking up with some right proper Alpha, one of your war buddies or something. Surely they’d give you time to...oh.” Eggsy says, raising an eyebrow at the lean form of Lord Hart.

“You up the duff, then? Just far enough along you thought you’d be able to pass it off as mine if I mated you soon enough.” It was a pretty genius strategy, actually. They’d never try to pull that one over on a noble, the bloodlines were too important, but on Eggsy, who was illegitimate and not in line for the throne regardless of the blood that made him eligible for the predicament he was now it. They’d probably have more luck fooling one of the rich toffs, they’d never even consider someone trying to pull the wool over like this; think too much of themselves. Eggsy has a sharper sense of smell than most though, can scent the faint curls of pregnancy just barely wafting through Lord Harts scent, now that he’s looking for it. And, a few months back, Janine gave birth to a kid with dark skin who bore a striking resemblance to the neighbour she’d had before she mated Mike.

“Lord Hart will, of course, have the fetus aborted. Then you’ll be able to consummate.”

“Wot?” Eggsy looked at his grandmother, completely stunned. Lord Hart had his fists clenched so tightly his knuckles were turning white, and the look in his eyes was murderous. She looked as if she were talking about the weather, sipping tea like she hadn’t just decided to abort someone elses baby. Someone who wanted it badly enough to re-mate in order to keep it.

“And you’re fuckin' okay with this?” Eggsy looked to Lord Hart, who Eggsy was fairly sure was three seconds from killing them both and escaping into the highlands with his baby and his Scot.

“Just so.” The war lord replied tightly, which astounded Eggsy. If he had as much power as Hart did, if he was even half as dangerous, there would be no way he’d let himself be pushed around, especially not over something like this.

“Well I’m bloody fucking not!” His grandmother looked disapproving now, tutting.

“If you’re worried about the abortion causing infertility, I can assure you that’s an old wives tale. It will be a safe, legal abortion, not some back alley-”

“You really think my problem is where he gets the abortion done? Are you fucking mental? My problem is you’re gonna force him to abort in the first choice. If you wanna go through with it, sure, but I can tell from looking at you that you sure as hell don’t want to.” The Lady Unwin places her tea cup down angrily, glaring at Eggsy.

“And what do you propose then? Simply let Lord Hart remain mated to the Scot? Need I remind you that your mother and sister-”

“No, you don’t fuckin ‘need to remind me.’” He said, mocking her posh enunciation.

“I didn’t say I wouldn’t mate him. If you want to keep the baby, keep it. I’ll still raise the kid.” It’s not really as big a deal as his grandmother seems to think. Happens all the time where he’s from. People die, and their mates can remarry if they want to. Hell, Eggsy had a step dad, right prick though he was. Not like he’s opposed to the situation, though he’ll be a sight better at the job than Dean ever was.

Across the table, Lord Hart has relaxed almost completely. There might even be the hint of a smile playing at the corner of his mouth, which was not actually attractive. Eggsy didn’t need to go mooning over the man, no matter how attractive.

This was an arranged mating, and Lord Hart didn’t seem all too keen to break off his previous mating, so there was no need to get his hopes up they’d actually have a relationship. After the consummated, he doubted Lord Hart would touch him ever again.


The best thing to do, Eggsy decided when his mum was carefully straightening the lapels of the bespoke suit that he’d been fitted for at his grandmothers instruction, was to stay detached. Keep spitting acid, like he’d been doing since he arrived, and keep everyone at arms length. Everything and everyone will be better for it, if he keeps his stupid heart out of it.

There’s no use looking at Lord Hart and thinking ‘mine.’ It’s ridiculous, even if the man is walking down the aisle towards him. He’s only seen the man once since their disastrous first meeting; he’d been overseeing the training of a few of the potential new knights, face set into neutral lines. There’d been nothing spectacular about him in that moment, but Eggsy had felt his heart skip before he’d hurried on.

So he may have avoided his husband-to-be in the few short days between their meeting and their marriage, but he couldn't avoid the scent of him. It lingered in the corridors, and Eggsy knew he’d be able to pick it out of a crowd. He tried to ignore it, but he had to have his wits about him if he was to survive the vipers nest of the high class he’d been thrown into and there was no room for denial. Lord Harry Hart followed Daisy down the aisle of the small room, the little girl beaming as she threw flower petals, and Eggsy admitted that he was fucked. Because Hart was looking at Daisy with affection, looking superb in his suit, and Eggsy was pretty sure that he’d fucked up and fallen into a fairy tale somewhere along the way. He didn’t even know the man, but Eggsy wanted everything he was, everything he had, wanted to be known and owned in turn.

Except this was real, and there was no way that Hart was his ‘true mate’ or some trite shite, like in one of those stories they tell kids. And even if it was true, it didn’t matter. If this was a fairy tale and Lord Hart the princess, Eggsy sure as hell wasn’t the prince. Not with his accent and the way he held himself, especially when compared to Hart. The prince was Lord Harts’ Scot, who’d heroically swoop in at the last minute and save the show. Eggsy was just the monster, the final obstacle for love to overcome.

He has no claim over Lord Hart, or his child; they both belong to someone else, regardless of their impending mating.

No, Eggsy would endeavour to stay far, far away from Lord Hart and his offspring, and from the Scot if he ever found out who it was. Otherwise when Lord Hart figured a way out of it, and Eggsy’s sure he will, Eggsy’d be the one to get his heart squashed. If he let himself get emotionally involved, he’d lose a mate and a child when Lord Hart walked out of his life. Hell, he’s not supposed to be invested now, barely hours after their wedding, but he feels sick at the thought of Harry- of Lord Hart leaving.

He watches the older Lord strip efficiently out of his clothes, tries to be clinical as he watches his new husband, but knows he failed. How could he be indifferent when, bit by bit, the skin of his almost mate is revealed to him? When he’ll be able to touch, to claim? Eggsy busies himself with stripping off his own clothing, as careless with the expensive suit as Lord Hart is careful. The older man tuts when Eggsy kicks his trousers off, and the blond looks up, shocked. He can’t’ve disappointed his husband yet; he’s still got his pants on.

He doesn’t get a chance to get out more than a half muttered, “Lord Hart” before his brain short circuits at the sight of the War Lord walking towards him, naked and unashamed in his nudity.

“I expect it’s acceptable to call me Harry, at this juncture.” He says drily, draping Eggsy's suit jacket over a chair, folding his trousers properly.

Eggsy just nods, wants to volunteer his own preferred name, but can’t get past the sight of Harry, soon to be his Harry, his mate, his mark on beautiful skin. It probably doesn’t matter, anyway. Having Harry call him Gary will reinforce the distance. It’ll remind him that he doesn’t belong here, not even in his own bed, with his own husband. Besides, Eggsy’s pretty sure Harry ain’t gonna be screaming his name at the end of the night, regardless of how well Eggsy performs.

And he’s right.