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Sharp Teeth, [NC-17] Jared/Jensen, RPS AU

Chapter Text




 

: : :

Jensen hurried through the market, careful of the other pedestrians. His arms were chained tightly behind him and his shoulders ached from being bound back so closely. He resolutely ignored the pain; there was nothing he could do about it. He had the equivalent of twenty minutes to get to Trinity House. Twenty minutes before Simion’s timer in his collar would go off and there’d be all hell to pay. 

Jensen hated this world, this universe he had fallen into. Hated feeling so frail and vulnerable as he ran barefoot, nearly naked, through the market on his latest assignment. Hated the bold, knowing touches and lustful looks that trailed covetously across his spotted skin. Hated that nothing was truly his anymore, especially not his body. 

His cat growled, its fur rubbing up along something inside of him. And he hated that too, the freak he’d become. He wasn’t even human anymore. He hissed in disgust without thinking: Jesus, even the sounds he made weren’t human.

He glanced up briefly to check his route, careful not to accidentally meet the eyes of a freeman, another excuse to be beaten in this frakked-up hellhole corner of the galaxy, where slavery was the norm and humans were snatched off their world with impunity. His cat growled in sympathy, but all Jensen felt was anger, anger and disgust. He had spent so much of his time the last few years being angry: angry at being yanked away from his life, angry at being a slave. He felt sometimes like that was all there was left of him now, a pretty outer package that was lusted after and pawed at – that, and his rage – and he was so tired of the weight of it. He wondered what would be left of him if he set it aside and stopped struggling against…everything; if he just broke and became what they wanted him to be, the whore they’d trained. It was only his mission that kept him as sane as he'd managed to stay, that gave him purpose and a reason to keep living, that enabled him to keep accepting this abuse.

Jensen shuddered in distaste. He couldn’t give up; it would be admitting defeat. He had to try to hang on a bit longer – though it was the hardest thing he'd ever done. He just couldn’t quit yet.

He clamped down on his dismal line of thinking, realizing he had let his mind wander far too long; he hadn’t been watching the crowds for potential trouble, and that was dangerous. He heard his first warning ping and paused mid-stride to look up and calculate how far he had left to go. 

That was when he was grabbed from behind and shoved into the alley.

: : :

“Suck it, bitch.” Jensen’s mouth was forced open as the youth stabbed his slim blue dick past Jensen lips. “Ah, fuck, we should have tried this sooner, Zaorh. What a pair of lips on this thing.” Jensen squeezed his eyes closed at the rush of humiliation that flooded through him. He should fight against this; he was a grown man for god’s sake. He should be able to shove them off and kick their peach-fuzzed asses back to their mothers’ arms and escape. Instead, he was a powerless ‘thing’ kneeling obediently in the dirt as he sucked down a strange cock.

“Ya gotta do it harder, feels better that way; don’t be such a pussy,” the other youth instructed in a superior, knowing way, having just gotten off in Jensen’s mouth moments before. “Yeah, fuck into him; he ain’t gonna break.” He could feel the soft fur of the older boys legs against his back as he walked around him.

Emboldened, the first youth started slamming back and forth down Jensen’s throat. His eyes watered at the awkward, uneducated thrusts, and he gagged a little but kept up a steady suction. The sooner they were done, the sooner he could be on his way. The first youth fumbled with his head, held onto the tufts of his ears with a death grip, and pulled Jensen closer until his face was buried in the lightly furred crotch. Jensen felt his anger and hopelessness bubble up again, and he wondered if he’d pull the fur off at the rate he was going.

“Ah common, Jatta, hurry up. I’m not sure I’m gonna last…” The third youth had been watching and stroking himself, but Jensen could see out of his watery eyes that it wouldn’t take much to tip that one over the edge.

“Hey, what are you boys doing down there?” The youth plugging Jensen’s face faltered in his thrusts as the adult voice floated down the alley. “That ain’t your slave, and I’m telling your papa, Jatta. Let him go right now. Gods, his collar is blinking. Don’t you know how much trouble you could get into? Get lost.”

The first youth, Jatta, was torn; he was near completion, but fear was rapidly shriveling his erection. He tried for a few dashed thrusts into Jensen’s mouth but couldn’t quite manage to come. Only as he pulled out and the cooler air of the market hit his purpled straining dick did he let go. All over Jensen’s short leather kilt. 

The boy cried out in embarrassment and relief and scrambled to tuck himself in as he and the other two ran off down the darkened alley. Jensen was left kneeling, trying to catch his breath with come dripping down his front and no way to clean himself up. His fists opened and closed in anger behind him, and he had to duck his head lower to hide the rage that threatened to bleed across his face. His cat snarled in anger, and all Jensen could do was try to control both of them as they teetered on the edge of disaster.

“Thank you, master,” Jensen whispered out. His voice shook slightly, throat raw, bruised by the assault and rattled by the boys’ sudden attack. They had been, what, fourteen? Sixteen? If they were a day? They still had some of their baby fur, their skin not yet lightened from the cobalt blue of youth to paler sky color of adulthood. They had just seen him and taken him because he was a slave, because he was powerless to protest, powerless to defend himself. 

He had realized early on that Simion was a pretty negligent owner. Jensen's vulnerability and helplessness in the face of the smallest whim of any freeman stared back at him. He had to clamp down on the insane desire to run screaming down the streets, snarling and biting and kicking. It wouldn’t do him any good; no one cared about the petty problems of a slave. No one saw anything wrong with their absolute right to use and abuse him at will as long as it didn’t interfere with his duties. He had no more defense against their petty cruelty than he did against the more calculated and targeted versions he suffered at the hands of his captors.

The rage burned brighter in his soul.

He rose shakily to his feet, his head still bowed, and moved to leave the alleyway.

The shopkeeper blocked his exit. The freeman spat on the ground and said, “Fucking Felix, if I’d known you were one of them, I’d a let the boys play with you. Now get the hell outta here. Slavery’s too good for your kind.”

Jensen swallowed and sidled past the disdainful shopkeeper. He made sure to stay hunched, with his head submissively down, so he didn’t tower over the man. All he needed was a pissed-off shopkeeper whaling on his ass in addition to being late. Fuck! Jensen’s cat howled in agreement.

He rejoined the flow of pedestrian traffic on the main street and left the watching shopkeeper behind. He gradually allowed himself to straighten, though he kept his head bowed, eyes up just enough to peer through sooty lashes to see where he was going, but not so high as to risk looking a freeman in the eyes. The buzz of alien languages washed over him as he moved through the market’s crush.

He was helpless, as always, to resist snatching quick glimpses of the inhabitants of the city in which he now found himself. He kept a particular eye out for city guards. He had learned through bitter experience to be wary of them and their brutish treatment of slaves, especially eager to target Felix, since the fighting had gotten closer to Vega. 

Felix Prime was one of the ten planets in the Alliance leading the rebellion against the Imperium. In spite of that, he did see the occasional Felix in the crowd, though he felt no particular affection for his ‘kind’. He also picked out a variety of other races: Coscans, Beyans, some free, some slaves. On Vega, though it was a slave planet, the majority of the populace out and about were, ironically, freemen, their slaves safely cossetted behind closed doors. It made it all the more dangerous for an unescorted slave to be out on the streets. Not that Simion would spare the money for an escort to keep him safe. Hell no, that would represent a loss in profits. He had only himself to depend on, and now it was more important than ever to stay out of the paths of freemen and the city guard. No one beating on him would stop and ask the specifics of his lineage, nor would they care. 

He was late for his appointment now, he was sure. His master would be angry; hell, his master would beat the shit out of him if he didn’t arrive on time, never mind the jolt the collar would deliver if he wasn’t in position when the timer went off. The blinking light on his collar told any citizen that he was on a timed errand, but that hadn’t stopped the group of boys from grabbing him as he walked by. Typical teenage prank, at least on this world; Jensen didn’t know about any other worlds, except Earth. Here, boys would grab a slave hurrying through the market on its master's business, and kidnap it briefly for free blowjobs, or fucking, or whatever they wanted. There was only a penalty if the owner could prove a financial loss was incurred. If anything, parents were proud of their sons for showing a slave its proper place. The delay, though, would cost Jensen more severely than any kicks or smacks handed out by the boys he had been forced to service. 

Jensen swallowed as he heard the second warning ping from his collar. The sounds would only continue to escalate in volume and frequency as he neared the five-minute countdown. He lengthened his stride and tried to remember exactly how far away Trinity House was. He couldn’t outright run in case he ran into some freeman, or worse yet, was gunned down as an escaping slave by some trigger-happy city guardsman. 

Sweat was already rolling off his brow as he at last sighted the familiar street. He rounded the corner and threw caution to the wind in the less-congested street, flat-out running the last few meters to the House. Citizens cursed and yelled at him as he sped past. Using all the inherent agility of his forcibly-adopted ‘kind’, he never actually touched a single soul as he flowed through the crowd with sylvan grace. The massive structure came closer into view, looming high above the normal four- and five-story neighbors. But what would you expect from one of the most affluent whorehouses on Vega?

The pinging in his collar accelerated to the last warning level, and Jensen shivered with dread.

He saw the green lights on the slave ports lining the side of the building. All were full and closed except one, its red light glaring at him in condemnation. He hunched over in a dead run as the port began to close. With his hands bound behind him, he had no choice but to throw himself, uncaring, into the cell before the door slid shut. He came smashing to a halt at the other end of the metal cylinder and groaned in pain. His collar's location chip dinged once and the warning pings stopped. He knew from experience the light on his collar would now be back to its normal white glow. He gasped a sigh of relief – rather some bruises now than a shock jolt and a whipping for missing his appointment.

He lay on his side, curled up in the metal holding cell, as he tried to catch his breath. That was too close. Damn his spotted hide. Once his breathing was finally under control, he forced himself to rise. He couldn’t just lie there; he had to check in. 

Jensen scrambled up to his knees, bowed forward, his head still brushing the ceiling of the port. Blood dripped from his bicep where he must have scraped it on his mad slide into the cell. He licked frantically at the crimson flow, hoping it would stop and not mess up the cell; another strike against him. The slight rasp of his tongue on the damaged flesh caused Jensen to flinch, but he couldn’t afford to let his kilt be more soiled than it already was. He lapped at the wound until the bleeding stopped, and was left with the coppery taste on his tongue as he straightened himself, kneeling in the low space. Somewhat presentable now, he nudged his shoulder on the button positioned on the side of the portal.

He heard a whirring and clicking, and the end of the port became a full view screen with the image of a bored slave manager at his post.

“Cutting it kind of close, aren’t you, Felix?” the man asked.

“Sorry, master,” Jensen mumbled, ducking his head down further and repressing his urge to explain. The pod manager didn’t care, and his experience had been that they didn’t like excuses either.

“Logging you in at 10:01; your master will hear about this.”

Jensen tried to halt the whimper that wanted to sneak past his lips. He dropped his head down further, head nearly touching the floor of the port.

“Your will, master.”

“You will be up for selection later this evening. Maybe no lunch will remind you of your duty.”

“Yes, master,” Jensen whispered. He almost wanted to giggle hysterically at the thought of going longer without food as his stomach rumbled in distress; it was either that or cry. He hadn’t eaten since yesterday. His master had been angry at some competitor who had been chosen over him to supply the lion’s share of slaves for the Prince’s Ball, leaving Simion with only the smaller contract. He had taken his anger out on the nearest slave, who happened to be Jensen reporting back to his master's office after servicing a client. After the beating, he had laid unconscious on the cold tile of the floor of his master’s office until this morning, when he was kicked to wakefulness and sent on this, his newest contract.

“Lock down in 5, 4, 3, 2…”

Jensen braced himself for the lockdown process. As the slave manager voice said, “1,” in that same bored tone, he flicked off the port monitor screen and went back to his other duties. Jensen stiffened in dread as a metal arm separated itself out of the smooth walls of the port and looped in under his chest; the arm snaked up and snapped onto his collar, then continued back down under the other side of his chest and continued to extend to the wall. The bar held him in place but also formed a band he could lean his shoulders against as he knelt crouched, bent forward in the pod with his arms still bound behind him. 

He felt another arm move from the wall behind him to slide around his torso and on to the side of the port, anchoring him in place. Mechanical arms snapped onto his ankle manacles and spread them wider, and the robot probe rose up from the port floor and moved under Jensen’s leather kilt to unerringly find his entrance. The metal plug pushed into Jensen, and he winced at the chill of it. At least it provided its own lubrication: wouldn’t want to damage the property, just keep it in its place, Jensen thought dryly. As it finally bottomed out, the metal began to shift back and forth inside him, machine intelligence angling until it began to hit his prostate. He groaned and hung his head in defeat as the probe’s steady rhythm produced the expected results. Soon, in spite of himself, Jensen was hard and aching. 

On cue, sensors automatically picked up his body’s response and another robotic arm swung out and attached an electronic lasso around the base of his penis, perfectly preventing him from coming until his masters decided otherwise. Jensen groaned in pleasure pain as the probe continued to thrust inside him. His now acute hearing could pick out the other slaves’ guttural moans and groans through the thick walls, all similarly held in their ports, held for their master’s pleasure. Jensen’s nose twitched, scenting their arousal, and he knew that, like him, they were being prepped for the evening’s entertainment. 

He heard one female cry out, a pain-laced sigh, and he thanked the heavens once more that he remained relatively unmodified. He knew the women slaves were also being ‘milked’ by their ports. Probes inserted into the women’s nipples sucked chemically induced milk to flow. Masters most often liked their female slaves large breasted and lactating and redesigned them to suit. Sometimes extra mods were requested of the male slaves. Jensen often worried that with his looks, and often referenced cocksucker lips, that some genius might come up with the idea to modify him for milking. He shivered at the thought of being changed to develop breasts. It was not unheard of and was, in fact, quite sought after in the kink market Simion Bajeer, Jensen's master, catered to. Right now he had enough to worry about with the machine mercilessly milking his prostate.

The machine’s loop ended but it did not withdraw from his ass, instead stayed warm and hard in place. In a panting breath, Jensen shook his head and tried to clear his thoughts. The snick of the water tube as it unfolded itself from the side of the pod reminded Jensen of how thirsty he was, especially after his recent activities. Knowing the water was drugged, he still sucked desperately at the tube. Nothing would stop what was going to happen that evening, and maybe Jensen could fill up a bit on water as no lunch was forthcoming. 

The chemicals flooded his blood stream instantly, and Jensen groaned at the pain of forced arousal and felt the familiar tightening of his animal as it snarled against the indignity of it all. He felt the fur and fangs scrabbling inside as his cat futilely tried to escape. The muted white glow of the control light on his collar was a constant reminder that, like him, his beast was enslaved. 

In the near soundproof pod, Jensen screamed, a high-pitched, enraged, feline sound, and shook in his bonds. He felt a spiraling panic at his enforced confinement as the walls of the pod closed in. He continued to scream in drug-laced frustration, held perfectly in place by collar and steel until his limbs trembled and he felt blackness edge the sides of his vision. Energy finally flagging, he hung there in his bonds, his chest wheezing and coughing, short, hoarse, cat-like coughs that echoed in the cylinder. The last of his reserves ran out, and he fell wearily into exhausted sleep. The only upside to the confining metal straps was that he could lean his full weight against them as he slept. The primer cycle would begin again soon. It promised to be a long day.

: : :

Time in the port went at one speed: slow. It was physically draining to kneel there, he had long since lost feeling in his arms from them being held immobile behind his back for so long, and his knees ached fiercely. Whether it was the long, boring wait or the equally long primer cycles, the enforced inactivity was maddening. He reminded himself again and again after his outburst to keep his emotions in check. The port was randomly monitored by House control, and Jensen would never know it till the cyber whip hit his back.

He gurgled in pleasure-pain and shook his head as the cycle peaked and he was brought near pinnacle again. His dick, hard and aching, leaked a steady pool of pre-come between his legs. He couldn’t tell how long it had been exactly except…long. Primer mode had cycled five or six times, and Jensen was almost hysterical. He didn’t know how he was going to be able to serve like this, but he knew he would. The only other option was pain.

Finally the port door slid open. Just outside, leather-clad legs stood tapping a zapwhip against them. Both Jensen's restraining bands retracted, and his collar was released so suddenly he almost lurched face-first onto the floor. The plug invading his ass slid out with equal speed, and he felt the walls of his channel shudder and gape at the sudden lack. He shuffled forward though, without even thinking. It never paid to keep a master waiting. He came to a stop at the guard’s feet and pressed his head to the floor, waiting for a command.

“All right, up, the bunch of you. Eyes front,” the guard snarled.

Unsteadily, Jensen tried to rise to his feet, without use of his hands, on legs tingling with pins and needles. Breathing out carefully, he tried to control the pain. He stood, weaving slightly in weakness, and cast his eyes to the ground, not even daring a look at his fellow slaves with the guard standing so close beside him.

The guard, a huge Amphian lizard male, grabbed his collar, reading, “Felix class 4, Simion Bajeer’s. He’ll go at the main table. The prince wants some exotics tonight. Gotta get him cleaned up though. Looks like he was drug through a ditch. Goddamn animals.” Jensen was shoved up against the wall to wait as the guard and a slave manager worked their way through the rest of the line of waiting slaves.

The slaves were leashed together and filed out down several wide hallways toward the baths. Trinity House was not only the biggest whorehouse in Zaros, capital city of the planet Vega, it also boasted the largest and most discreet ball rooms and pleasure parlors on the planet. The crème de la crème of Vegan society played hard and fucked hard within their walls, all beyond the knowing, all-seeing eyes of the vidcorders and telelenses of the intramedia. When big events like the Prince’s Masqued Ball were hosted at Trinity, it often supplemented its rather large ranks by contracting out for exotics and specialties from other houses like Simion’s.

The slaves were channeled off one by one, through door after door, to waiting Providers who would clean and oil and prep them for the coming evening’s events. Last in line, Jensen was soon the only slave left in the corridor. He paused at the next door and glanced up at the guard and began to turn to enter. A strong hand whipped out in front of him and braced against the wall, halting Jensen’s movement.

“And where do you think you’re going, Pussycat?” the guard’s voice was deceptively soft as his hand curled up to stroke the soft tufts on Jensen’s ears. The hand continued to run down the side of his face and stopped when a scaled finger hooked in his collar and pulled him up so he could feel the guard’s breath on his cheek. He wobbled on his tip toes and kept his gaze down.

“M-master?”Jensen’s voice shivered out. 

“They say once you’ve had a felix, you can never go back. That true, Pussycat? You got special magic in those lips of yours, in that furry ass?”

Jensen stood there and tried to channel his inner whore. He could do this – he’d done it countless times before: tease, titillate, entertain, it’s what he had been trained for, after all. That was all his life was now. The guard released his collar, and Jensen sank back down onto his heels.

He swallowed down his nervousness and slid gracefully to his knees. Jensen started to mouth the guard’s cock, already hard beneath his uniform. He looked up in what he hoped was an erotic enough look from under his long, sooty lashes, a question in his gaze as he looked back down at the man’s zipper. At least the guard was humanoid. Scales or not, he had a man-style dick. Jensen suppressed a shudder, remembering some of the alternatives he’d been forced to service.

“Yeah, yeah, that’s it,” the guard wheezed out, rushing to unzip his fly. Jensen’s bound wrists prevented him from taking the guard in hand, so he had to rely on his lips. The man’s green-scaled cock sprung out from his dress uniform with barely a nudge from Jensen.

He licked up and down the guard’s fat, stubby length. Before he swallowed him down, he allowed his head to fall back and growled low and fierce, letting his two pointed canines show to good effect before diving in. The guard jerked at the sight of the teeth and jumped as Jensen took him into his mouth and sucked hard on his dick. Jensen deliberately didn’t let himself think about the taste or the smell of the unwashed guard. He let the pad on his tongue do its work rubbing, under the sensitive head of the man’s cock. He started to purr, knowing the vibrating hum in his throat on the Amphian’s dick would drive the man wild. He’d seen men come just from that alone, the low gravelly sound sending them rushing to climax. 

This guard was no different, and within minutes he had his hands on Jensen’s head in a death grip, straining back as he chased his climax. Finally the man came, shooting wads of ropey, blue-green come down Jensen's throat. When he jerked out, some of the come splattered across Jensen’s lips, and in the perfect imitation of a cat licking cream, Jensen delicately cleaned the last of it from his lips.

The guard shuddered at the sight and grabbed Jensen roughly by the neck, pulling him back up onto his feet. Jensen tried to hunch a little; none of the guards liked a slave that was too large, not a sex slave at least, even if he was still shorter than the guard. The guard hastily shoved him in toward the last door as he nervously wiped his scaled brow. Jensen deliberately let his hips swing more than usual as he moved into the new room. He could hear the guard’s breath wheeze out of his chest as he watched the Felix saunter away. Jensen tried to keep the triumphant smirk off his face, but unsettling the guard had been the high point of his day so far. Of course, the bar was set pretty low.

The room he entered was large and airy, with long, gauzy curtains and light, spa-like colors. Deep within Trinity House the baths had no exterior windows, but this room did boast a large vid screen tuned to a soothing beach view. The smells were pleasant, too: scented oils and lotions, all of the highest quality, not like the cheap stuff Jensen was often doused in when he served. His nose scrunched up in pleasure, and his cat purred in approval. He breathed out a sigh of relief; he’d be a painted whore tonight, but he’d be a high-class one. 

“Be careful of this one,” the guard warned the Providers standing within. “He’ll bewitch you. Damned animals and their tricks.” The guard huffed and strode off, leaving Jensen in the care of two tall, sturdy, blue-skinned male providers. Both were well over six feet, and a half, tall even by Vegan standards, and both looked completely unimpressed by the little vignette he had put on for the guard’s benefit. 

Jensen shuttered his eyes and looked down at the floor, dropping all traces of his siren persona. It was a survival tool, nothing more, beaten into him at the Breakers. Jensen never had felt, nor ever did feel sexy or alluring with potential Johns; it was all an act. What he felt was dirty and used. The providers seemed to know this and did not comment. They would have met their share of whores and catamites in their line of work, and he figured nothing he did would surprise them.

Jensen knew from the slim black collars around their necks that the providers were also slaves, but he was under no illusions that they were equals. Slave whores were the lowest of the low, and contract whores such as he were ranked even lower. If he was competing with dirt, he would lose. So he stood quietly and said nothing as the providers stripped off his kilt, leaving him standing in his bare skin.

Firm hands traveled over the myriad spots covering his chest and back. Smaller spots continued up the column of his neck on either side; they trailed off to a lighter pattern as they went further down his abdomen, following his treasure trail to his now lightly furred groin. More spots extended in a sweeping line along his arms with a few covering the tops of his hands like overlarge freckles. He still had those too, the freckles he was born with dusting over his skin and intertwined with this new, hypnotic pattern that, along with his fur and tufted ears, marked him a Felix now. 

Many of his masters had touched him over the years, run their hands over his spots and commented on how beautiful the pattern was, how unusual, and how they could gaze at him for hours. It was ironic how so often their admiring gaze hurt. 

Undistracted, the providers ran more clinical hands down his flanks, pausing at the many bruises and abrasions from his beating last night, and came to a stop at the sensitive fur on his thighs near his hard, jutting cock. Jensen shivered at the touch. He wanted to step back out of their reach, to not be touched, prodded, or poked, but he stomped that desire down. He had no say in what would or would not be done to him; he'd had none in a long time. He turned his head away to hide any expression flitting across his face, then closed his eyes in resignation as they walked around him, assessing.

Jensen could hear the click of the scanner as they confirmed his identity, embedded in his collar. “Simion Bajeer, Class 4 Felix,name: Jensen. Hmmm…He’s been beaten pretty badly; should we fix him up?” the larger of the two providers, a red-haired Vegan with prominent forehead ridges, asked the other. 

“He’s scheduled to be at the prince’s table, isn’t he?” the second asked; he was a bit shorter with dark hair. 

“Yeah, that’s right.”

“Then yes, the prince is pretty territorial; he won't want to see any marks on him but his own, so let’s get him all prettied up before we wash him.”

“You in pain, boy?” the dark-haired one asked sternly, arching one blue brow at Jensen. Jensen bit his lip and nodded once, not looking up. He was so much meat they were responsible for re-bundling. He wasn’t a person to them; he was their job.

“From the looks of him, don’t look like he gets fed too often either. We’ll have to do something about that too. Don’t want him fainting in front of the prince,” Red broke in.

“Yeah, last time that happened I think the providers were castrated.”

“Frak, really? I don’t want anyone snippin’ off my boys over a missed meal. For real, man?”

“That’s what I heard,” the dark-haired man said as he gripped Jensen’s chained arms to lead him to a disk-like table on one side of the room that hovered in mid-air. 

Jensen was hauled to a stop beside the table. Red leaned in and said in a very matter of fact tone, “We loosen you, boy, are we gonna have any trouble?” 

He shook his head quickly ‘no’, and Red proceeded to unclip his arms. 

Sparking pins and needles rushed up and down his numb arms and sizzled across his shoulders as his arms were freed. Jensen fought back the scream of pain that wanted to rip out of him as his arms fell limply to his sides. He worked through the rush of feeling to his neglected limbs until he was able to move his arms without crying. He brought his hands out in front of him for the first time all day and shook them out to help get the circulation back. The providers waited patiently as he stretched and tried to regain the feeling in his extremities. He hopped up on the table, his limbs still tingling; he did not want to keep the two workers waiting too long.

“On your back, slave,” the dark-haired one ordered, and Jensen rolled obediently onto his back, wincing slightly at the twinge in his ribs.

The red-haired provider set up the MedLight, and the soft blue glow was soon cascading over his body. The MedLight made its first passing scan, and Jensen instantly felt better able to breathe.

“Hmmm, two broken ribs and some internal bleeding, good call, Ves! He could definitely have passed out while on shift.” 

“Here’s to protecting what’s important to both of us,” Ves, the dark-haired provider made a mock toast as he returned with a plate of sliced meat and fruit and a tall drink container.

“It’ll take a while for the MedLight to finish. Eat up now, boy; there won’t be time after.”

The smell had Jensen’s mouth watering long before it came into view. Ves carefully set the plate of food on his stomach as he lay on the floating platform, meticulously avoiding his straining erection. Jensen had to control his urge to bolt everything down. His first desire was for liquids, and he almost moaned as he sipped not just water but Caw’fee out of the slide tube from the drink holder Ves passed him. He closed his eyes, savoring the almost forgotten taste as it slid warm and rich down his throat, so close to the taste of coffee from Earth he almost thought he imagined it. He hadn’t realized he was purring softly in contentment until one of the providers said, “Maybe we should leave you two alone?” 

The red haired man chuckled; both he and Ves continued to talk softly amongst themselves.

Jensen blushed and carefully juggled consuming both the drink and food while trying not to move too much. The MedLight’s healing beam continued to scan down the length of his body, paused, then turned 90 degrees and continued on another pass. This cycle repeated again and again, and Jensen continued to improve. He wondered if the dish on his belly was blocking its curative rays. Red seemed to sense his question and said, “Don’t worry, the MedLight goes through anything made of plexicrete. We’ll get you all fixed up, boy, don’t you worry! And hopefully some lucky master will look after that tonight too.” Red nodded suggestively at Jensen’s aching cock.

Biting back a whimper of discomfort, Jensen nodded and went back to work on clearing his plate.

: : :

Chapter Text

 




 

: : :

Jensen lay quiet, totally at peace. His wounds were healed, he was sated, or at least not starving for the first time in days, he’d had a marvelous cup of Caw’fee, and he was clean. Even the ache of his forced erection had slid to the background. Ves and Charl (he had finally caught Red’s name) had been surprisingly professional and efficient. Even the enema and internal cleansing had been done with a minimal amount of humiliation; then they had left him to soak in a large tub full of warm, silky water. His only real problem as sleep beckoned was the very real possibility of drowning himself. 

Finally, Charl returned and gently ordered him up from the soaker tub. Standing between the two large providers, Jensen felt like a small child as they swaddled him in a large fluffy towel and proceeded to dry him off. Jensen had to stop himself from rubbing his face sinuously across the deluxe surface of the material, the low rumble of pleasure deep in his throat had already set the two men to chuckling and Jensen blushing in embarrassment. 

He sighed as they finished, the feline part of his nature luxuriating in the tactile sensations. They tossed the towels carelessly in the corner and Jensen looked longingly at them, they were softer than his blanket back in his cage, probably cleaner too. They led him by the hand back to the floating table.

“First we’ll have to trim you. You’re a bit shaggy,” Charl announced. “Did your master not know who you were coming to serve?” Charl just shook his head, not really expecting an answer from him. Jensen dropped his head, shamed, and felt a blush return again, this time to creep across both his cheeks and chest. He was glad his tufts hid the tips of his ears, because they were burning red too.

Charl pulled out vibratrimmers and tidied up his shock of short dirty-blond hair. Since being turned, his hair had lightened noticeably and now had nearly salon quality streaks of white blond, blond, and light brown artfully running through it. The provider even went so far as to sculpt and shape the elegant white tufts of fur at the tips of Jensen’s ears. With the change, his ears had elongated vertically, and now came to an elegant sweeping point slightly higher than the top of his head, and ending in the softly furred tufts. Along with tufts his ears had developed a fine velveteen coat of fur along the outer shell of the ear and had become extremely sensitive to touch as well as sound. He could physically twitch and direct his ears. It had been a bit eerie when he first found he could ‘lay his ears back’ like a cat. 

The soft vibration of the trimmers continued to buzz around him as Charl tidied his already elegant eyebrows and Ves hummed as he buffed and trimmed his nails to a soft sheen. His whiskers had been removed by the breakers along with his beard. He would never need to shave again. Masters wanted their slaves smooth and soft to the touch – no bristles or five o’clock shadow to mar the rape experience, Jensen thought grimly. 

Next, the short layer of fur on each side of his hips was trimmed and shaped. Almost like jodhpurs, the soft fur swept out like chaps along the spur of each hip. Then the Provider tidied up his nearly white, softly curling treasure trail, leaving the fur around his cock and balls artfully sculpted to be short near the base of his penis and flare out by his legs to frame Jensen’s cock. He had been surprised the breakers had even let him keep that bit of body hair; it must go with the were kink. As though the spots alone weren’t enough to show what an animal he was.

“And a pretty job well done if I do say so myself,” Charl announced as he turned on the micro vac and sucked all the little hairs away. He walked around Jensen, surveying him. Jensen blushed harder, and Charl swatted his ass gently and ushered him into the fresher to clean off lingering bits of hair. After a second drying off, Jensen was returned to the floating bed as Ves came over with a small vial and drizzled some of the oil like contents on his hands till they glistened and took on a soft golden sheen. It smelled divine, like fresh sea air and sandalwood, and his cat purred in approval.

“We don’t get many cats in here, mostly wolves; where you from originally, boy?” Ves asked as he coaxed Jensen onto his stomach and began to rub oil over his back.

“Earth, master.” Jensen’s breath hitched as Ves’s hands finished rubbing across his shoulders and back and made their way to his tightly furled entrance. Ves rubbed the cheeks of his ass gently, and then one finger glided gently around his pucker and paused. Bracing for an intrusion that never came, Jensen realized Ves had paused in confusion.

“Where’s Earth?”

“Umm, not sure, master. I was just taken from there and ended up at the Breakers on Alpha 6.” Jensen snapped his mouth shut. He didn’t want to think about waking up on the slave ship, disoriented and unable to speak the language, chipped and clipped and collared, then decanted at the breakers amongst hundreds of alien slave races to be trained on how to be a proper slave. It had been brutal. He still didn’t know how he had been targeted on Earth or why. He didn’t know if he’d ever find his way back to there. It didn’t seem likely that he’d ever see his family again. 

“Humh? Sounds like slave raiders… you were probably an interdict planet; that’s why I’ve never heard of it. A lot of weres on your planet, boy?”

“No-n-I don’t know, sir. I-I was… I was changed at the breakers by another slave.” Another of Jensen’s not so good memories of the breakers. He wished the provider would shut up and just do his job. Sometimes anonymity was better than pity.

“So did you know your Maker at all? Or your Clan? Hell, do you even know what planet your maker was from?”

Jensen was thankful he was on his belly, so the man couldn’t see his expression.

“No, master…” Jensen whispered.

“Jesus, kid. I’ve heard of some tough breaks, but that’s right up there. So what are you? beta or omega? I don’t see a knot, so its gotta be one or the other. I hear another were can smell it on you.”

He felt himself break into a sweat as he came face to face one again with his total ignorance of this galaxy. Even after years of slavery he wasn’t sure what being beta or omega really meant or how much of a space freak he had been turned into.

“N-nn-ot sure, master.”

“Ah Stars! Has anyone, your – your master ever talked to you about any of this?”

Jensen could only shake his head no; his master didn’t talk to him about anything and neither did his clients. His master beat him and ordered him to do his bidding. His master wasn’t into sharing or caring. He had heard him raging more than once about ‘not wanting any frakin’ Felix of his going into heat’, and he knew his collar had a suppression key in it to stop that from happening, but he didn’t know what that actually meant, and Simion didn’t own any other Felix that Jensen could ask. 

He desperately wanted this conversation to stop. Didn’t want to think about the hundred and one changes forced upon him since waking up that day on the space ship. Didn’t want to think about all he had lost and continued to lose. Jensen’s body wasn’t even his own anymore. He didn’t even look like himself anymore; some days he wasn’t even sure he was himself now. He was just some random hole things were stuck into, not a person, not ever again. He tried to tamp down the wave of anger. Anger only got a slave beaten. Nothing good came from indulging his rage.

Distracted, Ves’s finger finally pushed into Jensen’s entrance, and the Felix sucked in a breath at the still lingering soreness.

“Oh, sorry, kid, guess the MedLight needs to do a little more work here. Getcha fixed right up. You’ll need all the help you can get; the prince seems to have a bug up his ass about exotics tonight, so I’m sure that means he’ll be up your ass at some point in the evening.” Ves chuckled at his own joke and picked a small probe up from the table beside him. It glowed the same soft blue as the MedLight, and he squirted some liquid gel on it. “Easy does it, boy, this mini will finish the job,” he said as he gently eased the glowing probe into Jensen’s channel and the last vestiges of the burning pain gradually went away.

Ves returned his attention to massaging Jensen’s body, and the felix was grateful when their conversation lapsed. The provider worked until his body felt loose and pain free. Finishing the one side he moved back and carefully removed the mini MedLight, avoiding Jensen’s prostate; replacing it with a rather large butt plug. He patting Jensen’s bottom and said congenially, “Flip over.”

Jensen rolled over on to his back, groaning at the extra pressure put on the plug when he moved. His cock, ensnared in the electronic lasso, was still hard and aching. Back on Earth, if this had been an ordinary cock ring kept on for so long, his dick would have fallen off by now, but, thanks to the miracle of alien tech, they could torture him all day if they wanted to. Jensen groaned at the thought; just freakin’ peachy. Ves added more oil to his hands and went to work massaging his front until his skin glowed soft and golden.

One last quick brush up and down Jensen’s aching cock had it gleaming as well. Jensen swallowed at the sensation and closed his eyes and looked away.

“There, all done and right on schedule. It’s nearly show time.”

Jensen nodded and stood at Ves’s direction. Last minute touches were a small golden kilt skirt that barely covered his erection, and Ves used a makeup bot to spray a black, mask like band across Jensen’s eyes. It looked, for all intents and purposes, like he was wearing a mask, but it was only a temporary tattoo that would be chemically released in the next day or two. 

Ves directed a holo mirror to circle around him so Jensen could see the result. He had to admit the dark strip accentuated the green of his eyes, darkening them and giving them a mysterious gleam, sultry and seductive in contrast to the soft shimmer of his oiled golden skin. The gold scheme was completed by tuning the plexicrete restraints on his collar, wrists and ankles to the same shade, and Ves attached a slim gold chain to connect the wrist cuffs together.

They had just finished when he heard a soft knock at the door. A guard, a different one from the last, came to collect him. Jensen schooled his features to calm acceptance as the guard snapped a golden leash on his collar and led him out of the room. The Prince’s Masqued Ball was about to begin.

 

: : :

“Ha, ha, ha! Welcome, friends, welcome! Felin’talis, Felin’talis! Enjoy, enjoy.” Prince Jeffra’ Deen’s elegant blue hand gestured languidly as costumed party goers streamed toward his dais to pay their respects. “Come enjoy, eat.” The prince's white teeth flashed and music filled the room. The huge ballroom was packed, no one wanted to miss the event of the season, the Prince’s Masqued Ball. Beyond his dais couples twirled around the dance floor in an iridescent blur, blue faces smiling everywhere, the occasional alien dotting the crowd. A lavish feast was laid out on the banquet hall’s groaning tables and slaves rushed to attend even the tiniest whim of the crème de la crème of Vegan society. The prince jumped to his feet, startling the bevy of slave beauties sprawled around him licking and suckling him. He grinned as he abandoned them for the moment to move out into the brilliantly bedecked crowd to mingle.

Jensen watched from the sidelines. As the prince strode past he felt a curl of unease and quickly bowed his head. He wasn’t sure what it was about the man, but he made Jensen feel twitchy and ill at ease. From his cat’s reaction – it literally began to shiver the first time Jensen saw him – he knew it sensed something was off about the man, too. Better to keep his head down and try and keep a low profile where the prince was concerned.

He couldn’t quite believe things had worked out so well, better than he could have hoped. Instead of being given over to some rich, bored nobleman at the prince’s table to be pawed and groped all evening, he had been assigned more general wine duty. It meant he was to spend the evening kneeling by the wall near the prince’s entourage, serving his astronomically expensive house wine to Jeffra’ Deen’s featured guests, which was fine with Jensen. If he could keep the prince’s guests wine-addled enough, he might not even end up being dished out himself later in the evening. 

He smirked. He could do that. He had already emptied seven pitchers, and the party hadn’t even gotten started. He didn’t want to guess how much the vintage he was serving cost; probably one pitcher was more than Simion paid for him. Of course, if he didn’t get taken back to a Master’s room he couldn’t complete his real mission. Jensen sighed. He wasn’t sure how much he had achieved, so far, but he’d had his small successes to date. The Alliance seemed pleased with his work and he hadn’t been killed yet. That had to count for something.

Jensen looked around and scented the air, closing his eyes in pleasure. One thing about his new were-senses, smells were now a major source of enjoyment or discomfort, and the hall tonight was proving to be a special treat. The room smelled absolutely delicious, with a tangy, spicy scent in the air he couldn’t quite identify, along with all the groaning tables full of sumptuous-smelling foods, not to mention the expensive perfumes and lotions the attendees wore. Jensen tilted his head back and just breathed in; it was like nothing he'd ever scented before. He would stay like this all night if he could, and keep taking in the intoxicating smell, but he had to keep his eye on his charges. 

The prince’s early arrival and exceptional good mood had signaled an early start to the flow of food and wine, and Jensen didn’t want to bring any attention to himself by tardy service. He had just reached for the pitcher sitting beside him before he rose to refill his guest’s cups when he felt a large presence move to stand deliberately in front of him. He stopped, slightly distracted as the movement around him brought a stronger whiff of that heady scent. Slightly dizzy from the smell, he rushed to remember his place and sank back to his knees before the freeman. He dropped his head down and clutched his pitcher close. 

He knelt there, unsure if he should speak or just wait to be commanded.

The silence lasted a while, and Jensen was just about to ask how he could serve when he felt a large hand grasp his chin and lift his face up toward the presence.

Jensen kept his eyes downcast but didn’t resist the master’s tug to lift his face upward.

“Now, what’s a pretty pussycat like you doing only serving wine?” the deep, whisky-soft voice mused. It didn’t seem like something Jensen had to answer, so he just knelt there, slight tremors running through his body as the beautiful scent, like a spicy cloud, enveloped him.

“Eyes on me, little Kitty.” The voice was stern but not cruel. Jensen struggled to obey, his suddenly foggy brain not quite computing the simple command. He looked up, eyes widening as he had to look up, and up. The man was tall, well over Jensen’s own 6’1”, more like 6’4 or 5, but it was more than that, something about him... Jensen tried not to gape as he stared at the stunning man looming over him. He was dressed all in black leather, his only apparent nod to the masque ball a simple black mask adorned with wolf ears covering only the top half of his face. Slightly tip-tilted eyes of a piercing hazel-green stared down at him from behind the mask. Their colors seemed to shift and shimmer the longer Jensen looked at the man. Shaggy, longish brown hair fell down the sides of his face and curled at the base of his long elegant neck; it looked like it would be soft to the touch. 

Now that Jensen had lifted his gaze, the man’s hand moved up from his chin to trail along the side of his face and caress the soft white tufts of his ears. Jensen shivered at the gentle touch and leaned into the man’s palm before he could stop himself. He bit back the soft purr he could feel rumbling in his chest, a low deep vibration no human could emulate.

The man’s hand pulled back, and Jensen almost moaned at the loss. His eyes fluttered open reluctantly. He let his curious gaze travel across the man’s broad shoulders and down the long expanse of his trim, lithe body. His eyes continued to shift downward, and he caught sight of the sword strapped to the man’s side; it was not the costume variety but a very real and well-used one. He glanced up quickly. The fox-tilted eyes glittered behind the mask, a slight smile on his lips, dimples barely creasing his cheeks. The man, the warrior, stared down hard at Jensen, assessing, and he struggled to close his mouth. 

“Ah, what have we here? What has the Head Strategist for the Imperium sniffed out now?” The prince’s booming voice made Jensen jerk slightly at its sudden closeness and a wave of fear and revulsion swept through him as his cat reacted to the man’s presence. What the hell? Jensen wondered, swiftly lowering his head submissively and fighting to school his cat's disgust and recoil from his expression. 

The prince’s sudden arrival brought with it a fresh current of air, breaking up the swirl of spicy aroma around him. Jensen’s senses cleared almost magically as if a spell had been broken. Maybe it wasn’t Jeffra’ Deen he was reacting to? Maybe something in the scent, but his cat’s snarl of distaste argued differently. Feeling himself under scrutiny he tried to tighten up his posture with all the elegance the breakers had beaten into him. The only indication of his nervousness was the renewed stranglehold he had on his beleaguered wine pitcher.

“Felin’talis!  My Lord,” the tall warrior answered, turning to the prince and making a short bow. “My lord, we have ourselves a little were kittycat snack. I was just sampling.” The wolf-man’s voice broke into Jensen’s thoughts.

“Hmm interesting, love the spots; cats are so rare. You wolves are everywhere, like a plague, but cats… look up, sweetheart,” the prince’s gruff voice ordered. His hand reached under Jensen’s chin and forced him to gaze up again. Jensen stared into the calculating, dark hazel gaze of the prince. Up close the first thing Jensen noticed about the prince was that clenched between his blindingly white teeth was a large cigar-like thing; the second, the distinctive skeletal ridges on his brow. Every Vegan had them, but they usually formed undulating rows or bands. On the prince however, they came to two distinctive horn-like points on either side of his forehead. Jensen’s eyes widened, no wonder people called him the Demon Prince – but only under their breath when no one but their slaves could hear them, as the prince’s wrath was legendary. 

When Jeffra’ Deen’s hand released Jensen’s chin, he took the ‘cigar’ from between surprisingly sensuous lips and exhaled a demonic quantity of swirling blue smoke. Jensen could see the prince’s satisfied smirk as Jensen shivered in fear. Tendrils of unease coursed through him with the prince’s proximity.

Jeffra' Deen wore a slim black mask that only covered his eyes, and left the rest of his salt-and-pepper-bearded face free. A large indigo blue cape slung over one shoulder complimented his pale blue skin tones so typical of adult Vegans. The cape also partially covered his white shirt and tunic. His pants were slightly ballooned at the hips, black affairs that slipped into knee-high black boots. It was clothing that Jensen could only think of as ‘Space Pirate’ gear. A gaudily jeweled but very real sword hung at his side, completing the outfit. 

“Hmm, I can see why he interests you. Come serve us, little kitten.” The prince gestured ahead of him to an alcove set off from the main festivities. 

The wolf man, as Jensen now thought of him, and the prince, moved to the space, with Jensen trailing a respectful pace or two behind them. Closer to the niche, he saw that the recessed hollow had a cushioned seating area with gauzy curtains separating it from the main room to form a more intimate place to speak. 

Still clutching his pitcher like a lifeline, Jensen looked hastily about for drinking glasses in order to serve the men but saw none in the alcove. The wolf man seemed to sense his dilemma and simply reached out a long arm and plucked two cups from a passing server as he ducked to enter the space. The server glanced up sharply, but, seeing who the cup thief was, quickly choked back any protest and rushed away. The man passed the goblets to Jensen, and sprawled across from the prince who had already taken a seat. Shakily, Jensen hurried to fill a goblet and then knelt as gracefully as he could at the prince’s feet, head down and arms outstretched above his head as he offered the prince his drink. 

Jeffra' Deen took the proffered cup and let his free hand trail up across Jensen’s ears. “Ah, quite lovely,” he murmured, his voice a dark growl.

Blushing bright red, his skin crawling at the man’s touch, Jensen hurried to fill the wolf man’s cup and serve him, his arms shaking now with nerves. The man took the cup, but instead of drinking, he pulled Jensen up to his knees by his outstretched arms. He leaned forward and moved his giant hand to the back of Jensen’s head. Holding him in his grip he tipped his head up and held the cup to his lips.

“Drink, little one, settle,” he growled darkly. Jensen darted a terrified look at the prince. Simion had ordered him never to partake of a master’s wine, but the Demon Prince seemed unconcerned by this break in protocol as he lounged there watching, one hand holding his ‘cigar’ while the other fingered his salt and pepper beard. His hooded eyes gave nothing away, and Jensen knew he was being forced to make his own decision. 

He realized his only real choice was to obey. He allowed his head to tip forward, intent on lapping at the wine. Once again, though, the spicy scent caught his nose, overwhelming everything else, and he could feel his cat rear its head in interest. He sighed and closed his eyes, breathing in deeply; he forgot himself completely and sighed as the scent enveloped him. 

At the sound of the prince clearing his throat, his eyes snapped open with fear, and he jolted back to reality. Jensen straightened his head up in a hurry, flustered and a little confused as the wolf man released his grasp and allowed it. He looked up with wide, startled eyes at the man and realized in a dazed way that he was still waiting for Jensen to drink. 

Embarrassed by his loss of time, Jensen daintily stuck out the pink tip of his tongue and lapped gently at the wine. The kitten licks took a minimum of the beverage while still obeying the order.

The wolf man laughed, seeming to know the cause of his hesitation. “Ha, ha, ha, a careful kittycat, it seems. Come, kneel here.” The wolf man leaned back on the lounge and pulled Jensen up to kneel between his spread knees. He tipped Jensen’s head so it rested on the warrior’s thigh, and his large hand proceeded to gently rub through the Felix’s hair. Whether it was the taste of wine or the comforting smells, Jensen gradually let his eyelids slip half-closed as he listened to the prince and the wolf man converse. He was disappointed though, the universal translator embedded behind his ear couldn’t understand what they were saying; the only thing he was able to pick out was the man’s name, ‘Ja’red’. As their conversation continued he let the murmur of their deep voices flow over him. He relaxed into the V of the wolf man’s legs and the man continued to run his hands through his hair and along the edges of his ears up to the sensitive tufts. He didn’t notice when he started purring in pleasure at the soothing touch.

He was surprised at how safe and protected he felt in the wolf man’s embrace, a rare thing for any slave to feel. Jensen allowed himself to luxuriate in it. The man was a were like himself: not a cat, but a wolf, from what the prince said. Supposedly, a were was able to scent another were, spot them instantly, but other than the spicy odor invading the room tonight, Jensen hadn’t smelt anything really different. His lack of enhanced ability to smell might have more to do with the suppression collar he wore than anything, he didn’t know for sure. The man had looked human to him. He had heard that Lycans tended to be dark, while cats tended more toward blond, but that was just based on slave gossip, no real facts. 

All Jensen knew was that if he met the man in a bar tomorrow, he wouldn’t have any problems asking him to have a drink with him. Not that he’d ever acted on an impulse like that before. Hell, before he’d been taken, Jensen’s only interaction with the male sex had been in his dreams. He’d always privately thought of himself as bi, but that was as far as it went. In a blue collar working class town no one wanted to find out their favorite mechanic was a little light in the loafers, so all Jensen had ever done was look. 

He’d always seen himself settling down some day with a good woman like his parents wanted and having two point five kids and a mortgage. He’d never in his wildest dreams thought he’d end up a kitten sex slave taking it up the ass for aliens. It was like the plot for some cheesy porno. Meeting this handsome wolf in a bar seemed pretty farfetched; in fact, ever going into a bar again seemed pretty much out of reach. 

Jensen sighed. A man could dream though, and this was one of his. Number 9, if he ever got back to Earth: have a drink in a bar with the guys and watch the game. A handful of beer nuts, a couple of shots and some beer, and a handsome man across from him with some good conversation. Yes, the wolf man would have good bar conversation, with those dimples and gleaming eyes. It was kind of endearing how he ducked his head all the time as he spoke with the prince, like he was shy. Jensen huffed out a silent laugh. Head strategist for the Imperium…shy. Yeah, figured ‘his side’ would get their butts kicked by a geek. Just classic.

A half hour later or so, their private discussion over for now, the prince rose along with the warrior, ‘Ja’red’. Jensen tried to rise gracefully and move to step back along the wall out of the men’s way, but the wolf man’s hand caught his shoulder and held him in place at his side. Jensen froze, waiting for orders as the men shook hands and the prince went to leave. 

Before Ja’red could say anything, the prince looked back at them nodded knowingly, and said, “Oh, and send our kitten here back to my quarters; I haven’t played with a Kittycat in a while, and I find myself intrigued by this one. You don’t mind, do you?” Jensen didn’t hear the wolf man’s response as he felt Ja’red’s hand tighten possessively on his bicep almost to the point of pain. 

He stood there, a little in shock, a roar in his ears blanking everything out at the thought of being at the Demon Prince’s mercy, the mouse to his cat. He flinched in reaction and Ja’red gazed at him curiously. He had hoped…his attention snapped back when two guards stepped inside the alcove and advanced toward him.

The wolf man’s hand let go of him reluctantly as the guards advanced. He could feel an odd hesitation in the man, as if it pained him to let the prince take him away. Then a leash was being snapped onto his collar, the wine jug taken away from his unresisting hands and thrust into the arms of a passing slave. 

As he was led out of the ballroom, Jensen risked a quick look back as they exited the hall through a pair of massive doors, trying to catch one last look at Ja’red. He saw the tall, dark man watching him thoughtfully, head tipped slightly to the side as if scenting the air. The prince continued to chat amicably in the wolf man’s ear, but his gaze was glued to Jensen’s retreating figure. Jensen’s cat mewled in disappointment, the enticing, mesmerizing smell dropping farther and farther away the deeper into the labyrinth of Trinity House they went. Jensen wondered what they had been discussing, and if he would ever see the curious wolf man again. 

 

: : :

Chapter Text




: : :

Jensen slid carefully from the bed onto the floor. Everything he owned ached or hurt.

The galaxy class bed was full, with the prince and a dozen other bedmates – even a few slaves – sprawled scattered across it, snoring drunkenly. All Jensen wanted was sleep, some time without someone touching, groping, or hurting him. He crawled around to the foot of the bed, intent on curling up on the floor there and catching a few minutes rest. 

After being propelled out of the ballroom the night before, he had been taken to a sumptuous suite of rooms reserved for the Demon Prince. He was ushered through a large living room where another table sat, groaning with food and drink for the prince’s private party, and Jensen's stomach rumbled in distress. The guards took him further into the suite past an impressive set of double doors to a large bedchamber and a monstrous bed the size of his living room back home on Earth. He had been chained standing, spread-eagled almost on tiptoe at the end of the prince’s huge bed, suspended from two of the large wooden posters that rose from the four corners. He had been left to hang there for hours, till his arms trembled with exhaustion and his back ached. 

Finally, late into the night, maybe even the next morning, the prince and his entourage had swept into the suite. He had heard them laughing, eating and drinking in the room beyond. Jensen had jerked out of the semi-doze he had fallen into, instantly alert and apprehensive. The prince had eventually entered the room, chewing on a handful of gebba fruit. Grape-like and succulent Jensen could see the fruit juices glistening in the prince’s salt and pepper beard. He licked his lips unconsciously. 

The prince walked over and reached up to trace his free hand along Jensen's shoulders, where Jensen knew the almost hypnotic pattern of spots ghosted across his skin. He’d been told repeatedly that the spots seemed to move or undulate beneath his freckled flesh on their own. Jensen had a theory that it was his beast moving beneath his skin that they were actually seeing; it certainly felt that way at times, but that was only a theory. He’d never once been free of the inhibitor collar since he'd been turned, so he didn’t even know what his cat looked like. 

He had never experienced what it was to become his animal self. Jensen wasn’t sure if he was relieved at that thought, or endlessly sad.

“My, my, my, you truly are a pretty kitty. And those spots! So tempting, sweetheart, I want to lick each and every one of them.” Jeffra' Deen’s fruit-sweet breath puffed over Jensen’s shoulder as he circled around the end of the bed and Jensen shuddered in reaction. He could feel a moist, hot tongue travel across his back. “What a lovely package to have waiting for me.”

“So what are we going to do with you? Hmmm?” The prince walked back and threw himself onto his back in the middle of the bed and gazed up at his captive as he bit into another gebba. His companions began to gather round him on the bed, and the prince gazed over them at Jensen, a wolfish look stealing over his face. “Ah, let’s play a game shall we? This war is so tiresome; we need something fun. Jazia, bring the glittertech and the brush.” The prince clapped his hands in glee, and the rest of his entourage whistled and cheered.

Several female friends of the prince soon hovered round Jensen, touching him and licking him. One even flipped up his skirt, bent down, and took his raw, aching cock into her mouth, but with the lasso on, it was all a cruel tease. Jensen flung his head back and mewled as she sucked him down.

Jazia, who turned out to be a slim, orange-skinned slave wearing nothing but her turquoise collar, returned with a small pot and a wide paintbrush. One of the girls beside Jensen grabbed it from her and said to the prince, “So how does this work? What do we do?”

“Well, my beauty, we will call this game ‘Paint the Spots’ on our darling Felix here. We take turns asking each other questions and with every wrong answer any one of you makes, we paint a stripe on our friend here and cover some of his pretty spots. With every correct answer, the spots remain in view, and we each get to kiss our darling kitty wherever we choose.”

It seemed innocent enough at first, but Jensen should have known from the cruel glitter in the prince’s eyes and the sardonic twist to his mouth as he watched him, that there was more to the game than it first seemed. As the questions and answers flew, the painted liquid dried and left a tight burning pain in its wake.

Jensen writhed in the steadily rising agony of pleasure-pain. At first he bit his lip and tried not to move, but as the wrong answers grew, and more and more brush strokes covered his spots, Jensen felt like his flesh was being stripped from his body with a blowtorch, and he began to whimper and twist. A right answer was no relief, either, only resulting in teasing kisses that left his snared cock leaking and aching. He knew he was pretty far gone when he began to beg and mewl mindlessly. That was when the prince had had him gagged. 

He was hanging limp in his bonds when the prince finally declared the game over. Jensen was cut down to land, near-insentient, on the bed. Jeffra’ Deen and his bedfellows circled Jensen like a well deserved snack while he slowly gained consciousness, and the next phase of the liquid revealed itself. The burning had finally cooled, but it was replaced by an insidious super-sensitivity to touch.

Every brush of a hand, every breath on his skin sent waves of pleasure cascading through him. He felt like he was overloading with sensation, and Jensen moaned desperately and tried to crawl away. The Demon Prince laughed cruelly and pinned him down, unbuckling the gag. Jeffra’ Deen’s tongue swept down and swirled around first one, then the other of Jensen’s nipples sucking them to tight peaks. The tender bits were pulled and twisted by rough fingers when the prince’s mouth moved on to capture Jensen’s lips. 

His mouth was taken so fiercely blood was drawn, and he moaned in pain. The prince flipped Jensen onto his stomach and had his arms pulled up above his head and chained to the headboard. A pillow was pushed under his belly, and he was forced to spread his legs. The butt plug was yanked out unceremoniously, and with a rough slap to his ass the prince leaned forward, one finger delving into Jensen’s heat. The prince growled, “I thought all you weres came with your own lubrication?” He sounded puzzled. “Well one way or another we’re going to get to know each other better.” He withdrew his questing finger and spit unceremoniously in Jensen’s hole. 

“This is one pussy I wanna make scream.” The man chuckled as he pushed relentlessly into him, and Jensen silently thanked Ves and Charl for the thorough prep as the man’s large member shoved in, not stopping till he bottomed out. The prince hunched over Jensen and licked up his spine as he proceeded to pound into him, and Jensen howled. 

Alcohol-heavy breath puffed in his ear, and Jensen heard the softly growled words, “So tight,” as Jeffra’ Deen pulled out almost completely and slammed back inside him. Jensen’s treacherous cat roared in pleasure, and he bit back a whimper. The prince changed angles so that he was slamming down directly on Jensen’s prostate, and the smaller man couldn’t help but let out a high pitched whine as his dick throbbed in its nano lasso. 

Jensen was so hard he thought he could pound nails, and the soft, dry rub of his cock against the linens as the prince speared him was becoming its very own hell. The man’s rhythm started to falter, and behind him Jensen could feel the prince’s balls draw up and tighten. 

Jensen keened louder, his mewls becoming wails of desperation. Seconds before the prince found his release, he did a miraculous thing. He reached around and freed Jensen's straining cock from its band and took him in hand. Jensen screamed in relief and pain at feeling his hard and aching cock in the surprisingly rough hand, and he came before the prince could begin to stroke him, jetting ropy streams of cum over the bedding and the prince’s hand. He clenched down in ecstasy, and Jeffra’ Deen followed, flooding Jensen’s bowels with his warm release. The prince fell with him to the bed, still blanketing him as he rode out the shocks of his orgasm.

Panting, the prince withdrew, finished with him for now, patting his ass in appreciation. Jensen was rolled over onto his back by other hands. He turned his head and dully realized an orgy of surging, groaning flesh was in full swing on the bed around them. The prince taking him had signaled a change in the party’s venue, and now all the courtiers and hanger-ons were on the bed desperate to fuck or be fucked. 

His legs were roughly nudged apart, and Jensen dimly realized he was about to service a member of Jeffra’ Deen’s entourage. While the next man took the prince’s place bearing down into him, Jeffra’ Deen crawled up to the head of the bed and rearranged Jensen’s chained body to sprawl across his lap. He held him in the V of his legs, stroking his chest and tweaking his nipples absently as he watched Jensen’s expression through glittering eyes. His hands moved up to trail along the sides of Jensen’s neck and up along the tips of his ears. Jensen’s new assailant hit down upon his prostate, and he closed his eyes in shame, moaning softly. It felt so wrong to gain any kind of pleasure from his own rape; a part of Jensen despised himself for being so weak.

The man using Jensen abruptly pulled his legs up over his shoulders, all the while continuing to ram into him. When the man finally came with a bellow, Jensen’s legs were allowed to drop, shivering with strain, to the bed. He winced in pain as the man pulled out. 

Another body quickly climbed on and started to rut into him; Jensen’s cock lay limp and uninterested on his belly. Lying in the prince’s lap, Jensen turned his head away from Jeffra’ Deen’s keen gaze and the sight of the new man hunched over him, eyes glassy with lust. He hid his face as much as he could in his arm and bit his lip as he suppressed a groan of pain. Slaves weren’t allowed to say no; slaves were just supposed to take it and beg for more, but a whimper slipped out as the man above him fucked in too hard and too fast. 

After another round, Jensen could feel the prince’s cock slowly harden and push up against his back as he held him. The prince reached down and shoved several fingers into Jensen’s mouth. As he was pounded into, he suckled the prince's fingers in time with the thrusts, finding it strangely comforting. He could still taste himself on the prince’s fingers. 

When the latest man finished, the prince shooed away the others. He moved Jensen over onto the bed and crawled out from under him. Capturing his lips, he took Jensen’s face in his hands. He could feel the large fingers ghost over his cheekbones, almost reverently lick up and down his neck and across the trails of spots and stripes on his chest. The words, “So beautiful in your fear, so responsive,” whispered out over his skin. Jensen felt his cat shiver and it was a force of will for him not to stiffen in terror in the Prince’s grasp.

The prince shifted so that he was lined up with Jensen’s now puffy and come covered hole. He slid in carefully past the ring of muscle like it wasn't there, Jensen's hole loose and sloppy from use, and began to rock into him, slower and more gentle than his earlier turn. Jensen felt like crying, felt suddenly vulnerable in the fleeting tenderness of the moment. The prince’s pace built steadily, and in spite of himself Jensen started to arch up against the prince’s body as his own cock took an interest. 

True pleasure washed through him, and he hardened for the first time in what seemed like hours. Jeffra’ Deen crouched above him, arms bracketing Jensen’s body, and he stared into his eyes, a possessive, almost predatory look in them. He smiled a shark-like grin and knelt up, moving his hands to Jensen’s hips and tightening his hold. Jensen hissed in pleasure and canted his hips so the prince punched down onto his prostate with every thrust. All too soon they were both coming. The prince groaned, and Jensen snarled and writhed beneath the steely grip holding him down. 

Jensen’s orgasm ripped through him; ropes of white come covered his chest and chin. Overwrought and exhausted, Jensen let himself spiral into inky darkness. He just barely heard the prince’s satisfied chuckle turn into a full on laugh as he faded away.

: : :

When he came to again he was lying on his belly, he had been unchained and the prince was gone, lured by ambitious beauties to another corner of the vast bed. He had hoped it was over when his eyes first fluttered open, only to shortly find a large cock shoved in front of his face while other hands hauled him up onto his knees and slapped his ass as a new dick slotted into his hole. Jensen was exhausted and hurting, and his own penis hung flaccid and uninterested beneath him, but the party around him continued unabated.

When one master finished with him another took his or her place. He was traded around in a dizzying cycle of lust, forced to suck cock after cock, or pussy, whatever was thrust in his face, till his jaw ached while his ass was filled by one after the other of Jeffra’ Deen’s drunken cronies. Finally they started to tire and drop off to sleep, loud snores filling the room. Jensen noticed the prince fast asleep at one end of the bed, head stuck between the breasts of an equally unconscious woman, and he was able to crawl down from the bed and escape their touch.

He nearly sobbed as he curled his body at the foot of the bed. Blood, fingerprint-shaped bruises, scratches, and come covered him from head to toe, the only benefit of the evening was that the cornucopia of bodily fluids had wiped away much of the tortuous golden paint, but Jensen’s body still thrummed with tension and overstimulation. Even now, it felt like hands were travelling across his overused body. His cat felt like it was short circuiting, writhing inside him in disgust and badtouchwrongtouchhurt.

He wished, not for the first time, that he had just been killed at the breakers when the were attacked him. Anything was better than this existence at the mercy of cruel masters who only seemed inclined to use him or hurt him over and over and over. This was no life.

He lay there, panting through the pain, eyes closed. He was so tired and wrung out he thought he must be imagining it when that mysterious, spicy odor tickled at the edges of his senses. He whimpered and curled tighter into himself and tried to let the memory of that scent calm him. 

His breathing had just started to even out when he felt a presence nearby. He opened his eyes and saw a pair of leather boots in front of him. He stared at them, dazed, and then realized that, whoever it was, he should be kneeling. He lurched up as quickly as he could to force his aching body to his knees. He wobbled slightly as he tried to drag his knees under him. Dipping his head to the ground, he croaked in a scream-shot voice, “Master?”

“Eyes up, Pussycat.” The whisky and silk growl curled across Jensen’s ears, and they twitched in response. He felt a full- body shiver slide through him as he raised his head up to see the man from last night, the wolf man, Ja’red.

His gaze crawled its way wearily up the long lean length of the wolf. The clothing was the same, black leather encasing mile-long legs and a lean, broad-shouldered torso. The well-used sword still rested in its simple black leather scabbard, but the wolf mask was gone, a strangely handsome face revealed. He was a beautiful, exotic-looking man: strong cheekbones, a sharp nose, and delicate, almost cat-like lips. Those mesmerizing tip-tilted eyes of prismatic hazel surveyed him. Having been distracted again by the puff of spicy air surrounding him, Jensen suddenly realized Ja'red did not look pleased.

“Now, where were we before we were so rudely interrupted?” the man mused, his large hand rubbing his chin as he looked down at Jensen.

Jensen had no idea where they were, where they had left off. He wanted to hang his head in exhaustion but was scared of what the strange man might do if he looked away, so he was caught, head tilted back, eyes fixed on the man with fox eyes.

“First, I think we’ll get you out of here. Can you stand?” the wolf man asked in a dispassionately curious voice.

Jensen nodded. He’d stand one way or another; he couldn’t afford word of any dissatisfaction to get back to Simion. He wasn’t sure what punishment his owner might mete out, but, sore as he was now, to have another beating so hard on the heels of the last… He shivered in dread. Using the bed as an aid, he pushed himself up to standing.

He felt the room swirl round him. Wobbling, he braced his feet apart till he could get his balance. The wolf man grabbed his arm, causing Jensen to hiss slightly in pain at the harsh grip. But the pain steadied him and brought the room back into focus.

He heard a loud click in the snore-filled quiet of the room and felt the tug of a leash as it was attached to his collar. Dully, he followed where it led, simply placing one foot in front of the other. Part of him wondered if he would get into trouble for leaving the prince without permission, but the rest of him wanted away from this room as fast as his feet could take him. A last rational part of him distantly understood it didn’t matter what he wanted. This master wanted him somewhere else, and that was where he would go.

Jensen trailed behind the large man, close enough so the leash wouldn’t jerk, the wolf man’s very own silent shadow. It wasn’t until they reached the slightly cooler air of the wide main corridor that he realized he was traveling through the house filthy and naked. Numb, he could feel no embarrassment or shame, only exhausted obedience. He followed meekly, head down, through the twisting, turning hallways of Trinity House. Finally, they came to large double doors with guards outside. One of the guards sprang forward and opened the door for the wolf man, saying respectfully, “Commander!” and stood at attention holding the door.

The wolf man nodded and swept by, Jensen in tow, the doors swiftly closing behind them with a soft thud. The rooms were palatial, nearly as large as the prince’s suite, from what little he had seen the night before as the guards had hauled him through the rooms. The wolf man continued through, long legs eating up distance, and Jensen wheezed a little in his efforts to keep up with him as his energy levels waned. They moved through a large bedroom and on into an ensuite before the man came to a halt. He dropped Jensen’s leash, and without looking at him, turned and started adjusting knobs and buttons in a huge walk-in shower. Once it was on, and steamy air was pouring into the room, he turned back to where Jensen stood, listing slightly in exhaustion.

One large hand reached out toward him, and Jensen resisted the urge to flinch, expecting a blow to land, but all that happened was his leash was unclipped, and the man pushed him into the shower.

“Clean up; I don’t like sloppy seconds.” The terse order was growled out, and the wolf man turned and strode out of the bathroom. 

Jensen almost whined as he was thrust into the steam filled cubicle. The water slid over his sore body with enough force to clean but not to pummel. He stood under the spray and let his head roll back and forth under the soothing onslaught. The remains of the crusted gold paint solution loosened and washed away, and he watched in fascination as his painted-on mask bled out onto his hands, the black tinted water swirling its way down the drain. Jensen looked around, slightly perplexed; he’d never been allowed to use a master’s shower alone before. Usually, unless he was being prepped for a job, he was hosed off in the slave quarters between jobs.

All at once he felt dizziness overwhelm him, and he leaned weakly against the shower wall. He tried to continue his bath and reached for the dish of soap, but his arm missed the little alcove, and he didn’t quite have the strength to bat at it again. His knees buckled, and he came crashing down onto the shower floor. He groaned and shuffled weakly on his hands and knees to try and regain his footing while the water continued to rain down on him. He could feel his vision dimming. 

Suddenly the spray shut off; the wolf man was back. Jensen’s head drooped toward the floor of the shower, and he whispered in his cracked and broken voice, “I’m sorry, master, sorry, sorry, sorry…” but the wolf man said nothing, just bundled him into another of those blissfully soft towels and lifted him up high, so high. His last words as his body was hoisted up into the stratosphere were, “Sorry, sorry, sorry…” 

: : :

Jensen floated in a sea of perfect contentment, so blissfully comfortable he thought it must be a dream. In this dream, Jensen’s face was nestled into one of the softest pillows in existence. He nuzzled into it and was reminded of his ‘Top Twenty Things to Do When He Got Back to Earth’. Number 5: Sleep soundly in a big luxury bed, all alone. He had it all planned out, 1,000 thread count silky-as-sin sheets and fluffy-as-a-cloud pillows and duvet. He was going to stay there until he ran out of money for room service. Yeah, number five was a stretch, but a man could dream, couldn’t he? 

Jensen decided he didn’t want to ruin this perfectly good dream by opening his eyes or waking up. In spite of his best efforts, reality intruded, and he could feel the weight of the collar on his throat and the cuffs on his wrists and ankles. He was probably back in his cell at Simion’s, the man tuning his vibra whip in order to punish Jensen for being late yesterday. 

No… he would keep his eyes closed and just stay here in this warm, soft place and enjoy the dream a while longer.

He moaned softly as his morning wood rubbed up against the silky material of the sheets, the sensation delicious on his skin. Jensen forced himself to stop; moving had been a huge mistake. Even his slight rocking gesture had woken his bladder, and it was now singing out its demands. Jensen hissed in distress. His traitorous stomach chose that moment to rumble ominously in accompaniment. He realized he’d have to get up soon, if for nothing else, to pee, and as food probably wasn’t going to be forthcoming anytime soon, to find some water to drink to stave off his hunger.

He sighed and scrubbed his hand over his face, scrunching his nose as he cracked open his eyes to take in the sun-filled room around him. 

His brow wrinkled in confusion. This was not his cage back at Simion’s, or even the Trinity House kennels. He tried to sift through his last conscious memories of last night to remember how he got here. He remembered the prince and his cursed pot of gold paint and the orgy afterward, then… the man with the wolf mask! It came back in a rush; he’d been brought here by the wolf man! 

Jensen jerked up in the bed, sitting up and looking frantically around for the tall warrior. He slid tentatively out of the bed, and when his feet touched the ground, he realized he was still naked, standing there in only his cuffs and collar. He’d showered, that was it, and then… he must have passed out. But why was he still here, Jensen wondered? Who kept a rental slave in their bed all night? And he didn’t even remember if they…if he had…

He stood, legs a little shaky, his ass aching after last night’s abuse. He tried to think what he should do – wait in the room until the tall man, or some other master, returned, or go looking for him? He was saved from having to make a decision when the door to the bedroom suite suddenly opened and the tall warrior entered, talking to another, shorter man behind him. Jensen froze for a moment as he surveyed the tall man with brown hair and those amazing tip-tilted eyes he remembered from last night. The same eyes that surveyed him now with a bemused expression. 

The man was striking, with lean, strong bone structure, high sharp cheekbones and a strong brow. His face was smooth-shaven, but heavy sideburns blended into the waves of thick, healthy hair just this side of shaggy. It all came together into what Jensen could only think of as ‘beautiful’. It was not a word he would normally apply to a male, and certainly not to most of the alien males he’d come in contact with. This man though…. This man was huge, broad-shouldered, and his hands … Jensen shivered as he looked at those huge, dinner-plate sized hands. Just one could easily hold down both of his, he thought and shivered in dread – and something else. Jensen stood with his mouth slightly agape, a strange heat coiling up through his belly before he remembered himself and dropped to his knees beside the bed, hands clasped his behind his back, head bowed.

“Master, I–” Jensen thought better of speaking and snapped his mouth shut before he made things worse.

“I see my Pussycat has awakened. Chris’tian, I want him taken down to the House kennels immediately and branded with my personal sigil, right hip, I think. I know it’s sexier on the inner thigh, but I want everyone to see my mark. And that abomination around his neck is to be removed; I’m having one of my own collars sent over as we speak. Then bring him back here. I’ll be taking the aircar back to the estate as soon as I speak to the prince. I have … plans.”

Jensen quivered in fear; he had managed, through some weird miracle, not to have been branded so far; he had hoped that little treat would pass him by. He wasn’t naïve, he’d seen slaves with signs burnt into their flesh. He’d just hoped he would never be among them. 

Simion had seemed content with just the collar. Why did it have to change? 

He swallowed, and sweat broke out on his body as he tried to head off the rising panic at the idea of being permanently and irrevocably scarred, and darted a fearful glance upward. The warrior had continued to walk into the room as he spoke and now loomed directly over Jensen.

The man reached down, lifted Jensen’s chin up and rubbed his thumb across his lips. He tried not to shrink back from the gentle touch and wondered dizzily what he had done to earn this punishment. He could almost smell his flesh burning already. He bit back the questions that rushed to his lips though. Experience had taught him it would only earn him another beating.

“You look confused, Pussycat. It’s pretty simple. Though I have no need to explain myself to you, I’ll make this one exception. Your former master was quite unhappy to lose your services, but I persuaded him that he was better off in the Imperium’s good graces than not. He seemed to see the wisdom of that. And so now you are mine, and I will do with you as I will.”

Jensen felt himself flinch at the possessive tone and looked up, startled, at the wolf man. He’d never had another master; this changed things completely. He tried to not let the panic show, tried to control his breathing while on the inside he screamed. 

It wasn’t that Simion was a great master, it was just that he was a familiar one, and Jensen was used to his ways, used to his casual cruelty. He could work around the worst of it, get his job done, and keep his hide intact. 

He swallowed again and tried to tamp down any fear from showing in his eyes. He didn’t want his new master to think he was unhappy with his change of ownership. His tongue darted out unconsciously to lick his lips in nervousness, forgetting for the moment that the man had been caressing his lip until the rough tip of his tongue came in sandpapery contact with the warrior’s thumb. 

Jensen froze and looked up, startled. He saw heat enter the warrior’s eyes. Jensen stiffened. Suddenly he was being pulled up and slammed against the nearby wall, his master holding him against it by the collar as his other hand continued to hold his face and rub against his bottom lip. The warrior leaned down, inhaled, and rested his forehead for a moment against Jensen's. He growled as he crowded his body against Jensen’s. 

Jensen didn’t know if he was going to be eaten just then or fucked. He gasped, and some part of his brain noted dazedly that the spicy scent was in the air again, enveloping him, almost stronger than last … night. 

Trapped, Jensen’s gaze darted nervously around, and he swallowed hard as felt his new master adjust his stance as his arousal tightened the black leather of his pants rubbing up against Jensen’s naked body. The Felix looked up with wide, questioning eyes, and the warrior moved his thumb from Jensen’s lip and plunged it into his mouth. 

Training kicked in, and Jensen started to suckle on his master’s thumb, and let his eyes close to half mast as he swiped sensuously over the work-hardened digit invading his mouth. He heard his master groan, and the thumb was abruptly pulled from his mouth. The Felix was suddenly pulled away from the wall by his collar and yanked up close to the man’s face. 

He snarled in fury, then leaned in closer and whispered, “Why, why would it be you?” 

Jensen licked his lips mutely then froze as he saw the wolf man’s eyes riveted once more upon them. The man gave a harsh, humorless laugh and released him with a shove back against the wall. Jensen leaned there, panting unsteadily, a surge of adrenaline running through him. He tried to stay upright and not fold to the floor in terror.

“I can’t play now, Kitty. Later. I’ll have lots of time to get to know you better, later.” His master reached out and gripped the nape of his neck and squeezed, almost to the point of pain, as he arched Jensen’s head back and licked up the line of his throat. It felt like a brand of ownership, and when his hand withdrew, Jensen found himself shivering once again. 

His master stepped back, his hand snaked back to coil around the back of his neck, his thumb continuing to rub along the line of Jensen’s collar absently as he survey him. “Now Chris’ tian here is my Lieutenant and personal guardian. You will obey him as you would me in all things or I will hear of it.” 

“Stars, Kane, I have to get out of here; get him out of my sight before I’m tempted to take him right here on the floor.” His master snapped the leash from last night back onto Jensen’s collar and thrust it into the hands of the waiting soldier. His hand lifted up to caress Jensen’s ear tuffs, strangely gentle in spite of the rage that seemed to be roiling through him, and then without a word, abruptly turned and strode out of the room.

Jensen was left standing there in confusion as his new master retreated. When the soldier in the room started to speak, the reality of Jensen’s situation came crashing down upon him. 

He turned to look at the man who now held his leash; Chris’tian Kane was nowhere near as tall as Jensen’s master, a few inches shorter than Jensen himself but powerfully built, with the pale blue skin, and shocking blue eyes that had a shrewd, wary intelligence to them. His longish, medium brown hair was held back by a tied strip of leather. Humanoid. Unlike his new master, this man had classic Vegan features, slight ridges on the bridge of his nose and forehead; he was a native. He was dressed similarly to his master though, in black leather pants and a long tunic with leather ties, and a wide, black belt around his slim hips. A sword hung from one side and a menacing-looking blaster from the other. He paused in what he was saying as he seemed to notice that Jensen was still trying to process what had happened.

“Hmm. What’s your name, boy?” the deep voice asked, interest in his voice.

“J-Jensen, if it pleases, master.”

“What kind of a name is that? Jen’son? Is that a new pride I’ve never heard of?”

“N-no, sir, it’s my n-name; it’s an Earth name, master.” Jensen squirmed uncomfortably as his bladder started to make its presence known, pushed to the edge of endurance by his recent shocks.

“Well, Jen’son of Earth, it looks like if we don’t get you to the bathroom soon, you’re going to soil yourself on the floor like a bad kitten. Some masters might be into that, but I don’t want to have to clean it up. So come on, boy, over here.” Chris’tian pulled on the leash, not cruelly, but with enough force to get Jensen moving. He bit back a moan as he moved forward and clenched down on his bladder.

Kane led him to a room off of the large bedroom he had awoken in. It was nearly as big again, with a marble-lined walk-in shower area that he remembered from the night before, a huge soaker pool already filled with heated water, and most importantly, the Vegan equivalent of a toilet. Jensen was happy to finally empty his bladder, and pleased as well that the warrior didn’t follow the habits of some masters, and hold his dick as he relieved himself. He braced himself to hide the grimace of distaste for the puff of perfumed air that the toilet usually sprayed after use, instead he was met with a cloud of a very masculine scent, reminiscent of his master. He looked up at Chris’tian, a little startled, and Chris’tian laughed out loud at his expression.

“Ha! We all don’t have to smell like candy bouquets, that’s just a Trinity House preference. Your master has very discerning tastes.”

Jensen nodded and looked down sheepishly as he cleaned his hands. He could feel his cheeks reddening in embarrassment. Even after five years here there was so much about this world he didn’t know.

Chris’tian took his chin in hand to tip his face down to his, and then angled it back. He released Jensen’s face and stepped back, arms crossed inspecting him. “Hmmm, I’m starting to see what your master sees in you, young Jen’son. Come on, we have a date with a branding iron, and I’m sure as stars you don’t want this dragged out anymore than I do. We’ll feed you when we return. I don’t want you to lose your breakfast at the branders.”

Jensen swallowed and followed the warrior out of the room. The man turned, though, and placed a hand on his chest, stopping him. “Wait, wait, damn it, we’ve got to get you some clothes. Now that you’re officially his, Ja’red will skin me alive if he hears of his pet going through the hallways naked. And trust me, I’m not joking.”

Chris'tian dropped Jensen’s leash and left the suite in search of clothing. He came back after a while with a short kilt: strips of black leather stitched at one end to a wide band he buckled around Jensen's hips. "You know, stuff like this makes me wonder who's the slave here," he sighed impatiently. "Hurry, the Commander will be back soon, and he'll want his pet back in place." Chris'tian picked up the dangling end of the leash and headed for the corridor. The loose ends of the leather strips moved freely about Jensen's thighs as he rushed to keep up with the determined strides of the shorter man

The soldier led Jensen down to the lower levels of Trinity House. Jensen was familiar with some of the areas: the pens, the holding pods, and the overnight kennels – all the fixtures of a busy whorehouse. He heard cries of slaves being disciplined, and he shivered and huddled in on himself, hunching his shoulders lower as he followed his master’s second.

They were buzzed through several levels, and Kane was carded and ID’d several times; at some point, they also acquired a slave escort. Jensen felt more and more claustrophobic as they moved lower into the bowels of the massive House. The fur on the back of his neck was literally standing on end, and the walls were starting to close in.

He hoped this would be over soon, before he embarrassed himself. His cat whined, pitifully uncomfortable in the confining walls as well. 

Finally, their escort brought them through sliding, frosted plexicrete doors to a brightly lit room many levels lower than Jensen had ever been before. The room had an almost surgical look to it, with white tiled floors. On the walls were ominous looking surgical devices and tools of discipline. Their slave escort left to announce their arrival, and Jensen couldn’t deny the feeling of dread that washed over him as he knelt nervously at Chris’tian’s feet, remembering another room that looked like this…

: : :

Chapter Text

 


 

: : :

The screams and wailing cries of thousands of terrified, traumatized captives packed into the alien equivalent of plexiglass cubes awoke him. They were stacked row upon row in the belly of what he would come to learn was an alien space ship. He had lain there, dizzy and confused, as his vision focused and he was able to pull himself up to his knees in the cramped space. The last thing he remembered was walking home from the neighborhood bar; it had been Friday night, and the shipyards had just got news of another big contract win, which was a win for Jensen. It meant his customers at the little auto shop he ran on the outskirts of Texas City would be able to pay their bills in the blue collar, shipbuilding town. He’d joked and drank with his friends, and had left just around closing time. He hadn’t really been drunk, and exiting the bar, the chill October night air had had a further sobering affect. He’d yelled out his good nights and waved goodbyes to his friends, probably for the last time, he realized now, and had started the short walk home.

He’d rounded the corner to his street; his slightly run down little post-war bungalow had just come into view when it happened. He’d felt a strange, almost electrical tingle run through him and then a blue glow had enveloped his body. His back had arched, spine close to snapping in shock like he’d been hit by a jillion watt taser, and agony had surged through him. Then, he’d been lifted from the ground screaming, screaming, screaming…. and then he’d woken up here.

He looked down as he pulled himself up to his knees and realized he was completely naked. The cube was too small to stand in, so he knelt there, still a little dizzy and disoriented, and looked around, spreading his arms out to see the full size of his new prison. He touched the walls on either side of him with his elbows bent, which made his prison four or five feet both across and high; too low to stand up, too short and narrow to stretch out. He wondered how air came in and then became distracted by the noises outside that had initially awakened him. He looked out and realized his cube was 6 or 7 rows up from the ‘floor’ and there were people – no, creatures – surrounding him, everywhere, all in the same glass-like clear prisons. 

Some were not moving, and some rocked or moved about as much as they could. Behind him he caught the purple-eyed gaze of a humanoid-looking, blue creature that reached out a hand toward him. Jensen swallowed and made himself nod in acknowledgement to the creature. It nodded back, and offered what seemed to be a smile, though there were far too many teeth in it for Jensen’s liking. 

He dropped his head down on his chest to calm his panicked breathing. Looking directly downward, his eyes caught a flash of movement, and he swallowed hard as he realized there was another denizen of cube city directly below him. It wasn’t human – it wasn’t even vaguely humanoid, or any animal that he could recognize. He gulped in fear – it was an almost human-sized spidery thing, with eight long, hairy, multi-jointed legs, and ten beady red eyes… and they were all currently staring up at Jensen. 

If the insanity of looking past his naked dick down to another plexiglass cage at a space spider hadn't already tipped him into the loony bin, he wondered what it would take. He shook his head and thought for an instant he was just imagining all this, that somehow he’d been roofied at O’Sulivan’s, and this was all some drug- fuelled trip, but as the spider lunged and smashed up into the floor beneath him, the reality of his situation slammed home, and his liquid supper came rushing up into his mouth.

Jensen curled to the side and instinctively made for the corner as he began to heave. His stomach was nearly empty, but a thin stream of bile erupted from him like a volcanic blast. He leaned into the corner, one arm braced on the clear wall as the other clutched his convulsing gut. He shivered in terror as he heard the thing below him go into a frenzy, throwing itself up at his cage and raking and clawing at the clear wall separating it from Jensen. 

He would have vomited again right there on the spot if there had been anything left in his stomach. Instead he teetered to his feet and staggered, bent over, away from his mess and stood on tiptoes in another corner as the spidery thing continued to hurl itself toward at him. He felt a panic attack close in on him at the sheer alienness of the situation and struggled to stay conscious as the edges of his vision darkened. 

The final nail in the coffin was a whirling, mechanical sound from the corner he had just thrown up in. He watched in dazed, horror- filled fascination as hundreds of tiny, ant-like things erupted from the seamed corner of the cube. They poured out seemingly from nowhere and streamed toward the puddle of bile on the floor and walls. 

Jensen gagged and heaved again as the ant-things crawled over his puke and appeared to devour it. Then the creatures began to advance toward him. Jensen wasn’t sure if they were coming to consume the bits of vomit flecking his chest or if they were simply coming to consume him. He was saved from a very unmanly scream when he heard a faint hiss in the cubicle, and a cloudy substance flooded the room. He felt a whirling sensation and then was falling toward the scrabbling claws beneath him as the gas took over, and his overloaded brain shut down.

: : :

His cube was moving, an eerie, unsettling sensation. He looked around, and his prison was being literally levitated out of the stack by no mechanical device that he could see. He braced his hands against the sides of the cube and watched as he floated through the air toward a glowing slot in the wall. 

Light poured out of the slot, and Jensen braced himself for imminent immolation as he passed into the opening. Instead, he entered what he could only think of as some kind of laboratory – white floors and ceilings brilliantly lit, like a surgical room. The cube settled in the middle of the floor, and the opening in the wall he’d floated through immediately sealed closed. He felt the barest pop of air equalizing as one wall of his clear plexiglass prison slid open. Jensen suddenly understood why lab rats didn’t necessarily run when their cage doors were opened.

He knelt there, perfectly still and waited for something to happen. 

When nothing did, he swiped a hand across the opening to see if some kind of force field was there… nothing, just open air. He looked around and realized that there were people – no, aliens – on the other side of the room, garbed in white. Some looked human. They certainly didn’t look like the little grey men with big black eyes in all the alien movies. Two humanoids walked over to stand outside his cube. One growled something that Jensen couldn’t understand. This one was tall and dressed in black; its skin was cobalt blue, and it had a series of ridges across its hairless skull. 

He gulped, wide-eyed, as he watched it crouch and reach in impatiently to grab his arm. He struggled, but it was like arguing with a gorilla. The creature easily hauled Jensen out of the cube and up onto his feet while the other – guard? – looked on. Jensen gulped in more air as he took a better look at the second guard. It had brown… fur, in multiple shades all over its body, and it looked for all the world like a bear walking upright with clothes on. 

When it opened its mouth, Jensen saw huge, jagged teeth. He started to scream and tried to get away, tried to make the steel-strong manacle of the blue guard’s grip loosen. The blue man made an impatient gesture to the bear and started to drag him over to a table. Together the two hoisted him, struggling, up onto a table and pulled straps down over his struggling body to hold him down. 

After his initial outburst, Jensen wanted to beg and plead and grovel for his freedom, but the total ‘alienness’ of the pair left him speechless. He tested his bonds and realized he wasn’t going anywhere until they decided to let him go. He waited there, wide eyed, nearly hyperventilating in terror, the guards stood on either side at the head of his platform and seemed to be waiting as well. 

Long minutes later, another creature in white lab clothes entered. This one looked more human than the others, with just some extra ridges on his nose and ears, and Jensen was almost able to convince himself he was human. It nodded at the two guards and said something incomprehensible in a high pitched voice. The guards bowed slightly and departed. 

He tried to talk to the creature, ask where he was, what was going on, but the one in white just reached over to a tray and brought something up to the back of Jensen's neck. He heard a slight hissing sound, and his voice died away. 

It was like someone had turned a switch off in his brain – he couldn’t force his vocal cords to make a sound. It was as though the wires routing his speech signals had been cut. 

Jensen’s eyes nearly rolled back in his head, horrified that he could be so easily controlled and modified by these creatures. 

What was next, cutting him up into lunch? 

He started to hyperventilate, and the ‘doctor’ seemed to sense his distress. Another shot had him suddenly wrapped in a fuzzy layer of calm, distanced from the reality of what was happening to him. 

Jensen watched, almost like an out of body experience, as the ‘doctor’ brought one instrument after another toward him. Some drew blood, some just hovered over him, beeping and flashing like something straight out of Star Trek. 

A strange blue light went up and down the length of his body, and Jensen felt strangely better afterward, but he didn’t have long to appreciate that small relief.

Without so much as a glance at him, the doctor strapped some sort of device to his penis. He felt needles stick into him and then a strange, hugely uncomfortable sensation as something entered his slit and pushed inside of him. 

He jerked and moaned uselessly, but nothing dislodged the invading ‘thing’. Then, the device was undulating, stroking and stimulating him from both the inside and out. It jerked Jensen out of his drug induced, floaty hideaway and flung him right back into his body. He tried to thrash around, to think unhappy thoughts, but the throbbing device was slowly but surely causing his dick to thicken with interest. 

He looked up in panic, starting to pant as he became more and more aroused. The humanoid ‘doctor’ watched in boredom. He bit his lip and tried to stave off the coming orgasm, but nothing stopped the relentless machine in its work as it milked him.

Jensen’s mouth opened in a silent cry as he came. He felt a vacuum suction as the machine whisked away every drop of his come. He could feel the needles embedded in his penis take more samples, and he jerked as he felt something take a chunk of flesh near the base of his groin. 

It was an abrupt end to the orgasm, and the doctor quickly snapped off the machine and took it away, leaving him limp and vulnerable on the table. He wondered if this was what rape felt like.

The doctor returned with a small, silver device in hand. He shoved Jensen's head to the side and locked it down so he couldn’t move. Jensen felt a small vibration behind his ear, and he wondered if they were going to lobotomize him now. The vibration continued for a minute, and then the doctor backed away and fiddled with something. He unlocked Jensen’s head so he could see his face again and said something to him. 

Jensen couldn’t understand, so he just shook his head. The doctor fiddled and spoke again. That went on for a while. Jensen was beginning to wonder what was going on when he suddenly heard a perfectly clear voice say, “Do you understand me now?”

Jensen froze for a moment, then stared at the doctor’s mouth in surprise. The doctor’s lips moved again, and the voice repeated, “Do you understand me now?”

His eyes grew wide, and he looked up from the doctor’s lips into his eyes, and his mouth snapped closed in shock.

“Should I take that as a yes? Nod to confirm, please,” the doctor said. 

Jensen licked his lips and, looking anxiously at the doctor again, nodded rapidly.

“Ah, good, it’s always so much easier once you can understand me.”

The doctor pressed a button, and manacles snicked around Jensen’s wrists and ankles. Then a collar rose up from the table and slid around his neck. His breath hitched as the metal clicked closed around his body.

“There, good for now, and you’ve got all your shots. Now they’ll take you to assessment.” The doctor flicked closed the little device he was holding and turned away. Jensen had just enough time to wonder what ‘assessment’ was when the guards were back at his side, releasing the straps holding him down. 

One of them reached down and attached a long black cable to his new ‘collar,’ a leash, Jensen’s stunned mind supplied. He heard a soft click sound, and his new manacles were released from the table. The guard tugged on the leash urging him up off the bench he had been lying on. Forced to comply, Jensen was pulled toward an opening that had appeared in one wall of the lab. He stumbled as they yanked on his leash. He looked back at the doctor who had his back turned to him, Jensen’s presence already forgotten as he watched yet another clear cube be deposited in the bay, and a fuzzy, blue prisoner decanted.

Another tug on his leash had Jensen stumbling and twisting back around to concentrate on where he was going. They stepped through into a wide, well-lit corridor of pale, silvery grey. All the surfaces had a slight metallic sheen to them, and he could see indented openings along the way: doors, he assumed. The floor was pleasantly warm against his bare feet, and up ahead on the right he could see what looked like a wide window. It was black outside, and he could see the faint sparkle of stars. 

Jensen’s mind stuttered to a halt in shock when he saw the edges of the ship he was on curve and jut out at the sides of the window, saw the long series of cargo holds like the segmented tail of a dragonfly stretch out in front of him. The holds, he’d been in one of those. He glanced around quickly as he tried to locate earth, but no blue globe hung spinning, like the ones in high school science class, or on those shows about space on the Discovery Channel, not anywhere in easy view. Just a vast field of inky black littered thick with diamonds winking at him, and an orange sun – either really big, or really close. He hoped it was the former, trying to make himself breathe as his hands clutched desperately at the reality of the viewport's frame. 

There was no denying it now he had total visual confirmation, first aliens, now this, they were indeed in space. Space. He breathed out a reverent sigh. Oh my God! He was in space… 

He swallowed hard. 

The harsh jerk on his collar made him realize he had come to a full stop. The guards glanced back casually and tugged on his leash in warning, so he rushed to catch up.

“Where does this one go?” the bear guard asked the blue one.

“Section C, it’s where all the pretty ones go.”

“Think they’ll make him a server?”

“With lips like that, I’m pretty much betting on it.”

Jensen shivered and hoped this didn’t mean what he thought it meant. He was a good looking guy, sure…on Earth, but what were the criteria here in space? He shuddered at the idea of what might lay in store for him.

They rounded a corner, and Jensen gave the view screen one last wistful glance as it slipped out of sight. 

Shouts and the sound of impacting flesh drew his attention forward once more. It sounded like there was some sort of struggle going on up ahead. 

The guards drew what he could only assume were weapons and rushed toward the noise, dragging him behind by his leash, like the tail on a kite.

Running, they came to a juncture of several corridors, and Jensen could see a stunningly good looking man with some kind of a weapon standing naked in front of three small, crying children. The man wasn’t human, he was far too strange looking for Jensen to ever think that, but he was humanoid and oddly beautiful. 

He had startling, white-tufted ears like a cat, and white fur running down the side of his face, like sideburns that dipped down to run delicately along his jaw line. A light trail of fur started around his abdomen and extended down his naked waist and hips, surrounding his oddly vulnerable manhood. The hair continued along the sides of his hips and down the backs of his legs. 

Most spectacular of all was the pattern of black spots and rippling lines across the man’s chest and shoulders. Jensen could only think of a tiger, or a lynx, the spots trailing and writhing across his skin, moving with a life of their own. When the man turned, Jensen could see the spots ran full across his back and shoulders, ending in two tapered peaks that darted up the back of his neck. Along his spine they trailed down, turning to a smaller dusting of spots that followed down along his spine and disappeared into his crease. 

The boldness of the pattern reminded Jensen of the ultimate predator, and the man’s muscles twitched along his arms and chest under the dangerous patternation. 

The glinting emerald of the man's eyes exuded ferocity and ruthlessness. He was a dangerous predator at bay, attacked on all sides, and Jensen didn’t doubt there was anything he wouldn’t do to protect his young charges. 

Jensen's eyes were drawn back to the children at the cat man's feet; on second glance he could make out tufts and fur on the children as well. They huddled together on the floor, naked beside the still form of one of those huge bear guards. It was lying in a puddle of blood from a lethal head wound. The blood had almost stopped seeping, now, and manacles and chains lay discarded on the floor around the body. The cat man gestured at the guards circling around him, warning them off.

“Get back, you bastards, I won’t warn you again. I know you Fad’vak’s have no honor but where is the Prince? Is he behind this betrayal? I demand to see him. I am the Emissary and have diplomatic immunity to pass through this part of space. If you bastards can’t respect that you’ll at least respect my claws. I’ll take every last one of you down with me if I have to. No one touches my children and lives, this by Treeva I swear.” 

The guards ignored the man and slowly advanced, some sidling around him so they could come at him from all sides. Eight to one Jensen counted; the odds weren’t good for the cat. 

The cat man’s eyes narrowed to emerald slits and Jensen saw a slight twitch of his whiskers before he began blasting the guards. Jensen observed in approval. Clearly the man had been betrayed. From his limited experience Jensen didn’t think slavers would have any surplus of honor. They seemed intent, though, on taking the man alive and were trying to surround him and possibly tackle him to the ground, not shoot him outright. Fortunately the cat man, the 'Emissary', was not laboring under the same inhibitions. 

Three guards went down from the man’s weapon before it was shot out of his hand, a black blast hole in the side of the device smoldering where it lay on the floor. 

The children were screaming, and the man started to blur. 

Jensen’s eyes grew wide as the man literally began to change and ‘shift’ before his eyes, morphing from a man taller than six feet with white blond hair, to a silver cat the size of a bear. It looked like a huge lynx, with a powerful, muscular body. It had white fur strewn with black spots and a short, bobbed tail. 

His white-tufted ears twitched, tracking the guards' movements. Brilliant green eyes, vivid with intelligence, swept the room.

The cat roared, and Jensen flinched at the ear-shattering sound, watched wide-eyed as the cat lunged at the guards, claws glittering, and tore the throats out of two of them as they tried to swarm him. 

A claxon began to sound. 

Jensen stood stunned, forgotten by his own guards as they rushed to join the fray. 

The cat savaged guard after guard, but they kept streaming in, and slowly, one by one, the children were pulled from the cat’s protection, dragged screaming into the crowd of guards beyond the defense of the sharp claws. The cat man snarled and hissed in outrage as he tried to keep the guards away from the remaining cub child, but sheer numbers prevailed, and it was only a matter of time until the children had all been spirited away.

Finally, there was only the shifter left in the room, wounded and bleeding, blood splatter on his fur. 

He faced the guards defiantly, but, huffing in distress, his gaze darkening, the cat seemed to recognize he had lost. 

Unerringly, his vivid green gaze fell on Jensen.

The cat suddenly sprang through the air toward the exit behind Jensen. A blast caught him in the side mid-leap, and he crashed to the floor, front claws raking a line down Jensen's shoulder and ribs as he fell, taking Jensen down with him. Jensen screamed in pain, the weight of the shifter pinning him to the floor. His head hit the deck hard and he watched dimly as one of the guards struck out in anger at the shooter, felling him as well.

The cat man thrashed, convulsing in pain until his movements slowed, and he lay sprawled and heavy across Jensen. Bleeding, and at the last of his strength, he shuddered, his form blurred, and then Jensen was left cradling a dying man in his arms. 

The man looked up at him, beautiful green eyes with specks of aqua in them dimming even as he gasped out, “Emissary.” 

Jensen watched, stunned, as the shifter grew still in his arms. 

He heard multiple clicks, and Jensen looked up to find himself suddenly surrounded by armed guards, all pointing their weapons at him and the dead man. He eased the body down to lie across his lap before raising his arms, palms out and empty, in what he hoped was a universal gesture of surrender. A guard advanced on him, and, growling in fury, smashed the butt of his weapon down on Jensen’s face. 

When he woke, he found out that with those few shared drops of blood, his life had irrevocably changed forever. 

He never learned his maker’s name.

: : :

He tried to shake off the chill of those memories and cursed his weakness as he huddled close to the warrior’s legs, anxious for the reassuring touch of the man. Maybe that’s why he’d been thinking about that day – anything to distract him from this. 

He hadn’t thought of the strange were that had turned him in a long while. He hadn’t wanted to remember that day, but this room, these instruments, brought it all back, and Jensen struggled to stop the rising hysteria bubbling inside his chest. 

Chris’tian seemed to sense his unease, and a gentle hand came down on his head and caressed his tufted ears. He leaned into the caress and shivered in fear. It had been that way since he had been turned – Jensen could literally go crazy if he wasn’t able to touch or be touched by another being on a regular basis, and stressful situations made it even worse. He thought it must be part of his new feline makeup that desired touch. He knew now that he literally couldn’t survive without it. 

He lowered his eyes to the floor, hoping to block out his view of the laboratory and the scary hardware on the walls and trays around them. 

“There, there, boy, you’ll be fine,” Kane whispered.

“Ah, what do we have here?” a clinical voice sounded from across the room, startling both of them.

Chris’tian’s hand jerked nervously on Jensen’s ear as if the place was getting to him as well.

“Imperial Guard Adjunct Chris’tian Surrep Kane reporting with Commander Ja’red’s slave for branding, sir.”

“Branding, such a primitive concept. Are you sure your lord wouldn’t prefer a sensory tattoo? One swipe of his hand over the area with a given gesture, and his slave will be writhing in agony or pleasure, whichever he prefers. Interactive marking is all the rage right now with the high-borns.”

Jensen shivered in fear at the idea of an interactive torture device permanently embedded in his body.

“Well the Commander’s a simple soldier, sir, and I think he just wants his slave marked.”

“Simple, pfff. He’s our Chief Strategist. You don’t fool me, Kane, there’s nothing simple about the man.” The clinician turned and made a show of dusting off some equipment. He was humanoid as well, with startlingly purple skin and feathered ridges running along the top of his head like a crest. He had wide duck-like feet sprouting out from beneath the bottom of his grey dress pants. Dressed in a white lab coat, he should have looked odd. Instead, Jensen just thought he looked cruel and menacing.

“Ah, surrounded by barbarians…” he eventually conceded. “Very well, get it up here and my assistant will strap it in. Where does your commander want it marked?”

“Right hip, sir, his own personal sigil. It was sent to your house earlier today. He also had a Padaleki collar and shifter friendly cuffs shipped over that he wanted placed on him. And if I may ask, sir, who are you?” Kane eyed the man with a good degree of skepticism.

“Shran Varik, Trinity House Punishment Master. And when there is no one around to discipline, I also do the marking and branding for the house. I assure you my credentials are impeccable. I trained with She’lek in Vernan. Do you need to see them, soldier?” the man said in a condescending tone.

“No, no, I just wanted a name in case my lord was displeased with your work,” Kane shot back in an equally haughty tone. Jensen shivered at their feet.

“Hmmph, up, up, times’ wasting.”

Jensen rose to the pads of his feet. Literally, since changing, Jensen had sprouted soft, pink pads on the bottoms of his otherwise still mostly human feet (if you discounted the soft white fetlocks of fur at each ankle). He was shivering completely now, close to a full on panic attack. 

Burning, hurt, pain… 

He couldn’t do it, he couldn’t force himself to take part in this. He stepped back, shaking his head and looking longingly toward the exit. 

No, no, no

He raised his hands up and shook his head jerkily as he backed away. Kane watched him, his mouth a tight line as he tugged the leash lightly. Jensen panicked and, rearing back, sprang for the door. He didn’t know where he was going, but he couldn’t go along with this any longer. Mid flight he felt a huge weight crash into him as Kane tackled him to the ground. Kane grabbed his leash, and, pulling Jensen’s flailing arms behind his back, quickly secured his manacles together.

Straddling his body, Kane sat back, using his weight to pin Jensen to the floor. He continued to buck and toss, struggling and writhing in panic. “Please, no, master, no, no, no, no, not this, not this, please.” 

Kane simply waited him out and, finally exhausted, Jensen fell flat, breathless, against the floor. He rested his cheek on the cold, glittery surface and could feel moisture trickle down the corners of his eyes. His hands continued to jerk sporadically on the manacles that held them. 

He panted in exhaustion, whimpering softly, “Please, please, please…” in staccato, rasping breaths.

Still Kane waited patiently, till Jensen had played himself out and had fallen silent. 

He leaned down and whispered in Jensen’s ear, “You done, son? Cause this is gonna happen whether you want it to or not, but I’d like to not have to tell your master you embarrassed him and his house in front of this trage slime. He’s getting off on this way too much as it is. 

“Now you gonna behave, or am I gonna have to beat you? Cause I will, but I don’t want to have to. You hearin’ me?”

Jensen slumped on the floor in submission and cringed as he imagined his new master’s punishment if he found out about this little ‘incident’. He nodded, shuddering in apprehension, and closed his eyes. He could feel Chris nod and climb off his back. The warrior reached down and hauled Jensen to his feet. He stood there, head hung in defeat, tremors still rippling through his body. Chris rubbed his back, and, whispering softly, coaxed him toward the table in the center of the room. 

Jensen refused to look up for a long while, just concentrated on putting one leaden foot in front of the other while his shoulders jerked and twitched in nervous reaction. 

Finally they came to a stop, and Jensen was forced to raise his gaze. The thing he was to be strapped to, be branded on, looked like a cross between some kind of obstetrics table, with adjustable stirrups for his feet, and a high tech torture rack. 

He felt his breath hitch in panic again but tried to settle as Chris’tian’s hand came up to massage the back of his neck just below his collar, giving him a warning squeeze.

“Strip him,” Varik’s voice snapped out.

Chris’tian took him by the chin and forced him to look into his eyes. “I’m gonna untie you. I want you to make me proud. You can do this.” 

Jerkily Jensen nodded his agreement. 

Kane released the magnetic hold pulling Jensen’s wrists manacles together. Freed, Jensen’s fingers began to pluck nervously at his kilt, his movements made awkward with fear. 

Chris’tian finally growled, reaching out to strip the clothing from Jensen’s quaking body.

Under Kane’s hard eyes he stiffened his spine and eased himself up onto the table to lie on his back. A silent slave slipped out from another room and started strapping Jensen down. The slave had piercings all over its body, and Jensen shivered at some of the modifications visible to its lips and nipples. He cast his eyes down again and swallowed, hoping Varik didn’t do anything ‘extra’ to him in his stopover here. 

Once the slave had completely immobilized Jensen, Varik moved in. He pressed a few buttons and the rack twisted so that Jensen was turned 90 degrees, suspended from the metal filaments. 

The man ran a covetous hand over Jensen’s hip and eagerly exclaimed, “Weres, I haven’t branded a were in awhile. We’ll have to move slightly forward of this hip fur; we don’t want the brand to singe that. We’ll also have to add some silver magdalite oxcide to the iron to ensure the brand doesn’t disappear the first time it shifts. All my hard work might disappear and we’d have to do it all over again.” The man chuckled maliciously, and Jensen felt his gorge rise.

Chris’tian touched the soft white fur that ridged Jensen’s hips and said softly, “No, my lord would not want his fur damaged. I think he is quite satisfied with the look of his kittycat.”

“Yes, Felix are quite rare here – they tend to die before being captured.” He ran his hand insultingly along Jensen’s face, finally grasping him at the hinge of his jaw to tip his head up and look directly into his eyes. “This one must be a coward.”

Jensen swallowed and looked away. His eyes were caught by Varik’s slave assistant who shook its head minutely, silently urging him not to rise to the bait. The slave moved forward, interrupting Varik’s musing, and thrust a heavy leather bit into Jensen’s mouth, strapping it around his head. He then moved down to Jensen’s thigh and applied a thin layer of silvery paste to the area Jensen assumed the brand would go. His eyes darted to Varik who had moved over by a brazier to tend what looked like an old fashioned branding iron.

Chris’tian looked over as well and said, “Don’t you have electronic ones that do a better job and don’t hurt so much?”

The man tutted and fussed, and then said, “It’s not your place to question my techniques, ‘soldier’, but if you must know, it is my experience that the electronic brands do not leave as clean a mark, nor do they imprint as deeply, so they tend to blur with time. Stand back, I know what I’m doing.”

Varik advanced on him, and every molecule of Jensen’s body tried to squirm away but was held completely immobile by the metal lattice surrounding him. Jensen could feel the heat of the iron as it came closer to him. Jensen screamed behind the gag and his cat cried out in fury. 

Too much, too much to endure, too permanent a sign. Jensen could taste the despair on his tongue as the last vestiges of his freedom was to be seared away forever. Marked, branded, property. His heart swelled in his chest near to breaking. It was too much to endure, this tearing aching pain of the separation of who he had been and who he was now forever. 

Jensen bit into the leather and couldn’t help but scream as the metal sank into his flesh. He swore he saw a look of pleasure slide across Varik’s face. He felt his vision darken as it stayed pressed into his defenseless skin for what felt like hours. Jensen felt himself falling, spiraling in a free fall of pain and hopelessness. How could he ever hold his head up again? It was the last thin line he hadn’t been forced to cross. Ownership, written in his skin now and forever for anyone to see. Irrevocable, undeniable. There was nowhere he could run now, a slave for all time. Jensen’s cat roared in the dizzying blackness its anger like fire to the ice of Jensen’s hopeless despair.

Finally, the iron was pulled back, and Jensen nearly puked into the gag at the new pain of crisped, burnt flesh pulling away as the iron was removed. Sweat covered his body as shock traveled through him.

Varik’s slave silently advanced with a spray bottle, but the torturer snarled and slapped the slave’s hands away. Jensen’s head lolled back, like a puppet with cut strings. Why wasn’t he dead? Why didn’t they just kill him now, not this sad death by inches, cutting away all the parts of his soul till there was nothing left.

“Wait, what was that?” Kane queried as the slave scrabbled to pick up the spray bottle and huddled in fear against the wall.

“It’s an analgesic, but it’s a proven fact that painkillers slow the healing process.”

“Huh. Well I think we’ll risk it,” Kane growled and grabbed the bottle out of the slave’s hands and said, “How much?” Jensen wanted to giggle hysterically and scream and rail, why all the worry about his pain now?

“Two squirts every two hours should suffice, but don’t blame me if it takes longer to heal.” Varik’s snippy voice sulked. “Now the collar, his old collar, had a timer embedded in it as well. Do you want that added to the Commander’s collar?”

“He didn’t ask for it, so no. Possibly he wants his kitty to go into heat so he can be bred. Not sure about the timer. I’ll be sure to ask him about both, though. Do you have any short term suggestions?” 

Jensen shivered, in recoil. Bred? Heat? Jensen swallowed around the gag, trying to stop the bile that wanted to rush up and fill his mouth. They could do that? He shuddered in revulsion. Remembering the looming bulk of his new master, he didn’t think they were talking about him going to stud. 

He struggled to get enough oxygen through his nose as he spiraled toward complete overload. Bitch. He was to be their bitch. First branded, then bred like the animal he had become. His vision dimmed and for a moment the room went black. He was grateful for the binds holding him as he hung weakly in their grasp. Shock riding him.

“I’ll give you a shot which will suppress his cycle short-term until you can bring him back to me. Wouldn’t want him going into heat if the Commander didn’t desire it. This collar also came with a control link to allow shifting. Take it. I’m sure the Commander knows how it works.”

Chris’tian sprayed two generous doses of the numbing spray over Jensen’s burn. Jensen could feel the agonizing throb dim immediately and he felt color return to the room. It still hurt, but his hip was no longer a blazing epicenter of pain. Jensen stared at Kane still dazed at his actions to hurt then heal. Where was the spray to numb the jagged hole burned in his soul? Could Kane fix that?

Chris’tian tucked the small, silver device into his pouch along with the spray and the hypodermic while Varik moved to remove the collar. “Nice, not cheap work, mind if I keep it?”

“No, not at all, but his former master may ask for it back.”

“And who was that?” Varik asked, peering at the small inscription on the collar. “Oh, I see, Simion Bajeer, a fine master, I know the man. Very well. If you wish, I could have it returned to him.”

Kane nodded, and Varik passed the old collar to his slave.

Jensen, still trapped with the bit in his mouth, enjoyed two short breaths without the collar before Varik snapped his new one on. 

Jensen felt his cat jolt in surprise as it flexed and its presence inside him grew and swelled in that instant – alive like it had never been before. It was as if a door he'd never known was there, separating him from his cat’s true essence, had been flung wide and Jensen’s senses were flooded with a million new rich scents and sounds. It swept away everything, like a summer storm, catching Jensen up in the raw feed of sensations. 

The rooms smell was suddenly overpowering and pungent, inoffensive chemical smells now revolting and badrunaway. He could hear the heartbeats of the other people in the room like they were his own and smell the acrid taint of his burned flesh like the insult it was. And he felt rage, pure animalistic fury directed at the mark. 

Then it was gone. 

: : :

Chapter Text




: : :

All the glorious sensations of his cat snapped off with the click of the collar. Jensen slumped senses overloaded, his cat snarling and raking his insides in anger as its freedom was taken away as suddenly as it had come. His pain for the moment forgotten as Jensen lay in awe of the presence that had swept through him. He had felt his cat before, a muted subtle presence. Nothing had prepared him for the dominance and presence of the being, a true separate entity with a definite mind of it’s own.

Varik’s slave scurried around and removed the bit from Jensen’s mouth. He huffed out a relieved breath and clenched his hands as he waited to be unstrapped from the device. Jensen’s mind was in turmoil.

Free of the gag he swallowed trying to rid himself of the excess slobber and spit having his mouth held open created. It seemed a rather mundane observation after the monumental revelations of the last few minutes but compared to Bajeer’s black, heavy piece, the new collar was a relief around his neck, lighter and slimmer. From the quick look he had of it as it came toward him it was also more elegant, a soft silvery moss green in color with two tags that dangled from a D ring at the front. The inside of the collar seemed more comfortable as well, with some type of soft cushiony substance that didn’t rub on Jensen’s neck. Maybe the scars from where the steel had dug into his neck might finally have a chance to heal. Next they swapped out his old plexicrete manacles for new slimmer ones in the same matching moss green. Kane nodded in approval.

“Now, any piercings? Were piercings are a specialty of mine. I have developed an amalgam that can survive the transformation and not disfigure the nipples or penis.” The Torturer reached out and caressed Jensen’s flaccid dick somewhat possessively. Jensen’s skin crawled at the man’s touch. Jensen felt his breath quicken and couldn’t stop his head from starting to shake back and forth. Inside he was silently screaming ‘no, no, no, no more’. Hadn’t they done enough already? He flashed back to some of Bajeer’s more exotic slaves and the tiny chains crossing their chests like laces. Rings embedded in flesh pulling, stretching, achingly vulnerable and Jensen shivered in dread.

Being marked like cattle was one thing, but then to have his own flesh transformed into something other, like some kind of exotic clipped and neutered pet? Jensen’s trembling increased, lost in a rapidly spiraling horror show of possibilities. It was a relief to feel Kane’s warm presence beside him, the man’s hand squeezing his shoulder, centering him, calming him. Chris’tian presence forming a protective bulwark against the menace in this lab of horrors.

“A fine, exceptionally large cock on this one, quite rare for an omega. The piercings would look superb along its length.” Varik rubbed Jensen’s penis absently as he warmed to the topic. “You know, I always found it interesting that, although there are several variants of shape shifters in the Imperium and Alliance, the same basic mechanics are involved with all of them. Avian, wolf, cat, lion, the aquatics, with the addition of a sheath, they all have the same humanoid equipment – with the sole addition of the knot in the Alpha’s case, of course. Whoever did the original genetic mutations millennia ago liked to stick to the same template. 

“Rather humorous if you ask me, considering how different the shifter spectrum is, but you can screw them all with ease. Rather considerate when you’re in a business such as ours. Ha! Especially in the case of our Pussycat here; if its kind actually followed more true to form, this would be a barbed penis. I think our ancestors knew what they were about when they took some license in their design. I mean, who would want a barb up the ass anyway?” Varik chuckled evilly. “ Useful for punishment though…too bad only the Regalians have the barb.” 

Jensen startled, his body stiffening in shock, as Varik’s thumb rolled over the slit of his penis with sickening familiarity. He knew about the knot, and figured with his new wolf master that might soon be on the agenda. He just didn’t want to think about it right now.

His branded hip cramped, pain shot across his abdomen and cramped his hip flexors. He suppressed a scream as it twitched shooting molten agony up his leg. There weren’t many shifters on Vega, and so far he hadn’t actually been knotted. He thanked God for some small mercies. He hadn’t realized that his genetic change could have been worse. He thought of his house cat, Marty, back home, and not that he’d made a study of it, but guys tended to check these things out and he knew Marty, hell all male cats, had a barbed cock. Jesus, the idea of being fucked by a barbed cock! 

Jensen started to sweat again. It was just too fucking much to contemplate something like that tearing into his ass. Even to have a knot shoved up it wasn’t exactly something he was looking forward to. And the idea of going into heat was almost too much to bear. Would he go into heat now like a bitch? His mind blanked in overload.

“I’ll ask the commander upon my return. I think that’s all, sir, if you’re done? The Commander is on a tight schedule.”

“No-no, we’re done. Chev, release the slave,” Varik said as he reluctantly released Jensen’s penis. 

Jensen shivered in distaste.

The slave, ‘Chev’, reoriented Jensen so he was lying flat on the bed-like surface and removed the metal straps from his body. He rose slowly, carefully, trying to avoid any tension on the burned flesh. He was surprised at how dizzy he felt and was forced to clutch the side of the bed as he stood. Chris’tian stood there patiently waiting for him to regain his barings. Chev brought his kilt, and Jensen slipped it around his hips. 

He hissed when some of the straps touched the top edge of his brand. Kane reached out and tucked two of the leather straps up, away from the wound, and tucked them into the belt band. Jensen regarded him gratefully. Chris'tian snapped the leash on the Felix’s new, green collar and tugged gently. “Come, your master is waiting.” 

Jensen cast a quick, thankful look at Chev as he was led out, then bowed his head submissively. He needed to hide his face, hide the emotions that he was too raw and hurt to control at the moment. The permanency of the brand burned through him bright hot, his breath hitched in his chest and he had to force himself to breathe normally. He would focus on his mission. He felt changed though, almost on a molecular level, never to be the same again. It was something he would never be able to fully resolve. 

He’d been through worse, but not by much. He could survive this. He would have to survive this. He was like a shark, his only option was to keep moving forward or he’d drown. He wasn’t ready to drown yet. So with each limping step Jensen struggled to gain control of his conflicting anger and despair. He couldn’t drown just yet, freedom was still a possibility.

“Let’s get the frak out of here. This place gives me the willies,” Kane muttered once they were down the hall from Varik’s lair, gripping Jensen’s leash tighter than necessary as he moved toward the nearest ascender.

: : :

Ja’red leaned back into the plush leather remembering just in time not to tap his fingers with impatience on the arm of the chair. They’d been over this information so many times already. He wished the prince would get over his sudden case of nerves and let him go. His toy would be returning to the suite any time now, and Ja’red’s fingers itched to touch his mark burned indelibly into his cat’s flesh. ‘Mine’, his wolf howled and Ja’red had to hide the secret smile that threatened to spread across his face. He didn’t know where this possessive steak came from, but it felt right, the Felix was his. 

“Ja’red, my boy, I didn’t realize I was overworking you?” Prince Jeffra’ teased after they’d finished discussing the final troop deployments.

“No, sire, nothing like that. I just want a few days off at the estate. With the coming assault, I fear it might be the last time I’ll be able to catch a few days off for a while.”

“Well fine, fine. But this won’t slow down our preparations, correct?” 

“No, sire, everything is ready, we are just waiting on the clock, now. The Felix moon comes into fullness in thirty days, and we can do nothing till then. The attack is scheduled to begin that night while the weres are celebrating their goddess’s return. Right now it’s all about keeping a lid on troop movements.” 

“Yes, with Felix out of the picture, that would be only nine to go of these blasted rebel planets. But I have to say, grand strategies aside, I’ve always wanted a Felix. That was a tasty snack last night. Disappeared very suddenly in the morning, or I would have had another go.” Prince Jeffra’ Deen gave Ja’red a suspicious look.

Ja’red schooled his features to indifference, he knew the prince was watching him like a hawk. The slightest hint of possessiveness and the prince would pounce. He cursed himself for his eagerness, if he had waited just a few hours more the prince would have had his fill and the slave would be forgotten by the prince by now. As it stood, the prince’s interest was piqued, Jen’son was the one that got away. Ja’red knew Jeffra’ Deen wouldn’t rest until he got the whole story. 

“Ahhh, yes, sire, I’m afraid I might be to blame for your lack of pleasure. Please, let me apologize.”

“Ja’red, Ja’red, it’s no bother, but why did you spirit our little kitten away? If you wanted it, all you needed to do was ask, and you could have had it for as long as you wanted. We would just need to arrange for a longer rental. I’d asked for a shipment of exotics for last night’s celebration. I’m pretty sure it was one of them.”

“I must confess I did, my lord… Want it, that is. I bought the slave last night after seeing him…it. I-I wanted to take possession as soon as he had completed his service. If I overstepped, I can send him back to your chambers, my lord, until you have had your fill.” 

Ja’red cautiously held his breath. His wolf snarled in fury at the thought of turning his cat over to anyone, but Ja’red faced it down. It was vital Ja’red make the prince believe his offer was made in good faith or the man would never stop. He was a full blood prince with a prince’s ego, nothing would stand before him. He made a mental note to squirrel Jen’son away out of the prince’s sight for the indefinite future. The cat was his, Ja’red snarled and even the prince wasn’t going to touch what was his.

Jeffra’ Deen clapped Ja’red on the shoulders and laughed. “Ja’red, my boy, how long have we known each other? What, since you were 13 and first fostered here? Hell, you’re like my littlest brother, if I hadn’t killed them all. I know you’ve never really interacted with other weres since you were brought here. Maybe I should have stepped in, and taken a larger role 

“Stars, if a Kittycat makes you happy, go for it, my boy. Or, if you want to stay in-species just tell me, and I can arrange to ship in a Lycan or two here for you, broker some kind of agreement with your father – after all, he rules at my leisure.”

Ja’red nodded and schooled his face to show regret. He was no fool. Yes, the prince had been kind to him, but only for as long as Ja’red was useful to him. Ja’red’s fate and more importantly the fate of his planet lay in keeping Jeffra’ Deen and his father satisfied. The minute Ja’red outlived his usefulness he too could disappear like so many before him. 

“No sire, you are too kind, truly your generosity knows no bounds. I am fine and my ‘needs’ have always been adequately looked after. I purchased the Felix in a fit of whimsy thinking another were might be an interesting indulgence, not out of some deep dark desire to be with ‘my kind’. And who knows, I may not even keep him long, slaves can grow so tiresome.” 

Jeffra’ Deen nodded in acknowledgement and took a long draw on the cigar which had sat forgotten in his hand for the last little while. Ja’red relaxed slightly as the suspicion seemed to leave the princes eyes for the moment. 

“Just let me know,” he said on an exhale, smoke coiling around his blue features, circling the horns on his head. “You’ve become far too important to the Imperium not to be kept happy. You keep my armies moving smoothly, and as Head Strategist, our losses have never been so low since you’ve been at the helm. I want you happy. And most important of all, you keep my father, the king, happy. And if I want a piece of Felix tail, no pun intended, I’d get one. I have to say your little spotted Felix is quite something, but I was just musing out loud.” A wide grin suddenly filled the prince’s face but Ja’red wasn’t misled; he saw the speculative gleam of interest in his eyes.

“Besides, you know my tastes run more to women anyway. I hear their women are particularly beautiful. You’ll have to cut a few out from the herd when you take the capital for me; I want to see how far down the fur goes.” The prince’s eyes crinkled in mischief. “But getting back to you, I’ve never seen you show more than passing interest in a slave, let alone spirit one off so quickly and buy it. It’s a bit… unexpected, shall we say.”

“Yes, sire.” Ja’red hoped the prince would change the topic soon. He rolled his hips in discomfort; discussing his were was having a predictable effect on him. Besides, he wanted to get back to his new Felix and check it out thoroughly, see his mark burned into its flesh and know it was fully his now. He wanted to taste the man’s skin and see if the spots tasted any different than his other flesh, maybe count them as he curled up next to him…

: : :

Jensen’s hip burned like it was on fire by the time he and Chris’tian arrived back at the Commander’s rooms. The trip back from the branding seemed to take far less time than the trip there, even with Jensen limping. Chris’tian huffed out a weary breath as they entered the suite and went directly to the bar. Jensen couldn’t help watching as the man poured himself a generous measure of some amber liquid and knocked it back in one go. Jensen couldn’t help longing for a little liquid comfort himself right now. Refilling the glass, Chris’tian looked over the top at Jensen standing in the middle of the room, leash dangling from his new collar, and asked gruffly, “Need another dose?”

Jensen looked up briefly, bit his lip and debated whether he should tell the warrior the truth or tough it out. He sighed and realized he had no choice in the matter and nodded his head briefly. 

The one benefit of the slow trudge back to the suite was it had given Jensen a chance to cool down and gain some perspective on what had happened. He needed to swallow his rage, angry slaves were dead slaves. He needed to view the branding in the perspective of his master. He could feel the wolf looming over him; branding Jensen was nothing more than marking his property, nothing more, nothing less. Like like when your mom wrote your name in your camp clothes with a laundry marker. But for the one wearing the mark, it could be like a tattoo or dying your hair blue, or wearing a collar. It only had to mean what you let it mean. Jensen's cat snarled at the lie, but Jensen pushed it down. He had survived for so long with worse being done to him. He couldn’t afford to space out now when the possibility of freedom was so near.

Chris’tian strode over and turned him, hand carefully placed well above the mark on his hip as he inspected the damage. He brought the spray bottle out of his pouch and squirted generously over the area. Jensen felt instant relief and sagged a little as the pain left him.

“Thank you, Master.”

Kane ducked his head in acknowledgment and walked over to the small kitchen area behind the bar. Jensen heard him hit a few buttons and then the hiss of a panel as it opened, and Kane brought out two plates heaped full of food piping hot from the warmer. He slid one over on top of the bar top counter and dropped a set of utensils beside the plate. Leaning on the other side of the bar, he proceeded to devour his meal. Jensen stood motionless. He thought the meal was for him, but he couldn’t assume. He licked his lips in hunger and advanced tentatively toward the bar. As he stood beside the steaming plate, he couldn’t help but ask just to be sure. “Master?” he said.

Chris’tian looked up impatiently and gestured with his fork toward the plate. “Eat, boy, the commander will be here soon, and you’ll be on the move.”

Jensen’s stomach gurgled in agreement and he blushed in embarrassment as he licked his lips and hurried to slide onto the bar stool in anticipation. He flinched as his skin pulled over the burn when he took his seat. He’d seldom had the opportunity to eat ‘real’ food, and he moaned as the first mouthful hit his tongue. It looked like pickled turnip, bright purple in color, but tasted like perfectly done pork sausage. Kane looked up at him and raised one brow sardonically, and Jensen blushed brighter.

“Sorry, master.”

“Hell no, don’t be sorry, glad to see you’re enjoying it. It don’t seem like you get to eat like this too often.”

Jensen shoved another forkful of food in his mouth, just barely remembering his manners and shook his head ‘no’. This tasted like grapefruit, and Jensen sucked on the tart fruit, enjoying the piquant flavor. Now if something on his plate could just taste like scrambled eggs he’d be all set. The two men ate quietly, both enjoying the meal, both glad to be out of the Punisher’s lair.

Soon enough the plates were scraped clean, and Chris’tian was placing them in the recycler. “Mmm that was good. Not as good as my mama’s but damn fine. You’ll like the food at the estate too. Freja’s a great cook.”

Jensen didn’t know what to say. As a slave, he’d never been encouraged to talk and he’d been taught especially not to ask questions. Chris’tian’s easygoing banter overcame his common sense, and the question was out of his mouth before he could think better of it. 

“H-how long have you known Master?” Jensen ducked his head, expecting a blow for being overcurious. The warrior cocked his head at him and just stared for a moment to let him know he had crossed the line but decided to answer him anyway.

“Known Ja’red since he was a boy, was assigned to him when he fostered at the Imperium with the prince’s family, so, nearly 15 years. He’s a good man, a good commander.”

“Does he own many slaves?” Jensen found his mouth had gone dry as he asked the question. He didn’t know why it mattered to him, but it did.

“No, you’re actually his first. There’s tons of slaves at the palace but none that Ja’red actually owns himself. Kind of curious him picking you out and so fast.”

Emboldened by his success, Jensen couldn’t resist asking, “W-why? Am I so strange?” He flinched at his nerve as he looked down at his spotted chest.

“No, Stars no. You’re not strange, gods, you’re beautiful, and I’m not even into men. Didn’t know Ja’red was either. Nah, it’s just funny because you’re a Felix, and he’s a Lycan. I’m just surprised he’d buy another were.”

“So Ja’red really is a were?” Jensen asked wanting to confirm the Prince’s offhand remark.

“Yes, I am, Kittycat.”

Jensen whirled, tensing as he saw Ja’red leaning indolently against the archway to the room. He had no idea how long he’d been there. “Yes of all the shifters us wolves are the most able to pass as humanoid. Maybe it’s the stealthy side of the wolf, its ability to blend in, but we don’t show our ‘spots’, as it were, like you Felix do. Although I must say we have fur in all the right places.” 

Ja’red smirked and straightened, prowling into the room with all the authority of a predator breed. He came up beside Jensen and started to rub little circles along Jensen’s arm, toying with him.

Jensen’s breath hitched in fear and he looked up at his master. 

“And curiosity has been known to kill the cat, little one. I’d watch that inquisitive tongue of yours if I were you, but we can pick that up later. For now I want to see it. My mark on that pretty spotted hide of yours showing everyone who you belong to.” 

Ja’red’s voice slid over Jensen like a velvet vise. Possessiveness radiated off him in nearly visible waves as he moved into the room toward the bar, and Jensen felt a strange, off-kilter feeling that seemed to always accompany Ja’red’s presence, like there wasn’t enough oxygen in the room with him there. He expelled a strangely fluttery breath and slid off his bar stool. He started to go to his knees, but Ja’red reached the bar first and grabbed his forearm to keep him standing in place.

“Turn, let me see it.” Ja’red’s voice was a dark promise sliding over Jensen’s skin, and he ducked his head and turned so his hip was facing his master.

Ja’red’s brow arched as he saw the two leather strips lifted and tucked out of the way. “M-master Chris’tian moved them.” Jensen blurted out nervously.

“It’s fine. The mark looks good, Chris’tian, deep and clear and healing fast!”

“That would be thanks to our spray here.” Kane waggled the bottle back and forth in his hands. “Every two hours, or our boy here’s in a lot of pain. Gotta say though, the brander in this house enjoys his work way too much. He did have some good questions though. Wanted to know if you wanted a heat inhibitor? And if you wanted a timer in the collar as well? He also had a lot of ideas about piercings. Guess it’s not so easy to pierce or brand a were safely. Maybe you knew that.”

“I suspected,” Ja’red said darkly. “We’re good. I have everything I need, and his collar is fully outfitted.” Ja’red’s voice had a warning tone to it that Chris’tian seemed oblivious to.

“Oh, yeah, speaking of, here’s the control for the collar. He said it would allow your boy to shift. You want that? Really? And he also mentioned heat suppression…”

“I’m not discussing my slave with you, Kane.”

“B-but, sir, what… gods, what happens if you knock him up? You really want slave babies? Little Kittycats running around? What-what would your father say? If you just want to breed him, I know several dealers who could set you up with an Alpha, breed the bitch proper. With a face like his, the kits would be spectacular and make you some good coin. Maybe even good enough to compete.”

Jensen wanted the floor to swallow him up right then and there. His hand unconsciously sought out the flat of his stomach, and he shivered. Babies, really, was that possible now? Jensen felt sick. 

“The discussion is closed, Lieutenant. Leave us, now, before I forget you are my friend.”

Chris’tian swore softly under his breath and exited the room without another word. Jensen wished he could leave too but was still held pinned by his master’s arm beside him. “That what you want, boy? To be filled with pups? Or what do cats have, kittens? Hmmm, yes for you weres everything’s about family. About having a good Alpha, a great Alpha you can look up to, be proud of. But you wouldn’t know much about that now would you Jen’son? No…I on the other hand, I know all about having an Alpha for a father.” Ja’red laughed darkly and poured himself a double measure of the same amber liquid Chris’tian had been drinking. Jensen felt like there was an in joke going on that he didn’t know or understand and kept silent. He tried to sink to his knees again, and this time his master let him.

“Yes, my father the Alpha,” Ja’red breathed out with a sigh, his soft tone at contrast with the death grip he had on his glass. “Wanna know about my father, Kittycat?”

Jensen looked up and swallowed, just watching the commander.

“My father bartered off his youngest son as hostage in order to keep his precious kingdom. It’s been fifteen… no, sixteen years, and the old bastard hasn’t deigned to visit me once, or even to send a message. He just threw me to the Imperium. Didn’t seem to matter to him if I lived or died. How’s that for a caring father, Kittycat? What do you think of that Jen’son?” Jensen’s eyes widened. He didn’t think his master even knew his name. 

“Oh, I know all about you, Jen’son.” Ja’red smiled darkly, obviously pleased to have taken him by surprise. “You were stolen from an interdict planet, probably by independent slavers, and then sold to the breaker ship Zarbeena where you were attacked and infected by another slave, a Felix. Turned, you then went up for auction on Vega where you were bought by one Simion Bajeer who runs a lower echelon escort service here in the Quad. Bajeer has whored you out for 5 standard years. I probably know more about you than you know yourself.” Ja’red strode past Jensen over to the lounge and sprawled out, long legs resting on the low table in front of him. Jensen could feel the anger emanating off his master.

“Come here, Kittycat… want you on your knees. Want to feed you my dick, make you take it all down and purr. I want you to show me what you know. What they have beaten into that furry head of yours in the last five years, humm?” Ja’red’s voice was a dark taunt from across the room. 

Jensen swallowed and started to rise, but then thought better of it. He didn’t understand why his master was so mad, but he realized abruptly he needed to get his head in the game and diffuse the situation the only way he knew how… with his body. Talking with Chris’tian, asking him questions, eating real food, he’d let himself be lulled into acting like a real person. He wasn’t that, not anymore. 

He looked down at the floor and composed himself, reminded himself of what he really was now: a toy, a whore for his master’s pleasure, or else. 

He sank as gracefully as he could to his knees and began the slow, sinuous crawl across the sparkling floors to his new master. It felt like the temperature in the room rose as he crossed closer to Ja’red. A thick, spicy scent seemed to coil around him as he drew nearer. His rational mind assumed it was his master’s cologne, but his cat’s whines and needy nuzzling at his insides hinted at more. Its incessant rubbing sent a bolt of pure lust through him so intense it forced a ragged purr from his lips. 

He saw the lightning flash glint of Ja’red’s teeth as the sound vibrated out of him. And God help him, there were those dimples he’d seen last night. He’d only seen them briefly, bracketing that beautiful mouth, but yes, dimples. 

Then they were gone, extinguished and replaced by a look of studied boredom. Jensen knew rationally that his master was a good looking man, had admired his long lean frame from the first moment he’d seen him. Something different was going on here, though, something specifically about this master that made his gut flutter nervously. When he looked at Ja’red, Jensen felt a strange sense of longing, like Ja’red was his. It didn’t make sense, though. He was a slave, unwilling, and one master was much the same as another…weren’t they? Why did this one in particular seem so different from all the rest?

Jensen crawled closer, and Ja’red purposefully left his legs where they were, stretched out and resting on top of the low table in front of him. Unperturbed, Jensen arched his back down provocatively low and crawled beneath them; he came up between Ja’red’s spread thighs and could feel himself purring. 

His master licked his own wide lips and reached down and looped one of those long fingers through the D ring at the front of Jensen's collar. He pulled up on it and Jensen followed, arched up and back before his master. Ja’red let go of the collar, rubbing slowly along its edge before his fingers glided up the graceful arch of Jensen’s speckled neck. Jensen held his breath as he felt Ja’red’s gaze, hot and searing, travel across him.

“Looks good on you, Kittycat, green is definitely your color.”

Ja’red eased back and hooked his arms along the back of the couch. He looked down at Jensen, his eyes hooded beneath dark brows and said simply, “Suck me.”

Jensen blinked and licked his lips. His master’s expression was inscrutable, his hawk-like gaze taking every inch of Jensen in. Under the brooding inspection, Jensen shivered, not with fear, but with something else he couldn’t quite define. He wasn’t afraid of Ja’red, though maybe he should be. His master hadn’t actually hurt him… yet, other than the branding. 

Jensen gathered up his scattered wits, cocked his head to one side in what he hoped was a sensuous move, and looked at the long, tawny length of his master – a tactic usually guaranteed to make his clients moan. He knew at the end of the day he had to please his master if he was going to succeed in this household and stay alive. That he desired it himself, that his master’s very presence in the room made heat pool in his own belly, was more than a little surprising.

He trailed a hand over the leather, hard enough to arouse the skin underneath, then moved up his master’s leg and mouthed at Jar’ed’s crotch, feeling his master's growing arousal beneath the butter-soft covering. He made a show of slowly flicking the fasteners loose before he reached inside and eased out the man's hardening length. The head of Ja’red’s dick was already drooling, and Jensen used both hands to rub up and down his growing shaft. 

He felt both terrified and strangely protective of this behemoth of a man and licked out and rolled his tongue over the mushroom head of Jar’ed’s cock. Ja’red wriggled, and Jensen took the cue and pulled Ja’red’s pants down around his thighs and then returned his attention to Ja’red’s beautiful dick. His master was long and thick, the fat head slowly purpling in arousal. Jensen returned to sliding his hand up and down the shaft and over the slit, gathering up pre-come with each pass, to lubricate his motions. 

Through half lidded eyes he stared up at the exposed belly of his master, the dark trail of hair that flowed down and around his master’s beautiful dick almost fur-like there. Maybe the Lycan in him, Jensen mused. While one hand continued to work his master’s length he couldn’t resist leaning forward and running the other across the taut muscle of his master’s abs. Leaning in he let his tongue lick and kiss its way down that lightly furred trail and down along his length. He found himself at the tip of Ja’red’s drooling cock and gave it one final kiss before he swallowed his master down. 

Ja’red was well endowed, and Jensen had to work to get most of his master’s flesh in his mouth. He bobbed up and down on his shaft, slowly swallowing more and more of his master down until his face was flush against his softly furred groin. He began to purr deep in his throat around the hard shaft. It was a technique designed not only to please the man but also to get him off faster. Ja’red moaned as Jensen returned to bobbing up and down. In spite of all his ministrations, it soon became apparent his master was nowhere close to completion.

His balls grew taut and heavy as Jensen worked him over using every trick and technique he’d learned in his years as a whore, with no success, and Jensen growled in frustration. He could feel his master’s growing agitation and was unsurprised when he grabbed him by the hair and took over fucking himself on Jensen’s face. Jensen choked and drooled and tried to open up to his master’s increased pace, yet the man still wasn’t going over. Snarling, Ja’red let go of Jensen’s head in disgust and threw himself back into the sofa, flinging his arm over his eyes and groaning.

Released, Jensen pulled off Ja’red’s cock with a wet plop and looked at the man, confused. He was aroused, that was evident, but somehow it just wasn’t enough. Jensen felt a determined hum sneak out his throat, and he decided to try another tactic. He started to massage Ja’red balls and perineum, hoping to loosen the man up a bit. As his hand moved over the soft, vulnerable skin behind his sack, he encountered a curious wetness. 

Jensen’s hand slid down around, following the path of the slick as he massaged the tender flesh. His questing fingers came to Ja’red’s crack, and encouraged by the low moans Ja’red had started to make, he let his fingers follow the trail between the cheeks his master’s ass. He looked up at his master’s glazed eyes and worried his lip. He’d done it before occasionally. Maybe that’s the nudge his master needed. Jensen let one finger slide carefully into his master’s heat. Jensen was surprised by the amount of fluid he felt in his master’s passage, and his finger moved easily inside. He found himself strangely aroused at the idea of invading his master’s hole, and he felt his own cock lengthen beneath its leather kilt. 

Jensen braced a hand on Ja’red’s inner thigh and pushed his master’s legs farther apart to give him more room. He pushed two fingers in and stretched them forward till he found the spot, a little denser than the surrounding tissue, just a change in texture to signal its location, and began to rub over his master’s prostate. The smell of his arousal filled the room, hot and spicy in Jensen’s nose; his cat, almost somnolent with pleasure, purred softly in the background.

Ja’red watched from beneath shadowed eyes and adjusted the sprawl of his legs. Unspeaking, he canted his hips for a better angle. Soon his throaty growl had Jensen adding a third finger to the mix and pushing in with more weight. Ja’red acted like someone had lit him up and started to buck feverishly onto Jensen’s thrusting fingers. Jensen felt a strange sense of rightness and possession as his fingers pushed deeper into his master’s hole and more and more slick flowed around them. He snarled and laid kitten soft licks and kisses along Ja’red’s inner thigh, the taste of his master’s flesh on his tongue as good as the smell.

Jensen felt lightheaded; he wasn’t sure if it was from the heady power of directing his master’s pleasure, or the spicy scent. Ja’red’s dick was hard and straining as it curved up towards his chest. Jensen wanted to take it in hand, feel the velvet skin and the steel hard core beneath, but he wasn’t sure, so he concentrated instead on licking Ja’red’s inner thigh and the jackhammer thrusts of his fingers. He made a cone shape of his three fingers and scissored his master open even more. The slick had his digits squelching slightly as he thrust hard into him, hitting Ja’red’s prostate on every pass. Jared started to hump Jensen's fingers frantically, and when Jensen glanced up at his master, he saw his eyes had darkened with hunger and lust. The sounds he was making were going straight to Jensen’s dick.

 

He could feel his master’s balls tighten and pull up. He raked his fingers one last time over his prostate, and Ja’red bucked up and roared his pleasure as he came untouched, shooting ropey lengths of come across his own chest. His scent flooded the room. 

Ja’red’s ass muscles clenched down, vice-like, on Jensen’s fingers, and the erotic sensation went straight to Jensen’s dick. He cried out, a surprised, high pitched cat-like snarl as he came, splattering down across the floor tiles. Dizzy from his own orgasm, Jensen leaned forward to lick up his master’s spend as he continued to rock his fingers back and forth, milking his master of the last of his pleasure. 

Ja’red’s shaft started to soften, and Jensen gently slid his fingers out of his master’s hole, smearing a viscous fluid on his inner thigh as they withdrew. Ja’red’s pants were ruined, a puddle of the liquid cooling where they were pulled down. Jensen tried to circumspectly wipe his hands on his leg and rose to go to the washroom for a cloth to clean his wolf. When he stood, his master grabbed his bicep and looked up at him. His eyelids nearly closed, his expression a strange mixture of blissed and bitter as he huffed out in a in a dark, bitter voice, “S-so, now you know.”

Jensen didn't know what he was supposed to know. He scrunched his nose in confusion and, biting his lip, nodded. He ducked his head as he went to the washroom for the cloth and some time to think.

: : :

Chapter Text




: : :

The flight to the estate was quiet. Ja’red was silent and remote on one side of the luxury aircar. Jensen sat opposite Ja’red on the plush leather upholstery. Kane was piloting up front in the cockpit. Ja’red’s second hadn’t said a word to Ja’red since his outburst in the suite. 

Jensen was sweating as he sat on the seat. He had hated flying back on earth; flying in space wasn’t any better. Most masters wanted him on the floor at their feet, but Ja’red had insisted he sit there. Jensen didn’t want to agitate his master further than he already seemed, but sitting on the cushy leather, with a full view of the outside world, only made things worse. Jensen wished he wasn’t so afraid, that he was able to ogle out the window as they flew over the city and admire the probably more than spectacular view. He couldn’t though; he could barely breathe. The only thing stopping him from freaking out completely and starting to whimper was how scarily quiet Ja’red had become. 

Jensen felt a flutter of apprehension stronger than his fear of flying. He’d never been allowed to take control like that since being turned. Hell, he’d never had sex with a man before turning, and certainly none of his masters had ever let him fuck them. 

It wasn’t about topping though; it had been more. He’d had plenty of chicks in his day, and this felt more like that, not just about control, but caring for his partner’s pleasure, being more than a receptacle for their lust. It was a heady sensation, fucking his master like that. Watching Ja’red come apart, waiting till his eyes fluttered open, pupils shot with pleasure, the slight exhale of breath. Listening for the hitch in his breathing to know when to change the pace, when he was ready for more. That had been what made it different and what made his cat howl, stalking his master’s pleasure. Jensen felt himself hardening at the thought. 

He couldn’t say he didn’t want it to happen again, but he couldn’t help but think he was on dangerous ground. His master being prepped was kind of odd as well and a little kinky. Jensen blushed. Maybe his luck had taken a turn for the better and he had a master that liked to bottom? 

Lost in thought, Jensen didn’t realize he had started to purr softly until Ja’red looked over at him in surprise. Jensen felt color darken his cheeks and choked back the treacherous sound, damn his willful cat. His master looked away, frowning, a slight curl of disdain on his beautiful lips, and Jensen’s mood dipped abruptly. He hugged himself and stared resolutely at the floor. 

His master confused him Jensen wasn’t sure what Ja’red had meant by him ‘knowing’. Maybe Kane would know. Jensen nibbled on his lip. He glanced out the window once more and shuddered in fear. It was funny. Number 17 on his Top Twenty Things to Do When I Get Back to Earth was Ride a Roller Coaster. He didn’t know why he couldn’t think of flying like that, just another roller coaster ride, but he couldn’t, it wasn’t. Without thinking, he slipped down to the relative safety of the floor, and instinct had him crawling closer to his master. He rubbed his cheek along Ja’red’s leg and said, “Have I displeased you, master?”

Ja’red looked down at him, an inscrutable look on his face as he said, “Have you displeased me?” Jared’s voice faded, and he turned toward the window, seemingly lost in thought. Jensen was left even more confused. He contented himself with just being close to his master, the spicy musk of him there under his nose. Touching his master, scenting him, seemed to have a calming effect, and he could almost forget they were hundreds of feet above the ground, hurtling through the air. 

When they arrived at the estate, Jensen had to make sure his jaw didn’t drop to the floor like some space hick from the outer regions. He smirked at the thought because that was exactly what he was. He had been imagining “large stone mansion” when Ja’red said they were going to the estate. Instead, the estate turned out to be a sprawling, ultramodern complex of glass and steel, with wide balconies projecting from the building. It also just happened to be hovering, completely unsupported, above a forest that overlooked a lake. Jensen wasn’t sure what made the building float, but it was a beautiful sight, with the evening sunset reflected in every window of the building. Jensen breathed out in awe. 

Chris'tian pulled their vehicle up next to the floating structure, and when the aircar door slid open, all Jensen could see was the yawning space between the car and the platform. Ja’red exited first, a leisurely step across onto the veranda. 

Jensen, however, froze, terrified of the gap between the two. His stomach lurched, and he hissed in agitation. Truthfully, it wasn’t that wide a space, but it was how far Jensen could look down…the possibility of the fall almost as bad as flying. Vertigo hit him, and he and his cat whimpered and slipped farther back into the car. He looked up and caught the impatient arch of Ja’red’s brow. 

Jensen realized he couldn’t stay in the car forever and huffed out a breath. He had to man up. He braced himself and leapt out onto the platform like an Olympian long jumper. He completely overshot where he intended and rolled across the platform in an undignified heap. Where was all his cat’s supposed grace when he needed it?

He scrambled up, and plastered his body against the building wall, far away from the edge of the balcony. He trembled and clutched at the wall behind him, sure the whole building would drop out of the sky at any moment. He didn’t know what was wrong with him. He’d never reacted quite this badly to heights before. He couldn’t seem to get his breathing under control.

“What’s wrong, Pussycat? Scared of heights? I thought that was something all cats were good with?” Ja’red laughed darkly and pulled Jensen away from the wall and into the relative safety of his broad chest. 

Jensen clung to him, shaking like a Lavorian ticking beetle. His obvious fear seemed to bring out a softer side of his master, and he hugged his trembling slave closer. Jensen shakily breathed in Ja’red’s calming scent and rubbed his face in his master’s chest. Since when was he such a ‘scaredy cat’? Jensen smirked at his choice of phrase. I guess that would be for several years now, he thought. 

Ja’red stood there with him, his hand rubbing soft circles on his bare back, his dark mood seemingly banished. Ja’red let his chin rest on the top of Jensen’s bowed head and waited until the shaking lessened, not rushing his distressed slave. When Jensen's breathing finally normalized, he turned him in his arms and gently ushered him in off the wide veranda into the house. “Come inside, Pussycat,” he whispered. ”You’ll get used to it. The building really can’t fall. It’s fortified with ‘Valaarium’, the equivalent of a floating rock. It’s a mineral only found here on Vega, and it's highly valued, quite spectacular to see in nature. I’m not sure if you ever heard of the Floating Mountains of Vega. Well, that’s not hyperbole, they really do float, and none have ever crashed to the ground. Trust me, you’re safe, Kittycat.” They stood there in the front foyer for a while till Jensen had calmed.

Ja’red burrowed his face into the fur of Jensen’s tufted ear and breathed in deeply. Looking down at him he said cryptically, “You know, if it had to happen, it could have been worse.”

Jensen looked up, uncomprehending. Ja’red’s mouth twitched but he only said, “Come on, I’m hungry.”

: : :

It became obvious to Jensen that, even in their short acquaintance, Ja’red was different away from the city, more relaxed and at ease. They ate a light meal, and Jensen knelt nervously to Ja'red's right at a palatially long table. He marveled at the unique opportunity to feed himself rather than be hand fed when Ja’red passed him his own plate and cutlery. He kept his eyes down and concentrated on his table manners.

Chris'tian was right. Freja was a great cook and it took an effort of will for Jensen not to wolf his food down. Chris'tian came in toward the end of the meal, and Ja’red turned Jensen over to him to get situated while he went off to work. Over the next couple of hours, Chris'tian walked him through the sprawling estate and introduced him to the few members of the staff. 

All were freemen, and Jensen was a bit nervous of them at first, but all treated him with kindness, so he gradually relaxed. Maybe this would be a good thing. There were only two places Kane warned Jensen away from. One was the autopool, and he went so far as to code Jensen's collar to send out a warning to his master and a punishing jolt if he entered it. Jensen mourned it being off limits. There were some spectacular vehicles and floaters in the garage, even a hover cycle or two, from what Jensen could tell when Chris'tian opened the door to show him where he shouldn’t go. As a former ‘car guy’, Jensen would have loved to have a closer look under the hood of one or two. But he tucked that pipe dream away and turned obediently to trail after Chris'tian. 

When they got to the second floor, Jensen learned of the other interdict location: his Master’s office. Jensen briefly mourned the fact that Chris'tian didn’t open the large dark paneled door to the room just off the main lounge area, but he noted with satisfaction that there were no keys or pass codes needed to enter; nothing to trigger his collar to zap him into unconsciousness. Good. His job had just been made that much easier. 

Kane took him by the arm sternly warning him, “You are not, under any circumstances, to enter this room without my or your master’s direct permission, or there will be very severe consequences. You understand me, son?” Jensen swallowed and nodded, saying nothing. Chris'tian seemed happy with that response and continued their orientation.

Chris'tian led them back down to the main level where the staff had laid out a late supper of meats, fruit, and cheeses, as well as cool drinks. The man grabbed a plate and filled it to heaping, then filled a cup with what smelled suspiciously like coffee before sinking down into the comfortable looking lounge in the main room with a spectacular view of the lake.

Jensen followed him and knelt at his feet. His stomach growled, and Jensen put his hand over it in embarrassment. He hoped his master’s second would feed him some of what was on his plate, but he wasn’t really sure. Ja’red had had him sit at his feet at lunch, but was that normal or special? He didn’t know what was expected of him, he’d never been anyone’s full time slave. He was used to being loaned out for hours or days at a time, then sent back to Simion. When he was on loan, his job was clear: to be fucked. Here, he wasn’t sure what was expected when he wasn’t being fucked.

“Aren’t you hungry?” Jensen glanced up, surprised by Kane’s question, and wondered if it was a trick. He nodded and dropped his gaze.

Chris'tian sighed and lifted Jensen’s chin up to look at him.

“I guess every master’s different, right? Has Ja’red told you anything yet? What he expects of you beyond the obvious?”

Jensen shook his head silently, ‘No’, and felt a blush rush to his cheeks.

Kane stared at him like he saw something fascinating, and his hand reached out and touched Jensen’s pink skin. He pulled the fingers back suddenly as if they were singed and sighed and rubbed his face. Finally he said in a calm, gentle voice, “Go grab some food and something to drink and come back here. I’ll talk to your master about what he wants.”

They ate in companionable silence. The drink did indeed taste for all the world like coffee, and Jensen didn’t realize he had started purring until Chris'tian started to laugh. “I think I’m getting jealous of a cup of caw’fee.” Jensen’s head jerked up, coffee…caw’fee, the similarity was too close. He stored that question to maybe ask Kane later. He glanced back longingly at the jug as he emptied his cup.

“Go, get some more. Get anything you want. You’re looking a bit thin. I’m sure Ja’red will want to fix that.” Chris'tian gestured vaguely at the buffet laid out, and Jensen nodded his head and nearly sprang to his feet in a rush to get another caw’fee. Chris'tian laughed as he cradled the cup close to his chest and breathed in the scent. The strong aroma of the caw’fee mixed with a tantalizingly spicy scent that had crept into the air, and Jensen felt an unaccountable hunger rush over him. 

His glance rose above the rim of the cup and found his master standing in the doorway, a dark, inscrutable look on his face. He stalked into the room and snatched the cup of caw’fee out of Jensen’s hands and growled in a jealous proprietary manner. Jensen shrank back like he had been scalded and flinched in surprise.

Ja’red set the cup aside and looked down at his new slave, surveying every inch of his spotted body with gleaming, predatory eyes. 

Ja’red’s expression darkened with arousal and Chris'tian quickly and quietly excused himself. Ja’red barely spared him a glance, his eyes riveted on Jensen. He stepped back and sprawled in a nearby lounge chair and templed his fingers as he stared across the room at his slave, unspeaking, his eyes burning. 

Driven by something he didn’t quite understand, Jensen rose slowly and advanced toward his master. Ja’red was a dark, forbidding presence, but Jensen was strangely unintimidated. He boldly slung his leg over his master’s sprawled legs, straddling them. He felt a rush of endorphins as he slipped open his master’s vest and tugged open the laces of his shirt, exposing the golden chest beneath. He pushed his master back further into the seat and began to lick a path up Ja’red’s chest toward his neck, smiling against the warm sun kissed skin when he heard his master groan. 

Ja’red’s hands grabbed Jensen's shoulders and squeezed as he tried to turn him and pull him down across his lap. With a warning growl, Jensen shoved his master’s hands off and rolled back so he was leaning over him again. He pinned his master’s hands to the chair arms. Ja’red growled and pushed back, but Jensen’s strength seemed eerily superior to the wolf’s. He licked a strip up Ja’red’s neck, his cat roaring triumph inside him. Ja’red squirmed and bucked against Jensen’s grip to no avail, his breath coming in rapid pants. A light sheen of sweat appeared across his master's heaving body, and the aroma of cinnamon and cardamom, and something else, began to eddy about them. He could feel Ja’red’s arousal, hard and heavy beneath the black leather of his pants, when he rubbed against him. 

Jensen smiled again and continued his slow exploration of his master’s golden flesh. His cat sneered at the wolf’s feeble struggles while his rough licks trailed across Ja’red’s pecs. The slightly scratchy pad of his tongue moved to swipe over the sensitive bud of his nipple, and he heard his master whimper. Jensen’s cat purred its approval. He rose to let his eyes trail over the muscular form spread out before him, and snarled. His cat’s pleasure was clear: this was a worthy body, this was right. He licked up the strong line of his master’s throat again. The scent around him sharpened, and Ja’red made a heated, needy sound. 

Jensen's grin was a little cocky as he licked across Ja’red’s bottom lip. He tugged his master down with more force than he first intended, so that he was slouched deeper in the lounge chair. Ja’red lay limp beneath him, almond eyes glazed with want. Some abstract part of Jensen's mind registered that he was the slave here, but he couldn’t seem to stop himself. What he was doing felt right; it felt good manhandling this mountain of a man. His. Jensen’s cat cried out, and he felt a sensation like fur rubbing against his insides. He’d never felt his beast so strongly before. Certainly not while servicing a master. 

Ja’red moaned, a low, helpless, desperate sound and arched up against Jensen, licking at the spots running along his chest within his reach. “So beautiful… need you now,” Ja’red huffed out, and Jensen was amazed at how he could make this man come apart. 

Jensen couldn’t get enough of Jared; he licked and nipped over his body, returning to plunder the sweet mouth. His purr rumbled softly as he bit the plump lower lip and sucked on the tender flesh. He swiped his tongue across the seam of Ja’red’s lips, urging them open. They parted on a dazed gasp and Jensen plunged inside, tangling his tongue with the wet heat of his prey. He felt sparks shiver across his skin.

Tongues still entwined he slipped his hand down and loosened the fastenings of Ja’red’s pants. Together they helped peel him out of the black leather. Coming up for air Ja’red groaned out, “Ughh, Jen’son…” his voice low and drugged as his erection sprang free of the leather and rubbed up against Jensen’s kilt. 

Crouching back on one knee Jensen surveyed his master, Ja’red lay sprawled before him, boneless and unresisting. There was no mistaking the shift in Ja'red's scent. He released his master’s hands to cradle Ja’red’s head, licking into his mouth again. When his master only tossed his head in a dazed fashion, Jensen’s other hand crept down to stroke his master’s erection. He hummed in approval as his hand moved up and down Ja’red’s hard length; his man squirming impatiently. With dawning understanding, Jensen’s hand slipped down to his master’s crease. It was slick there again, and Jensen wondered if Ja’red had planned this all out.

Must be what made him such a great strategist, he thought with a smirk as his finger sought out the slippery, furled entrance. The single digit invaded Ja’red’s hole, and Jensen stretched up and in to press against the man’s prostate. He felt his master arch up, and needy whimpers escaped his mouth as he tossed his head back and forth. Jensen felt his own arousal grow. 

His cat snarled, and Jensen felt an alien desire to bite and claim and mark rush over him. He growled again and he leaned down and nipped at Ja’red’s sensitive inner thigh. He watched in fascination as his master groaned, his leg shivering in need. He slid his finger almost all the way out and added a second, pistoning in and out of Ja’red’s willing hole. In no time he had stretched and scissored the man’s opening to easily take three fingers, and his own dick was rock hard and leaking where it bobbed between his thighs, sensitive flesh scraping against the leather of his loose kilt.

There was something almost hypnotic in watching his fingers disappear in and out of Ja’red’s increasingly red and puffy entrance; the wet moist squelch. Eventually the broken sounds of Ja’red’s begging finally penetrated Jensen’s trance. “Please, please, please…” Jensen licked his lips as he kneeled down and jerked Ja’red’s hips further out so his ass hung out over the edge of the lounge’s seat. His animal snarled in approval, and it was all Jensen could do not to slam into the man in one thrust. Instead, holding his frantic cat at bay, he lined himself up carefully and entered that dark, heated opening, copious fluids easing the way. Ja’red’s entrance was still tight, even with the slick. Jensen felt more than heard Ja’red’s soft intake of breath at the burn of it. 

“Been a while?” he whispered, surprised at the gruff sound of his own voice. Ja’red moved his head, a non-committal, embarrassed shake, and suddenly blushing, turned away. Jensen stopped and reached out a hand and caressed the beautiful, suddenly vulnerable face before him. He felt dizzy; he couldn’t quite reconcile this meeker gentler side of his master to the man who first entered the room. He took his master’s chin and nudged it back so he was forced to look into Jensen’s eyes, as he sought out permission. He held himself, unmoving, inside Ja’red’s heat until, anxious and panting, Ja’red nodded his approval on a huffed out puff of air. Jensen slowly eased in a bit more, letting Ja’red get used to the feel of him. Moaning at the tight, velvety grip on his cock, Jensen flung back his head, slowly slipping inside the man, and snarling as he bottomed out. 

He waited until he felt Ja’red relax and start to find his pleasure. At the quick flutter of his eyelashes and a nervous nod, Jensen started to move in and out. He set up a slow, gentle pace at first and watched with a pleased purr as Ja’red’s erection, which had wilted upon his entry, began to fill again. Ja’red moaned and twisted his hips, and Jensen changed his angle so he was rubbing against the little gland inside him on each and every stroke. Ja’red cried out in earnest, and Jensen couldn’t help but thrust in harder again and again, completely lost to the sensation. He felt Ja’red’s breath hitch, and some instinct had him remembering to reach down and stroke his master’s length and massage the rock hard balls. His master’s dick jerked as he came, shooting ropey stripes onto his belly and over Jensen’s hand.

The cat in Jensen couldn’t help but lean forward to lick at his lover’s salty spend like cream. He sucked at the flesh of his belly, savoring the flavor that was uniquely Ja’red. He flicked his gaze to Ja’red’s face and the man’s swollen lips and his sweat-soaked skin had him hungering for more. Jensen swooped down and plundered Ja’red’s mouth once more. He thrust in boldly, letting Ja’red taste himself on his tongue. Ja’red moaned, and Jensen felt the vibration of it run through him like a tuning fork that went straight to his dick. 

Ja’red’s muscles clenched down again, and Jensen was coming and coming. His head flung back, he roared as his pleasure shot through him. 

Without thinking, Jensen swooped down toward the tantalizing jut of his master’s collarbone, fangs fully extended, and bit. 

The feel and taste of the hot, salty blood in his mouth felt like victory and possession and MINE! Jensen purred against the marked flesh. Could barely control his growing desire to bite and lick all over his master’s body, leave bruises and fingerprints all over his long length, claiming him for all to see. He hung on as he came again and again, his dick pulsing, body jerking sporadically as shot after shot of come spurted into Ja’red’s hot, willing channel. It was more than he ever remembered coming in the past; jets of hot seed filled Ja’red up, and he felt the man arch up against him in shocked pleasure. 

Jensen slowly removed his fangs from Ja’red’s neck but continued to suck and lap at the torn, bleeding flesh, humming in satisfaction. His cock was still hard and pulsing inside his master. Ja’red moaned and lay back, dazed. He ground his hips up into Jensen, causing yet another pulse of come to release inside him. His master’s exhausted dick twitched and tried to rise again, and Ja’red reached for it, but Jensen batted his hand away. Still hard and aching, Jensen felt no desire to withdraw from Ja’red. Instinct kept him buried deep inside his master, and he began to rut back and forth against him. Ja’red’s erection rose hard and leaking between them, and he moaned again, pleading and thrashing.

Ja’red bit at his swollen lip, and Jensen watched as his blissed out expression slowly shifted to something else. His master suddenly twisted his head away, cheeks blushed dark, and started to struggle. He reared up, fighting Jensen’s hold on him, glaring daggers.

A feral grin on his face, Jensen’s cat howled as he easily wrestled his master back into position and shot yet another load into the man, which had Ja’red falling back with a moan. Growling in satisfaction at his reestablished claim, he purred and took Ja’red in hand and quickly, expertly, jacked him to another orgasm. Ja’red moaned, and his face crumpled in defeat. He panted and flung his head back into the seat cushion, exhausted both by his aborted rebellion and his body’s reactions. Jensen held him down while he continued to rock into him, feeling Ja’red’s jackrabbiting heartbeat slow. He caught Ja’red’s moan, “Alpha….” as his master surrendered to exhausted sleep beneath him, completely wrung out.

Unflagging, Jensen continued to rut against Ja’red’s hole, feeling like an insatiable animal. He’d never gone this long and this hard before. His dick shot yet another stream of seed into the man. Come had started to leak out of Ja’red’s overstuffed hole and drip down Jensen’s balls. Jensen’s cat purred in contentment; this was right, as it should be. 

Kneeling before Ja’red, who was sprawled unconscious on the seat, soon became too uncomfortable for Jensen. Still buried balls deep inside him, he gently hauled Ja’red up, heaved the man into his arms, and moved them both to fall down together upon the couch nearby.

He lay there with his master for a long time until he felt his dick begin to soften, and his body turned boneless. He lapped gently at his mark on Ja’red’s neck, at the blood and the bruises he had caused. He purred in bone deep satisfaction. He wanted to preserve this feeling of closeness for as long as he could, gross and sticky and messy as it was. Eventually his softening dick slipped free. He sighed, gazing down at the unconscious man beneath him, and took one more kitten lick at his mark. It took some work, but Jensen turned them so they where both lying on their sides, still joined by the touch of their bodies. Jensen was a big guy and didn’t want to fall asleep on top of the man, but spooning in behind him was perfect. And damn, the man was big. He pulled Ja’red back closer to his chest and tucked his chin into Ja’red’s neck. His animal snarled in approval, possessive of its new toy. Yes, his wolf was a big guy, a friggin’ Sasquatch. Jensen burrowed his face closer into Ja’red’s skin; inhaling the spicy scent of victory and home. 

: : :

A wall of heat lay in front of him, and he purred. Fumbling, he reached forward and gripped lean hips, pulling them back hard along the line of his erection. He rutted slowly against the velvet warmth and moaned as he shot his brains out his dick, come splattering across the body before him. He sleepily rubbed his face against the sweet smelling skin of the wall of muscular back, consciousness slowly returning. His eyelids snapped open, and he realized in shock that his dick was rutting up between his master’s cheeks and he was still coming, shooting his spunk over his master’s back.

“What the hell.” His groggy mind couldn’t quite comprehend what he had just done. He didn’t know when he’d turned into the world’s biggest horn dog, or rather cat, but holy shit, he’d taken down his master last night. It hadn’t been rape, he was pretty sure of that. But in the cold light of day, he was sure his master wasn’t going to be thrilled with the way things went either last night or now. 

He reached down and squeezed the base of his rebellious dick in the vain hope of killing his hard on and pulled carefully away from his master. He hoped Ja’red had somehow managed to sleep through this little episode, but he didn’t think he was that lucky. 

He eased up off the lounge to go get cleaned up, maybe bring a cloth back. He remembered there being a monstrous bathroom somewhere off the master suite. He looked down at his treacherous cock and bit his lip.

As he rose to leave, a manacle like hand wrapped around his wrist and yanked him back down onto the sofa hard.

His eyes closed in guilt and resignation, and he breathed in panicked breaths and lay where he had been pulled. After a long silence, he decided to sneak a peek and found himself staring into tip tilted almond eyes, almost nose to nose on the couch as his master rolled over to face him. He could see anger in the hazel green depths that looked back at him. Jensen dropped his head.

“Jen’son?”

Jensen swallowed and wondered what the repercussions would be for him essentially taking his master.

“Yes, master?” His voice was a rough whisper.

“What do you think you were doing? Do you think just because I let you fuck me once it’s open season?”

Huh? So that’s how his master was going to frame it. Okay. “I-I don’t know what to say, master. I… I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.” The sharp scent of arousal from Ja’red said Jensen’s advances weren’t entirely unwelcome, but what was smelled and what was said were two different things. Jensen wanted to protest he was asleep, that he didn’t know. It was just that his dick hadn’t seemed to have gotten the memo. 

None of that mattered now though. He knew his role. He was the slave, and he was wrong. He could sense anger and frustration from his master at what he had done, but most surprising of all he could also sense arousal and need. His master had liked it and that was what was making him more angry than anything else. 

Ja’red rolled over and pinned Jensen to the couch, grabbed his cuffed wrists in one huge paw, and pinned them over his head on the couch. Solid strength was backing his master’s moves today. “It seems you need to learn a little lesson about where you stand in the food chain, Pussycat.”

Jensen closed his eyes and repressed a shiver. His cat howled its protest, but Jensen ignored it. Following his cat’s instincts was partially what had landed him here. He bit his lip and said what was expected of him, “I-I’m so sorry, master.”

“Well, we have a cure for an out of control dick like yours. Come with me.”

Ja’red grabbed Jensen by the collar and dragged him off the sofa, not stopping as Jensen struggled to crawl behind him. Ja’red pulled him through another door just off the main lounge. Jensen followed, bent over and half gasping, until he was thrown on the floor inside the room. Half choked, he tried to rise to his knees and get into position for punishment as Ja’red rifled through shelves in the room. Arms finally behind his head, kneeling with his ass on his heels, knees spread wide, chest out, Jensen dared a quick look up. 

They were in some kind of play room, though in Jensen’s experience all the playing was on the master’s side, not his. It was well stocked with various implements and devices scattered throughout. Ja’red hummed in success and came back toward Jensen. His large hand reached down to grab his collar and drag him further across the tiled floor toward a low bench. “Sit,” Ja’red ordered as he let go of him, and Jensen slouched on the floor. 

Bruised and scraped, he rushed to scramble up as ordered and sit at the end of the bench. “Remove it.” Ja’red gestured at his kilt and Jensen quickly unsnapped the skirt. Belatedly he realized he had never taken it off last night. Naked on the bench he glanced up at his master. “Now lie back, keep your feet on the ground, hands over your head, and grab hold of the bar.”

Jensen lay back as instructed, straddling the low bench, his body exposed and vulnerable.

Jared held in his hands a hollow tube, a few inches long, made of a hard, clear material similar to plastic. Jensen recognized the shape–it was a cock cage! And very much smaller than his own half-hard dick. Jared proceeded to work it onto him, though, uncaring – or maybe, from what Jensen could read of his expression, perversely pleased – that it hurt like a sonofabitch. Jensen cursed under his breath and wished his hard on would hurry up and subside as Jared strapped the thing on him. 

“Roll over,” Ja’red ordered tersely.

Jensen rolled over onto his belly, the cage pressed awkwardly between him and the bench. He heard the squelch of lube and next thing he felt was Ja’red pressing an impressively large finger into his entrance. He quickly worked Jensen open, carefully avoiding his prostate. Once satisfied he was prepped enough, he proceeded to press a very large dildo into his slave. Not as large as what Ja’red was packing, he thought thankfully, but big enough that after Jensen’s busy night of entertaining the prince and his court, it made him groan with the burn of it. 

Ja’red connected the cage's straps to a harness that held the dildo in place, and made sure everything was secure and not pulling on the fur of Jensen’s groin or hips. He then inspected Jensen’s brand and tutted. He left the room to return shortly with Chris’tian’s spray bottle and applied the spray generously to Jensen’s now throbbing brand. “You are to remind me if you are in pain.” Ja’red looked down at him, a tall looming menace once again as he stood there, naked, like a dark god, with his fists curled at his side. 

If he hadn’t been locked down and scared out of his wits, Jensen would have groaned in arousal at the beautiful fury of the man. Once his abject fear that he wasn’t going to be whipped or die subsided, he could also admit it was just a little funny. Here he was in the middle of being punished, a cock cage strapped around his straining erection, a dildo shoved up his ass, but he had to let his master know when he was in pain. Instead of laughing, he wisely decided to nod obediently.

“You are not to speak of what happened last night, or of whatever happens between us. EVER. Am I being clear?” Again Jensen just nodded. Ja’red gestured for Jensen to sit up. He hoped this humiliation was the full extent of his punishment, but as Ja’red clipped a leash onto his collar, he realized it was not that easy.

Ja’red tugged on the leash, and Jensen didn’t know if he was to walk or crawl. Ja’red surveyed him for a minute as if deciding that very thing. “You may walk, for now.”

Relieved, Jensen licked his lips and rushed out a contrite, “Thank you, master,” as Ja’red pulled on the leash. 

Their first stop, mercifully, was the shower, and Ja’red pushed Jensen into the steamy filled stall and proceeded to scrub both of them down. Jensen tried to take up a soft cloth to look after his master, but it was batted out of his hand as Ja’red continued with the task. 

Jensen kept his head down and huddled into a corner of the stall, out of the way of his master. When he was finished with himself, Ja’red turned toward Jensen. He shoved him up against the shower wall, a hand in the small of his back, and a brief push signaled him to stay there. Jensen stood, silent and quivering with dread. 

He heard the soft, rhythmic slap of hands on flesh, and long minutes later, a snarl of frustration. 

Ja’red huffed and softly cursed. Jensen sneaked a quick look over his shoulders and saw Ja’red had his eyes closed tight in concentration as one hand stripped furiously up and down his disinterested cock. He watched a blush of embarrassment steal over Ja’red’s cheeks as his other hand snaked back and pushed into his own entrance. Ja’red arched up as his fingers breached his entrance and started to whimper and moan almost immediately. 

Jensen swung his gaze back and stared straight ahead of him as he tried to tune out the soft grunts now coming from behind him. Finally, there was the growl of success, and he felt hands reach for the straps on the dildo, and the rubber device was roughly pulled out of his tender hole. 

Jensen just had time to catch the eddy of spice that flooded the air as Ja’red pushed into him with a harsh groan. He bracketed his arms on the shower wall either side of Jensen’s head, and pressed up against him as he leaned in to lick and bite at Jensen’s lips. Ja’red’s hips snapped back and forth, and Jensen heard a throaty growl vibrate through Ja’red. 

The scent sharpened, and he felt a rush of warmth, Ja’red’s release jetting into him. His own cock tried valiantly to fill, but the cage prevented it. Panting, Ja’red let his head drop and nestle into Jensen’s neck, huffing like an old locomotive. When his breathing finally evened out, he straightened under the soft spray of the still warm shower. 

Fucking Jensen had seemed to calm something in the man, like he had just proved something to himself, and he felt his master’s mood shift. He slapped Jensen’s ass and said, “Come on, Kittycat, time for breakfast.” They toweled off, and Ja’red mercifully did not replace the dildo, just connected the leash once more to his slave's collar, then headed off to find food, hauling Jensen behind him.

Food, as it turned out, was not that far away. The large dining room was just off the main living area, and Ja’red led them there. On a sideboard beneath heated domes lay a full breakfast spread. Ja’red filled a plate, and this time Jensen wasn’t sure if he should do the same or not. The whiplash of his masters moods and emotions, like unexploded landmines, made him feel tired already.

He opted to shadow Ja’red and see what happened next. Ja’red munched as he filled his plate and took his seat at the large table while Jensen knelt silently at his feet. It was only after he picked up a news pad that had been left for him at the table that he noticed Jensen on his leash. 

“I’m not going to feed you, it’s too early in the morning, and I’m too damn hungry. Go get yourself a plate, and join me at the table,” Ja’red growled and went back to his reading and his breakfast.

“Yes, Master.” Jensen’s stomach chose that moment to give off a long, low rumble. Ja’red laughed, and Jensen was caught by the way it transformed his face, dimples appearing on either side of his wide, generous mouth. Ja’red said something, and Jensen had to force himself to snap back to reality and really concentrate on what he had said. 

“And bring me a caw’fee as well.”

: : :

Chapter Text




: : :

The day went by slowly for Jensen. Ja’red read, and Jensen looked out the window at the lake as he sat or knelt at Ja’red’s feet. Later in the afternoon, Ja’red took them down to his in-house gym. Ja’red handed Jensen a pair of shorts to work out in, and both men worked their way through the various equipment. Ja’red seemed unfazed by the strenuous workout while Jensen, already hurting from the previous night’s activities, struggled. Luckily, just as Jensen was about to collapse on the treadmill, Chris’tian made an appearance and whispered quietly in Ja’red’s ear. Ja’red left immediately for his office, and Jensen was given a temporary reprieve when Chris’tian led him back out into the main lounge area. To Jensen’s surprise, he didn’t leash him and leave, instead, he stayed with him. Kane planted his feet at the entrance to the lounge, and, crossing his arms, nodded at Jensen’s cock cage with a sardonic smirk. “So, I see you’ve managed to get yourself in trouble already, Pussycat. What did you do?” 

Jensen licked his lips and wondered how he was ever going to live this down. Glancing up at Kane’s impatient expression he whispered out, “I-I humped myself against him in my sleep.” Jensen could feel a blush instantly stain his cheeks at the confession.

He wasn’t sure what to expect, but Kane’s laugh was not it. The man laughed so hard he bent over and had to hold his sides. Ja’red exited his office just then, and Chris’tian tried to stifle his outburst. 

“What’s so funny?” Ja’red asked, dangerously quiet, and Jensen froze in fear as he suddenly realized his confession to Chris’tian might have violated Ja’red’s standing order not to talk about their sex life.

“I just found out what a horny little pussycat you bought.” Kane walked over to Ja’red and slapped him on the back. “Nice to see you finally getting some, son. So, do we need to return to the palace?”

Ja’red gave Kane a dark look clearly unamused to have his second privy to his personal information. His gaze swung next to Jensen and Jensen shivered at the thought of his master’s anger directed so squarely at him for something so easily avoided. “Unfortunately yes. The prince has scheduled a meeting of the fleet generals at the beginning of next week, only five days away, and I have to attend. He wants a little dinner and soiree after.”

“Hmmm. So Admiral Khal will be there?”

“Yes, more than likely.” Ja’red did not sound pleased. 

“I need to burn off some excess energy. Talking with the prince always leaves me a bit twitchy. Chris'tian, I’ll be out for a run by the lake if anything comes up.”

Ja’red gestured impatiently toward Jensen, and Jensen’s eyebrows rose as he realized this run involved him as well. Hadn’t they had enough exercise today already? The man was a health tyrant. Jensen stood grimacing slightly as he looked down, thankful for the shorts that covered him. He couldn’t quite imagine following Ja’red at a jog without scraping the tender skin of his groin off, if he'd still been naked, in the cock cage. Ja’red caught his downward glance and smiled sardonically.

Jensen followed his master through the building, the leash dangling forgotten down his side. Ja’red certainly wasn’t attuned to keeping slaves, but it didn’t mean his darker side didn’t scare Jensen. He had seen far worse though, and so far, in spite of a few bumps along the way, Jensen thanked his lucky stars that it had been Ja’red who had picked him for his personal slave, rather than one of the others he’d met over the years.

Ja’red led him to a room that had a wide blue ring embedded in the floor. He reached over and disconnected Jensen’s leash and, with a dark chuckle, ordered him to take off his shorts. Ja’red then crouched down and removed the cock cage. Jensen bit his lip as Ja’red’s large hand lingered over Jensen’s dick, his hand squeezing its length. Jensen twitched in his hand. Only Ja’red’s other hand on his hip preventing him from rutting into him shamelessly. 

He felt his cheeks begin to heat up with embarrassment when his master thumbed over the head of his cock and massaged his sensitive slit. Wide eyed Jensen watched his master and was astonished to see the brooding man’s cheeks pinken with desire. Ja’red dipped down toward Jensen’s cock and Jensen held a breath as he saw the pink tip of his masters tongue peek out and he felt the warmth of his breath on his skin. 

His master paused and turned his head aside, hiding behind the soft fall of his hair. Jensen could see him biting his lip nervously. Jensen stood there in astonishment, he felt the need shedding off his master, but he was too shocked to move. The moment passed and his master shook his head swallowing with effort and it seemed to Jensen only reluctantly let him go. 

He released Jensen before he further embarrassed himself by hardening in his master’s hand. Jensen groaned in relief, but shook his head in worry. He didn’t really want to run naked; he expected to finish his run with his legs and feet torn up, but he swallowed back any protest and kept silent.

Jensen’s eyebrows rose in surprise when Ja’red also stripped down. What kind of run was this? When both of them were standing there naked, Ja’red reached over and grabbed a slender necklace off a shelf and dropped it around his own neck. It had a silver control of some kind and a small black disc with several buttons. He checked to be sure Jensen was standing completely within the blue ring and then pressed one of the buttons on the black disc. 

There was a flash of blue light, but without the sizzling pain and unconsciousness that Jensen had experienced upon his capture, and he and Ja’red were suddenly standing outside on the forest floor. The estate floated above, far overhead. Jensen let out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding. Holy hell! An honest to god transporter. Well why not, what else was going to go with the flying machines he’d already ridden in?

Ja’red grinned at him like a small child, amused at the dumbstruck expression on Jensen’s face, and reached for the silver controller hanging from his necklace. Jensen stood there, still somewhat stunned; the serious, taciturn man he’d been with all day had suddenly smiled – and, was that a flash of dimples? 

Ja’red clicked a button on the little remote, and Jensen felt a slight tingle along the line of his collar, and the whole world around him shifted.

Scents and smells exploded around Jensen stronger than he’d ever experienced before. His hearing sharpened to the point that he was sure he could hear Kane talking in a room in the estate more than a mile away up in the air. Jensen whirled around as he heard a predator padding toward him but then realized that the creature was miles off in the woods. His ears twitched with the overload, and Jensen covered them with his hands in a futile attempt to tone down the volume of…everything. 

His vision seemed crisper as well, and Jensen could see farther into the jungle than normal, with greater detail. Overlaying it all was that spicy scent, now a hundred times stronger and radiating from… Ja’red. His cat howled in ecstasy and rubbed along Jensen’s insides. 

Jensen purred uncontrollably and tipped his head back, his eyes rolling back into his head in sensory overload. The world roared around him, sights and sounds continuing to crash down upon his bruised senses. He took a tentative step, and dizziness overcame him. He felt himself falling… falling. Ja’red leapt over and caught him before he hit the ground and held him in his arms. The increase in the scent layered around him was choking him and had him moaning in need, his cock suddenly rock hard and leaking as the smell of Ja’red surrounded him.

“What, what is it, Pussycat? What’s wrong?” Ja’red looked down at him, concern in his eyes.

“W-what did you do to me?” Jensen’s voice came out faint and lost.

“I turned the inhibitor off on your collar; I thought we could take a run in our were forms,” Ja’red responded, more than a little puzzled.

“Off?” Jensen felt like he was speaking from the far end of a long tunnel. He couldn’t seem to get his mind to work, not with his cat now suddenly clawing against his insides like a maniac and his body going numb.

“Yes, off. Now, come on, daylight goes fast when you’re on a run. Shift.” Ja’red’s voice was stern.

“I-I’ve never…”

Ja’red gave him a hard look and as Jensen stared back helplessly confused Ja’red began to swear rubbing a hand along the back of his neck. “Frakin’ barbarians, you mean to tell me you’ve never?” Jensen just continued to shake his head. 

“If I ever get a hold of the Gor’dash bastards I’ll string them up by their balls. The cruelty, the stupidity. The damage they could have done to you.” Ja’red snarled.

Jensen shook his head mutely, unable to understand what Ja’red was talking about. He had only that brief moment of freedom as the collar had been switches. Was that what…

Jensen’s thoughts were interrupted as he felt his cat hurling itself up against his insides like he was some kind of inflatable bounce house. A meat tube containing one pissed-off pussy. Claws raked down his back, and the force of the sensation slammed his body forward. He uttered a choked-off cry as his cat grew wilder. Ja’red slowly lowered him to the ground and rubbed his back as his animal tossed him back and forth, clawing and scratching. Jensen whined in pain; unable to form words any longer he mewled incoherently. Ja’red was speaking to him, but he couldn’t hear his Master, couldn’t hear anything as he felt the world waivering around him. Blackness took him.

: : :

Jensen was looking up into a pair of tip-tilted hazel eyes. But they were staring out of a dark, furry face that looked ominously like a wolf’s. Jensen jerked back and heard a cat like hissing sound… He lurched almost drunkenly to his feet, but his feet weren’t his feet anymore, and he stumbled and fell back onto his butt in shock. There were more… feet that is, four to be exact. Jensen heard the hissing, upset sound again, and belatedly realized it was him making these noises… or rather, the cat-him making them. Cat-Jensen looked down at himself, at the white, furry feet and speckled grey and white chest and tried to process what he was seeing. 

Somehow he had shifted. The cuffs around his wrists and ankles were still there, but they had scaled to fit his shifted body. He could feel the light press of his collar around his neck, as well. He shivered at the thought of the immovable iron of Simion’s collar not shifting when his body did and thanked his stars his master had thought of this. It seemed kind of improbable, but somehow the cat that had been moving around on the inside of him for years now, was now on the outside and in control. Everything had changed. 

He felt a damp nose nudge his side, and he cocked his head and looked up. The dark wolf was waiting there, and in spite of all his doubts, around its neck was the silver cord with the black and silver controllers, definitely Ja’red. Cinnamon stripes raced in a tigerish pattern along his flanks, a contrast to the darker fur across the top of his back and on his head. The cinnamon reappeared again on the furry insides of Ja’red’s ears. Jensen had to admit his master made a striking wolf. 

Jensen whined in nervousness and tried to stand. Coordinating four legs wasn’t as easy as they made it look on Animal Planet. Wasn’t this supposed to come naturally to him? At a sharp yip he looked over, and Ja’red was dancing back and forth towards the woods, his meaning obvious after a second, more enthusiastic, bark. Let’s Get Moving.

Jensen staggered up and tried to get his legs in gear; he glanced back over his shoulder, curious to see what he was dealing with. He could see the strong, furred body of his were. He was almost all white, just as his maker had been, with a dusting of grey spots across his coat. He blinked in surprise as he looked back and saw a short, bobbed tail protruding above his cheeks, a continuation of his tailbone, just as a lynx would have. He also noted the slight disruption in the flow of fur on his left hip where Varnik had burned the brand into his flesh. He shivered at the idea of this beautiful creature being marred and had to stop himself from growling in anger. 

Ja’red yipped again, anxiously, and Jensen was forced to admit it was time to get this show on the road. He looked down at his paws, hoping for a little cooperation, and ended up caught up in examining his new feet. He saw that the fur extended all the way down and wrapped around the claws. Turning his paw over, he saw sturdy, pink pads on the bottom; that much had telegraphed through to his human form. He took a tentative step forward and didn’t fall on his face. Stepping carefully toward the forest, he found it took a bit of co-ordination to not have the back legs run into the front. Ja’red took that as an affirmative and took off into the bush. Oh, come on! Give a new were a break, why don’t you, Jensen thought as the chocolate shape took off like a bullet into the foliage. Showoff bitch, he thought.

Continuing to grumble softly, Jensen dutifully tried to follow, but he couldn’t keep up the speedy pace Ja’red set. He kept tripping over himself and falling. Several nose dives and twisted up legs later they were deep into the woods. Ja’red had taken to circling round to check on Jensen and then heading on ahead to chase game or whatever coordinated weres did when they ran. 

The first time Ja’red circled back behind him, Jensen lurched forward as a damp nose suddenly nudged into his entrance from behind. Jensen squeaked in surprise, which came out as a very manly cat snarl – he would never admit different – and lunged forward very nearly falling again. Ja’red yipped and wagged his tail. Jensen wasn’t quite adept at wolf expressions yet, but from the look of that lolling tongue and laughing eyes, Ja’red knew exactly how embarrassed Jensen was. Jensen squinted what he hoped was a death-ray, badass cat look back at him but ended up mewing in surprise as he tumbled over a fallen log and had to get back to concentrating on what he was doing.

Half an hour later, and Jensen had started to feel a bit cocky. He hadn’t fallen in a while. All four feet were going in the right direction, and some of them even seemed to be getting along with each other. Now it was his nose that was the problem. Every tiny thing in the forest seemed to be of exquisite interest to his newly enhanced sense of smell. He had to stop and sniff everything. Even normal grass had a smell. Jensen breathed in and just tasted all the scents on his tongue, pausing again to sniff at a new type of plant beside him. He’d never noticed smell as a big deal after he’d been changed. So many of these things – he wasn’t sure if it was the collar that had suppressed the ability, or if it was the physical change into his cat that made them possible. Whatever the reason, it was like a whole new world had opened up to him. He also knew precisely where he was in the forest compared to where he had started out – like his pussycat came with internal GPS. Jensen snorted, a quick cat cough, at the thought. And he knew to within a foot where Ja’red was, his scent like a burning beacon informing Jensen of his location at all times. 

Jensen suddenly smelled two new things. One was an increase in the amplitude of the spicy smell, like Ja’red was excited, and the other was water, crisp, wet, alive, water. Jensen wanted to rub his nose the scent was so pervasive. He picked up the pace and broke through the last of the heavy vegetation. The lake suddenly lay before him.

Ja’red was there already, running along the shore, half in, half out of the water. It was clear his wolf self didn’t much mind being wet. Jensen approached more cautiously; his cat didn’t seem quite as enthused. He took an experimental step into the shallows and shivered in distaste. Yuck! He could see why cats and water didn't mix and backed off from the liquid nemesis immediately. Ja’red, in the meantime, ran full on into the summer-warmed depths and began to dog-paddle about; Jensen rolled his eyes and smirked. ‘Dogs!’. 

Jensen settled near the bank on a warm rock and lazed in the sun, completely content to stay put and rest after his harrowing trek here. He watched the wolf for a while, the elegant lines of the creature as he lunged through the waves. It struck him again what a beautiful creature Ja’red was; the long lean lines of his flanks and those distinctive streaks of cinnamon through his fur made a breathtaking sight. 

Jensen felt a strange stirring in his cock. There was no way he was going there right now, so he tamped down his lustful thoughts. It was bad enough his master made him horny in human form; he wasn’t adding bestiality to his crimes… or would it be bestiality when both of them were weres? While he lay there contemplating his sins and watching the wolf cavort through the water, instinct had him licking his fur. He started in with slow, long laps through his soft pelt, cleaning it of the debris and leaves he’d picked up in his many falls. When he realized what he was doing he thought it would feel gross, but the licking had a surprisingly sensual, soothing effect on his over-stimulated senses. 

He began to feel quite sleepy and felt his eyes begin to blink, aided by the heat of the sun beating down, warming his new fur, lulling him. In his weary mind, all Jensen could think about was all the similarities in his actions to Marty, his housecat back on earth. He snorted in disgust; I am not turning into a damn cat! One more lick and he felt his eyelids slip down and stay down. His chin dipped to rest on his crossed paws, and he drifted off to sleep. 

He was awoken suddenly by a warm, very wet body wriggling over him and licking his face.

He blinked awake, suddenly showered with water droplets as Ja’red shook himself off from his swim. It put Jensen immediately into a grumpy mood. At first he just ignored Ja’red when he started to bark and yip at Jensen, clearly wanting to play. The large wolf hopped back and forth over Jensen where he lay on his sun-drenched stone. It went on off and on for a while and Jensen’s irritation grew. As the wolf leapt past in a new series of jumps, without thinking Jensen batted at him. The casual swipe knocked Ja’red out of the air to sprawl on the ground. Cat quick, Jensen reared up and pounced on his prey, pinning him to the ground. 

Both weres froze in shock at Jensen’s actions. Jensen looked down to see his paw in the middle of Ja’red’s back, holding him belly-down to the rock. Up close like this, he was surprised to note he was actually a bit bigger than the Lycan. Huh! 

Ja’red recovered first from the surprise actions and yipped and wriggled to get free. 

Jensen didn’t let him go. 

Below him the were’s tail wagged enticingly, and Jensen had the uncontrollable urge to dip down and play with the nice toy he had caught. No, no similarities to Marty at all…

Jensen licked his lips and tried to fight his cat’s desires, to no avail. Curiosity and something else soon had his nose buried deep in Ja’red’s ass, inhaling the sweetest, most compelling odor Jensen had scented since his turning. Jensen shuffled around to straddle his prey, continuing to lick and nip at him. Ja’red kept struggling to get away at first, and Jensen bit into the meat of his shoulder and shook, realizing belatedly it was the same spot where human Jensen had bit Ja’red the night before. He only released him when the wolf arched his neck and whimpered in submission. Jensen’s cat howled at the acknowledgement of his dominance; a wash of red covered his vision. 

His cat may have released Ja’red’s neck, but his paws remained clamped around the wolf’s sides, holding him in place as he continued to lick at his mark, soothing the bite and then once more biting down again. The wolf lay quietly on the ground panting, the were’s exotic scent thickening in arousal. His soft growls turned into whines of pleasure as the Lycan submitted to Jensen’s ministrations. Jensen shuffled back and licked into Ja’red’s dark heat; the taint and the copious amounts of slick coming from it arousing his cat self further. Wish list Number 7: Go out on a date (and not have to have sex), and Number 15: Settle down with the perfect girl and get married seemed all the more improbable with his tongue licking its way deep into the shapeshifter’s slick hole.

Jensen felt a thrum of excitement as his cock begin to lengthen and emerge from its sheath. He spared a glance down, and froze. 

At the very base of his still, mercifully, human-looking dick (if you ignored the addition of the sheath) a round bulging ring suddenly encircled it. It was an angry red and if Jensen was any judge it was definitely thickening. Oh my god, that was a… knot! Jensen could barely breathe as a heavy, choking feeling of pure other-worldliness stole over him. He had a knot, he was an Alpha!

Jensen felt the world tip sideways on him and he breathed out… Alpha, he’d developed a friggin’ knot! Caught up in his thoughts, he was brought back to the present when Ja’red howled in earnest as Jensen’s dick nudged his shiny, wet entrance. Jensen froze in panic as the sensation of coming in contact with Ja’red’s shiny hole swept over him. Jared tried to wriggle further back onto Jensen’s cock. Jensen leaned forward and took a chastising nip at the scruff of his wolf’s neck. Ja’red stilled instantly, though Jensen could feel him almost humming with pent-up arousal. Jensen breathed in deep. Wrapped in scent and shivering in need, he snarled a high-pitched warning and then he was plunging into his mate. 

‘Mate.’ Jensen’s mind shuddered over the thought of the word, even while his cat self snarled and screamed its approval. He rolled the word around on his tongue while he continued to piston in and out of the whimpering Lycan. 

Ja’red surrounded him perfectly, the same warm, wet heat as his human form but now with the strength and muscle of a were behind it. Ja’red’s whines grew in strength, and he began to squirm back harder onto Jensen’s dick and whimper anxiously. Jensen continued to rut into his mate steadily and found his excitement heightened by the ever-darkening scent that surrounded him and Jensen felt like his head was going to fly off. It was sharper and stronger than previously, and it surely signaled Ja’red’s matching arousal.

Jensen felt the unfamiliar sensation of his dick swelling. The skin at the base hot and hard and so sensitive. Amid the spiraling sensations it was getting harder and harder to slide in and out of Ja’red’s hole, and – he caught on the rim. His human mind was forced to come face to face with the cause of the difficulty…the knot, he – he was going to knot Ja’red. He squeezed his aching dick completely back into Ja’red’s heat just in time, as the knot swelled even larger. Ja’red howled as it pressed up perfectly against his prostate, and his wolf started to come. Jensen joined him and roared his pleasure as he too tipped over the edge. He shot into Ja’red’s channel, his dick jerking and throbbing as load after load of seed pumped into the willing body beneath him. As he marked his claim inside Ja’red, he felt an overwhelming compulsion to do the same on the outside. Once again his fangs were sinking into the meat of Ja’red’s shoulder, marking him. Jensen continued to pulse into Ja’red, and he felt his mate twitch beneath him in aftershock; the smell of come where his mate had spilled on the warm rock beneath them curled round his nose, and Ja’red whined weakly.

Jensen whimpered in sympathy and finally let go of Ja’red’s neck and licked soothingly at the blood on the dark fur.

As he had done the night before, Jensen continued to rock back and forth inside Ja’red as his cock pumped load after load into his willing hole. Unlike last night, withdrawal wasn’t an option, as the knot held him fast inside Ja’red’s channel. Jensen licked again at his mark, still bleeding a little, and absently wondered if he could get Ja’red pregnant. His cat purred at the thought of his mate growing heavy with kittens, pups, babies, whatever… it was a heady, hot thought in Jensen’s cat mind, and he roared and came again. Beneath him he smelled Ja’red’s arousal return, and he canted his rocking hips to rub more firmly against his mate’s pleasure spot to push him over the edge again.

They stayed tied for over an hour, Ja’red coming dry toward the end as Jensen continued to come in seemingly unending pulses. Finally, he felt his knot begin to soften, and he was able to withdraw from Ja’red’s swollen, puffy hole. Jensen looked down fondly upon his mate who, exhausted, had dozed off after coming for the third time. 

Drained in more ways than one by the experience, he lapped at his mate’s entrance, cleaning and soothing his well-used hole. Satisfied his mate was as comfortable as he could make him, Jensen flopped down beside his wolf and pushed his muzzle deep into the soft fur of his ruff. Nostrils flared, he breathed in his sweet scent. His nose twitched, and he sniffed again, puzzled. 

Ja’red smelled differently now. Better. Right. As Jensen moved his head to smell his own coat there it was. Ja’red smelled a little bit like him now. Jensen’s cat purred at the rightness of that, and as the sun set across the lake, Jensen threw a leg up over his mate’s side and joined Ja’red in satisfied sleep.

: : :

Jensen awoke on a hard, unforgiving surface and groaned. What the hell? He shifted to find a more comfortable spot and hit warmth, a long, lean line of warmth he snuggled closer to. He rubbed his morning wood up against the soft barrier before him. His arm slid over a firm, bare chest, and Jensen’s eyes snapped open as consciousness returned in a rush. He jumped back from the body in front of him like it was scalding. He didn’t want a repeat of the previous morning’s punishment. He started to ease away, and Ja’red mumbled in his sleep and turned, rolling toward him, trying to burrow into Jensen’s side. Jensen looked around. They were both naked, and more than that, they were both human again, well human-ish. Jensen ran his hand down his chest and wondered at the miracle of shifting. He didn’t know how he shifted or why; he just knew it was nice to be back in his own skin. He had to admit, though, his cat self didn’t feel ‘other’. It was no more or less real than his human body. His human one was just a lot more familiar. 

He began to realize the suppression collar had been cutting him off from a whole other world, a world of scents and sounds that he had never known existed until yesterday. And Ja’red. What the hell was that last night with his master? Why was it every time he got up close and personal with his master he seemed to overstep himself? What the hell was he doing fucking his master, in animal form no less? And why was his master going along with it? It wasn’t like the man was weak or small or any kind of a shrinking violet. He was a big, mean son of a bitch, but Jensen had just taken him down. With ease. And Ja’red had just submitted; his cat purred inside him at the thought of Ja’red’s long, elegant neck bared to him, and god, the wolf seemed to almost beg for it. 

Jensen didn’t know what this was. Why now all of a sudden; why this particular master? His instincts were usually so good, but nothing about his time with Ja’red was going like the normal master/slave relationship. Jensen kept going outside the lines – but it felt so right. He swore softly to himself. Why did he feel such a fierce sense of possessiveness for the other were… man. Him possessive. It seemed kind of funny because hello… slave, here. The word ‘mate’ floated in his head again, large and blinking, and where the hell did that word come from? He felt his cat purr in satisfaction. Ja’red even smelled like Jensen now. He wrinkled his forehead in concentration and wished he had more information to work with. 

Jensen wriggled carefully out from Ja’red’s sleepy grasp and stood. He had a vague idea of taking a quick dip in the lake to clean off. He looked down at the dirt, sweat, and come that covered his body and noticed something strange. He swallowed. A fine sheen of sweat broke out over his body, and he could feel himself start to hyperventilate as he started to chant the words, ‘No, no, no, no, no, this can’t be happening’ in his mind. 

His hand reached down slowly, unbelieving, to take himself in hand and examine his newly changed flesh. Trembling, he gently turned his still tender dick to study the bulge of the knot at its base. He swallowed again, hard. A knot, an honest to god knot, in his human form now. He felt more than a little sick and swayed, light-headed. What the hell? Is this what changing into his were did to someone? That just seemed wrong… and would it go away, or was this a lasting change? Why now, all of a sudden, years after being turned? The sweet lassitude of the night before evaporated completely as the horror of this sudden transformation swept through him. What other changes might happen? Jesus. God must hate him bad. Jensen rubbed his forehead in distress and decided a cold plunge was exactly what he needed right now, anything to stop thinking.

He came back, dripping, and plunked himself down on a nearby log, his arms on his knees. He was still a little in shock and dropped his head on his crossed arms to think. He had to get his mind right; this was just another hurdle, no bigger or smaller than any other he’d confronted so far along the path of the last few years. He breathed in and lifted his head; he could scent his mate waking. Soon, he heard Ja’red call out his name.

“Jen’son?” He watched, strangely fascinated, a sense of dread coming over him as Ja’red’s eyes snapped open and his nose twitched in the early morning air; the green/blue gaze moved unerringly to where Jensen sat. 

The wolf’s eyes narrowed to mean slits and Jensen sat up, suddenly tense as his master rose and stalked toward him. Jensen licked his lips and tried to speak but just couldn’t. He ended up just nodding, his mouth too dry for more. What would his master make of this change? He was a were? Did this happen all the time?

Jensen sensed more than saw all of Ja’red’s softness from the night before slough away and harden into something more like disgust or anger. Tightly coiled rage all directed toward him and Jensen’s cat cried out in fear. 

It was as if Jensen could read Ja’red’s mind now. When Ja’red stopped in front of him, Jensen suddenly remembered how tall he was in his human form, bigger and bulkier than Jensen was now. Jensen looked up uncertainly and swallowed again. He couldn’t help the flinch of fear as Ja’red loomed over him, his expression displeased, and Jensen unconsciously bowed his head.

He could feel Ja’red’s gaze travel down his body and pause. He waited for his master to say something, anything. Something to acknowledge the awful trick his body decided to play on him. His curiosity had him glancing back up as he watched for a reaction. He only saw Ja’red’s mouth tighten and a look of anger and something else wash over the man. 

Why did Ja’red look so oddly resigned and angry at the same time? His master stepped purposefully toward him, and Jensen expected a confrontation, something, but instead Jared just said tersely, “That, what happened last night, that was a mistake that will never happen again. Are we clear?”

Jensen blinked. 

His cat wanted to pull his master down and pound into him while his human side cringed in fear at the possible repercussion of them even touching again. He felt lost. Could his master not see his change, his knot? Jesus! He licked his dry lips, tried to form words, but ended up just nodding. 

“Good, because it won’t. I’m not that man. Come, we’ve been here far too long. I have work to do.”

Ja’red reached out and pulled up on Jensen’s collar until he was forced to stand on his tiptoes before his master. He hauled him in close and glanced pointedly down at Jensen’s dick and whispered darkly, “And if you think this changes anything, if you think you can use this against me, think again, slave.” 

He shoved Jensen down on the ground and stared at him. Jensen could feel the anger flowing off Ja’red in waves. Part of him could sense a yearning from Ja’red, but there was also revulsion and resentment… What did his master have to be angry about? Other than Jensen fucking him? But why was he not punishing him for that, and how did Jensen even know any of this? It was like there was suddenly a bond between them. Nothing made sense. He could barely breathe as his master reached for the necklace around his neck and pressed the black remote. A slight shifting of air, a blue flash, and they were back in the transporter room on the estate.

Jensen stood silently in the room as Ja’red snatched up his clothing and began to dress. Jensen had only the gym shorts to put on, and he wasn’t sure that was allowed, so he tried to back unobtrusively up against a wall – a vain attempt to avoid his master’s wrath. Ja’red dressed swiftly and stabbed his finger on the internal comm, placing a call to Kane. He snarled out an angry, “Kneel here and wait,” then stalked off, leaving Jensen alone in the room. Kane arrived shortly after, looking a little sour.

“What do I look like, the new babysitter?” Chris'tian asked to no one in particular. He gestured at Jensen to rise.

“Up, boy, looks like you’ve managed to piss your master off severely…again. We gotta find you something useful to do out of sight and mind for a while.” When Jensen rose, Chris'tian did a double take as he surveyed his naked form. His eyebrows shot up and he said, “Stars, boy, where you been hidin’ that? That wasn’t there before.” He gestured vaguely at Jensen’s cock and the pale red bulge of an Alpha’s knot at its base. “I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised though, what with catching your masters fancy and all. Something like this was bound to happen. You okay, you doing alright son?”

Jensen breathed out, relieved. At least Kane seemed to think it was something out of the ordinary to suddenly sprout a knot. Jensen swallowed back his questions though; he didn’t want to upset Kane further, and slaves didn’t ask questions. Besides, Ja’red had explicitly told him not to speak about what happened with the two of them to anyone and he’d already almost slipped up once. Jensen shook his head slightly in confusion. He didn’t understand why his master was so angry with him, didn’t have a clue what he’d done. Maybe his cat shouldn’t have fucked his master's wolf, but Ja’red’s wolf had seemed more than willing at the time. Things used to be so simple. 

Kane seemed to understand Jensen’s reluctance to speak and continued on. “It’s okay, you don’t have to talk now, but the doors always open if you ever want to. I know what our boy can be like, been with his fifteen odd years now.” Kane scratched his head and gave a wry grin. “Come on, we gotta get you some clothes, son,” Kane said as he led Jensen back to Ja’red’s bedroom. He rifled through Ja’red’s clothes until he came upon some lounge pants.

“Here, try these; they’ll be long, but it’ll cover you. I’ve got to order you something; you can’t run around in that kilt forever. I guess it goes along with babysitting. How’s the brand?”

Jensen looked down; he hadn’t though of the brand since… yesterday. His fingers reached out to touch the darkened flesh, and it didn’t hurt. In fact, it seemed completely healed. Maybe something about shifting had healed it? Jensen wasn’t sure.

“Huh, that’s strange. Okay, so you’re good.” Kane turned on the Vid and tossed the little remote over to Jensen. “Here. Stay here, watch what you want, but don’t leave the room. I’ll be back. Have to see what your master wants done with you.”

Jensen sat a little stunned on the edge of the bed. He’d never been left free like this before, let alone with entertainment. He fiddled a little with the small remote and found it worked just like the ones back home, on Earth. A sudden wave of homesickness rocked him: Earth, where a man knew who he was and his place in the world. He quickly forced that thought away as both useless and dangerous here and now, as he flipped from channel to channel.

After a while Jensen stood and walked over to the floor length windows in the room. The view was breathtaking, but Jensen wasn’t seeing it. His mind was reviewing the events of the last 24 hours. At least Ja’red hadn’t turned the suppressor in his collar back on. Jensen’s enhanced senses were still working. He could smell Ja’red in his office as Chris'tian led him back to the bedroom, and he could almost swear he could still feel waves of aggravation coming off of Ja’red, worse now than before and still building slowly. It was like some kind of tether joined them, and he could feel what Ja’red felt. It was disturbing and unsettling. 

He wrapped his arms around his chest, feeling lost and vulnerable. It was all too much to take in at once, almost worse than when he'd first awakened in the cube. Since then he'd had to get used to what he was, where he stood. Now all that was swept away, and he was forced to start over. He felt his cat rub up against him. He didn’t know where he stood with his new master either…’mate’, his cat purred. Not that he was going to be here forever, he had a job to do after all, but still... 

He barely knew Ja'red, and now, suddenly, he felt this strange connection to the man. The were seemed to provoke so many emotions in him, not least of which was the desire to knot the man again and again. His cat howled in agreement. Jensen shook his head; where were all these feelings coming from? 

He reached for the comforting familiarity of his Top Twenty Things to Do When He Got Back to Earth Number 13: Get in the car and just drive with no destination in mind. That was living, that was freedom, not knotting a guy with your suddenly alien dick and being his slave. His head ached like someone was using a jackhammer on it, and he moved back to the bed and curled up on it. The Vid flickered in the background, unnoticed, while he continued to wrestle with his thoughts. His mind whirled round and round like a hamster on a wheel, cycling nowhere. He drifted off to sleep.

: : :

He awoke when Chris'tian returned to the room. It was dark outside now, and Jensen scrambled up, kneeling on the bed. He didn’t want to displease the one person who consistently seemed to treat him with kindness here.

Chris'tian looked angry, distracted, and he gestured impatiently with one hand.

“Go in, piss, shit, do whatever. I’ve got to tie you down.”

Jensen flinched, but bit down on the questions that wanted to bubble up out of him. He followed Chris'tian’s direction and went to the spacious washroom and emptied his bladder. He washed his hands carefully, and Chris'tian appeared behind him and said gently, “Drink something; you might be there for a while.” Jensen nodded jerkily and cupped some water in his hands and drank. After satisfying his thirst, he turned to Kane with a questioning gaze. 

The man wouldn’t meet his eyes. Chris’tian glanced away and said gruffly, “Strip and go in and lay on the bed on your back. Hands up over your head and legs spread.” Jensen nervously peeled off the lounge pants, carefully folded them neatly, and left them on the bathroom counter. He moved into the bedroom and did as Chris'tian ordered, stretching out full length. 

The warrior chained Jensen’s manacles to a bar hidden at the head of the bed. Similarly, each ankle manacle was chained to loops at the corners of the bed. When he was done, he turned, and, still not looking Jensen in the eye, said simply, “Open.”

Jensen broke then, panicking at Kane’s coldly deliberate treatment. “Please,” he begged, “Master, please, tell me what I’ve done wrong. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry …”

Kane just closed his eyes and ignored Jensen’s words. He looked away again, mouth grim, and repeated, “Open.” Jensen could see a bit clenched in his hand.

Fear made Jensen’s words dry up, and he nervously closed his eyes and opened his mouth. He couldn’t help the choked off whimper as Chris'tian shoved the device in deftly and strapped it on. The warrior turned on his heel and left the room without another word or a glance at Jensen. 

Jensen lay there stunned. What the hell had he done now?

Then Ja’red had entered the room like a dark storm, a heavy needy scent coiling around him in waves and closed the blinds.

: : :

Chapter Text




: : :

He awoke in complete darkness hours later, still chained to the bed. He was sore as hell and it felt like his dick had been scrubbed with sandpaper repeatedly. He could feel his dick stiff and scratchy covered in come and moaned as he tried to reposition himself on the crusty sheets. Even with cat vision there was so little light in the room he could barely see. He sensed more than saw another presence in the room, and the word ‘mate’ again whispered through his mind. Jensen tensed, and he felt the sharp tang of spice hit his nostrils, hot and yearning. He groaned, a spike of arousal washing through him, and turned his head on the pillow, closing his eyes in the darkness. He tried to brace himself against the waves of lustwantneed and whined behind the hard rubber of the bit in misery helpless to stop his cock from starting to fatten and rise.

A hand touched his belly in the black, and Jensen couldn’t help but flinch, the muscles of his gut fluttering helplessly. A warm cloth was suddenly enfolding him. Fresh scented soapy water cleaning him; loosening the dried residue and soothing the over abraded, burning flesh. Clean again, he was patted down and dried carefully. The hands disappeared then returned again and he quivered as long fingers trailed up his chest and stopped to pinch each nipple in turn and then moved to cup the jut of his jaw under the straps of the bit.

“So responsive,” the words whispered out. The low voice shivered across his skin. He couldn’t help but arch up into the palm that held him. He leaned into the touch and wished he could lick and taste, whimpering in dismay when the bit stopped him. The hand shifted around to follow the curve of his ears where the fur swept up to the sensitive tufts. A deep, vibrating purr started deep in his throat behind the gag.

The hand withdrew. It returned, hot and a little clammy, to his dick, stroking and pulling on the rapidly filling flesh with warm, work roughened fingers, and Jensen bucked up against it.

He froze in horror at the sudden realization of his actions. This was the kind of thing that had gotten him in trouble in the first place. He thought of every unsexy thing he could: the guards beating him, Simion’s whip, anything to suppress his burgeoning erection. He tried to slide his body up the bed out of reach, to get away, as far as his chains allowed. He needed to get away from the hand holding him and from the pervasive scent. He mewled in fear. 

“Settle.” Ja’red’s hard voice came out of the darkness, and the hand gripping him tightened on his cock to the point of pain. Jensen froze. He was rewarded by the hand rubbing up and down, kneading his aching flesh. Jensen purred and writhed in his grasp, his cock springing to life under his master’s skilled hands.

He felt Ja’red shift and straddle him on the bed. Jensen blinked and started at the brush of naked flesh against his own. Shimmying himself up Jensen’s body, Ja’red’s intent was clear as he moved to position Jensen’s cock at the damp, hot rim of his entrance. Ja’red’s moan in the darkness traveled like wildfire up Jensen’s already straining dick. 

Ja’red thrust down, in one smooth motion, and silky heat enveloped Jensen’s aching length. Ja’red cried out, and the bit muffled Jensen’s matching cry as he felt Ja’red clench down upon him. Jensen bucked up; his hips jerked automatically, rhythmically, surging up into Ja’red’s. 

Ja’red’s large hands moved to the spur of Jensen’s hips, pinning him to the bed. Cut off from any control, Jensen tossed his head back and forth as a frantic desire to move overwhelmed him. 

Ja’red lifted himself up and nearly off of Jensen’s cock, then slammed back down, sliding himself up and down on Jensen’s cock, controlling the pace. In the darkness, all Jensen had to go by were Ja’red’s choked off whimpers. The bond he had previously felt between them had strangely narrowed, and he could feel nothing Ja’red was experiencing, but he could hear the needy sounds the man was trying to hold back. At that point all thought was obliterated as Ja’red set up a punishing pace. 

It was not until Jensen’s knot started to thicken that Ja’red’s thrusts slowed. His master shoved down once more on the expanding knot and trapped Jensen inside his velvet walls. Locked together, Jensen’s knot rubbed mercilessly against Ja’red’s prostate, and the pressure soon had his master coming across Jensen’s chest in ropey spurts, his dick untouched. Jensen whimpered, his hands tugging uselessly at his chains as he tried to reach for his mate. The sensation of Ja’red’s fluttering hole massaging his knot proved too much for him, and he started to come as well. 

He felt Ja’red arch back as he shot his first stream of seed into him. His master sagged down toward Jensen. Jensen stopped breathing for a moment, waiting in the wild hope his master might lick or kiss him, but at the last minute, Ja’red stiffened and sat up straighter. 

He began to rock against him again, and Jensen came, splashing Ja’red’s channel with more of his seed. The knotting went on for a long time, Ja’red’s solid presence looming, unspeaking, above Jensen. Their almost clinical coupling not changing, even when Ja’red hardened and came once again under the remorseless pressure of Jensen’s knot. 

At the first sign of Jensen’s knot deflating, Ja’red immediately pulled off. Jensen heard a soft moan of pain as the man withdrew too soon, the knot catching hard. Light was starting to leak into the room, and Jensen could just barely make out Ja’red’s outline. Jensen turned his head away so he couldn’t see the look of disgust in his master’s face. Surely Ja’red must hate him for some reason to treat him like this. 

Jensen’s cat had been strangely silent through it all, and for once he missed the soft rub of its fur inside him, missed the companionship. With Jensen’s new connection to Ja’red curiously closed off, he felt utterly alone. Ja’red left the room without looking back.

Jensen felt tears trickle out of the corner of his eyes as he laid there with the cooling mess of Ja’red’s release on his chest. For once, he was grateful for the smothering darkness. He wondered why this rape seemed worse than all the others he’d endured over the years, why this one felt like such a betrayal. 

: : :

Ja’red must have opened the blinds when he left because light was slowly filled the room as the sun rose. Eventually, Chris'tian entered with a tray in hand. He set the tray down by the bed and went to the washroom, returning with a cloth. Jensen turned his head away, ashamed, as Kane washed him, cleaning away the evidence of both his and his master’s release. The warrior reached back and unbuckled the bit from Jensen’s head and pulled it off, leaving it to lie on the covers beside him. 

Jensen couldn’t stifle his moan when the bit was removed and his aching jaw was finally able to close. He turned his head to the side and luxuriated in the ability to flex his jaw. He savored the freedom of being able to swipe his tongue over his chapped lips, moving and stretching his mouth. Chris’tian waited patiently allowing him to just lie there for a while, his eyes and mouth blissfully closed. When Jensen’s eyes finally fluttered tiredly open again Chris’tian took it as a sign and without a word started to feed Jensen.

Silently, he mechanically shoved the food into Jensen’s mouth. Jensen ate just as mechanically. Both ignored the tears that continued to trickle slowly down Jensen’s cheeks. He ate until he could eat no more, and he shook his head at the next proffered spoonful.

“Come on then, let’s get you to the bathroom, son.” Chris'tian unclipped Jensen’s chains and helped him rise. He stood, arms crossed, as Jensen did his business, then gestured back towards the bed after Jensen had taken a long, cool drink of water. Jensen thought briefly of trying to overpower the man, escape, run, but the truth was, where would he go? He was an alien on an alien planet with a tracking device in his collar and a brand on his hip. He was sure it would take no effort at all for them to find him. 

No, there was only one escape option open to him; he had to wait for the right opportunity and see it through. His eyes shifted toward the bed and back to Chris'tian. Kane nodded distractedly. Resigned, Jensen sat back down, and Kane started re-attaching Jensen’s chains. He forced the bit back into Jensen’s mouth, and Jensen fell back against the pillows in defeat. 

He looked over at Kane and… No, no, no! Not that! He started to thrash in his chains, moaning behind the bit and tossing his head as Chris'tian advanced on him with one more item.

It was a sad struggle, almost over before it began, and the deed was done. He had no range of movement, no chance to get away. Kane slid the blindfold on easily, securely locking Jensen in pitiless night. He was left alone in his darkness.

: : :

Ja’red ‘visited’ him again. Jensen wondered if this was all his life was now, if this was the true reason why Ja’red had bought him – to be his very own slave-stud, locked in a room fucking endlessly, but really being fucked. He was oddly grateful for the blindfold as Ja’red used him in the harsh, unforgiving light of day. He couldn’t see his own humiliation, his body’s own eagerness in spite of his mind. He despised himself for how easily he rose at the first whiff of Ja’red’s scent. 

He couldn’t seem to stop the stream of tears that slid from his eyes each time his ‘mate’ took him. Worse yet was the gentle hand on his face, big and broad, fingers curling around the hinge of his jaw, wiping the wetness away so tenderly Jensen’s heart hurt. Ja’red, for his part, never spoke, but his fervor seemed to increase with every visit.

Frantic and desperate, he pounded himself down on Jensen’s cock like his life depended on it. His master seemed insatiable, returning again and again to be knotted, hovering sentinel like above him. And when Jensen’s tears finally dried there was no touch at all. No kind words, no gentle caresses, nothing to indicate that this was anything more than an indulgence in lust, a simple exercising of his rights of ownership over Jensen. Ja’red was Master, firmly in control. No more slip ups.

He thought once he heard Ja’red sob, but it was probably just his imagination. 

After yet another fierce round of fucking, Chris'tian returned. This time Kane seemed angry, and, unlike before, he did not remove Jensen’s bit until he absolutely had to. Once done, he shoveled food into Jensen’s mouth so fast that he couldn’t speak, could barely breathe between mouthfuls. 

The blindfold stayed on, and Jensen felt cut off from the world in a way he had never been before. Sense starved, Jensen felt himself breaking apart in the black. His only link to sanity as he was forced to stud was reliving his first time with Ja’red over and over with each taking. The feel of his mate’s muscled body beneath him, the smell of his sweat pooling on his chest as Jensen lapped it up, the taste of Ja’red’s blood as he bit down on his mark over and over in his memory. 

A darkness of another kind spread within him, and Jensen could feel himself retreat, shivering and confused, into a small corner of his mind. By the third day of Jensen’s rape, he made no response at all. His cock still danced to his master’s scent, still rose for service, but Jensen was no longer there. No tears fell to bring his master’s touch. He no longer fought against the bit; he had gone.

: : :

Chris'tian tried to lift Jen’son’s head up, tried to force some of the thin soup past his lips. The man was unresponsive and cold to the touch. Ja’red watched dispassionately as his slave lay limp in Kane’s arms, a puppet with cut strings. Kane turned his head and said, “You can’t do this to him. Can’t you see you’re killing him?”

“I won’t be controlled by a slave,” he responded angrily.

“How do you know that? It might not be that way. Ja’red, I’ve never seen you like this. You’ve become a monster. He doesn’t seem to even know what he…”

Ja’red averted his eyes away from Chris’tian’s accusing stare, cutting off the damning words with a curt, “I won’t discuss this with you.”

He looked down at the body of his…he didn’t even want to say the word. He bit his lip; the raging fire of his first heat that had been burning through him these last few days was cooling, the cycle winding down for the next few months, at least. It still took an act of will not to grab the man, jack him to fullness, and impale himself on that beautiful cock again. 

Ever since they’d knotted it had been like this. 

Ja’red hadn’t known the compulsion would be so strong. The desire to submit to his…to his gods damned mate, there, he said it. Would admitting it make it go away? 

Every nerve in his body wanted to yield, to present his ass like a supplicant to his alpha’s cock, to his slave’s cock. He could feel the mating bond forming between them, and it was an act of sheer will to shut it down and deny it; this was not happening, not to him. Humiliation burned through him; he never thought he’d sink so low, never thought he’d be so weak, a slave to his own biology. 

He never thought he’d be reduced to a knot-hungry sub. 

Self-loathing twisted his stomach in an angry knot. He’d felt it the minute they returned to the mansion after their ‘run’, the sweat roiling off his skin, the itch to be filled and stroked again, and the desire to crawl on his belly to his alpha. 

He stalked out of the room, no longer able to bear the proximity of the two men it contained, leaving Chris'tian’s disapproval and his slave behind. 

NO. NO!

He would not be like his omega parent, he refused to be; he had to stay in control. He would stay in control, Gods damn it! There was more to him than this, than this hunger to be filled. If he just could clamp down on his errant emotions, regain control, he’d have things back to normal in no time. 

Ja’red slammed the door behind him as he left the room. He could feel the alpha’s come as it slowly leaked out of his hole, and he shuddered at the hunger that still sparked under his skin. Equal parts of fury and need sliced through him as he paced back and forth in agitation. How long was this fever going to last? It was a knot, a cock, just a damned cock. It shouldn’t matter which one. He shouldn’t have to chain himself to some…shouldn’t be reduced to a slave himself because of this.

He turned, smashing his fist into the wall of the main lounge. The satisfying pain that radiated up his arm distracted him momentarily from the all consuming hunger to be knotted. His skin was itching and he felt crazy and out of control. He stared at his hand, blinking dully at the blood dripping down off the knuckles. This situation, this overwhelming need, was driving him more than a little out of his mind. He turned again, growling savagely. This was not who he was. This is not what he was all about. He just couldn’t... No!

He ran down the corridor to the autopool bay, scrambling for his keys and bike jacket, rushing to get away before he weakened and went back into that room. 

There had to be better way than this. Intent on a new plan, he keyed in the security code to the bay’s exterior doors. He grabbed up his cycle helmet and practically leapt onto his old jump bike. He was going to prove to himself that one cock was much the same as another. He was going to the city.

The ride seemed overly long. By the time Ja’red reached the outskirts of the space port he was squirming on the hovercycle seat. His skin felt hot and twitchy, and he was unconsciously undulating against the bike’s hard seat. Rutting against it, he found himself daydreaming of his alpha’s knot as it swelled and disappeared up inside him, blood-hard as steel under velvet-soft skin. His tongue swiped over his lips, and he groaned as another rush of moisture flooded his already stained pants. He pulled up abruptly as he almost slammed into the side of a space trawler lifting off from the port below. He shook his head and forced himself to keep his mind on his flight. He spotted one of the better brothels in the spaceport, a long time haunt, and sighed in relief as he felt another wave of arousal course through him. He pulled his air bike up to the side entrance of ‘The Velvet Clasp’ and tossed his keys at the valet standing outside. 

When he entered the discretely lit lobby, several curious blue faces turned toward him. Ja’red scanned the crowd but didn’t see what he wanted. Maybe Osric was busy with another customer? The majordomo of The Clasp sidled up to him. He was an oily creature, a Serdonian Ja’red remembered from his previous visits. Ja’red had always regarded the creature’s obsequious manner with extreme distaste, and it usually kept its distance. 

“Felin’talis! Da’vidor, welcome back! So good to see you again, sir.”

Ja’red nodded his head and tried not to let the impatience he was feeling show.

“You are searching for something specific tonight, sir?”

Ja’red nodded, trying to recapture his usual air of aloof calm that always accompanied his cruising persona of Ja’red Da’vidor, antiquities dealer extraordinaire, and stared down at the toady creature with disapproval. “I was looking for Osric, is he available?”

“Oh yes, sir, yes, sir, he is. He is just about to start his shift. I’ll call him right now. Is there anything special you would like today along with your server? The baths, the milking hall, the toy room?” The Serdonian paused significantly, arching an oily eyebrow. Ja’red had been known to indulge in many of the extra features of the house in the past.

“No, just Osric. Now.”

: : :

Osric bounded down the stairs two at a time and Ja’red hummed in approval as the man came into view. He was bare-chested as usual, decorative body paint showing off his slight but well-toned torso to best advantage. Tonight the server was wearing a multicoloured sarong in varying shades of blue that brought out the colour of his pale blue skin and accented his dark hair. He was a bit young for Ja’red’s taste but he’d always been an enthusiastic server.

“Da’vidor! My lord!” Osric exclaimed, obvious pleasure in his voice as he caught sight of Ja’red. “So good to see you again. Are you here for me?” Osric’s face lit up with a wide smile as he gazed up and down Ja’red’s long form and licked his lips appreciatively.

“Of course. You know I love the things you do with that talented tongue of yours.” Ja’red snickered and stood, discretely adjusting his pants. The motion was not missed by the look in Osric’s twinkling eyes. 

The server had been a long time favorite of Ja’red’s, and he chastised himself for not thinking of this sooner. This was his solution, right here, and no one need know any different. He could pay for a week of Osric’s time every month and his little ‘problem’ could be solved. No need to saddle himself with a permanent reminder of his failures. Jen’son was an indulgence, a whimsical purchase, nothing more than his property. 

Ja’red growled hungrily and reached for the server. He grasped Osric and roughly hauled the man’s body up against him, shoving his tongue into the boy’s all too willing mouth. Teeth and tongues tangled, with Ja’red hungrily biting and licking into the man’s welcoming mouth. Snarling and gasping in a breath, Ja’red tipped back his head, breaking contact. Rather than a sweet slip slide of flesh, the touch of the man’s lips had left an unpleasant burn on his tongue. Ja’red wiped his mouth with one hand, thinking it must be his imagination. Osric leaned limply in his arms, unaffected, dazed, blue face flushed with arousal, eyes closed. Ja’red tried to push back his disappointment when Osric opened them to stare adoringly at him… and they were brown, not green.

: : :

An hour later, Ja’red fell back against the luxurious stack of pillows on the bed in their room. 

Osric knelt between the vee of his legs and used his forearm to wipe sweat from his brow as he continued to tug frantically on his own cock, trying to coax it to hardness once again. 

Ja’red’s hole seeped steadily and he could feel it trickling down the sides of his ass checks to pool beneath him on the expensive bed cover in spite of the irritated burn caused by the server. In disgust, he snarled and flung his arm up over his face, hiding his disappointment from Osric’s view. 

“I don’t understand my lord. This has never happened before. Maybe if I…”

“Leave me.” 

Osric’s hand on his spent cock stilled. He looked up in shock at Ja’red’s ragged tone. “My lord?”

“Get the frak out. Now.” Ja’red growled, his tone broking no argument.

Osric grabbed up his sarong and rushed from the room. 

Ja’red groaned. It had been such a good plan. Such a strategic response. 

His wolf howled in need as his heat rolled through him, an overpowering wave of wantneednow. He threw his arms out at his sides and within moments his long fingers were reaching down to finger himself, shoving inside his needy hole, trying to fill up that aching place, fill the void that the server had left more empty and hurting than before.

Carelessly, Ja’red shoved his fingers back and forth inside himself, rubbing over his prostate, trying to ease the hunger, but nothing did any good. Arousal radiated off him in waves and he felt dizzy from it. His cock refused to rise. He cursed. His treacherous body knew what it wanted and would settle for nothing less. Gods damn him and Gods damn his cat. He grimaced as he remembered Osric jumping on the bed when they first entered the room, getting up on all fours and waggling his ass suggestively.

 “Are you ready for me, my lord?” he had purred. 

And Ja’red had tried. Gods knew he had tried, but the minute his dick had touched down on Osric’s entrance it had felt like flames, flames and a million ants, were crawling over him. His dick had wilted instantly, and Osric had turned to look at him in confusion. 

“My lord?” 

Even that soft talented mouth could do nothing to rouse Ja’red’s interest. It had been an exercise in one humiliation after another as he finally lay back on the bed and ordered Osric to just drill into him. And that too had been it’s own kind of spectacular failure. 

He fumbled a hand out to the side of the bed, where he had hastily abandoned his clothes when they had first stumbled into the room. Osric had filled him three times in the last hour, but it hadn’t sated him, hadn’t even been enough to cause Ja’red’s interest to rise. The server had valiantly tried sucking Ja’red down, laving his cock with tender care before thrusting into him, using every trick in the book to pleasure his client.

But all Ja’red saw when he closed his eyes was Jen’son’s luminous green ones staring back at him sadly. 

His wolf whimpered. He wanted his mate.

Ja’red’s questing hand finally stumbled across his comm, and he forced himself to sit up, forced his legs to slide over the side of the bed as he flipped the comm open and placed the call. “Come and get me. Now. No questions.” 

He snapped the comm shut. Chris'tian would be here shortly; he knew Ja’red's haunts. He didn’t think he could even drive his air cycle right now, as a new wave of wantneednow burned down his spine. Ja’red ran his tongue over his dry lips, desperate for something to stave off this need until he got back to his slave. 

Frantic, he opened the bond, just a little bit, and reached out to touch his cat’s mind - just enough to get a taste of him, just enough to get back with his sanity in place. 

Anxiously, he reached out with his mind and brushed up against his cat. 

Ja’red’s world tipped sideways. He fell to his knees, his arms barely breaking his fall as he slammed full length onto the suite’s floor. 

Despair, loneliness, gut wrenching confusion all flooded the bond at once. Ja’red floundered – his cat was utterly lost. He could feel the misery and pain Jen’son was experiencing as if it was his own. 

And underneath it all… a terrible yearning, an aching need that reached, clawed for something… no someone… for Ja’red! 

Ja’red’s eyes snapped open in shock. Oh my gods, even after everything Ja’red had done to his slave, his alpha still… wanted him. 

Ja’red turned and vomited onto the floor, heaving and gasping as he spilled everything he’d eaten that day on the Clasp’s high end carpet. He didn't know! He didn’t realize how badly he had been treating the man. He’d been so caught up in his own pain, his own conflict…

Ja’red felt his wolf howl, its heart broken. Ja’red flushed, red faced and ashamed. How could he have not known, not understood? His slave was devastated and… something more. Ja’red could feel his cat dying. Sickening hopelessness radiated off his alpha, and he knew with a certainly if he didn’t do something, his cat would die.

He lay there in a pool of his own filth and thought maybe there wasn’t that much difference between himself and his father after all. Two sides of the same coin.

: : :

“…You’re useless, weak. I despise you.”

Ja’red hid under a table in the private quarters of their living room, shaking in fear. He hated when Oa made his papa angry. He had run to show his omega parent the new drawing he had made, when he saw him sprawled on the floor at his alpha father’s feet. They had been arguing again.

“No, Hedric, please, I beg of you…”

Ja’red squeezed his eyes closed and tried to cover his ears; he didn’t want to hear his father hurt his Oa. The dull thuds of his father’s boots hitting his Oa’s ribs had him huddled up tighter, his picture squashed and ruined where his hand still held it mashed up against his ears, desperately trying not to listen. 

“You’re a weak, sniveling excuse for a Lycan, and I wish I’d never mated with you. How could my wolf be so weak as to be attracted to you? Get out of my sight; you disgust me.”

Jared peeked out to see his Oa haul himself up, bleeding. The omega limped from the room while his father threw his cup into the fire in a rage. Ja’red must have made a noise because his papa suddenly turned and said, “Who’s there? Show yourself!”

The table trembled slightly as Ja’red vibrated against it in fear. The drape suddenly pulled up, and his father’s angry face appeared, looking in at him.

“Ja’red, what are you doing there, pup? Come out.”

Ja’red wobbled out, sniffling, from under the table; his father reached out and grabbed his four-year-old self by the scruff of the neck and held him up in front of him. Ja’red remembered thinking how tall and strong his Alpha parent was.

“What are you doing here, son?”

Tears trailed down Ja’red’s cheeks, and he suddenly realized he was still holding the picture in his hand. He held it out to his father and began to wail.

“I was going to show Oa my drawing, Papa.” Tears were falling down Ja’red’s cheeks as he held the drawing out. His father smelled funny, a strange scent on his breath. 

“Oh, this picture here?” His Papa sat down pulling Ja’red onto his lap and took the picture from his hand. He unfolded the countless wrinkles and creases in it to see the colored sketch of Ja’red in the forest holding his omega parent’s hand in a typical child’s scrawl. 

Shakily Ja’red nodded his head. “MMMM hummm.”

“Aren’t you supposed to be in sword practice now?”

Uh huh, but Oa said I could finish my picture first, then go.”

His father gave the picture a hard look and then crushed it in his hand. Ja’red sucked in a breath, his whole body stiffening in shock as his father ground his work into a tiny crumped ball and threw it angrily in the corner. Ja’red turned and watched the paper sail through the air to land discarded in the corner. He could feel his bottom lip quivering and fat tears pricked the corners of his eyes. 

Why would his papa do such a thing, Ja’red wondered? Maybe Ja’red’s picture wasn’t good enough, maybe he hadn’t tried hard enough. He’d heard his Papa say those words often enough to his Oa. Maybe Ja’red was just like him? 

Ja’red scrubbed his sleeve over his eyes not wanting his father to see his tears. When his father spoke again there was a tone of exasperation in his Papa’s voice and Ja’red slumped in his lap, head down, listening. “Ja’red, your Oa is a weak man; he can’t keep the family, our world, safe. It’s not his fault; he’s an omega, weak, spineless. It’s up to us alphas to make the tough decisions. Keep our world safe. I don’t want you to waste any more time drawing, especially not when you should be at sword practice. Do you understand, pup? You have a great responsibility to the kingdom to keep it safe. You don’t want to let our people down, do you?”

Ja’red shook his head solemnly ‘no’.

“Well then, go get into your training togs; I expect you to report to the sword master immediately.”

“But what about Oa? He’s hurt, papa, I should…” Ja’red glanced up anxiously at his papa.

His father gave him a hard look, and, lip wobbling, Ja’red closed his mouth.

“Are you questioning me, son?”

“No, sir…” Ja’red’s watery eyes gazed up at his father.

“Okay, off with you then.”

Ja’red nodded, wide-eyed. As he left to go, his father’s voice halted him.

“Ja’red, I want you to stay away from Oa. You’re getting to be a big boy now, and I need you strong. Omegas are weak, and I don’t want your Oa’s weakness rubbing off on you.”

Rushing off to change, Ja’red promised himself he would never be weak like his Oa. He would be strong like his alpha father.

: : :

Ja’red huddled in the back of the aircar lost in thought. His Oa had been a source of embarrassment to his father for as long as Ja’red could remember, even after his omega parent had mysteriously passed away when Ja’red was six. He’d watched his father repeatedly discipline his parent to try to make him strong, but his father had never been successful and complained repeatedly about how weak his Oa had been. So much weakness, so much pain. 

Ja’red refused to be that man.

“Ja’red, son….” Chris'tian’s voice broke into this thoughts. His second had left the divider window between them open to keep an eye on his young charge. Ja’red pulled himself out of his dark thoughts and turned his attention to the man. Chris'tian’d come and calmly picked up Ja’red as if finding him shivering and near catatonic was an everyday occurrence. He’d calmly shuffled him into the back of the car and headed on home. 

“You know you can’t continue to do this to him. This ain’t you, and it’s wrong. Hell, I’ve known you weren’t an Alpha since you were 14 when your knot didn’t come in. I’ve kept your secret, but it doesn’t make you weak, boy. It doesn’t make you less than you are. It’s just a function of biology. Your father, near as I can figure, was a cruel old fark, Ja’red, a drunk. Hell, the old bastard hasn’t even tried to contact you since he shipped to Vega as the king’s hostage after losing the war. All he was interested in was continuing to rule his conquered planet.”

Ja’red nodded jerkily. He’d never anticipated after such a sacrifice that, bitter in defeat, his father would cut off all ties with him; maybe his father had suspected even then that Ja’red was omega, had sensed Ja’red’s weakness. The man refused to acknowledge the one flesh and blood reminder that his rule was only at the pleasure of the Imperium; he had never spoken to Ja’red again. 

“I-I just thought I had moved past this. Thought I was strong enough,” Jared replied bitterly.

“Son, I know you’ve fucked your fair share of Vegans; hell, you’ve topped half the whores in the space port. Who do you think followed you and kept you safe all these years? At least you were discreet, the space port was a good anonymous place to let off steam. No one there ever recognized you as a member of the royal house, but you’ve never really been exposed to any weres. It was bound to happen. You were bound to meet your mate sooner or later. But it doesn’t have to change who you are.”

“I just didn’t think it would be like this. I - I didn’t know…”

“I know you didn’t, Ja’red, but trust me. You have to find a better way to make this work.”

Kane shook his head and the rest of the drive proceeded in silence. Ja’red stared dismally at the back of the older warrior's head as he drove them home. 

Kane didn’t understand what had driven him to this, how could he? 

There had been no way he could allow himself to be reduced to the quivering, needy thing his alpha father had raged about his whole childhood. He had responsibilities, not only to his father, but to his people. His one job, his only job was to be perceived as valuable by the Prince and the King, and that in turn kept his people safe. It was just too terrifying to contemplate the Prince finding out what he was. No wonder his father had abandoned him, he had probably always known what Ja’red would become. He had no choice, he had to control these weak, omega urges, and he could only do that if he contained his mate. He just… He hadn’t expected it to be so hard, both the toll it took on himself, and… Gods, he hadn’t even thought about how much he’d end up hurting Jensen.

When they arrived back home he made his way silently back to his suite. Even before he reached his rooms he started to breathe in his alpha’s scent. He could feel his immediate arousal at his mate’s proximity and his heat flared to life. 

He rushed to the suite and swung open the door, anxious, desperate to hold and touch and feel his Alpha. He let the bond between them break wide open… and all the arousal, all the pleasured anticipation, withered and died. 

His mate lay deathly still, barely breathing. Ja’red reached for Jen’son, and there was nothing. No presence, no spark, barely any indication Jen’son was even alive, just a black, yawning pit where his mate’s life spark had been. Ja’red choked in horror and stopped himself from instinctively pulling back from the bond. 

He’d done this, his actions and selfish decisions, and he was going to have to face what he’d wrought. 

He turned away from the bed, hands shaking, and tried to steady himself. 

For three days he’d worked toward this, three days he’d cut off all ties and had Kane chain his mate like an animal so Ja’red could retain dominance. And for the three days of his heat he’d effectively raped his mate – repeatedly. He shuddered in revulsion. What had he expected? Wasn’t this what he’d been trying to do all along, break the man? Well he’d finally succeeded. This was the price of clinging for all he was worth to his facade of the untouchable big bad wolf. There, was he happy now?

And he’d done it all on his own, like a strategic strike – but the flesh and bone he’d targeted this time had not been millions of klicks away. His target had been right here in this room. He’d had a front row seat to watch his mate suffer, first in confusion, and then in fear and isolation. 

He’d seen the tears trickling down his alpha’s face, and he’d ignored them, ignored the pitiful thing his mate had been reduced to by Ja'red's cruelty. One of them was going to be put in this position whether they wanted it or not, and better Jen’son, who was just a slave, than Ja’red, right?

Except Jen’son wasn’t just his slave. The man was Ja’red’s alpha, his partner, his mate

And now, what was he left with? He hated himself; he hated what he’d done. If this was the only way he could maintain his mastery, his freedom… he didn’t want it badly enough to do this again. He’d rather be the omega slave his Oa had been than inflict more cruelty on this man, who was stronger than Ja’red would ever be. 

Maybe… maybe, as Kane said, it wouldn’t be so bad. There was some kindness in Jen’son. Ja’red had seen it… Unless the alpha in Jen’son tried to change Ja’red as much as Ja’red’s own omega nature seemed intent on changing him… but… maybe…Maybe it didn’t have to be that way for either of them… 

Ja’red wrapped his arms around himself to still the trembling that was partly his fear for their future, and partly nervousness for what he must now do.

: : :

Chapter Text




: : :

From a long way away, Jensen sensed himself being lifted up and carried. His head lolled back against a comforting wall of flesh. His cat sighed, surfacing for the first time in days at the contact and Jensen felt himself rubbing his face against the body holding him. Then he was being gently lowered into heated water. Warm. For the first time in days, something touched him that was warm, and he mewled in terror and struggled against the arms that held him, struggled to return to consciousness.

“It’s all right, you’re safe, you’re safe.”

Jensen whimpered behind his blindfold and licked parched lips; the bit was gone. He sighed in relief. His whole body hurt from its enforced confinement. The water lapped against him, and a large body pressed, comforting, against his back. The sweet scent of home enveloped him, and he felt a cloth gently wash the crust of sweat and come away. He wondered what had changed – or was this just a dream? He drifted, lost in delicious sensation, and decided to simply accept what was being done to him. What else could he do, until he was put to stud again?

Ja’red’s voice rumbled behind him. “I-I can’t do this to you. I-I thought I could…I- I didn’t think it would be this way. I could feel you dying.” The cloth continued to rub gentle circles across his chest, and Jensen felt something inside him open. Some small spark of hope fluttered. 

He breathed in, his breath hitching in agitation. He didn’t understand what his master was saying, but he couldn’t stand to exist like this anymore, couldn’t survive if that hope was quashed again. Emotion overwhelmed him, and he half turned to burrow into his master’s chest, feeling alone and utterly betrayed. A sob broke from him. Beneath him he could feel Ja’red still.

Ja’red snatched the blindfold from his face, whispering, “Sorry, I forgot, sorry, sorry,” and Jensen blinked up at his master. After so many days in the dark, the light hurt his eyes. He blinked again, and Ja’red’s face slowly came into focus. The man looked thinner than he had a few days ago, gaunt, with dark bruises under his eyes, a concerned look on his face. 

Ja’red rocked him gently, and slowly Jensen’s sobs softened. Finally, exhausted, they trailed off altogether. Ja’red continued to wash and touch him gently, and Jensen's touch-starved body melted into his master's. Half asleep, he barely registered being lifted from the tub and carried back to bed, where he was gently tucked between the covers. 

: : :

Ja’red gazed down at the unconscious man; the leafy alpha scent tantalized him, and his body released a new rush of wetness. Ja’red winced in discomfort; but smiled softly down at the man. If word got out, he would certainly lose his position as head strategist. That didn’t bother Ja’red as much as he had once thought it might. He’d been blackmailed into taking the job in the first place, after all. Prince Jeffra’ Deen had threatened the lives of his family and the very existence of his planet if he didn’t bring all the analytical abilities he’d shown in his classes to aid the Imperium. That was when the prince had assumed Ja’red was an alpha. Everyone had.

No one wanted an omega to lead anything. From his foggy memories of childhood, even he knew that omegas didn’t work. They had children and looked after the household and stayed in the den. Omegas didn’t plan intergalactic wars; their constitutions were too delicate. He’d just flown under that radar for so long, unmated, that it had never been a problem. He had vowed for it to stay that way. 

Now, in his first heat, he was beginning to realize that maybe his father was right about omegas. How else to explain this burning obsession with his mate, this desire to submit. It was an actual, hardwired reality. He brushed his hand gently through the clean, short hair as he curled tighter around his sleeping mate. Feeling more certain for the first time in days, Ja’red soon joined him.

: : :

The soft sound of the door of the room opening had Jen’son’s eyes fluttering open. He looked up. Ja’red saw surprise register on Jen’son’s face when he realized it was Ja’red, not Chris'tian, returning to the room with a tray. Jensen snapped awake and tried to scramble out from the covers to kneel on the bed but he was clearly too weak. 

Ja’red quickly commanded, “No, no stay as you are, you’re fine. Just – stay.” He ran his tongue nervously over his lips and approached the bed. 

Jensen’s hands kept gripping and ungripping the covers of the sheets. He looked up at Ja’red like a frightened, hunted thing and turned his head down and to the side, baring his neck submissively to his master, and waited. Ja’red was sure the man didn’t know what to expect next, he would only remember the endless days of isolation and pain.

“It’s okay, it’s okay. It’s alright. I won’t hurt you – again.” Ja’red spoke softly, like he was speaking to a wild, broken thing. He sat down beside Jen’son on the bed. Jen’son’s body trembled, and he wrapped his arms around himself and didn’t raise his gaze.

“I… I want us to talk.” Ja’red stammered out nervously. “I want to explain everything to you, but… but we don’t have much time. I… I… but, I will, later, everything – it’s just right now I need you to rest. We have to leave tomorrow. I… we have to attend a meeting with the prince. 

“I, uh. I just – want you to know that I was wrong to treat you the way I did. You didn't deserve that. I...I plan to fix it. This won't ever happen to you again, not after tomorrow.”

Ja'red rubbed his hand through his hair as he continued to talk in a low, calm voice. “I'd – Well, I'd never been drawn to anyone like I have been to you, never been knotted by anyone before either. And the heat….” He took a deep breath. “I know the duty of an omega is to submit, to do what their alpha says, but… but I just couldn't.” Jensen didn’t move, didn’t speak, but Ja’red knew he had his attention by how stiff his mate’s body had gone. His voice died away, and they sat there in silence for a while before Ja’red seemed to find the words to continue; he knew he was making a hash of it, and from the confused furrow of his cat’s brow, the Earth man probably didn’t understand half of what he was saying. 

He shook his head a little. “I can't continue to treat you this way. It's killing you, and it's killing something inside of me, too. I'll fix this. I'll fix it, I promise, I will. I just need one more day to get through this meeting, then I'll make this right. I just need to finish this business with the prince. He won’t want me working for him as I am now. I just have to see things through."

“But why?” Ja’red hardly heard Jen’son’s soft question, his slave’s voice a rough rasp after so many days of silence.

“Why what? Which part? Why did I rape you; why did I treat you this way? What?”

Ja’red felt like his mouth was out of control, and he snapped it shut.

Jen’son shrugged like answers to any of them would do, then wrinkled his brow again and said, “Why can’t you continue to work for the prince?”

Ja’red wanted to hug the alpha tight. His heart soared. He felt a spark of hope ignite in his chest that his alpha hadn’t just assumed things had to be a certain way. Maybe they could actually make this work; maybe they wouldn’t be like his father and his omega parent after all.

“Because I’m Omega.”

“I don’t understand; haven’t-haven’t you always been that? Why were you good enough before and not now? Have I done something wrong – Did I do something to you?” Jensen stared at him.

Ja’red turned to his sweet, naïve mate and hugged him. He couldn’t get his mouth to form words; he just stared at his confused mate, shook his head ‘No’, and kissed him.

He could feel Jen’son tense in surprise, but when Ja’red didn’t pull back, only continued to nibble gently at his mate’s full lips, he felt the alpha slowly relax in his hold.

Sparks tingled along Ja’red’s lips where he licked at Jen’son’s mouth, the scent of his arousal filled the room, and he felt his hole quiver in the last throes of his heat. Soon he pushed his tongue into his mate’s mouth eating and licking at him hungrily. Ja’red ran his hands up and down his mate’s naked body as his hunger spiked. Jen’son, for his part, moaned into Ja’red’s touch, hungry for touch after days of isolation. 

Ja’red understood what his slave needed, what his mate needed. He wanted to make it good for him. He wanted to stimulate all his starved were senses. He nudged Jen’son back onto to bed, spreading him out like a banquet, and started to lick and kiss his way down his mate’s body. He wanted to taste every beautiful spot and stripe on his speckled hide, connect the dots on his mesmerizing skin with a warm, wet trail of his saliva. 

He panted out whispered apologies as he touched and fondled and rubbed as much of himself as he could across his mate’s muscular form. His large hand caressed Jen’son’s cock and stripped gently up and down its length, touching the silky smooth flesh and tasting his alpha in a way he hadn’t allowed himself since their first knotting. Beneath him, Jen’son’s eyes had gone dark with arousal, his skin mottled and fever-flushed.

His wolf howled. It had been unhappy with the cold mechanical matings, and it snarled its distaste for Ja’red’s actions in his ears. Now it lapped at his mate’s skin, nibbled from freckle to golden freckle, rubbing his nose in the bright, leaf-green scent that for him now was home. Jared and his wolf savored their mate and growled their approval as Jen’son gasped out his pleasure and spilled in Ja’red’s hand. Ja’red felt his wolf rumble in happiness, its tail wagging.

Mate. Lover. Mine! Was the chant that repeated in Ja’red’s mind as he cleaned his lover. He loved the salty tang of his mate on his tongue and as he lapped at his spend. Except… that wasn’t quite right, was it? He was Jen’son’s now, not the other way around. Ja’red didn’t know what to do now with his feelings of possession. He was omega, passive now. To be wanted should be enough. 

He let the bond open between them for the first time in days, let all of his emotions flow through their link. He hoped Jen’son could feel his regret, his shame at how he had treated him. He looked down at Jen’son and watched his dazed green eyes struggle to focus on him. In them he saw hunger and possession and something more…. maybe even forgiveness Jen’son whispered back, “Mine.” 

And Ja’red’s heart soared.

: : :

Vegan politics were damn confusing, and Ja’red’s hurried explanation hadn’t helped much. “So the prince must continue to think I am yours?” Jen’son asked the next day.

“Yes, I’m sorry, I… I wouldn’t be taking you at all, but he specifically asked for you. So you have to come. Be my slave for the day and then I’ll fix everything. Make it go away. J-Just last this one day for me. Can you do that, Jen’son?”

Jensen looked up. It had been so long since he had been more than just a receptacle for lust or his rage. To be called by his name, to be held and loved with gentleness and understanding, it made him shiver in pleasure. He hadn’t forgotten what had happened in the last three days, it would be a long time before he could put that behind him, but he felt something soften inside him. He looked at Ja’red, and as he nodded, he felt an aching, bittersweet vulnerability. 

One more day, he could do that. He felt a guilty flush run through him. If he was being sent away, at least it made him feel not so bad about what he had to do. He was sure he’d be contacted at the party, it was how these things usually happened. He would go through the motions, be Ja’red’s for one more day before Ja’red sent him away. Maybe in that time he could even uncover enough information to secure his freedom. 

He swallowed back his sadness and grief. To go so far, through so much pain and suffering, and then to discover this right at the end. He looked away, unable to bear the look on Ja’red’s open face.

“Good. Now come with me, you’ll need to eat and get dressed. We’ll have to leave shortly.” Ja’red bobbed his head at his mate, stranded between an order and begging his Alpha.

: : :

Chris'tian wouldn’t look Jensen in the face as they ate a late lunch together. The man had blushed bright red in embarrassment when Jensen walked in. Jensen wanted to tell him that he forgave him, that Jensen knew he had only been following Ja’red’s orders, but he felt too cracked open and raw. He sat at the table beside Ja’red, too overwhelmed by the events of the day to even appreciate that he was sitting in a chair for a change, rather than relegated to the floor at his master’s feet. 

He barely touched his meal, his mind going a million miles a minute at Ja’red’s revelation. At some point Ja’red leaned over and lifted his chin so that he stared up into concerned hazel eyes, and Ja’red whispered, “Try to eat, it’s going to be a long day.” Warmth shivered through him from this small point of contact, and Jensen drank it down. He felt the bond he thought he’d imagined between them open as it hadn’t done in days, and his cat purred in pleasure at being be touched by this man. He could almost hear the answering growl of Ja’red's wolf.

Jensen nodded slightly and forced down another two mouthfuls before he had to stop. His stomach was tender – another bite, and it would all come back up. His mate reached over and hugged him, wrapped his large hands around his bare chest, and Jensen couldn’t help but lean into the touch. He shivered; Ja’red’s scent had been wronghurtbad for so many days his cat was still skittish. So, if he was honest, was the man. He would take what he could though; it was his master’s plan to send him away after today. Although that should be a good thing, to get away from this man, his abuse, he also felt a deep heartache at the idea of separation. But it was not up to him; Jensen had wheels in motion, and a chain of events that had never been up to him.

Ja’red led him back to his room where he was dressed in a new, green tunic. He plucked at the soft folds of the wide, round neck and wondered if Kane had been forced to shop for this. It exposed much of his chest and back, just draping loosely around his shoulders and arms, showcasing the dapple pattern of spots dancing across his skin, while the skirt of the tunic went down to mid thigh, longer than his usual kilts. 

A unique new piece of apparel was underwear. Jensen hadn’t been allowed undergarments since his capture. He flushed bright red when Ja’red stared pointedly at him and he realized it was to conceal his burgeoning knot. A distant memory of a high school textbook called up the image of a roman slave. He supposed that was close enough. 

Ja’red attached a gold and green leash to his collar and then went into the large walk-in closet to get dressed himself. When he returned he was in a long buttoned surcoat of a darker green than Jensen’s tunic, with black leather pants, his sword again at his side. When they met Chris'tian at the aircar, he too was dressed in a matched version of the darker green dress coat.

Jensen hovered at the edge of the wide open veranda and tried to pluck up the courage to leave the safety of the wall and cross the gap to the aircar. He had forgotten that going to see the prince involved flying…. Foolish cat. He couldn’t help the squeak of surprise as Ja’red scooped his not inconsiderable weight up in his arms and tucked Jensen's head into his chest. “Don’t look,” he said as he carried him over the gap and into the safety of the car. Jensen looked up in surprise and tried to burn that moment into his memory.

: : :

The flight to the city was quiet. Ja’red stared out the window while his hand combed through Jensen’s hair where he knelt at Ja’red’s feet. This time he knelt there because it was as far away from the windows and the skyline view whizzing past as he could get, not because he was ordered to. 

Jensen wondered what lay in store for him. Everything was coming to a head. He purred softly, his nerves settled by the contact, his cat sated by the soothing touch. They arrived at the palace all too soon, and Ja’red adjusted his coat and donned his aura of command before stepping out of the aircar.

Jensen eased out behind him, careful to keep his eyes down and stay a respectful pace behind his master but close enough so the leash had some slack. He’d never been to the castle before. It was a whole new experience.

Chris’tian fell into step beside Ja’red, and the two conversed quietly as they moved through the corridors of the castle. Jensen tried not to gape, but the interior of the palace was more spectacular than the exterior. The huge vaulted spaces were illuminated by glowing lights that hung and sparkled near the ceiling with no apparent fixtures or wires. Iridescent panels moved and changed color as people passed them, and floating lounge chairs were tucked away in niches off the main hall where dignitaries of all races sat and chatted. Ja’red flowed through it all as the crowds parted for the commander like the parting of the seas. No one wanted to get in the way of his master. Jensen could understand; there was a brutally ruthless side of Ja’red, as Jensen could attest, but deeply buried there, he was starting to see a softer side. Ja’red confused him completely. A part of him was glad his master only needed him for this one last day. The man twisted him up too much inside.

He stumbled as Ja’red and Chris’tian slowed and a large, corpulent man approached them with purpose.

“Ja’red, my boy, good to see you. You’re here for the prince’s roundtable?”

“Yes, good to see you too, Admiral Khal. Yes, I got word about the prince’s meeting last week.”

“Haven’t seen you for a while, my boy. A little bird told me you were cosseted away with a new toy. Were you in hiding?”

“Ha.” Ja’red’s bark of laughter had Jensen jerking a little on the end of the leash. He decided this was going to be more than a brief chat, and as protocol bid, he slid silently to his knees at his master’s side.

“And perhaps this is the new toy?” Admiral Khal eyes tracked his movements and Jensen lowered his head, a soft blush staining his cheeks. 

Ja’red reached down and toyed with the soft tufts of his ears and said, “You seem overly concerned with my toys, Admiral Khal; do you not have toys of your own to keep you satisfied?”

Jensen made sure his face showed nothing as he peeked out from under his lashes. Khal seemed to be growing a particularly worrisome shade of red and jerked on the leash he held. A slim, blue slave emerged from behind the bulk of the admiral and knelt quietly beside him. 

“I have more than sufficient toys, Commander, that I’ve kept for a long time now. Let’s hope that during our meeting today you can keep your mind focused on the plan and not be distracted by your shiny new ones.” With that he jerked on the poor girl’s leash and she stumbled and fell into Jensen. 

As he reached down to help the awkwardly sprawled slave to her feet, she passed him the note. He’d seen her signal and had been prepared. Still, he flushed guiltily as he grasped the tiny slip of paper in his hand. He’d have to memorize it as soon as he could and destroy it. He glanced up quickly as her master stomped his feet and jerked on her leash impatiently, barely giving the girl enough time to right herself. When she was finally back on her feet, the Admiral tugged viciously on the leash and hauled the poor girl away. Jensen slipped back to his knees by Ja’red’s side, bowing his head to hide his expression. He heard his master chuckle mirthlessly as leaned his hand down to caress Jensen’s tufts. 

Chris’tian stepped up close to the commander and whispered, “Be careful, sir, the last one to tangle with Admiral Khal ended up losing his head. The man is dangerous.”

“I know, Chris, I know.”

Clicking his tongue Ja’red urged Jensen to his feet and they continued on. They moved through the maze that was the palace, finally coming to a set of wide doors guarded by four men. They snapped to attention as Ja’red neared but did not open the doors. The guard in charge approached.

“Captain? Is there a reason why I am not being admitted?”

“I’m sorry, sir, there has been a small development, of which I must inform you before you can join the assembly.”

“What development and by whose orders?” Ja’red snapped impatiently.

“Th-the prince, sir. He’s ordered that no slaves be allowed in the meeting without a few precautions. If you insist on bringing it in with you, you must abide by his wishes. The alternative, if you would like, is to leave your slave with us; we have places reserved at the palace kennels to board it. It will be perfectly safe.” 

“Thank you, Captain, but the prince has ordered his presence. So do what you need to do. What will it entail?”

“Your slave must not be able to see or hear anything during the meeting,” the captain admitted reluctantly, obviously expecting an argument of some kind. 

Ja’red turned to Jensen who froze stock still at the captain’s words. He’d just spent the last three days at Ja’red’s mercy, mute and blind. He shivered at the idea of being so vulnerable again. Ja’red took him in his arms, and guilt pulsed through the bond, though nothing showed on his face. He ran his hands up and down the spots on Jensen’s biceps and whispered in his ear, “Be strong; I’ll keep you safe. This will be nothing like what has come before. You need only kneel at my feet and be obedient.”

Jensen shivered in his master’s embrace and nodded. Ja’red continued to hold him and rub soothing circles in his back as the captain stepped closer.

“I just need for your slave to hold still. The effects will be completely reversed when you leave the meeting. Rest assured the prince wishes no harm to come to your property.”

He raised up a strange green light and shone it directly into Jensen’s eyes. He held it there for several seconds, and as he lowered it, Jensen flinched as his vision rapidly dimmed. Soon he could not even detect light. Next, the guard inserted a small, soft ball into each ear. He felt the objects swell on contact with his ears and burrow into the canal; soon all sound was shut out. He could still feel Ja’red’s hands on him and vibrations in the floor from people walking by but nothing else. Other than his master’s hand on him his only comfort was the man’s soothing scent. He started to shiver in spite of himself. 

Ja’red patted his arm and stood next to him until he was able to get himself under control. Jensen didn't remember ever being a coward; why should a little darkness freak him out so badly now, when he knew it would be only for a short time? He breathed in and nodded imperceptibly to where he thought his master stood. After a moment, with a squeeze to his arm, he felt a slight tug on his leash. He tried to step forward confidently and not shuffle in the blackness before him; at least his arms were free. 

He was not sure how successful he was but he tried to stay close to his master’s body. As they moved deeper into the room, he felt the body heat of others nearby. When Ja’red’s hand touched him again on the shoulder, he sank to his knees, finding Ja'red's boot with small sweeps of his fingers and settling close enough for his leg to touch one boot while he waited. His master’s fingers resting on his shoulder calmed him. He felt the brush on his arm of the soft leather of his master’s pants, and heat radiated from someone or ones in front of his owner. 

He felt a hand brush his ears, and he tried not to cry out, startled. He felt the hand move to grasp his chin, and he was made to look up. He forced his expression to neutral and he wondered whose touch it was. He couldn’t help but lick his dry lips in nervousness. He thought perhaps this might be the prince, but he couldn’t really tell. Broad fingers trailed, overly familiar, across the spots that dappled his chest. His master’s hold on his shoulder tightened perceptibly, almost to the point of pain, as the other’s hand moved over him. Jensen sagged a little in relief when the strange hand let him go, and he felt Ja’red’s touch soften in relief, fingers moving up to stroke the tufts of his ears. 

Eventually, he was tugged to his feet and brought forward to what must be the meeting room table. Ja’red sat down, and the leash was tugged downward. Jensen found himself on his knees beside his master’s feet. Although others must have been in the room, Jensen was far enough away from them that he felt no other presence but his master’s.

: : :

Time wore on. Jensen had thought he was ready for this when he came into the room. Not that he had any choice in the matter, but how bad could a few hours in a boardroom be? He’d expected to simply be bored for a while, but he’d severely underestimated the effect that being blind and deaf would have on him and his already bruised cat. To compensate, he felt himself edging closer and closer to his master. His hand ran tentatively up and down his master’s leg in an attempt to ground himself while he tried to breathe the sweet scent of the man in deeper. The meeting went on for an eternity, and every time Jensen began to believe he would make it out of this with his sanity intact, Ja’red would rise and move around the room. 

His absence left Jensen alone and drifting in the dark, and each time Ja'red returned to his seat, Jensen huddled closer and closer to his master’s legs. He despised himself, but he couldn’t help the slight trembles that ran through him. Darkness and sensory deprivation were beginning to eat at him, and his cat shivered within him. 

After one particularly long absence, Ja’red appeared at his side, his strangely sharp scent alerting him to his master’s presence before he felt a hand gently squeeze his arm. That grasp was released, and he felt his master’s finger tap his lip. He realized in sudden horror from the soft vibration coming from his throat that he had been whining out loud in fear. 

He bit down on his treacherous tongue, ashamed. As Ja’red sat, he leaned down and pulled Jensen up so his head lay in his lap, and Jensen was held in the vee of his legs. He petted his head, hands feathering up and down his ears and across his back. When Jensen’s breathing returned to normal, Ja’red coaxed a straw into his mouth and urged him to drink. 

He nudged him down to the floor to lie curled up around his feet. Ja’red slid his hands gently over Jensen’s eyes, closing his eyelids, his meaning clear. Jensen didn’t think he would be able to sleep and railed silently at being treated like a bad puppy, but he did as his master bid. The floor was made of something that adjusted under his weight and was warm to the touch. He found it strangely comforting. Exhausted by his freak-out and lulled by his master’s scent, his eyes closed. 

It was only some time later, when Ja’red shook his shoulder gently and urged him to rise, he realized he had fallen asleep, after all.

Ja’red’s hand was warm on Jensen’s back as he guided him forward. They stopped several times, and although Jensen moved to slide down to his knees, Ja’red’s firm arm on his bicep kept him in place at his side. Jensen kept his head down and his arms tucked and clasped behind his back. He couldn’t be sure of the expression on his face and didn’t want to embarrass his master further. 

An infinity of time later, Jensen felt a hand tipping his chin up and holding his head still. Light gradually began to seep back into his world. As he blinked he felt his ears pop and his hearing returned as well. He turned to his master and couldn’t help but huddle up against the broad chest. 

Strong arms engulfed him, and he luxuriated in the grounding touch. He heard Ja’red’s voice speaking. “It’s all right, Jen’son, you’re safe, it’s over for now. Shhh, baby, you’re all right.” Jensen despised the coddling tone, let alone the word 'baby', but he couldn’t help but settle under the touch. 

Jensen tried to stop himself from trembling in his master’s arms once more as the signature cherry tinged huff of cigar smoke in the air wafted closer. “They can’t hack the isolation, can they? You’ll be all right, sweetheart.” He felt the prince’s rough hand rub playfully down along the back of his head and ears and continue to trail less innocently across the length of his bare shoulders to end with his hand on the small of Jensen’s back. 

“He’s been through a lot lately,” Ja’red explained vaguely. “His cat can’t handle the lack of touch. It’s like that with many weres.” Ja’red spoke soothingly.

“Well I’m sure you tying him with your big knot doesn’t help things. The boy’s probably still in shock from seeing that monster dick of yours, pup. Ain’t ya, sweetheart?” The prince slapped Jensen on the ass. Jensen jumped a little but didn’t make a sound.

“He’ll be alright; you just need to get some food into him,” the prince continued amicably.

Jensen straightened his spine and forced himself to stand straight. He blushed at his weakness, and kept his head down.

“Come, Pussycat. Like the prince said, time for us to find you something to eat.” Ja’red ruffled his hair, and the group headed off to the banquet hall.

: : :

Ja’red heaped his plate and returned with Jensen to a seat at the long trestle table. Generals and advisors, all with their slaves in attendance, sat in small groups along its length. None seem to be as affected by the prince's security measures as Jensen, but then, none of the rest were weres. Chris’tian stood guard along the wall of the large room, and watched the crowd. He did give Jensen a sympathetic nod, and Jensen nodded back, gratefully.

Ja’red set his plate down and Jensen slipped to his knees at his feet. Ja’red started plying him with food, sensing his need for the warmth and comfort as much as the caloric benefit. Ja’red was holding up another forkful of what Jensen could only think of as ‘Space Kraft dinner’, when another attendee appeared beside them at the table. His bright blue feathers fluttered slightly in the shifting air currents of the hall.

Ja’red slid the rest of the tangy noodles into Jensen’s mouth, watching him in satisfaction as he closed his eyes and purred as he swallowed them down before he glanced up at their visitor and a wide smile split his face. The man was an Avian. Jensen had only seen one or two since his time on Vega. Avians hailed from Momax, one of the planets on the outskirt of the Imperium, so meeting one was rare. 

“General Quax, good seeing you today. It’s been a while since we saw each other on anything other than VidCon. How goes it?”

“Well, my friend, very well, but maybe not quite as well as you.” The general tapped his nose and smiled.

“Pardon?”

“Well forgive me for being forward, my lord, I just thought congratulations were in order.”

“Congratulations?” 

Jensen could see the look of mild confusion on his master’s face.

“For your mating. I could smell it on you as soon as we met. You’ve mated and to a spectacularly beautiful omega I must say. It's quite unusual to mate cross species, but somewhere we all go back to the same humanoid roots, eh? Knotting a Felix is not really out of the question. Has it been long?” The Avian tilted its long blue neck and peered questioningly at Ja’red.

Jensen watched as Ja’red swallowed and said, “Just a few days as a matter of fact. I-we haven’t told anyone because of the upcoming campaign. It would prove… awkward to say the least. If I could rely on your discretion, General? As you say, none of the Vegans really have a nose for it, so it’s really our little secret,” Ja’red said conspiratorially.

“Ah yes, my boy, good point, good point. I am so far out in the hinterland, so far removed from the realities of the war; I had forgotten that rather large point of who the assault is planned against. Do you plan to breed him? I imagine his pups will be spectacular, those ears alone. And the spots; I do so love the spots.” Quax looked admiringly at Jensen. 

Ja’red coughed to cover the choking sound he had started to make and said simply, “Well it’s early days yet. We’ll have to see.” He ran a large, possessive hand down Jensen’s back and said, “Always so good to see you, General.” 

Quax nodded graciously and stepped away.

Jensen stared up at his master quizzically. It was strange that everyone assumed his master was the alpha and he the omega. Did the alpha not have the knot? Jensen wished again that Simion had owned another were. He had so little information to go on. And what was an omega exactly anyway? He’d heard of betas before but not so much about omegas. 

The Avian had said the word mate, and since he’d met Ja’red that word had kept repeating in his brain, like an obsession. Maybe it meant something more than the physical act; his cat certainly seemed to think so. If they were mates, why then was Ja’red letting him go – or had he misunderstood? 

He wished things between Ja’red and him had been different. The idea of leaving Ja’red suddenly felt like a gut punch – and when had that happened? He would have liked the answers to a few of these questions, but he was afraid time was running out on them.

: : :

Chapter Text




: : :

After they’d eaten, Ja’red steered them through the gathered crowd to socialize. Jensen had served at events like these before but never in quite this situation. Ja’red kept the hand on his leash in a death grip, and Jensen was never allowed to kneel when they approached a new group. His master kept his arm clamped round him, keeping Jensen firmly by his side.

Jensen quietly observed the actions of other slaves in attendance. Some were kept close to their masters, as he was, while others were free to kneel or stand a few paces back from their masters. It was a mostly older group of military men and advisors. It astonished Jensen how much Ja’red was deferred to. When he spoke, men listened. Jensen purred in pride, and his cat stretched lazily at the thought of his mate being a well-respected leader. Even the prince waited to hear what Ja’red would say.

Jensen noted the royal entourage approaching Ja’red and he could barely hold back a shiver – the thought of the prince seemed to conjure up the man in question. There was something about the prince that scared him deeply, an unrelenting ruthlessness that would strip planets bare if the whim took him. 

The prince had his arm slung around a woman with golden, bird-like plumage, and his other hand was on the ass of a tall, willowy, blond Vegan. Jensen didn't recognize the bird woman's race, and it was hard for Jensen to know if they were real feathers or part of a costume. The prince seemed equally taken with both of his companions, laying sloppy kisses on one, and then the other. 

Jensen’s tongue came out, flicked across his own lips as he gazed up at his master’s wide mouth. The heat in Ja’red’s look when he caught Jensen’s eye promised kisses of his own, but in private, later. Chris’tian approached them and whispered something in Ja’red’s ear. Ja’red stiffened, his demeanor instantly changing to focused leader, and he begged the prince’s pardon to leave. He tugged on Jensen’s leash, and the three headed out toward the end of the hall. 

Chris’tian said softly, “Sorry for the interruption, Commander, but they said it was urgent. You can take the call in here, sir,” and gestured toward a private room just off the main chamber. 

Ja’red nodded and, pulling out his comm link, began to walk away. Jensen started to follow, but then Ja’red paused, looking at Jensen for a moment, and biting his lip in indecision. 

Ja’red glanced at Kane and then at the prince, the call clearly a priority. “Sire, if you don’t mind if you’ll excuse me? It’s the Sarna sector Commander and I’m afraid the discussion will be sensitive I’ll have to take it in the other room. Kane look after Jen’son in my absence.” 

“No, no I’ll have none of that. Go Ja’red and take your second with you. I can look after your Pussycat for a short while. Go, do your job.” The prince offered casually. Jensen’s eyes widened and he could see the prince’s smile grow when he saw Jensen’s reaction.

Ja’red blushed some strategist he was. The prince had so easily outmaneuvered him and he could see no way around him. He looked apologetically at Jensen and Jensen nodded back barely perceptibly, he could feel the unease running through his mate and wished there was more he could do.

“Go, my boy, go, your pet will be safe with me.” Jeffra’ Deen reached out his hand and Ja’red blinked, belatedly realizing the prince was reaching for Jensen’s leash. He chuckled, clearly embarrassed by his hesitation, and handed it over before striding away with Chris’tian at his heels to take the call, his mind clearly already on the coming meeting. Jensen could feel his master pulling away, shutting the bond down as he isolated his thoughts in preparation. 

Jensen watched him leave, and his cat moaned at the sudden separation. Jensen had to agree. He didn’t like it at all, especially being left in the prince’s care.

The prince turned, white teeth blazing against his blue skin, and said to his two companions. “Ladies, if you’ll excuse me for a moment. I think I need to visit the throne room.” 

The women tittered, amused at the prince’s ribald remark, and Jeffra’ Deen chuckled as he led Jensen out of the room.

As they left the hall, two of the prince’s bodyguard’s fell into step behind them. Jensen looked around and started to sweat with nervousness. He had thought he had been discrete, could the prince know? Jensen had never been very good at secrets, it felt like they were written on his forehead. He ran a hand across his brow, rubbing away some of the flop sweat that had suddenly appeared there. 

The prince paused at a nearby room and entered a code. He turned as he finished, a wolfish smile on his face, and gazed up and down Jensen’s body. “Come on, Pussycat. I want to play a little count the spots again.” 

Jensen’s eyes grew wide with sudden understanding and he tried to hide the shiver of fear and dread that ran through him. He ducked his head quickly to hide his reaction but the prince’s cruel chuckle told him it not been soon enough. Jeffra’ Deen tugged on Jensen’s leash and pulled him inside the room while security took up posts outside at either side of the door.

It was a small study and Jensen barely had time to think before the prince was shoving him up against the door, licking and biting at him. 

Jensen’s head was knocked back against the wall as the prince thrust his tongue hungrily into Jensen’s mouth. The prince’s large hands felt like burning brands as they grabbed his face, his thumbs pushing into the dents of Jensen’s cheeks with painful force. The harsh grip forced Jensen’s mouth open farther – so far it hurt as the exploration of his mouth continued unhindered. Jensen’s cat twisted and snarled in reaction and it took everything Jensen had in him not to do the same. He closed his eyes in resignation, hoping this would be over quickly.

Minutes passed before the prince leaned back and gasped for air, rubbing his thumbs along the skin of Jensen’s cheeks possessively. Jensen’s mouth opened for a moment, but then snapped shut at the pitiless smile that crossed the prince’s face. Jeffra’ Deen continued to lick along Jensen’s chapped lips, his teeth catching on Jensen’s bottom lip with force. “Yeah, that’s right, baby,” the prince whispered into his mouth, “You’re mine. Might even keep you.” He rubbed his bristly face against Jensen’s brow and Jensen could hear the man’s breath chuff against his skin.

Jensen roughly pushed away the raw panic the prince’s words evoked. It was just talk. Just words intended to scare… Ja’red...

Exhaling raggedly, the prince leaned down to bite along Jensen’s neck, his hands shifting down to grasp Jensen’s biceps in a punishing hold. 

Jensen gazed at the man, stunned at the assault, at the burning feel of the man’s touch, wrongbadnotmyalpha. His cat writhed and howled at the brutal violation. Jensen frantically reached for the link he shared with Ja’red, and was desperately relieved when he felt it still closed. He didn’t want his master to see him this way, to feel his reactions. 

He worried for the marks being left in his flesh like a neon sign of his helplessness, worried that Ja’red would see, worried what he would think. How would his master ever want him now, after he’d allowed the prince’s hands to roam over every inch of him. He felt sick, and his cat snarled and batted at his insides in fury. Jensen felt dizzy at withstanding both the internal and external attacks. His head lolled forward weakly when the prince suddenly released it.

“Wanted those lips around my cock again since our first night.” The prince groaned, grabbing Jensen’s shoulders and pushing him down; his grip was punishing. Jensen cringed in pain and tried to concentrate on his training, concentrate on being the whore, so that the screaming inside his mind would stop. He nodded his head numbly, unable to do anything but obey, and tried to slide to his knees gracefully. It was difficult, trapped as he was between the wall of the study and Jeffra’ Deen’s broad body.

“Come on, come on,” the prince ordered harshly before Jensen touched the floor. Unthinking, his hands slipped out and did what they had been trained to do, rubbing over the prince’s tight leather pants teasingly. Jensen blanked out, unable to process everything that was happening, just allowing his body and training to take over. He tried to ignore the feel of flames licking against his skin wherever the man touched.

The prince moaned and thrust his leather covered groin into Jensen’s face. Jensen mouthed over the man’s cock. He could feel its length fattening beneath the clothes.

“Ughhh, frak! Suck me, cat.” 

Jensen reached for the pants' closure and eased the prince’s cock out. The normally blue tip was already purpling and leaking. He licked across the slit and looked up at the prince, still light-headed and confused.

The prince groaned and let his head fall forward, banging it against the wall. Bracing his forearms against it, he grinned down at Jensen. Jensen jacked him a few times, his hand running up over the head to spread some of the pre-come over the shaft. The prince widened his stance to make room for Jensen to move and groaned again. 

“Baby, stop playin’ with it and wrap those lips around me. You’re killin’ me here.” 

Jensen’s eyelids fluttered closed and he dipped his head in response, taking the prince’s cock into his mouth. He had just started to lick under the broad head when the prince thrust forward, shoving himself down Jensen’s throat. Jensen rushed to cover his teeth and tried not to choke as the prince growled. Jensen’s hands reached out frantically, not to push away, but to balance himself. They landed on the prince’s hips. 

He tried to ease the prince back but the man pushed forward relentlessly. Even with training, Jensen found himself struggling to take him all in. He was propelled back against the wall, his face buried into the hair of the man’s crotch as the prince pushed forward. He groaned and rolled his hips and held himself buried deep in Jensen’s throat.

Jensen struggled to breath through his nose but couldn’t, and his hands fluttered weakly at the prince’s hips as he ran short of breath, but everywhere he touched felt hurtbadwrong and his cat hissed in disapproval. He heard a dark chuckle, and Jeffra’ Deen finally eased back, allowing Jensen to gasp in much needed air. He started up a leisurely pace rocking himself in and out of Jensen’s mouth, controlling the rhythm. Able to breathe again, Jensen tried to concentrate on the task at hand. He eased the prince’s pants down a little and used his hands to massage the Prince’s firm ass. 

“Wanna mark you up so bad, baby, fuck you raw. Mmm want to keep you like this all night, but I can’t. I’ve still got work to do tonight. I’ll have to have a discussion with that wolf of yours. Those lips need to be put to work on a regular basis. And I can’t wait to tap that spotted ass of yours again.” 

Jensen choked in reaction, unable to control the sudden rapid beating of his heart and the snarling violence of his cat. It was like fighting a war on two fronts.

What if the prince really did keep him? What would that do to his plans? Ja’red… Ja’red had said he just had to last this one night… but a tiny hope had burned in Jensen’s heart that the wolf would still keep him. But if he were to fall into the prince’s hands … Jensen shivered at the thought and tried to control his breathing and not spiral into a full blown panic attack as his cat screamed.

“Fuck yeah, baby, such a good kitty for me. Wish we had more time, baby. Time for me to bend you over that chair and make you scream. Soon though, soon. Oh yeah, yeah, that’s it, baby… Oh, frakin’ gods…” 

Jensen heard the dark promise in the Prince’s voice, but all he could focus on was that his words meant this was coming to an end soon. Jensen peeked up at the prince, his mouth filled with the man’s thrusting cock. One of the Prince’s hands dropped down to rub his head affectionately as he continued to fuck into him. He heard the man’s breath hitch and his thrusts were growing erratic. He was getting close, and Jensen purred. 

Deep in his throat he let the cat-like vibration rumble through him. The prince shoved forward in surprise and came, spilling violently down Jensen’s throat.

The prince blew out a breath. Jensen could feel the man staring down at him in surprise, but he kept his gaze down and swiped his soft sandpaper tongue under the prince’s length still buried in Jensen’s throat. Groaning softly, he slowly withdrew. Jensen licked at the softening member, cleaning him. 

Finally the prince pulled back to tuck himself back into his pants, and Jensen almost fell forward at the sudden move.

Jaffra’ Deen strode over to the small desk in the room and snapped open a box, taking one of his cigar like things out of it. With a click of a lighter, he soon had it lit and clamped between his teeth. He grabbed up Jensen’s leash where Jensen was trying to appear as small and insignificant as possible and tugged on it. “Come on, sweetheart, I got a party to host."

Jensen felt violated; his skin crawled as the prince led him back out into the main room. His cat wanted nothing more than to crawl into a corner and lick the prince’s unwanted scent off his flesh. Jensen couldn't agree more. He felt bruised both inside and out. Discretely, he tried to straighten his clothing and tidy his hair, hoping none of the prince’s marks showed. He blew out a shaky breath.

For the first time since being taken, Jensen actually cared where he stayed; but he guessed now it was a moot point. The plan was in motion, he had his security code now, this was the big one. He would be gone shortly. He shivered. The evening had spiraled out of control so quickly. Jensen glanced over and saw Ja’red exiting the meeting room, his call finished. He wondered if he would be able to smell the prince on him. He wondered why he cared. 

He cautiously touched the bond. He hadn’t had much experience controlling it, but he could still only feel Ja’red distantly, his master still withdrawn into meeting mode. He wasn’t sure how Ja’red would react if he knew what just happened. He only knew that for some reason he didn't understand, he cared desperately about Ja'red's opinion.

It was then that Jensen noticed it, just out of the corner of his vision.

He wasn’t sure what exactly had caught his eye, but he had been watching the other slaves and servers all night and he hadn’t seen this one before. Another rarity on Vega, Jensen had heard them identified as Borians. He had first seen one of the bear-like creatures on the breaker ship working as a guard. Since then, Jensen had learned that, unlike Lycans or Felix, they didn’t change their shape; this was their normal form. They tended to be large, brutish creatures, good with guns, and were usually only used as guards or foot soldiers.

What grabbed Jensen’s attention at first was the fact that, although he carried a tray to serve the Champagne-like drinks that had flowed like water all night, there was only one glass on his tray. That on its own was not so odd, but what was more damning was the fact that the tray trembled as though he didn’t know how to balance it properly, the way a real server would. The other thing that stood out in Jensen’s quick assessment of the man was the sweat that darkened the Borian’s dark fur and white tunic. He couldn’t think of a species less suited to serving in a hot, crowded hall than a large, lumbering bear, and this one was obviously nervous. As the creature approached, Jensen watched its eyes shift nervously. 

The prince jerked on Jensen’s leash; he had fallen behind while watching the server. Jensen had just turned his head to catch up when he caught a whiff of the Borian’s scent, and his cat went crazy. His hackles raised, and the prince and all that had just happened was instantly forgotten. It smelled badwrongdanger, and Jensen turned back toward it immediately. He was just in time to see the Borian drop the tray and reach behind its back, its gaze fixed on Ja’red.

As if in slow motion, Jensen launched himself at the man, fingers extended like claws, neck wrenching in pain as the leash was torn out of Jeffra’ Deen’s grip. His cat roared, and all Jensen could think was protectmate as he hurled himself toward the larger bear. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Chris’tian pull his weapon and shove Ja’red to the ground, yelling, “Put down the weapon….Put down the weapon…”

Everything was a roar of white noise, and Jensen felt a strange sense of disorientation while the world slid sideways. He felt cloth shred and tear as he landed on the bear-man, the force of his weight throwing them both to the ground. Jensen’s claws raked across the hand holding the jumbler and sent the weapon skittering across the floor. The bear-man screamed and scrambled back as they both rushed to regain their footing. Regrouping, it bared its teeth in a snarl and swiped a giant paw at Jensen. He dodged sideways, barely avoiding the sickle-like claws while he was already going for the bear-man's neck. 

Jensen’s fangs dug deep into the furry throat. Hot, rich blood flooded his mouth and then he was pulling, tearing, with terrible force. The bear-man screamed, a horrible, nightmarish sound, and gurgled as Jensen’s cat pulled a large, mouth-sized chunk of flesh from his furry neck. Blood gushed with arterial vengeance, and Jensen’s cat snarled in satisfaction as it batted once more at the bear to ensure it was down. His mate was safe. The enemy was dead. The twitching body just didn’t realize it yet.

Chris’tian was suddenly there firing into the dying, bear-man. Jensen turned and looked around, inhaling deeply as his nose tracked his mate’s location. He swung around and padded over to where Ja’red was just getting back to his feet. Jensen growled in happiness and closed the distance between them. It was only when Ja’red had to kneel down to embrace his neck that Jensen realized he had shifted. Ja’red was holding him, rubbing him and running his hands across his blood dappled flanks. Soft puffs of breath touched his tufts, and Ja’red nuzzled his head, crooning softly, “Are you – are you alright? Did he hurt you? Are you alright?”

: : :

“Strip.” Ja’red’s voice was low and not entirely free of growl. The sound went straight to Jensen’s groin and his dick hardened instantly. Ja’red stalked over to his mate and his hand wrapped around the back of Jensen’s head and pulled him in for a kiss. The smell of his mate blanketed him, a warm physical presence. Ja’red manhandled Jensen over to the bed and yanked off the sheet that was tangled around him, growling, “Want you. The right way this time.” Staring into those foxlike eyes, Jensen believed.

: : :

As with the last time that he shifted, Jensen had no idea how it happened. One minute he was a human standing across the room from Ja’red, and the next minute he was claws and fangs and gnashing teeth launching himself toward badevilmatedanger. There was the satisfying spurt of coppery blood on his tongue and the rip of tearing flesh that filled him with a sense of peace and matesafegood. Then, a long period of noise and chaos that made his cat’s nose itch with irritation and his ears lay flat along his head. Men gathered and guards scurried, trying to figure out what had happened. At the beginning of it, they had tried to take Jensen from the room, but his cat was having none of that. He snarled menacingly, until it became obvious to them he was not to be moved from his mate’s side. In spite of Ja’red’s soothing words, the hackles on the back of his neck refused to lower until the menprey kept their distance.

Once they saw the wisdom in keeping a respectful distance from Ja’red and leaving his 200 lb cat alone, he had flopped contentedly at Ja’red’s feet, licking the bear-man's blood off his coat. Jensen’s cat didn’t care about politics or motivations or why, it didn’t care about anything much other than being close to his mate and that his mate was safe. He didn't know why his mate stayed locked in his smaller form when his wolf could come out and play. Jensen’s cat shrugged it off as ‘wolves!’ Purring gently against Ja’red’s legs, he didn’t notice the last of the adrenaline high finally burning away, and, exhausted, he drifted off to sleep, eased by the presence of his wolf. 

: : :

Ja’red watched Jen’son as he slept. His mate had come to his rescue tonight. Ja’red hadn’t even seen the Borian until it was too late. He felt humbled by the Felix, so willing to risk his life for him. Ja’red felt more than a little humiliated in contrast to how he had been treating his mate, how he had been dealing with having an alpha. His own insecurities had nearly ruined any chance he had at happiness with the green eyed man. Ja’red just had to keep a lid on things tonight, and then he could explain at least a few things to Jen’son. Until the attack on Felix took place, though, he couldn’t tell him everything, or free him – it would be too dangerous for both of them. After that, though, he would find a way out of this situation, a way to make it all work. He turned his mind toward the puzzle of the Borian. The Chief Strategist could be targeted at any time; it wasn’t like there hadn’t been assassination attempts in the past. 

Background checks on the Borian had resulted in nothing. The man had no record in the system other than his created alias as a waiter. Obviously, if security could be infiltrated so easily, it needed to be tightened considerably. Ja’red cursed. Why now? What would his death achieve? It wouldn’t stop the Imperium’s war against the Alliance or the planned assault.

Out of the corner of his eye, he picked out movement and looked down. Jen’son was shifting in his sleep. Ja’red watched in fascination as the Felix's claws retracted and shrank to become mere finger and toenails, joints and limbs rearranged themselves to human shape, and dappled fur seemed to ripple as it disappeared, revealing smooth, freckled skin, all as if by magic. Still, the quixotic pattern of ever-shifting spots remained.

The prince’s deep voice rumbled beside him, suddenly close. “Fascinating, I’ve never seen one of you shift before; it’s… beautiful.” The two men watched as the Felix became the man. Then it was simply Jensen lying there on the floor, naked, bruises and other marks from his fight with the Borian visible on the pale, freckled hide. A long gash ran down one side where the bear’s claws must have grazed him. Ja’red quickly crouched down in front of Jen’son, gathering his mate up into his arms in a bid to block the prince’s view of his naked form. He gestured to Kane to bring something to cover him. Exhausted Jen’son continued to sleep through the shift.

The prince surveyed Jen’son carefully, unspeaking, and Ja’red had to resist the suicidal urge to step in front of his mate and hide him from the prince’s critical view.

Kane returned with a soft grey blanket. Ja’red took it from him, swaddling Jen’son in it. He looked up at the prince to ask his permission for them to leave when he saw the prince’s face had gone stiff with anger, his eyes dark slits in his face. Ja’red wondered what had enraged the man so suddenly.

“Clear the room.” Prince Jeffra’ Deen’s booming voice cut through the murmurs of the crowd of generals and their aids; abrupt silence fell over the group. Ja’red moved to lift his sleeping mate into his arms to leave when the prince turned and snarled at him, inexplicably, “No. You, you stay right where you are.”

Ja’red instantly obeyed. He laid Jen’son carefully back down and stood. He was slightly perplexed but kept any questions to himself.

As the Generals filed out of the room, the prince paced back and forth in front of Ja’red, not saying a word. Ja’red broke out into a light sweat and wondered what he might have done. The prince’s moods were mercurial at best, anything might have set the man off. Kane hovered there, uncertain; Ja’red nodded and dismissed the man who looked on with open concern. Kane cast a worried look at the prince, then nodded back and left reluctantly with the rest of the group. 

The last man had barely exited, closing the door to the great hall behind him, before the prince turned to Ja’red, his closed fist arching up to smash him directly in the face. Shock had him hunching in on himself as a steady stream of blows and obscenities fell on him. A set of rabbit punches to his face and abdomen culminating in a devastating right hook sent him flying to the floor, stunned. The air knocked out of him, he curled in on himself as the prince began to use his booted feet. Finally, panting with effort, the prince abruptly stopped. Ja’red looked up as he wiped the blood from his mouth to see the prince stalk over to stand over Jen’son. He watched, speechless, as the prince snatched away the blanket from his vulnerable mate. Unaware, his cat lay there, still unconscious from the strain of his shift, and Jeffra’ Deen kicked Jen’son’s legs apart to expose his soft cock nestled in the white fur of his pubic area. Ja’red gulped in understanding; Jen’son’s knot was clearly visible. He hadn’t acted fast enough.

The prince turned his furious gaze back at Ja’red, gesturing down at Jen’son and snarling, “So, just when were you going to tell me? Did you think me that great a fool that you could keep this from me forever? What did you think was going to happen, Ja’red? How did you see this turning out well? And with a slave…”

Ja’red swallowed in apprehension; the prince knew, knew what he was. Ja’red felt embarrassment and shame rush through him. He looked up at the man he had practically grown up with. Cruel and calculating, yes, but the prince had treated him like a little brother for the last fifteen years. He had been more of a brother to Ja’red than his own half-siblings back home on Lycos, and now…. Ja’red croaked out, “I-I don’t know what to say. I-I never intended this. We-we, it just happened…” Ja’red knew he trailed off feebly, but he didn’t know how to tell the short version of how things were between him and Jen’son, and the prince wasn’t looking for a long explanation.

“Now that’s the problem with you people; you only think with your knot, or with your mate’s knot, as it turns out in your case. You knew your duty; you should have come to me. Hell, I might have mated you myself just to keep that pesky planet of yours firmly underfoot. You know how totally unsuitable it is to have an omega in any kind of position of authority? Hell, I’ll be a laughing stock in the Alliance. How will they take the Imperium seriously when we have a bitch at the helm?”

“But no, you had to use that big brain of yours and go against convention. Thought you were soooo much smarter than me, than all of us. The brainy omega bitch. Frak, the humiliation! It might have been okay if you’d been a female. Having a beta as my chief strategist would be pushing it but marginally okay. But to have a little bitch omega in the position, I’d be a total joke amongst our own shifter populations. What am I supposed to do when you go into heat? Call a time out for the war? Fuck you silly myself so you can get back to work? Or call your slave in to do the job?” ‘Deen paced angrily back and forth before Ja’red.

Ja’red bit his lip. Even thinking about it his hole tingled at the thought of his first knotting with his mate, his uncontrollable desire to be tied over and over. He dropped his head in embarrassment and felt himself grow red. Everything his father had said about omegas had turned out to be true. He hadn’t known that it would be like this. 

Lost in his own thoughts the prince’s voice startled him when he said caustically, “Does your father know?”

Ja’red’s blush deepened, and he flinched away from the prince’s low and dirty laugh. “No, of course he doesn’t know. He’s an alpha, isn’t he? Weren’t all the men of your line alphas? So what would that make you? Daddy’s disappointment? Ha, no wonder he never visited you. Maybe he already knew or guessed? Maybe that’s why he traded you away so easily to my father? 

Ja’red stood there, rooted to the spot unable to speak. Shame burned through him. 

Maybe that was why his father had abandoned him here. 

He had no defense, he had been living a lie. A weak pitiful lie and all the years and years of tricking everyone around him, hiding his true nature, had come to this – betraying his prince’s trust. 

“I should kill this creature you’ve latched onto and throw you in a frakin’ pit. And let me assure you, I have a very extensive and well equipped dungeon. Not that you’ve ever soiled your hands doing any of the dirty work, not with your big brain. Oh no, you’ve had it all, celebrity, position, fame, all while you’ve stood there and lied to me. Well, let me tell you what you’re going to do, sweetheart. We have a war to win. A war against your boyfriend’s kin. And you’re going to win it for me, no ifs, ands, or buts, and if I think you’re not performing up to spec, I’m going to take it out on your pretty pet here. Make him suffer.”

The prince advanced on Ja’red who still lay, stunned, half kneeling on the floor. He loomed over him, fists opening and closing in barely suppressed rage. Without warning he reached down and grabbed Ja’red by the hair and twisted his head painfully back, his eyes burning a hole through him. “For now, at least, we’ll keep this little ‘situation’ between us. After you’ve won me my victory on Felix, we’ll see. I may let you walk away. Find some backwater planet, and you and your boy can go there and fuck like bunnies for the rest of your lives for all I care. He can knock you up, and you can play house, and I’ll never have to look at your lying face again. But for now, for now, I need you. Win me this war, or you’ll see for yourself how little effort it takes to separate the knot from the Pussycat.” The prince released his hair, and Ja’red’s sagged back down on trembling arms. Jeffra’ Deen strode from the room, slamming the door behind him.

Ja’red knelt there for a long time as the direness of the situation fully sank in. He shakily got to his feet and dashed away the tears that had started to trickle from his eyes. When had he become so weak and emotional? Tears…seriously, he was the Commander, the Chief Strategist. Exhaling in disgust, Ja’red carefully wrapped the sleeping slave back up in the blanket the prince had kicked away in his rage. He gritted his teeth and lifted his mate up to cradle him tenderly to his chest and walked to their waiting aircar.

Kane didn’t ask any questions when he saw Ja’red’s face, just rushed to open the aircar door for him and get them home. Ja’red, lost in thought, said nothing the entire trip home. In a strange way, a part of him was relieved that the prince knew what he was now, he was tired of all this hiding – all these years ashamed and scared of what he was, burying himself in his work. At the same time, he was bitterly disappointed. The prince had spoken with such vitriol, such disdain. Ja’red wondered how he had hidden his feelings so long, his absolute distaste for weres, for omegas in particular. How could Ja’red have not seen it sooner? A part of him was pitifully glad he had met Jen’son. The feelings he had for the cat, could their bond as mates be so wrong?

The aircar arrived at the mansion, and Ja’red carried Jen’son back to their bedroom. He stroked his mate's beautiful face with a gentle touch, and felt arousal spiral through him. He could smell his own scent, but he could also make out the lighter scent of his alpha, green leaves and rain and an odor like freshly polished metal and old leather, as intriguing as the man himself. He watched as his alpha’s eyes fluttered open, and he knew that whatever happened from this point on, he could not regret this.

This man, this slave, had saved him when no one else had. He had embraced what they had together even when he didn’t understand it, even in the face of Ja’red’s abuse. Ja’red would be a fool not to grab on and see what happiness he might be able to have in their union for as long as he could. 

Jen'son’s moss green eyes opened, gazing at him with hunger and possession. Ja’red shivered as his mate’s voice rumbled out over him and said softly, “Strip.”

: : :

Jensen slipped into the hall. He knew he didn’t have much time, but he didn’t need much. He’d risked grabbing a pair of Ja’red’s lounge pants lying on the floor as he’d crept from his master’s bed. Now he stood outside Ja’red’s office, trying to summon his nerve

His cat hissed in disapproval and, irritated, Jensen shrugged off the unsolicited and unwanted opinion. What did his cat know? His horny beast was the one who'd gotten him into this mess anyway. Jensen swiped his hand through the air dismissively, shaking his head in the dark. Why was he even having second thoughts? Pulling off this job meant his freedom. What was there to think about? His hesitation was stupid and could get him killed. 

Even if he stayed, Ja’red couldn’t keep him even if his master wanted to. He’d seen the look of lust and possession in Prince Jeffra’ Deen’s cruel eyes. The attack had distracted him, but Jensen knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that the man had his scent now. Getting turned over to the prince would be its own special kind of hell, given how sadistic the man was. Frankly, the prince scared both Jensen and his cat – a lot. Nothing good would come from falling into his hands. Jensen exhaled a shaky breath. There really was no choice, the prince was the final straw. He reached a trembling hand down to open the door. 

No alarms sounded, no claxtons went off. Jensen inhaled deeply to steady himself, and stepped inside. It was a large room, dominated by a wall of floor to ceiling windows like those in the master bedroom. Another wall was a display for giant galactic case files, the entire wall full of data screens and vid conns, holographic maps and projections showing activities from all over the Imperium. It was what Jensen imagined a futuristic news room of CNN might look like. 

Jensen knew the chief strategist kept track of activities all over the Imperium; this was probably only the tip of the iceberg. He started towards Ja’red’s desk, a sleek, massive slab of black that seemed to float in midair, covered in a row of personal-sized vid screens and data ports. He rifled through the few flimsies on the desk and, as expected, none of the symbols he’d been trained to look for had been left lying out in the open. Of course nothing would ever be that easy. He moved on to Ja’red’s personal VidCon and entered the password Admiral Khal’s slave had slipped him hours earlier.

BINGO, Jensen thought with subdued glee. He entered the stolen code name he’d memorized off the slip of paper she’d passed him. It was the password for the files for Ja’red’s advance against Felix Prime. Watching the screen blink and churn he was suddenly rewarded with a lengthy list of data entries and files. He didn’t know what any of it said or meant, he was functionally illiterate in Vegan. The translator embedded in his ear only worked for vocal translations, not visual ones – who wanted a slave that could understand too many of your secrets, anyway? But the Alliance had trained him on what to look for, the way the file structures should look. 

He had never dreamed he might stumble across a possible out, a possible path to freedom. He had thought he was condemned to be a slave here on this side of the galaxy until he died. He hadn’t found them, of course; they had found him. It had been pitifully easy for him to fall into their hands, just a few booked appointments with Simion for a Felix pleasure slave for the day, and he was at their mercy. When he’d arrived at the appointment, instead of sex they’d wanted espionage with a side of potential death if caught. They’d been his own kind– Felix, that is, fighting for the Alliance, and they made a compelling promise of freedom at the end of all the spy stuff if he could bring in the goods, classified information of the war effort from his ‘clients’. Even when the Alliance trainers' methods had been a bit cruel for Jensen’s taste, he’d kept the brass ring in mind. If he could make himself valuable to them, and they weren’t blasted out of existence by the Imperium first, the deal was that they’d free him. 

He shouldn’t have been surprised that even with his new ‘kind,’ everything had a price. Nothing was free in this world, no more than it had been on Earth; he would have to work for his freedom. But after all, what did he have to lose? So he studied hard and did whatever they asked and tried not to get caught – or worse yet, killed. So far it had worked. His job this time had been to catch the eye of some high ranking official at the Prince’s Gala, and get access to significant information. But Ja’red had found him, not the other way around. It had all seemed too perfect, too easy.

He fumbled for a data chip to use to transport the information and found a couple lying on Ja’red’s desk. When he went to insert it in the drive he was shaking so hard he dropped it and had to pick it up off the desk twice before he got it installed and started copying the information over. Sweat beaded on his forehead. He’d never done anything like this, nothing this important anyway. It had all been small-time data grabs, in and out and undetected while his various rental masters slept. 

This would blow his cover completely and would require his retrieval, but wasn’t that the golden ticket? Even beyond his freedom he hoped it made a difference. He hoped it was worth what he was giving up… which was what exactly? The strange, fucked up beginning of an abusive relationship with a were who seemed, sometimes, to hate him, and had as much as said he'd be getting rid of him tomorrow. A were that brought out a possessive side of him, sure, but he’d get over it. He’d get over Ja’red. His gut clenched at that thought, and he would have to think about why later. Better to leave now as planned than to be sold again into an uncertain future and a new, and possibly more abusive, master. Jensen shook his head, Ja’red would survive. He’d find some other slave to keep him happy, someone less complicated. Jensen’s cat snarled at the lie.

The VidCon pinged softly, and Jensen withdrew the chip. He turned away from Ja’red’s desk and walked toward the floor length window in his office and pushed down on the tiny signal button hidden subcutaneously between the second and third finger in the webbing of his left hand. In theory he was to be beamed up within minutes; an alliance aircar hovering somewhere nearby was supposed to be tracking his location through the signal, ready to take him away. Through bitter experience though, Jensen didn’t count on anything until it happened. That’s why he wasn’t terribly surprised when he heard his master’s soft voice behind him, “I never thought you were a spy, Jen’son. I just didn’t think you were that stupid.”

Jensen turned slowly, his hands rising in the air in what he hoped was a universal sign of surrender. Ja’red stood there, naked, a taze gun leveled at him in the dark, and said in a deep, velvet voice, “And to think I defended you. I put my career on the line for you. When exactly did the Alliance get to you?”

: : :

Jen’son’s cat eyes glowed eerily green in the dark, suddenly alien and inscrutable. Ja’red watched, fascinated, as a flush of red began to mottle the man’s face and chest. He could see the force of will it took for Jen’son to straighten to his full height and, raising his hands, turn to face him. Ja’red’s eyes widened when he saw the guilt and sorrow in his mate’s eyes. What was going on here? What had his cat gotten up to? He knew he should be on the comm to Chris’tian to get his ass down here now with chains, but he found himself transfixed by the sight of his mate. 

“Two or three years after the breakers. I didn’t know anything about anything other than I was a slave and had been turned. My side was sort of chosen for me.”

“They’ll put you to death for this. Or in labor so hard you’ll wish you had died.”

“After this last week with you, that might be an improvement.” 

Ja’red flinched as though struck and almost instantly muttered, “I deserved that.”

“Tell me one thing. Why?”

Ja’red tilted his head. Jen’son didn’t even seem worried about the gun in his hand. There was a resigned, defeated slump to his mate’s shoulders, as though he expected, and had already resigned himself, to his doom. 

“You and the whys – haven’t we been down this road before? Why what? Why did I buy you? Why did I let you take me? Why did I…rape you?”

“All of them I guess.” Jen’son leaned his head back quizzically. He glanced up as in his upraised hand a tiny blue light had started to blink, just barely visible under the skin. He stared at it, a look of chagrined disbelief on his face and turned to look at Ja’red his mouth open in surprise. His mouth forming the words ‘I’m sorry’.

Ja’red barely had time to register the glowing blue halo of light that surrounded Jen’son before he was hurling himself at the man, grabbing onto him. 

When the flash of light receded, they were both gone.

: : :

Chapter Text




: : :

Jensen padded through the forest. It had been a really hard adjustment the last few months, god, the last few years. It only seemed like now he was touching bottom and starting to rise.

If he’d been a weaker man, a lesser man, he might have opted out, but he couldn’t do that, not now, not once he knew that Ja’red’s fate was so intrinsically intertwined with his. That the death of the alpha often signaled the death of the mated omega. Even the prolonged absence of the alpha could drive an omega mate insane during their heats, especially in the prison system where there was no provision for anyone other than the designated mate visiting. Nowhere else to turn. No, it all rested firmly on his shoulders; he wasn’t going anywhere. Yeah, so much for his freedom… right.

Just thinking about his mate made his cock twitch. It was nearing the planet’s full moon, and Ja’red’s cycle, like that of most weres on Felix, had taken up the same rhythm. He would go into heat soon, and Jensen would be allowed to visit him at the prison during those three frenzied days. He worried about his mate almost constantly; he knew Ja’red was having a far harder time of it than he ever let on to Jensen. His mate had lost everything: his position, his privilege, even his identity as a strong self-sufficient Lycan. Now he was a shackled prisoner, a despised enemy and an omega. Jensen worried endlessly for his mate’s sanity, so much had been taken from him this last little while. He could feel Ja'red distantly through their mating bond, his anxiety, his fear. Jensen knew that prison was a scary place for an unprotected omega, especially for a Lycan, and it was a potentially deadly place for an enemy of the state. 

They were at war, there was no doubt of that. Life on Felix Prime was far from moonbeams and sunshine. It was a tough, grimy world with too little food and too much work, everyone just barely scraping by under the relentless pounding of the Imperium’s war machine. Maybe it had once been beautiful and green, but no longer. It was a shattered husk, and he hated the deadened look in the hungry eyes looking out at him from all those alien, bewhiskered faces.

Jensen’s only escape, his one small indulgence, came from the times he was able to run in his cat self. He sighed and switched directions. He had just enough time to make it to the lake. Not his and Ja’red’s lake, but a lake outside the city that reminded him of that one, that day when he had first experienced his cat in the flesh. He would watch the sun go down there, and try not to think about how horribly wrong things had gone and how he’d gotten here.

: : :

“Get us out of here, now.” 

As the blue flash faded, Jensen hit the floor, and Ja’red’s body slammed into him.

“What the hell. I thought we were only picking up a Felix. What’s a… Lycan doing here?”

Jensen’s ears rang where his head had bounced off the deck plates, Ja’red’s heavy weight pinning him down. It was getting hard to breathe. Ja’red had frozen in place in surprise.

Ja’red shouldn’t be here. Jensen’s dazed mind couldn’t quite wrap around why that was so.

“Sir, I think we’ve been detected.”

“Well punch it, lieutenant. I don’t want to find out what the Vegan dungeons look like. Now get these two off my bridge and get me the data chip. One of them is supposed to have it. And someone get the wolf some frakin’ clothes.”

Jensen could finally take a wheezing breath when several pairs of furred arms reached down and hauled Ja’red up off of him, and the weight receded off his chest. More arms hauled Jensen to his feet and were shoving him toward a wide corridor before he could gather his thoughts.

“Whoa, hold up. You’ve got to be gods damned kidding. I’ve seen you on the vids.” A Felix, slightly shorter than Jensen with blond and white streaked shoulder length hair, stood from the command chair and advanced toward them.

This Felix Jensen assumed must be the ‘Captain’ poked Ja’red’s naked chest. “You’re frakn’ Ja’red Tristan of House Padalecki. Well there are a lot of people back home that would love to have ten minutes with you, Lycan. You’re one of the most loathed weres in the Alliance.” The captain’s gaze raked over Ja’red’s body with disdain and paused incrementally longer as he passed over Ja’red’s groin. His eyes rose up to meet Ja’red’s, a slightly puzzled look on his face, and he mused quietly, “Ah, now that’s unexpected.”

Ja’red growled out, “Release my mate and me. You have no jurisdiction here.” Jensen watched stunned as Ja’red tried unsuccessfully to shrug off the grip of the two very large Felix that held him. 

“Ha,” the Felix barked out in laughter, rolling with the change in circumstance like a captain of old on the high seas. “In ten minutes we won’t be in any jurisdiction. Besides, don’t they say possession is nine tenths of the law?” 

The captain’s eyebrows rose as he took stock of the first half of what Ja’red had said. He sniffed the air, and his grey blue eyes focused in on Jensen. “Mate… Ah…Jeezoo. Get them both the frak out of here; I can’t get into this now, and my head is starting to hurt just thinking about it. I’ve got a ship to run. Put the wolf in the detention bay and the Felix in the cabin we had set aside for him, and get him the hell out of that collar. No Felix goes collared on my ship while I’m still breathing.”

Jensen’s hand crept up automatically to his collar and he blushed. All the felix here were free. He wanted to say something, maybe protest but his slave training made him reticent to speak. The dark haired felix manhandling him off the deck grabbed his arm once more and tugged on him.

The captain rounded on Ja’red, disgust in his voice. “What kind of a ‘mate’ are you to keep him like that, anyway? Get him out of my sight before I get angry and kill him.” 

He could see Ja’red blush at the captain’s words. The man turned his back deliberately and stalked toward his command chair.

The two crewmen holding Ja’red started to pull him none too gently from the main deck. Ja’red looked over his shoulder at Jensen and began to struggle as he watched him being herded toward a different corridor. “No… Jen’son…” 

Ja’red reached out toward him, and his arm was yanked back by one of the guards. He snarled, a low, fierce sound the only warning before he was melting away from the men’s grip. All Jensen could see was a shimmering dark blur as Ja’red transformed into his wolf self. Mid-change he leapt past the two Felix to charge toward him, his enraged howl echoing off the ship’s hull. The Felix guarding Jensen grabbed him and jerked him protectively behind him. Ja’red snarled and pounced on the man’s chest mid leap, smashing him to the deck plates. Staggering back from the fallen pair Jensen stared, eyes huge, at the dark, chocolate brown wolf advancing on him and wondered what Ja’red was trying to do to him. 

Ja’red simply let out a concerned whine, sniffed and rubbed up against Jensen’s body to assure himself he was all right. He used his larger bulk to roughly herd his mate back to the relative safety of a wall and stood guard protectively in front of him, hackles raised as he surveyed the rest of the room. He growled menacingly as the Felix crew fanned out and moved toward them. Jensen stood there, helpless, fenced in by the wolf’s huge body and the wall, somewhat at a loss as to what to do. This was not how things were supposed to go. He was supposed to be picked up and escape, free of the Lycan, on his way to freedom, to live happily ever after inside the Alliance. His cat, though, purred happily at having his wolf so near. At least someone was happy Ja’red was there, Jensen thought darkly. 

Distracted by his thoughts, Jensen looked up just in time to see the crew men draw their jumblers and take aim at the wolf. Shock ran through him. They were going to put Ja’red down. Goaded into action, Jensen yelled out, waving outstretched arms in front of him and the snarling Lycan and pleaded, “No, don’t hurt him. No, please.”

Jensen could feel Ja’red bunching to leap at the encroaching Felix and without thinking he dropped to his knees and grabbed Ja’red around the chest to plead with the wolf as well. “Ja’red, Ja’red, master, shift back, they’ll shoot you. Don’t you see you’re outnumbered? I don’t think they really want to hurt us, hurt you, but they will unless you shift. Please, Ja’red, master, shift!” 

Ja’red’s wolf paused and turned to survey his mate with wild, blue-green eyes. Jensen was caught once again at how much like human-Ja’red his wolf’s tip-tilted eyes were. A jumbler shot rang out on the pin quiet deck. Ja’red jerked and yipped softly, slumping toward the floor. Jensen cried out, “No, No, No!!!” and rushed to stop his mate from hitting the deck plates. He managed to grab him in time and lower him slowly to the floor, hands running across his silky, dark coat looking for a wound. 

The captain was suddenly at his side, lowering his jumbler. “He’ll be okay, kid. I only knocked him out. He’ll be fine.” He turned to the two guards and snarled, “Now get him to the brig, and for god sake put a suppression collar on him. I don’t want a repeat of that happening again.”

“Status?” The captain barked as he turned his attention back to the view screen marking their escape route out of Imperium space.

Two Felix came toward Ja’red’s unconscious body and hefted it up between them to carry him off the bridge. Jensen stood and pleaded, “ D-Don’t hurt him…” and started to follow after them. He was stopped as his arm was grabbed and held by the Felix who had first tried to shield him earlier. Jensen glanced back at the man. He rubbed his head ruefully, rumbling softly, “Don’t worry about him, he’ll be fine. Now, you’re to come with me.” Jensen looked back at Ja’red’s retreating form and then at the man’s hand still holding him firmly in place, torn as to what stand to take. Reaching a decision, he swallowed and nodded, numbly letting himself be steered down the narrow corridor in the opposite direction. 

Jensen was led to a cabin with no windows, or viewports, or… portals, or… whatever it was a space ship had, just softly shimmering silver walls. Absently he thought it should feel like a box or a cage, but it was surprisingly open. He was deposited onto a bed, and the man grasped his chin and pulled his head up, looking his face over. It was beginning to throb in pain, and Jensen recalled his initial smack down into the deck. 

The face that stared at him was like his… or at least his ‘kind’. A Felix but not like any he’d ever seen before. Wild black hair swept up in a dramatic arc above its head between the tufts of his black-tipped ears. Thick black eyebrows arched elegantly at him in concern above intelligent, cerulean blue eyes. Long whiskers sprang from his upper lip over generous, dry looking lips. He had wide, muttonchop sideburns and a black beard that just edged his jawline, drawing down to a dramatic point below his chin. The man before him was elegant and alien and yet strangely beautiful. Jensen wondered if he would have looked more like that if the breaker’s defoliating machines hadn’t pruned and plucked his newly turned body. He didn’t know felix came with anything other than white or blond hair; a dark haired Felix was a novelty to him.

“I’m Missha,” the Felix growled in a low, sandpaper voice. “Hold still now, and I’ll get you something for your head. You’re bleeding a little.” Jensen sat on the bed, more dazed by what had happened than the minor injury to his head really accounted for. 

Missha returned with a cold cloth and held it up against Jensen’s temple. Jensen leaned into the Felix’s palm and the soothing coolness against his pounding head. He let his eyelids slide shut for a moment.

“Hey, hey, stay with me. Just in case you have a concussion or something. So, who are you?”

“Jensen.”

“Jen’son?”

Jensen snorted in mild resignation; no one on this side of the galaxy seemed to be able to say his name. His eyes slid closed again. “Close enough.” 

Missha nudged him in the shoulder, causing him to blink. “And is it true about your wolf friend; he’s the Chief Strategist for the Imperium?”

Jensen shrugged. “That’s what I’ve heard.”

“But he’s more than that. I can smell it on you both. What the Captn’ said was true; you’re mated.”

“I wish someone would tell me what that means exactly?”

“What, you don’t know?” Missha looked surprised, and a little alarmed, at his lack of knowledge.

“It’s a long story, and I’m not up to it right now.” Jensen swallowed and looked away, exhaustion dragging at him.

“So, I’ll assume you’re the one with the data chip?” the Felix seemed willing to drop the subject in favor of securing the data.

Jensen passed over the chip he still had tightly clenched in his hand. “I copied everything I could find. But if you’re missing something, I guess now you can just ask the source.” He snorted softly and nudged his chin vaguely back toward the corridor and Ja’red’s direction.

“Yes, that’s quite a coup. How did you manage that?”

Jensen licked his lips and said, It was more like he decided to come along for the ride.”

“Ahhh. Nothing like your different species, hitchhiking mate following you onto your escape vessel, full of his own worst enemies to make you feel wanted. Hmm. Yes, it’s all so clear.” Missha’s eyes danced with wry amusement, for a moment, before he turned serious. “Why don’t you stretch out and take a nap? Captain will be a while getting us out of Imperium space, and then I’m sure he’ll want to talk with you. With both of you.”

“Yeah, okay, I am a bit tired.” Jensen rubbed the bridge of his nose; his head was starting to ache. He stretched out on the bunk, and Missha covered him with a soft blanket and tucked it in around him. As the Felix turned to leave, Jensen’s hand snaked out and grabbed the man’s forearm. “They won’t hurt him, will they?” he asked, worry dragging him back from the edge of sleep.

Missha paused and bit his lip, obviously thinking about what to say.

“Ja’red, they won’t hurt him will they? I-I don’t want him to be hurt.” Jensen shook the felix’s arm for emphasis. He had no real power here, no leverage to keep Ja’red safe, he felt like a hissing kitten.

“Your mate is safe for now. Rest, Jen’son.”

“Yah, okay.” 

: : :

Missha patted the blanket on the strange Felix they’d brought onboard. The man was worn out with stress and obviously needed some rest. He rose to his feet and dimmed the lights; Jen’son was asleep before he left the room. He headed down to engineering to get a lock de-tangler for Jen’son’s collar. He didn’t want to cut it off; something told him that another were might be requiring a collar soon. 

A cat and a wolf mated. 

Missha grinned to himself, he and his cat savoring the delicious conundrum. They were due for some interesting times in the coming days, he thought, and he began to whistle.

: : :

Jensen’s head still ached; the short nap on the sun baked stone had only soothed his headache, not rid him of it completely. Still weary, he rose to leave. The sync wave learning sessions were painful. There was enough of a genetic difference between human and Felix to make the mental pathways not quite mesh, leaving him with a migraine every time. At least he was somewhat literate now, with some sense of the history of the Imperium/Alliance war, not to mention a trade that he could earn a real living at again. 

 

While he had slept, the twin suns had drifted down to touch the horizon, the gold and reds reflected in the rippling waters of the lake slowly shifting to purples and deep blues as night fell. He almost decided to stay here, lying on his rock secure and warm in his cat's skin, and enjoy the stars. He thought of his list, and suddenly remembered Number 11: Just stare up at the stars happy that I'll never have to go out there again. He snorted – that one seemed particularly far away now.

 

He shook off his somber mood and started back to town. He was supposed to meet Missha for drinks at a local bar, and that was not to be missed. Missha would have news of the war and Ja’red’s appeal.

Jensen was amazed at how quickly he had adapted to his Felix form once the suppression collar was removed for good. Shifting became easier, more controllable, not just a result of stress or danger. It had been a bit embarrassing when he first arrived on Felix, not knowing when he was going to shift, or why, and it had made for some sticky situations. Now, it was just second nature, and he found he yearned for this time in his cat form, he needed it to calm his nerves. Through the thinly-stretched link with his mate, he felt Ja’red lived for this time as well, cut off as he was now from his wolf form.

Jensen padded inside one of the many change stations positioned at the edge of the city and moved to the locker area. He shifted there and thumbed the passcode to retrieve his stored clothing and shoes. He could feel the eyes of the other shifters in the room on him. He felt a fine beading of sweat pop over his forehead, and he rushed to jam his leg into his jeans and hide the brand burned irrevocably into his flesh. He was exotic here, he stood out, his skin patterned so differently than the normal Felix range. It went beyond the breaker’s pruning. Most Felix's pelts in humanoid form extended a bit farther up their abdomens in a more distinct treasure trail than the breakers had left him, and a bit more hair along their forearms and the backs of their calves. But all in all, their fur was the same. It was the spots, or lack of any, on any other Felix he had seen, but one, that made him stand out. 

His experience since he arrived here was that all Felix were startlingly clear of spots on their ‘human’ skin. Not Jensen though, he had a dazzling trail of stripes and spots across his flesh. Masters had often remarked about the marks on his human form as seeming to move and dance, and he had cursed his dappled hide and the attention it brought him. 

He had thought that it was normal in Felix but now realized how wrong he’d been. It had been the cause of more than one run-in with aggressive alphas since he’d been settled here. Jensen shivered and yanked his shirt down quickly over his head, covering himself from the lustful, predatory eyes around him. He knew they could smell his fear. He jerked his bag out of the locker and shouldered his way past the large, red-haired alpha that suddenly loomed too close behind him. He heard the Felix whistle appreciatively at him as he moved past. The man’s hand drifted down across Jensen’s ass, and he flinched at the familiar touch. He didn’t want any trouble. He was Ja’red’s only means of support. If he got involved in a fight, got tossed into jail or worse… Who the hell knew what aliens did to foreign troublemakers? He bit his tongue and swallowed back his humiliation, ducked his head and hurried out

“Come back and play, pretty boy. Wanna see if those spots of yours dance.” 

Jensen clenched his fists, his cat hissing in suppressed rage. He could hear the alpha laugh as he kept walking.

He threaded his way through the light foot traffic, anxious now to get to the bar and Missha’s accepting presence. Much of Bardoon was actually underground, with most Felix preferring dens and sheltered places burrowed deep in the side of the mountain where the city was located. It was a double blessing considering the blasting the Imperium gave the planet on a pretty regular basis. 

The full impact of the war had never really come to bear on Vega. Jensen had overheard talk of it at parties and get togethers where he served, but it was nothing like the reality of living on Felix Prime under siege. The whole planet was geared for attack with a prevailing siege mentality, and for good reason. Raiders broke through the Alliance defenses on a regular basis as the Imperium tried to blast Felix back to the stone age.

Even the city shields couldn’t hold under the worst of an Imperium bombardment, and giant, ten story deep blast holes dotted the city where the shields had failed in the past. Jensen never knew from one day to the next if he’d have a place to live or not, and trips to his designated bomb shelter were an all too regular event. Good use had been made of the exhausted mine shafts as new den sites, and with much of the population sheltered deep below the surface, Jensen supposed the death rates might be lower than expected if the whole city were above ground. Regardless of the possible benefits. 

Jensen couldn't bring himself to huddle deep underground any more than necessary, although his cat was gleeful at the prospect. Jensen just couldn’t quite stomach the idea of all that ground encasing him, his claustrophobia completely unaffected by his shift to becoming a werecat. 

He reasoned if he could put up with his cat’s fear of heights, his cat could meet him half way and find a nice warm den above ground. That was how he had ended up with one of the few cheap apartments above ground and would always pick bars that were top side whenever he and Missha got together. 

He shook his head, more than a little embarrassed. He would have preferred to meet Missha in a nicer part of town than his shabby neighborhood. This wasn’t quite the bad part of town, but you could certainly see it from here. He sensed Missha was used to better, but the sad truth was, he didn’t have the money to spare for anywhere else. The government had given him a meager stipend to live on as a reward for the data chip and the capture of the notorious felon (and his mate) Ja’red Tristan. It provided a means of support while he got some basic education and retraining. Between rent and food and the money he tried to smuggle in to keep Ja’red safe, Jensen just didn’t have enough to go around most weeks. He often skipped eating.

He entered the seedy, rundown bar, ‘The Feathered Flutox’, a crude term, it turned out, for an avian’s cock. Jensen shrugged; bad taste, it seemed, was everywhere. He looked around quickly for his friend. After Ja’red’s conviction he’d been sentenced to the Bardoon prison, so Jensen had no choice but to settle here. Missha came to visit often because of his work. Jensen wasn’t quite sure what the Felix did, but he was sure it was important; he even had a government apartment on the good side of town. He often tried to talk Jensen into sharing it with him. It was a bit of a logistical nightmare, though closer to the prison than Jensen’s current apartment, he couldn’t afford the aircar or transit to get to school every day from there and other than during his heats he was only allowed to see Ja’red once a week, so being close to the prison wasn’t a big plus. Now, with his new job here in the Quarz sector, it was still too expensive to commute. So, although Missha had offered him free lodging closer to Ja’red, it just didn’t work out.

He smiled softly; who knew his onetime captor would turn into such a good friend. At least he had a friend on this world. He may have been linked by genetics to the Felix, but so far he hadn’t felt much of a brotherly bond with his ‘kind’. Bardoon was a mining town four hours by air car from the capital. They mined Diranimum deep within the bowels of the mountain range surrounding the city. The refined Diranimum in turn fueled the Alliance's giant space ships. Life was cheap and hard in Bardoon, and thanks to the Diranimum dust that got past the substandard filters, brutally short. It was a prison town: the prisoners, including his mate, forced to work in the mines to fuel the war effort. 

He spotted Missha in the corner chatting up a pretty, red-haired waitress. Jensen automatically breathed in, scenting the crowd; they were all Felix here in the bar, not very often another species stopped over in this one horse town.

“Ah, my friend, come, sit. I was just telling Marit’sia here about my fascinatingly important government job.” Missha thrust his chest out in mock pride and cockily gestured towards himself.

Jensen chuckled, and his eyes lit up with mirth. He could always count on Missha for a good laugh. It was almost like being back home.

He slid into the seat opposite and stowed his bag below. Marit’sia let her eyes travel up and down Jensen’s lean form, and he could feel himself blush in response before she headed off for the lager that Missha had already ordered for them.

“Oh, great, just what I need, someone to steal my thunder.” Missha signed dramatically. “The pretty ones always get the girls. Jezoob, don’t show her those spots of yours; she’ll jump you right here in the bar. Never met such a pretty not-really-a-Felix-Felix. Why do the aliens always get the girls?” Missha grinned playfully. “So, how goes the new job?”

“Well, who knew alien mining equipment would be so similar to Chevy engines?” Jensen pinched the bridge of his nose against his ongoing headache. 

“You okay?” Missha asked worriedly.

“Yeah, it’s the sync wave sessions. They don’t like my human brain. I always get a headache.”

“But you’re oh so much smarter now.” Missha’s grin lit up his face.

: : :

Chapter Text

 



: : :

Ja’red rushed down the corridor, checking over his shoulder. He knew he was being tailed; he had to get to his cell before they caught up with him. He didn’t want to have to explain new bruises to his mate when he came in a few days. 

He felt tears prick in the corners of his eyes at the thought of his mate… ‘Jensen’. The name breathed out over his mind and he reached for the slim link to Jensen through their bond. Even only barely able to sense his mate, he felt his wolf calm. 

Ja’red smiled weakly and remembered how they had passed the time during Ja’red’s heat practicing his alpha’s name until Ja’red finally had the pronunciation right. It had been a good use of their time. Even better than Jensen’s proposed video games. Whatever those were.

They had gone through some rough patches, but his mate had stood by him more or less solidly since his capture, supporting him far beyond anything Ja’red had expected or deserved. Jensen had tried to protect him from the very start. Ja’red wasn’t used to being protected. He’d never needed it before, and that hadn’t made things easy. Since his mating though, he’d felt a change, a softening, that was deadly for him in here.

He risked a quick glance back over his shoulder. Seeing no one, he hung the sharp left toward the omega block. Rounding the corner, he suddenly came face to face with another convict. He barely had a chance to take in the identity of the Felix before he was slammed up against the wall. 

“Where you off to in such a hurry, puppy?” the alpha breathed into Ja’red’s ear, holding Ja’red pinned to the wall with ease. Ja’red was a big guy, but Va’rul was bigger, outweighing him by a quarter his weight again. Ja’red tensed in his grasp and twitched his head back to get his hair out of his eyes. His wolf growled, wanting to be away from the man, Ja’red not far behind him on that. He narrowed his eyes and coolly decided to brazen it out with the alpha.

“I-I’m due back at my cell by 18:00. Seb will be looking for me.”

“Yeah, like your little omega buddy is going to do anything about it. He’s scared shitless just like you, boy.”

Ja’red swallowed as he felt the con’s hands digging dents into the soft flesh of his face, turning him so he was forced to look directly up at the taller convict. Ja’red tried to still a shudder as the strong scent of the alpha washed over him. He could feel his wolf cowering with his paws over his nose whimpering wrongbadwrong

No one should be touching him but his alpha, and he looked pointedly at the hands braced across his chest with outrage; Va’rul only chuckled. He had just started to say something to Ja’red when, breathless and stumbling, two of his cronies ran up behind them. These were the two Ja’red had been trying to avoid, Me'how and Gonga. It had all been a trap. The alpha watched with grim satisfaction as Ja’red’s eyes lit with comprehension. His wolf howled in anger, and Ja’red thrashed and struggled against Va’rul’s grip. The man’s superior strength easily kept him trapped in place, and Ja’red was left panting uselessly in adrenaline spiked rage, a snarl on his face.

“Almost in heat, pup. Can smell it on you, and you’ve been avoiding us. Now that’s not nice. Not when all we want is to get to know you better. Prison’s a dangerous place, ‘specially for a puppy like you. Especially these next few days. We was thinking good guys like us, we should look out for you, keep you somewhere safe and ‘take care of you’ for your heat. Would you like that, pup?” 

Ja’red froze, his entire body paralyzed by fear. He tried to hide it, to not let Va’rul see how much the threat scared him. What would his mate think if another alpha… Ja’red’s mind blanked at the thought. He had already stretched Jensen’s good nature to the limit and he knew Jensen did without in order to provide for him inside. To dishonor his alpha by allowing himself to be taken by these convicts – Ja’red bowed his head to hide his expression but his body had started to tremble. 

Va’rul clearly felt the movement where Ja’red was pressed up against him and chuckled darkly. He leaned in and licked a line up the column of Ja’red’s throat, a slick, disgusting trail marking him, his tongue daringly close to Jensen’s mark. Ja’red could feel his heart thundering inside his chest, and his gut twisted. If this strange alpha were to lick him there – his gut heaved abruptly, and he bucked against the alpha as he tried to hold it back. Va’rul abruptly let him go to sag against the wall, and Ja’red turned his head away, struggling to swallow back the urge to spew all over the concrete floors. 

“Yeah, way you’re ripening, I think you’ll be ready to harvest in a day or two, got something pretty special set up for you. Gonna have a fine time, the three of us together. Just to tide us over for now, I want you to get me off, bitch. Nice and slow, and save some for my friends; you’re gonna be nice to them too.” 

Ja’red growled and tried to launch himself at the man, but Me'how and Gonga grabbed his arms before he could do more than land a glancing blow to Va’rul’s jaw. The alpha casually spit blood from his broken lip on the floor and wound back his fist, landed three swift blows to Ja’red’s gut and one across his jaw. Air knocked out of him, fight over before it even started, Ja’red was left gasping for air, barely able to stand if it weren’t for the two men holding him up. Va’rul smirked and pushed him to his knees on the tunnel floor. The sound of the closure on his prison issue orange jumpsuit opening filled Ja’red with dread.

: : :

Ja’red barely made it back to his cell before he threw up. He heaved and retched into the little prison issue sink behind the bare flush in their cell until there was nothing left. Shakily he washed his mouth and spat, sagging weakly to his bunk. He couldn’t stop the shocky tremors that ran through his body. What was he going to do? There was no doubt in his mind that Va’rul meant every word he said. The prison was a rabbit warren of nooks and crannies leftover from its long history as a working mine. It would be nothing for him to have an abandoned den area, somewhere he could wall Ja’red up. Ja’red shivered and curled up onto his bunk, thankful once more to have gotten the bottom bunk. He didn't think he could have crawled his way to the upper one just then. He clutched his pillow to his aching stomach and tried to reach out in the link to his mate. Tried to connect to the cool, healing touch that was his mate’s calming presence. Their growing bond was one of the few things that had gone right in the last few months. Everything else had pretty much gone to hell from the moment he had followed Jensen on to the ship.

: : :

Captain Chad zel Murr stalked around his prey. He was frustrated; they had been at this for hours with little success. And he had the awful feeling the Lycan was telling the truth.

“You’re trying to tell me you planned the Imperium’s whole strategy from court? That you’ve never been in battle before? Not even on a starship? No, that can’t be right.”

Chad nodded his head at the Felix standing over the bound man. Zane’s fists pummeled into the bleeding Lycan’s stomach in jackrabbiting blows. Ja’red grunted in pain, too tired to cry out anymore, and leaned over as far as his bound body would allow and heaved on the floor. Nothing came up but blood and bile now as he gasped and choked.

Zane’s fist grabbed his sweat damp hair and yanked his head so his head was arched back over the chair he was bound to. Ja’red squinted up through puffy, blackening eyes at the captain and spit out a last bit of blood. It landed perfectly on the captain’s ship jumpsuit. Looking down at the dripping splat of blood on his pristine jumper, zel Murr snarled, his fist smashing into Ja’red’s face almost immediately, obscenities pouring over him as he stepped away to clean himself. Ja’red shut his eyes tiredly and tried to swallow. He’d tried to tell them, but the captain didn’t want to listen. 

“I’ve had it. Bring his mate in here; maybe we’ll have more success if we start with him.” Chad nodded at the other guard in the room who turned to leave.

A bolt of fear jolted through him like the strike of a vibra whip and Ja’red jerked his head up. He cried out as he tried to jerk his head out of Zane’s cruel hold. “No, stop, please, gods, I’m telling you the truth!” His wolf howled, pacing anxiously within him. He snarled helplessly, his mate was in danger. The slim, green slave collar they had removed from Jensen now rode his own neck. The suppression light glowing relentlessly, turned back on by the new remote control they had jury rigged, trapping his wolf inside.

“Please, please, listen to me, I beg you, I’m telling you the truth. And Jen’son’s done nothing. Gods, he’s one of your own. Please don’t hurt him.” Ja’red turned the one eye he was still capable of seeing out of toward the captain. Tried to will him to understand, to believe him. At Ja’red’s outburst the second guard paused at the door. The captain gestured impatiently for him to continue to fetch the Felix. Ja’red sucked in a desperate breath but, reaching the end of his strength, sagged in his chair. It was one thing to stand firm for himself, but Jen’son. Ja’red had already put him through so much himself. For him to be tortured by his own kind might break him completely.

“I’m telling you the truth. Why can’t you see. I-I was a royal hostage; the prince would never risk me leaving the planet. All my advice was theoretical based on the study of tactics. I-I never made any decisions; the generals took my advice and applied it. I just provided scenarios.” 

Chad stood, arms crossed, looking down at him, his expression inscrutable. Ja’red held his breath, waiting for him to say something, waiting for him to change his mind. When the door opened, Ja’red’s body jerked in reaction. Jen’son stood at the door, green eyes wide in question, held by the arm by a dark haired Felix. He quickly surveyed the room, and his gaze settled in shock on Ja’red, bound and bleeding, in his chair. His mouth tipped open as if to speak, but no words came out. Ja’red’s arms jerked feebly, his hands clenching and unclenching, held fast to the chair. Jensen shrugged off his guard’s grasp and moved toward him a wordless growl on his lips. He paused hesitantly in front of Ja’red, unsure for a moment where to touch the wolf that wouldn’t hurt.

He settled on Ja’red’s hair and gently stroked the sweat soaked locks.

“Ja’red…” he whispered. “Oh my god, what have they done to you?” Ja’red couldn’t help but to close his eyes for a moment and luxuriate in the gentle touch of his mate.

Jen’son’s hand withdrew and Ja’red watched as he turned on his heel and stalked toward the captain and snarled, “What the hell did you do to him? You said you wouldn’t hurt him. What kind of people are you, beating on a defenseless man?”

The captain took his time analyzing the clenched fists and taut angry lines of Ja’red’s mate. The captain’s brows furrowed, and he gave Jensen a skeptical look, then ordered, “Chain him to the wall.”

Jensen’s eyebrows rose at the order. Ja’red could see he was torn between the freeman’s urge to fight and tear and the slave’s urge to obey. By the time Jen’son decided to lunge toward the captain, the two guards were already dragging him to the wall. He struggled like a wildcat as they secured him. Though Jen’son’s collar had been removed and placed on Ja’red while he was unconscious, they had yet to remove the man’s slave manacles. Those manacles were now put to use. Chains were attached to them and his arms were hoisted far above his head against the wall. Ja’red growled in fury and threw himself against his bonds. The chair rattled ominously but didn’t move from where it had been riveted to the deck plates. He slumped against the unmoving metal frame, furious and helpless to aid his mate.

: : :

‘Smack’

The sound of an open palm cracking across Jen’son’s face startled him back to awareness. Missha turned his head away in shame, he didn’t want to watch the strangely naïve Felix be beaten.

“What are the Imperium’s plans? Speak up, traitor, what are their plans? You must have seen something; you were right there.”

Jen’son’s head lolled back down on his chest, and Missha saw him try to wet his dry lips enough to speak.

“I-I didn’t see anything. I- master didn’t allow me in his office. I was only able to sneak in the once. I don’t know anything.”

“You didn’t courier papers or see anything? That’s hard to believe.”

Chad yanked Jen’son’s head up, forcing the man to look at him. Missha could see Ja’red barely conscious watching out of nearly swollen shut eyes, a look of total despair on his face as Jensen forced his eyes open once more and said in barely a whisper, “I’m telling you, I don’t know anything.”

“So you didn’t sneak a peak at the data you copied?”

“I-I can’t read; I was shown what to look for, but I don’t know what I copied.”

“Oh, seriously! You expect me to believe that? Even a school child knows how to read.”

“I-I’m not a Felix…” Jen’son croaked out.

Chad started to laugh for real at that statement. He cruelly turned the Felix’s head so his face was turned in profile.

“Oh, really. All evidence to the contrary. What lovely tufts you have, my dear. Get real, or we’re going to have to really hurt you, or start back in on your mate there.” Chad jerked Jen’son’s head to look at Ja’red, still chained, sprawled barely conscious in his chair. Cuts and burns, blood and bruises littered his body. Missha felt sick as he realized they must have brought out a sonic whip at some point, and though the burn-like cuts cauterized instantly, it hurt like hell and took months to heal.

“No, please, please, please, don’t hurt him anymore. I’m human. I was turned at the breakers. I’ve never been to Felix in my life. Oh god, please believe me. Don’t I have a file? Look at my file!”

Chad turned and walked over to Missha as he hovered, anxious and silent, in the corner.

Missha leaned in to hear the captain’s hushed whisper, “Get a scanner, confirm that. If he was turned, there would be residual DNA of whatever species he is supposed to be. And see if you can look up his damn file. Too many things aren’t adding up with this pair.”

Missha nodded and left the room, biting his lip. He had promised the Felix nothing would happen. Things had gone so wrong.

: : :

They dragged Ja’red into the nearby cell and left him, bloody and hurting, his hands now secured behind his back, to lie on the cold floor.

At the other end of the interrogation room Ja’red watched as they unclipped the chains on Jen’son’s manacles. Unable to hold himself upright any longer they let him slump against the wall and slide slow motion to the floor. The captain and his crewmen left to take a break, and Missha hurried over with a tumbler of water. He tried to coax Jen’son to drink, holding his head so the Felix could swallow some down. He saw Jen’son’s flinch as the first drops hit his cracked and bleeding lips.

“W-why…?” Jensen gasped out, confused and dazed by what had just happened.

“Because we’re at war and something you don’t even realize you know may help us. We’re losing, Jen’son. Losing badly, and it’s only a matter of time till we fall.” Missha’s gravely voice held a note of sorrow in it. 

“Come,” Missha said gently, helping him regain his feet. “I have orders to return you to your cabin for now.”

Ja’red watched as his cat stood there, teetering in front of the force field to his cell, only upright with Missha’s help. He turned his head and nodded at his mate, barely perceptibly. He couldn’t speak, his voice was too wrecked by screaming, but he blinked and turned his gaze to the door. He wanted his mate safely away from this room of terror. Reluctant to leave but unable to even touch his mate, Jen’son nodded back at him and allowed Missha to help him walk out of the detention bay. He glanced back once more at Ja’red before he left and swallowed, his eyes full of worry.

Ja’red tried to reach out through their fledgling bond to send reassuring thoughts to his cat. ‘Sleep, Jen’son, don’t worry, when we wake up things will be better.’ Ja’red could taste the lie on his thoughts.

: : :

 “Wake him.”

Jensen was shaken and the blanket ripped from his body. He rose up on one arm, startled, then groaned in pain from the ache in his bruised ribs. Confused for a moment as to where he was, he blinked, and the room finally came into focus. The captain stood just a few feet from him, the guards looming over his bed. Jensen scrambled to sit up, biting down on his moan of pain as he straightened. He shifted himself back into the corner of the cabin, one arm braced around his ribs, the other hand held out before his face to help ward off any blows. He hated what a coward he was, but he was obviously outmatched here, and if being a slave had taught him anything, it was when to retreat.

No hits landed this time, only the captain’s quiet words as he paced back and forth in front of Jensen’s bed.

“We believe you.” 

Jensen lowered his shaking arm but held it ready on his bent knee. His gaze darted back up at the captain, then lowered again. He’d been promised freedom with the Felix with this last data snatch, but so far he’d been beaten and tortured and treated with suspicion. He didn’t know where he stood: was he still a slave, a prisoner, an enemy of the state, or all of the above? He tightened his jaw in anxiety and fell back on his old habit of keeping silent and waited for the captain to go on.

“Yes, your DNA proved what you said was true. You’re not a purebred Felix. There is other genetic material there, not on record. Your files show you as Simion Bajeer’s slave for five years, then nothing; is that when you were taken? Or were you always a slave?

“I was taken then.” Jensen’s voice sounded rough to his ears, strained from too much screaming.

“So you were turned while you were a slave?” Jensen nodded; he didn’t feel like the captain warranted his full story. Jensen eased out away from the wall and swung his legs out from under him so that he could sit at the side of the bed.

“And you’re mated to the Lycan.”

Jensen shrugged, so he’d been told. 

“That could prove awkward. The Lycan is most likely going to prison. Or might even be executed, but since he didn’t actually take part in any of the battles, I think they’ll just sentence him. Good thing you were a slave or you’d be going to prison too. As his alpha you’re responsible for his actions, but not if you’re also his slave.”

“What?” Jensen squeaked, skipping over the part about him going to prison and going directly to his mate’s fate, “Ja’red’s in danger of going to prison?”

“Well of course, he’s been the main thorn in our side for years; the man’s brilliant. He’s out-thought and out-maneuvered all our forces for years now. He’s the major factor why we’re losing. And it’s a double humiliation to find out he’s a frakin’ omega. Oh, the Council will be just thrilled to hear that.”

Emboldened, Jensen asked, “Why is his being an omega a humiliation?”

Chad looked at him sharply and then laughed. “Huh? You really are an alien aren’t you? Well I guess you didn’t grow up with our prejudices or maybe our realities. Omegas are known more for their delicate natures than for any warrior-like leanings. Once mated, they become highly sexualized beings, which further discourages their involvement in day-to-day society. In primitive times, they were war prizes kept in harems by the rulers of prides, but nowadays omega rights groups have been lobbying for their equality. They’re not equal yet though; once mated, they are wards of their alphas.

“So you can kind of see it wasn't quite expected for the Chief Strategist of the Imperium, calculating intergalactic war and genocide, to be an omega. Regardless, he’s an enemy of the state and will be punished. 

“W-will I be able to see him?” Jensen swallowed. He had thought he wanted to get as far as he could away from the wolf, but now the idea left a feeling of dread in him and his cat.

“Of course, unless you want to kill him?”

“P-pardon?” Jensen felt like he’d just missed a vital part of the conversation.

“Once mated, omegas go into heat every third month; they need their alpha to satisfy them, or they become touch-deprived and can go insane.”

“So, we can’t – like, divorce?”

Chad laughed out loud and clapped Missha on the shoulder. “I think I’ll turn this over to you to answer, Missha. You’re so much better at explaining things, and you need to do a lot of explaining to our not-really-a-Felix-Felix here. I have a ship to run.”

“W-wait, c-can I see him?”

Chad paused and looked at Jensen hard. “Do you want to see him? From what I understand, if I can believe your story, you were his slave right up until we ported you out. You’re free now and you’re under no obligation to the omega; the law doesn’t work that way.”

“Jesus…” Jensen shivered at the idea of Ja’red left to rot alone and go insane without his alpha.

“B-but that’s not right…”

“Well, I’m sure the Council will put you up, get you a job, train you for something. It’s the least they owe you. There was a lot of important logistical information on that data chip. Let alone the chance to interrogate the prisoner for more information once we’re back on Felix. It will give us the edge for the first time in years, and it will head off a major offensive they had planned that could have ended us.”

“And yes, you can see him. We’ll be planet side in a couple of days; you should prepare him for what is going to happen.”

Chad left the room, and Jensen was left alone with Missha. He rubbed his face and said again softly, “Shit…”

: : :

Tossing back another beer, Jensen and Missha drank and talked far into the night, much longer than Jensen had wanted but Missha was persuasive. He didn’t think the felix realized how lonely he was here on his own in the city. How much he hungered for companionship, and hell, he was fun company if he did say so himself. 

Missha surveyed his friend’s frame, critically noting the continued weight loss and bags under his eyes. The human had deserved so much better from his government than he had received. He said softly, “Have you eaten yet, my friend?”

Jen’son seemed to collapse protectively in on himself, his smile dimmed as he ducked his head mumbling out, “Yeah, I had something earlier.”

“Liar.”

Their waitress interrupted Missha’s interrogation as she arrived back with a glass for Jen’son and a full jug of lager. 

“Marit’sia, bring my friend and I two of the house specials and keep the lager coming. And maybe I’ll show you how special a ‘dark’ Felix is at the end of your shift.” Missha winked lecherously at the waitress and made her laugh as she went off to place their orders.

“So now, I’m sure you’re dying to hear all the news.” 

Missha assured him that the Alliance had done substantially better in recent conflicts. Losing Ja’red was taking a toll on the enemy; Missha smirked in satisfaction. Their meals arrived piping hot, and Jen’son only glanced nervously at Missha once, then dug in. Missha was sure he was already worrying about how he would pay for it, or what he’d have to sacrifice to be able to afford to eat out like this. Missha sighed and slipped the waitress enough to cover their tab early on before he’d have to fight with Jen’son over it. There was no way he wanted the struggling Felix trying to pay.

At closing time, Marit’sia not so subtly slipped Missha her conn number. “Ah, my lovely, I will call upon thee and make thy dark Felix dreams come true,” he promised grandly as he stood, wavering drunkenly on the sidewalk. Jensen called him an aircab, and soon he was being whisked off to his apartment on the upper side. Jensen refused his offer to have the cab swing round and drop him off. He felt guilty leaving the felix to walk the ten blocks in the other direction to his apartment. He felt even worse when he contemplated how he was going to get up in 4 hours for a full day’s work. 

He remembered another meal with the younger man. 

: : :

Missha’s mind had been a busy whirr the entire time the captain had been talking to Jen’son. By the time the captain finally exited, Missha had formulated his plan of action and was ready to set it in motion. “I think in spite of our noble captain’s desire to have you up to speed on all things Felix immediately, I’m going to pull rank on him and say that that can all wait till tomorrow. I think first you need to get cleaned up and dressed and have some lunch. We’ll take things from there. Galactic biology didn’t evolve in a day, so I think it can wait, alright?” 

Jen’son gazed at him with a dazed, weary look. Tension fairly hummed through the alpha’s body.

“But…” Jen’son bit his lip. Missha could almost see the gears turning as the felix tried to figure out how to phrase his response.

Missha held up his hand to signal stop, and the not-really-a-Felix-Felix quieted immediately. He pushed a bundle of fresh ship’s clothes into the man’s arms and pointed firmly toward the washroom. Although the Felix had just woken up, Missha thought the former slave was hovering on the edge of an exhausted melt down. Too weary to argue, Jen’son just nodded and disappeared quietly into the room. Missha took the opportunity to call down to the galley and order them both up a hearty lunch. By the time Jen’son finished up in the bathroom, Missha was ready for him with a tray of piping hot food as well as a portable Med-light. 

He could almost see the Felix’s nose twitch; the smell of fresh horvash and jab-ja cakes filling the cabin. He hovered uncertainly by the door, dressed in his new ship’s greens, and Missha thought the green, one piece coverall had never looked so good on a Felix. He purred in approval, and Jen’son brows arched in surprise at the sound.

“Come, sit, it’s all hot and ready to eat. And I can tell you a little about myself. It’s very interesting, of course. I come from a litter of four, but there was no question I was the favorite of the family…” Under the stream of conversation, Missha watched as Jen’son unwound a little and tasted his meal. He could see the Felix’s eyebrows shoot up again this time in approval as he sampled each dish. Having the man clear his plate turned out not to be a problem. Missha kept up a steady stream of non-threatening patter and caught the beginnings of a soft smile curve the Felix’s lip when he thought he wasn’t looking. Missha even offered to call down for seconds, but Jen’son groaned and said, “No, it was great, thanks. I-I’m stuffed; I’d just be being a pig.”

“Okay then, on to business. Go on over to the bed and stretch out. I’m going to treat your wounds and remove those manacles.” He could almost see Jen’son tense up again at his words, and he sighed, “I won’t hurt you, Jen’son, the opposite, in fact; I want to heal you of the last of our captain’s welcome to Felix techniques.”

“I understand why he did what he did.”

“Hmph, it’s a proven statistical fact that torture doesn’t work. People will say anything under torture, not necessarily the truth.” Missha passed the Med-Light over the man’s body, concentrating on his ribs and face that had taken the brunt of the captain’s interview.

By the time Missha was done, the Felix was already asleep again. He quietly used the de-tangler to remove the remaining manacles and gently eased the covers out from under him. Covering him up, he dimmed the lights and quietly exited the room. 

Misha returned the next morning ship's time, but Jen’son wasn’t awake yet. Curling up in the little dining nook with a book he decided to just wait it out. Almost 12 hours from when he first fell asleep, the former slave opened his eyes. 

After a shower and a fresh set of clothes from ship’s stores, Missha thought they should get out of the cabin for a change and have lunch in the cafeteria. He hoped Jen’son was ready for that. He led the nervous man down the hall to the small shipboard cafeteria. Going by ship time it was just coming on lunch. Several crew were already there eating. Jen’son froze in the doorway, unsure how to proceed. Missha could smell the anxiety radiating off the man in waves, and Jen’son kept touching his newly bare neck unconsciously. His lips tightened in sympathy; he wondered if he should have just brought food back to their cabin for the man. He just believed that Jen’son had to get used to freedom sometime, and being amongst his own kind sooner or later. But now, seeing the man sway in indecision, he wondered if he’d pushed him too far too fast. 

Missha gestured him closer, and Jen’son stuck to him like a shadow as they went to the buffet line. It didn’t surprise Missha when Jen’son didn’t pick up a tray to help himself as Missha was doing. He was sure the young Felix would have been punished in the past for presuming such an action. He sighed, realizing the work cut out for him to acclimate the younger man. 

“Grab a tray, Jen’son, and fill up. You must be starving. There are drinks over there we can grab later. I need you to eat, boy,” Missha gently ordered.

Having been given permission, hell, having well pretty much been ordered to eat, Missha could see something inside Jen’son relax. He loaded his tray carefully, only a modest selection, but Missha caught him looking longingly at the offerings. Missha’s eyebrows rose in concern, he was sure the man was ravenous. He said, “You can come back anytime you want for more. You don’t have to ask.” Jen’son blushed pink with embarrassment, and Missha felt like a bit of a dick for even opening his mouth on the subject. He sighed. This mentoring thing was hard; he’d have to live and learn.

When they approached the seating area, Jen’son again hesitated, and Missha jumped in, anticipating the problem when he saw the man glance nervously at the floor and glance nervously around. “Why don’t you have a seat right there, Jen’son, we have much to discuss.”

While Jen’son had slept, Missha had debated how best to handle this. Now, sitting beside the man, he felt maybe with all the unknowns he was dealing with it would be better to fill Jen’son in right away. Give him some of the knowledge he was so obviously missing.

Jen’son had just taken a bite of the Quava eggs when Missha blurted out, “So, Jen’son, based on everything you’ve said so far, I fear your education about Felix has been seriously lacking. Were you ever told anything about your species? Did you know you were an alpha?”

He watched as Jen’son choked a little on his eggs, and after coughing to clear his lungs he was able to shake his head ‘No’. He watched as the man blushed again, more than uncomfortable with the fact that were-sharp hearing meant everyone in the room was listening in on his humiliation. Jen’son stopped eating, and Missha wanted to kick himself again for being so stupid as to start this here. For a smart man he was acting seriously dumb today.

Missha looked across as Jen’son’s hands folded into his lap and he bowed his head.

“Oh Gods, I am so sorry, Jen’son. I don’t know where I put my brain this shift. Of course we’ll continue this discussion afterwards in your quarters where we have more privacy, forgive me. Eat up, man. I guess I was a little nervous myself about talking about this and just wanted to get started.”

Jen’son swallowed and darted a quick look up at Missha’s honestly repentant face. He tried to resume eating, and Missha caught wary glances at him and around the mess hall as Jen’son checked to see if the crew were still watching or listening. Missha sighed. When did he become so thoughtless and callous? 

They finished lunch in record time. Missha noted the man’s table manners were impeccable, he tried to coax him into going back for seconds, but Jen’son just shook his head ‘no’. Missha showed Jen’son where they kept the Caw’fee. Caw’fee seemed to be a big hit with the young former slave, and he got a large cup each to go.

As they walked back to the cabin he saw Jen’son glance down at his clothes in amusement, long, graceful fingers touching the fabric of the ship jumpsuit tentatively. Missha realized he was probably wearing more clothes today than he had worn in years. The young former slave seemed to stand a little taller as the idea seemed to occur to him as well. Missha smiled; freedom looked good on the Felix.

They sat at the little table back in Jen’son’s cabin. Missha debated where to start. He’d made such a hash of things so far but then decided to just leap in again. “So, Jen’son, it occurs to me that, coming from a non-shifter species, this all must be kind of new to you. Tell me to shut up if you’ve heard any of this before. I- I thought I’d just run you through the basics. Does your race have three sexes?” He watched as Jen’son shook his head, swallowing a bit jerkily, and held up two fingers.

“Oh, so your people are more like the Vegans, they have male and female?” He watched as Jen’son nodded in agreement. “All weres, whether they are lions, avians, reptos, wolves, or Felix, have three different sexes,” Missha continued, looking over at Jen’son, who looked a bit surprised at that. “There are the alphas who are always male and have a knot; you know what a knot is, right? You have one?” He watched as Jen’son blushed and nodded yes. “Okay, and there are betas who are always female and omegas who are always male but have no knot. We mature around the age of seventeen solars and from then on are driven to find a mate, or more accurately, our animals drive us to find a mate. We sense our mate by smell. You would have smelled Ja’red before you even saw him, yes?” Jen’son ducked his head, and Missha wondered if it was possible for someone to actually die of embarrassment as the man turned an even brighter shade of red. He thought it was rather endearing and proved the fact of his alien upbringing all the more. No alpha of his acquaintance would ever blush like this.

“So, that smell would have been Ja’red’s omega pheromones signaling you specifically. If it had been a female beta your were was attracted to, she too would have given off a signal scent. Your mate’s scent would have been irresistible to you or your cat but just a pleasant smell to any other were. Who we mate seems to be more of a decision our cats make for us. If our cat is not happy with the choice, you will have sex but never knot and never mate. All weres mate for life, and our cats are almost never wrong about who is the perfect mate for each of us. The humanoids on the other hand may not quite see things that way at first, but we have very few unsuccessful matches once mates get to know each other.

There is casual sex among the unmated, but without knotting it simply stays casual. Sometimes there is alpha on alpha…ah... well I’ll save that for another lesson, but suffice to say knotting must occur between the alpha and the beta or the alpha and the omega to complete the bond.

“Betas don’t have a heat but are fertile year round. They make up about 45% of the population. Ja’red is omega, and you can tell that because he doesn’t have a knot – as we’ve all pretty much had the chance to see.” Missha chuckled, and Jen’son glanced away. Missha sighed again, his sense of humor only got him into trouble; he had to try and stick to the facts. “Omegas make up only a small percentage of the population, probably something like 5%. We’re not sure why they developed. There are lots of theories but no solid evidence. Omegas are capable of childbearing like our betas. Unlike betas though, once mated, omegas go into a heat cycle every three or four months. They also…. self lubricate like beta’s do, alphas, on the other hand, do not. Though a mated omega will never actively seek out another alpha to knot it, its scent during heat is almost irresistible to any alpha. 

We believe the broadcast scent forced the omega’s alpha to protect it from all comers and ensure only the strongest alphas mated with omegas; they were the only ones that could fend off all the other alphas in the pack and keep their omega safe. In ancient times, many omegas were raped to death by scent-crazed alphas during their heat. Even today it is unsafe for them to travel in public during that time. So, omegas, once bonded, tend to take on a nesting, nurturing role, looking after the household and children. It’s part biological, part survival.” Missha glanced at the younger man and found his head was bowed in concentration. He worried this was a bit too much for the non Felix to take in, but so much of it was important for him to understand his mate. Missha shook his head and took another sip of his Caw’fee and decided to continue on.

“As the bond between a mated omega and alpha grows, the touch of another were actually becomes painful to the omega, and to a lesser degree to the alpha. The same is true to a lesser degree between a beta and alpha, though separation and forming new mating bonds is still possible with that pairing. But in general amongst the Felix touching outside the mated bond is not something our biology approves of. An omega’s extra vulnerability to touch along with the cyclical heats are why they aren’t considered full adults even when they mature, they stay in the guardianship of their parents or their mate. In historic pack dynamics the omega is generally the most submissive and at the bottom of the heap power-wise. And as the captain said, historically omegas never re-knot. When their alphas die, the vast majority of them die soon after. The alpha can survive an omega’s death, and mate again, but it’s not so common for an omega to survive the passing of his alpha. It’s quite a cruel world for omegas.” Missha glanced up. He’d never quite considered this from the omega’s point of view before, it was quite a tough pill they had to swallow.

“My god,” Jen’son breathed and finally looked up at him.

The young Felix looked a little green, and Missha patted his hand sympathetically. It was days like this he was glad he was unmated. Jen’son was gutsier than he thought though; the young not-really-a-Felix-Felix sat up a bit straighter in the chair, narrowed his gaze and gave Missha a calculating look as he asked, “So how could no one have realized Ja’red wasn’t an alpha all this time?”

“Obviously the boy’s been hiding in plain sight, maybe applying an alpha scent to mask his own for the few weres at court. He wouldn’t go into heat until he was knotted and thereby mated. Casual sex wouldn’t be a problem either; he could have that with any species. He would just have to have been discreet about his identity, and unless you knew he was a were, it’s not something that shows. Most Vegans aren’t exactly looking for a knot when they go home with someone,” Missha surmised. “I don’t think it would have been a problem for him, until you came along, that is.”

: : :

Chapter Text

 




: : :

Ja’red felt tender all over, and the increased wetness ‘there’ when he first woke meant that the last piece to the puzzle was in place – his heat had started early. He would have to let the guards know he needed Jensen soon. He felt humiliated by yesterday’s events, to be out-maneuvered so easily by three uneducated thugs. He sighed and sat up on his bunk, his head hanging in defeated misery. 

Seb leapt down from the top bunk, irrepressibly chipper as always. “So, darling, you feeling any better today?”

Ja’red looked up at the older blond felix that had patched him up the previous night. Bless Seb’s pointed tufts, he hadn’t asked too many questions, just tutted and fussed over him. He halfway envied the man: he was old enough that he was blessedly free of heat cycles and was basically an omega in name only now. 

On the other hand, he was here because he’d killed his mate after years of abuse. Normally with a convict, Ja’red would have been skeptical of a claim of innocence, but the way Seb told it, Ja’red actually believed him. They’d been sitting in their cell one night, huddled up on Ja’red’s bunk drinking some contraband hooch Seb had stashed away, and it had all come out in a drunken confession.

“Well it was rather simple, darling; my mate, T-Jal, was beating the ever living tar out of me. Not an unusual occurrence, mind you, but this time I actually thought he was going to end me. So, gods help me, I grabbed up a knife from the kitchen counter and started waving it around madly in an attempt to scare him off. Of course it had the opposite effect, and the drunken beast just saw red and came charging at me. He must have slipped on some of my blood or something on the floor because suddenly he was hurtling through the air straight at me.” 

Seb paused dramatically for effect.

“At me, and, coincidentally, the knife in my hand. And the rest, my dear pup, as they say, is history. I think the only reason I’m still with the living myself is that I’d gone through the change of life and didn’t go into heat anymore. Otherwise I think I would have joined T-jal in Treeva’s all merciful embrace.”

And Ja’red believed him. It seemed to Ja’red from his experience meeting other omegas in the prison that most of the omega related sentences were self-defense. In a perfect world Seb's charge should have been pled down, but in the war-torn Alliance justice was swift and brutal and often unforgiving. Ja’red was just glad the other were didn’t mind being stuck with a Lycan for a cellmate. His life was hellish enough without some kind of safe harbor. Fortunately for Ja’red, they hit it off from the start, and Seb was protector, advisor, and mother hen all rolled up into one.

The omega wing of the prison was small; there were just twelve of them compared to the twelve hundred alphas in the sprawling Bardoon complex. Though the head guard for the omega Block had tried to plea for segregation, the resident warden wouldn’t hear of it, and jobs were allocated without thought of sexual orientation or prisoner safety. 

When he first got here, Ja’red had started off in the laundry. A seemingly innocuous enough placement, but after being attacked four times for various offences – from being a Lycan, to being tall, to being on the cusp of his heat – and ending up in the hospital twice, he realized that nowhere was really safe inside. 

It was one of the few times he was grateful that the prison only allowed Jensen to visit once a week. His alpha wouldn't find out about or see the damage until he was almost healed. 

Six months in he was finally moved to the medical bay to act as a nurse. Ja’red snorted; after all this time in the Felix prison system he certainly had enough experience on the other side being patched up to work in the infirmary. 

The last run-in he’d had happened just four days before his heat started, and there was no way to hide the bruises from his mate when Jensen came to the prison. Jared hadn’t been raped, per se, if you didn't call being forced to blow three or four fellow inmates at shiv-point rape… He just thanked his meager blessings that the alphas seemed content with blowjobs and a thorough grope, rather than anything worse. 

He shivered; maybe his luck had been dictated more by the time between guard rounds than anything, but he was grateful it hadn’t gotten uglier. It wasn't a situation in which he’d ever thought he’d find himself. He wasn't a small guy, but when there were three or four of them holding him down, or backing him into a corner somewhere…his wolf whimpered in sympathy. 

Confessing to Jensen about the last attack had been another humiliating exercise. Compared to what Jensen had went through he felt he had not right to complain about anything. Worse yet was sitting there as the prison warden counseled Jensen that if he could just get his omega to confess who had attacked him they could fine them for the hospital time and care. Not prosecute them, no, damaging an omega was not a federal case, just a civic one, like breaking someone else’s chair. 

There was no way Ja’red was saying a word, and Jensen’s arched brow at the warden told him without words how unlikely he was to pressure his mate into anything like that. Yeah, like that wouldn’t have resulted in Ja’red getting gang raped in revenge. No one liked a snitch no matter what planet you were on. 

Ja’red sighed again and stood, shaking his head in answer to Seb’s question. He felt so foolish. He had been coming back from changing dressings in a patient’s cell when Ja’red had had this latest run-in with Va’rul. He had been a little suspicious at the time when Protector Pileg’gi, his guard escort, was called away. He shook it off when the guard reprogramed the timer on his collar and shoved him down the corridor, telling him to get to his cell on his own, that the meter was running on his blinking collar. 

“I’m an idiot, Seb.”

“Well, yes, darling, that goes without saying. That’s why you’re in here. If you were smarter you’d be free. But are you feeling any better? You’re flushed; I can see that. Is it time to call Matt?” Seb’s hands flapped around Ja’red but somehow with the old omega it wasn’t irritating, it was just…Seb.

Ja’red swallowed and nodded. The stress of his encounter with the men last night had sped up the onset of his heat. He was a couple days ahead of schedule, he could feel it, and yes, he needed Matt. 

Of all the Protectors on the omega block, Ja’red thought Matt Co’hen was one of the more honest ones. At least he was never needlessly cruel, a unique characteristic on the inside with guards and prisoners alike. He was no pushover, but he was unfailingly fair. Ja’red made sure to never give him any grief; there were enough strikes against him in here without alienating the best guard on the omega ward.

“Okay, I’ll tell him on my way to work. Ta-ta, love. Be safe today, yeah?” Seb stood in front of the collar code reader at the door and punched in his travel permit number. The green flash had the cell door opening, and the timer on his collar started. 

Ja’red knew Seb treasured his job in the library and was loathe to jeopardize it. It was also one of the few jobs in the prison considered an ‘omega safe’ work detail. That’s why it made it all the more heartfelt that Seb took the risks he did to feed Ja’red’s book addiction. Considering his former position with the enemy, Ja’red knew his actions were all carefully monitored and viewed with suspicion. He worried that if he had actually checked out many of the books Seb had casually brought back to their cell for him it would have raised flags all over the place. He didn’t want to draw any more attention than he did already. This place was hellhole enough without being cut off from one of his few joys other than Jensen: information. 

Ja’red didn’t know too much about how Vegan prisons ran, but on Felix he was surprised to learn that prisoners were only allowed access to hard copy versions of anything – paper reigned inside the prison walls. The books he had access to, through Seb, were mostly hand-me-down and out of date donations. Seb had told him that there had been quite a few instances of hacking years ago, when the prisoners had been allowed digital tablets, so now they were restricted to paper. Ja’red didn't mind too much as long as he got to read. He had always been a voracious reader. History had been his favorite subject, and it was hard for history to be out of date. Pretty much anything Seb had brought back for him to their little cell provided fascinating insight into the Felix culture and way of life that he’d never had access to before. Often the information was colloquial or inconsequential, but it filled in whole grey areas in his understanding of them as a people. He just wished some of it could help him understand what made Jensen tick. 

The cell door finally clicked open, and with a quick wave, Seb headed off, collar blinking softly on its first cycle. A thought suddenly occurred to Ja’red, and he swore softly to himself as everything snapped into place. His collar, on yesterday's run back to the cell, had never timed out, never sent the million jolts of punishing electricity through his body and signaled the guards that it normally would have when a prisoner was late getting back to their cell. Now he was sure it had been a setup. Va’rul and his buddies had kept him far longer than the normal time would have allowed. That creeping feeling he and his wolf had had about the protector was right; Pileg’gi was dirty.

Ja’red could feel sweat begin to trickle down the back of his neck, and his knee jounced up and down in nervousness at the idea of this new sinkhole. 

Lost in thought, he was a bit startled when he heard the sharp tap of a nightstick on the frosted plasticrete panels at the front of his cell.

“Prisoner Padalecki?”

Ja’red sprang to his feet, turned and placed his hands on the overhead bunk, and spread his legs. Inspection position. Even after months inside, he still felt vulnerable every time he had to ‘assume the position’. Protector Co’hen came into the cell and carefully looked around. Ja’red kept his head down.

“Turn, hands behind your head,” Co’hen ordered after the cell got the all clear. Ja’red knew many a guard had been jumped and killed in this prison underestimating the inhabitants. Just because this was the omega ward didn’t mean there wasn’t the possibility of danger every time they walked into one, so guards would beat first, and ask questions later. Ja’red hurried to comply.

“What can I do for you, Padalecki?” Co’hen moved into the room, tapping his nightstick on his leg. Ja’red licked his lips and breathed out, psyching himself up for the request.

Co’hen’s nightstick was suddenly under his chin, gently forcing his head up.

“And what happened here?” Co’hen asked, soft but stern.

Ja’red was reminded of Va’ruls punishing fists last night. The left side of his face still stung.

“Your alpha isn’t going to like this at all, wolf.” 

“No, sir,” Ja’red answered ruefully; out of the corner of his eye he could see Co’hens’ tipped head. He was a handsome Felix. Dark brown hair and flashing blue-green eyes. The tufts of his ears went to black, and Ja’red had been told the length of the tuft… 

Co’hen sniffed, precipitously sampling the air in the cell.

“So, is that why I’m here?” Co’hen’s question interrupted Ja’red’s horny musings. Damn this heat. He squirmed a bit as he felt himself harden; he so needed Jensen.

“Yes, sir, I-It’s time. I need my alpha.” Ja’red could feel himself blush in embarrassment.

Instead of the night stick, work roughened fingers grasped Ja’red’s face, turning it this way and that to further inspect the bruising and for Co’hen to take in the flush of Ja’red’s skin, the damp sheen that covered his body.

“Mmm.” He nodded in acknowledgment of Ja’red’s advanced heat. “And I guess there’s no use asking who did this?” he mused out loud.

Ja’red hastily shook his head and turned his face away but not enough to pull it out of Co’hen’s grasp. 

Nodding to himself, the guard released Ja’red’s chin and let his hand drift behind him. He gently squeezed Ja’red’s neck just above the orange prison collar and said, “Very well. I’ll lock you up here for now just for safekeeping. We don’t want whoever came looking for you last time to stumble upon you like this, do we, a pretty wolf like you… How long you in for, Padalecki? For life, isn’t it? That’s a long time. Maybe one of these days you and me can get a little closer? It’s always good for someone to have your back.”

Co’hen’s fingers reached up to comb through the silky, sweat-dampened strands of Ja’red’s hair where it curled above the collar, his hand tangling gently in the cinnamon-striped locks just long enough for Ja’red’s breath to catch nervously, before returning absently to stroking and petting the long, graceful neck. “Lone wolf like yourself, who knows what kind of trouble you can get into? And a grateful guard could make quite a difference in your stay here. Your life here.” Co’hen squeezed Ja’red’s neck once more and then his hand moved to trail down Ja'red's bicep, squeezing the muscle gently, running a finger farther down to softly rub the thin skin on the inside of Ja’red’s wrist, his thumb stroked lightly over the pulse point. “I’ve always wondered what a wolf would be like.”

Ja’red blinked in shock and quivered at the soft touch on his skin. His wolf whimpered, and Ja’red had to stop himself from cringing away at notalphanotmyalpha.

“I’ll inform your work shift you won’t be in today. You’ll have the heat box for the next four days; as soon as your alpha gets here we’ll get you moved over.” The guard turned to leave, then paused, his back still to Ja’red. “And don’t worry, Padalecki, I know how hungry you get; I’ll have some food sent up. I certainly want to appease your…appetites.”

“T-thank you, sir.” Ja’red stumbled out the words. He nodded mechanically and slowly let his arms fall from behind his head to his sides as the guard left and locked down his cell. 

Shit, shit, shit, out of the frying pan and into the fire. 

: : :

“Ackles, get your pretty ass over here.”

Jensen looked up from the ore hauler he was currently fixing, and, using his coverall sleeve, wiped away the sweat trickling down his brow. Fuck, he hated that. The snide remarks because of his looks had been bad enough on earth, but when he’d been made a slave there’d been nothing he could do about it at all. He was free now, god damn it, and he had to draw the line somewhere; his cat snarled in agreement. 

He cracked his jaw and strode over to his new boss. The short walk over was barely enough time to cool his temper enough to remember that he needed this job, needed to eat and provide for Ja’red. He’d only been placed here by the school a few weeks ago and was just starting to get to know his co-workers. He paused in front of his boss who was busy himself working on another vehicle. “Ah yeah, boss?”

“Give me a minute there, boy.” 

Further infuriated by being called over and then made to wait while his boss finished capping a nut, Jensen bit his lip, looked the other way, and counted to ten before he really blew it. His boss finally stood and wiped his hands. With an exasperated look at Jensen, he took off his greasy cap and slapped it on his thigh. Jensen took it as an all clear to go ahead.

“Yeah, boss?”

“Look, I know in that extraterrestrial little backwater you were raised on they didn’t have air cars or pulse weapons, but, frak it, Ackles, if you can’t do your job, I’m gonna have to let you go.”

Jensen was speechless, and he knew his mouth was hanging open.

“I-I…”

“When I ask you to fix a condenser coil, son, I want it the frak’n fixed. You got extra fluff in those ears or something?”

Jensen looked at the man, his boss, Jim Be’var, an older felix with black and grey striped fur and a salt and pepper beard and a distinct thinning patch starting on the top of his head that at any other time would have elicited a secret smirk. Who knew felix could go bald? Right now, though, Jensen felt like it was hard to breathe.

“But, sir, you asked me to fix the eliminator coil on this. I did that, and the damn thing was near burnt out and full of crud. See? The old one is over there on the recycler. Here’s your work order.” Jensen passed him the electronic datapad he had attached to his belt with his list of projects for the day and their priority level.

The felix looked at Jensen’s pad, at first holding it close to his face, then farther away, and finally grabbed up a pair of glasses. He settled them on his nose and looked at it again. He did a bit of a double take and then grabbed up his own datapad, scrutinizing it with a frown. He lowered the two of them and set them down on the tool tray with a sigh and scrubbed his face.

“Aw frak, idjits. Sarrina musta' uploaded an older schedule on my pad. Yeah, you’re right. Ah, okay, get back to work.”

At Jensen’s stunned expression the older felix arched a brow as he said, “Waddaya lookin’ for, a frakin medal, an apology? Do your job. Get back to work.” Be’var thrust Jensen’s data pad back in his startled hands. 

The man turned and shouted, “Zambos, get your furry butt over here.” He breathed out a soft, “Id’juts,” and simple as that, Jensen was dismissed.

Jensen, slightly dazed at the speedy turn of events, turned to go back to his bay. He paused and was considering asking for that apology, when a large hand landed on his elbow, and he was being steered firmly back toward his work area.

“If you want to keep working, just keep moving. The guy's an ass, but he’s not worth losing your job over.”

Jensen looked up into the sincere brilliant blue eyes of a Felix near Ja’red’s size. The size alone reminded Jensen of Ja’red and his duty. Jensen felt some of the righteous fury leak out of him, and he grimaced.

“Yeah, yeah, you're right. Thanks man.” He huffed out a breath and thrust his hand out and gave the other man his name: “Ackles, Jensen.”

“Welling, Tommar. Tom for short. Good to meet ya, man. Seen you around but hadn’t had the chance to introduce myself properly yet.” He could feel those sapphire blues running over his body appreciatively, and he felt like yanking the old oilcloth out from the car and covering himself with it. He breathed out and counted back from ten…again – he had to start being less touchy about things like this. 

Unaware of Jensen's reaction, Tom continued, “You’re new here, so it’s safe to say you don’t know what a big idiot Be’var is. Couldn't keep track of his own tufts if he tried, so don’t let him get to you. Just keep a close eye on your data pad – there’s been hacking known to happen on the work list when some guys look bad. And whatever you do, don’t piss Be’var’s wife Sarrina off; she's the one who really runs the shop, and she has a taste for… shall we say, younger tail, if you know what I mean. She likes them to be grateful to her, so be careful. Unless you’re into that kind of thing?” Tom gave Jensen an assessing looked and smiled.

“Really? I didn’t know. Thanks for the heads up man. An-and no, I’m not into that at all. I’m mated.” Jensen picked up a spare rag and made to turn back to the engine he was working on.

Tom’s smile dimmed a bit at the mention of the word mate, but he stayed friendly. “Hey, we should do a beer sometime after work; I can introduce you to a few of the guys. Maybe bring your mate?” Tom’s wide smile was the most welcoming thing Jensen thought he’d seen since coming to Felix.

Jensen’s answering smile faltered slightly at the mention of Ja’red. He nodded and said, “Yeah, sure thing. Sounds like a great idea.”

: : :

Ja’red lay on his bunk and, restless, tossed the book he had been trying to read across the floor. He shifted and wiggled uncomfortably, already leaking through his third pair of clean underwear. He’d have to start using the sanitary napkins the prison provided, but it had felt like another blow to his manhood. He’d just have to suck it up, though; underwear didn’t grow on trees and laundry day was a week away. He’d have to use the little sink in their cell in the meantime. Sweat poured off him, and he could only hope that Jensen would arrive soon, and he could take refuge in the strong sheltering arms of his Felix. 

Things had certainly changed between them. 

He'd never considered that he'd ever be not just ready, but anxious and eager, to mate. The truth though, was unavoidable. He needed it. He needed Jensen. Things had been different between them for the last few months. He grimaced as he remembered the angry man he had been in Sariddiuum just a few months earlier during his trial. 

Ja’red had been really quiet since recovering from his beating on the Alliance Cruiser. He’d developed a habit of hunching his shoulders and staring down at the floor, anything to avoid the accusing, disdainful eyes of the Felix around him. Captain Murr had kept him in full body chains the entire stay on the cruiser, despite the fact he was behind a force field in the detention bay. When they’d fed him on the ship they hadn’t even bothered to loosen his hands. He had gotten very good at doing everything with them chained together.

He knew that now that he had been taken captive by the Alliance it was only a matter of time till he was put to death.

He wished he’d met Jensen years ago. Maybe then they’d have had a chance, the slave and the strategist. Ja’red snorted softly; he’d been wrong about so many things, done so much evil in the names of others. He just wanted it to be over. He’d tried to just wall himself up in silence, thinking to force Jensen away. He’d hoped the man would just leave and start fresh, but Jensen stubbornly stuck by him. Ja’red feared he would have to use other tactics to shake the felix lose soon; he didn’t want any more ruined lives on his conscience. 

Jensen, for his part, seemed unsure of how to act around Ja’red now, anytime they were together. He’d come to visit him every day in the detention bay without fail. Ja’red hadn’t had much to say. Although the former slave seemed pretty tentative and unsure of his purpose and place, he had a hard core of stubborn. He would spend long hours just sitting outside Ja’red’s cell, not speaking, just watching his former master carefully, observing, trying to wait him out. It made Ja’red feel even more the caged freak, and his rage built. Why couldn’t Jensen just face the obvious and move on? He was free now, Ja’red was nothing but dead weight.

Then they’d landed on Felix. Once in the capital he’d been led off the ship on a leash, gagged and hobbled like he was some kind of wild animal that might tear their throats out at any moment. 

Jeering crowds had awaited his arrival at the airstrip. He imagined that word of the terrible Imperium monster’s capture had spread like wildfire. From treasuring his defiant solitude to fear and vulnerability, his mood swung precipitously as he walked through the threatening, mocking crowd. He felt pitifully grateful for Jensen’s reassuring presence beside him as he was led to the waiting prison aircar. The soft touch of his mate’s spotted hand on his elbow had him ducking his head and looking away in shame. He did not deserve Jensen’s pity or kindness. He never did.

Stepping into the aircar’s secure transport cell, Ja’red felt numb. He’d fought for his ‘side’ for the sake of his family’s safety, his home world’s safety, with ruthless precision, but it had never been because he was on the Imperium’s side. And he’d been ‘good’ at his job; he’d caused the deaths of millions with his strategies and plans. Never had the Imperium made so many deadly strikes with so few casualties, and it was all because of his battlefield strategies. He sighed and looked away from Jensen’s concerned gaze as they locked down his chains and fastened him in. He had to stick to his plan; he had to push Jensen away before he broke both their hearts. Dying was one thing but he couldn't bear to watch the hope die in Jensen’s eyes when reality finally sank in.

: : :

“Ja’red….” Jensen’s voice had been a mere whisper. “You don’t know that. You don’t know what might happen. There’s always hope.”

“Frak you, cat! Get the Jeezoo out of here and leave me in peace.” Ja’red slammed his hand down on the lunch tray, sending it vaulting up into the air, utensils flying.

“Why are you here, anyway? To gloat, to rub it in, to see me hit bottom? Well, guess what – I am, I’m about as low as you can frakin’ get, man. They’re going to kill me. There’s no doubt in my mind, Jen’son, and you standing here asking questions trying to find some non-existent loophole isn’t going to change that. So read my lips. Go away.”

They stood glaring at each other from either side of the tiny barred cell in the isolation ward of the courthouse. They were all alone; no other convicts occupied any of the small row of cells that made up the ward. Jensen had finally convinced the guards to let him inside, despite numerous warnings that they couldn’t guarantee his safety with such a dangerous felon, such a dangerous wolf. Ja’red wearily sat down on the hard metal sleeping shelf, and Jensen looked, but seeing nothing else to sit on, just lowered himself to the floor sitting cross legged.

Ja’red wanted to say more to his mate but couldn’t seem to find his voice. It surprised him when it was Jensen who broke the silence.

“They, they say I’m free now. T-that you don’t own me anymore.”

Ja’red looked over at his mate who was biting his lip raw. Jensen wasn’t looking at him.

“No, Jen’son, I don’t own you anymore. You’re here on a whole planet filled with your own kind. You can do anything you want, now.”

Ignoring him Jensen continued on, “They say if I leave you, you’ll die.” Jensen looked up quickly at Ja’red, then dropped his gaze to the floor again. “If- if that’s true I-I can’t. I won’t. I can’t have that on my conscience.”

“They don’t know that. We’re an interspecies bond; it may not be as strong. I-I’ll be fine. Besides, more than likely I won’t be living too long one way or another. So I’m off your conscience.” Ja’red looked away. He couldn’t force his mate to stay; he didn’t want to hope for better, and he didn’t want to beg. It was all so fraked up. “Go, go live your life, Jen’son; you have my permission. Go be free, be happy, you’ve been through enough.”

“No.”

“What do you mean no?”

“I’m not your slave anymore, I don’t have to listen to you. To anyone. So no.”

Ja’red sighed, but he only said out loud, “There’s no reason for you to stay, Jen’son. It’s all going to end badly. You, me, we can’t possibly work. Y-you don’t even know me.” You don’t love me.

“No, just no. I-know you were going to get rid of me after the prince's get-together, but I don’t care; I won’t let you down, not when they say your life depends on it...”

Ja’red stood in surprise… “Get rid of you? Where did you hear that?”

“Y-you said just one more day and it would be all over.”

Ja’red rubbed his hands over his face and looked over at his mate. It was just one misstep after another with them. “No, that’s not what I meant; you have to believe me. After the prince’s meeting, I wanted to tell you everything, maybe run away, find a way to leave the planet altogether.”

Jensen snorted in derision, and Ja’red thought he could see tears in the corners of his eyes. “I’m an alien, but I’m not that pathetic, Ja’red. Don’t lie to me. I-I’m n-not like that… I-I wouldn’t let you die, no matter what you had planned.”

“But I’m not. I’m not lying. Jen’son, I think I’ve felt something for you from the very beginning – something more than lust. That in spite of all my efforts to hold you at a distance, you crept under my skin. And the fact that you’re not giving me up for dead, like maybe you should be, says in spite of every stupid, dumbass thing I’ve done so far, you might feel something for me too.” 

Ja’red advanced toward his mate. Sudden realization dawned that he was actually telling the truth, that in a life riddled with secrets, this was the one man he no longer wanted to lie to. In spite of all his efforts to keep Jen’son at arms reach, to treat him like an anonymous sex doll, he liked the felix; the felix mattered to Ja’red. And maybe if he let himself be honest for a moment, being mated to him wasn’t the terrible downfall he thought it would be. He had to stop himself from reaching out and touching his mate as the force of this knowledge swept over him. His hands clenched and released at his sides, and he tried to retain control. 

“Fuck you, Ja’red, you don’t get to stand there and say that to me. Not after you, you raped me for days on end. You raped me and used me and then were going to throw me away like yesterday's trash. I can take a lot, I have taken a lot, but don’t LIE to me, Ja’red. Anything, but don’t lie.”

Jensen abruptly stood, and Ja’red couldn’t stop himself from reaching for him to explain, to beg, to stop him, he didn’t know what. As soon as his hand touched his arm, Jensen was swinging with the full weight of his body behind him, smashing his fist into Ja’red’s face. Ja’red fell, stunned, not even attempting to protect himself; he deserved that and much more. He curled up and lay still, waiting for more blows to fall, waiting for Jensen to assuage his anger on him. He flashed back to vague images of his father beating his Oa, his omega parent, to unconsciousness, and he shivered but only braced himself to take whatever his mate felt he deserved. It took him a moment to realize Jensen had moved away to the far side of the cell and stood there trembling. He could see him literally shaking in fury as he ran his shaking hand through his hair.

Ja’red pushed himself up off the floor to sitting. He licked his bleeding lip and tried to appeal to the angry alpha again. “Jen’son, please listen to me. When I first scented you, I knew you were different. It was like the whole fraud of my life had been ripped wide open, and I didn’t even know who I was anymore. All I wanted to do was let you pound me into the frakin’ mattress like my wolf was begging me to do.” Ja’red looked over at Jensen, but the man continued to stand there with his back to him, head bowed slightly, and quiet, so quiet. He was still listening though. Ja’red took that as a good sign; at least Jen'son was hearing him out.

Ja’red rose shakily to his feet and started to pace back and forth at the other end of the cell. There had been so much deception between them; he owed Jensen an explanation. He paused and looked out the small window at the end of the cellblock, took a deep breath to calm himself, and forced himself to continue. “I never knew I was omega, not for a long time. I was twelve when I was brought to Vega as a royal hostage, and when I didn’t pop a knot by the time I was fifteen, I just assumed I was a late bloomer. I should have known, but I didn’t want to know. M-my birth parent was an omega. My father despised him; h-he died when I was very young. I think maybe my father…”

“Anyway, my whole life, all I ever remember hearing about him was how weak Oa was, how stupid he was. I-I never wanted to be like him. I thought it was a fate worse than death to be like him: an omega. Then when I reached eighteen and nothing had changed, I realized my worst fears had happened. I was omega. Any dreams I had for the future were wiped out. Even if the King of the Imperium let me go, released me as royal hostage to Lycus, no one would allow an omega to rule.”

“Father, if he found out, would be enraged; he’d probably disown me. The planet would be fine though. H-he’d had more children by his new mate, and they were grown by then. Some of them must have been alpha. I didn’t know, he’d never kept in touch once I had been taken away. All I knew was that the kingdom would go on without me.” Ja’red ran his hand through his hair. It seemed rather pathetic to realize that the only person on all of Lycus who would have missed him was his Oa. He plucked at his prison overall and forced himself to continue.

“Then I realized no one knew but me, and no one needed to know. There was no one to tell, no one who cared, anyway. I didn’t tell Chris’tian; he would have been forced to report it to the prince as soon as I’d told him. So I was on my own. Then I got to thinking, no one on Vega suspected, no one even brought it up. As a non-were world, they probably didn't even give much thought to it. Everyone just assumed I was an alpha, and without another were's nose to tell the difference, or hell, seeing me naked – and a lot of Vegans wouldn’t even know then – then I just was an alpha. 

“Hell, I’ve come from a long, continuous line of alphas; who knew I’d be the one disappointment in the family? I could suddenly see a future for myself on Vega, mateless maybe, but at least I wouldn’t be a weak, submissive creature taking my alpha’s orders and abuse. I’d be free. Any hookups I might have could be low profile and anonymous; no one needed to know who I was. It could all work. When I'd thought through everything, I knew I had a chance, and I grabbed it.”

Ja’red could see Jen'son’s head lift up when he said abuse, but the felix held his tongue and waited for Ja’red to continue. Ja’red could see his profile now, the alpha’s brows furrowed in concentration, his tongue darting out to wet his lips.

“So I talked the talk and stuck to the whorehouses at the space port. Anonymous now, I was able to fuck the sweetest ass Vega could produce, men and women alike. But I never went near a were, never risked being found out. Then I smelled you, and my body just reacted. I thought I knew, right then, what we were, what you were to me, but you didn’t have a knot, and so I thought maybe I was wrong. Maybe I could just indulge myself and not be so alone. Then you marked me, and I could feel my body submitting, and that was just wrong, weak like – my parent. I thought I could control you, discipline you. Thought I could fix this, stay the alpha I’d made myself into. 

“Then you knotted me. I let you knot me…I should have stayed the frak away from you, but I must be as weak a creature as my father despised. Even now I'm drenching my shorts at the thought of you having me, and I’m not even in heat.” Ja’red sighed and turned lost eyes toward Jensen. Jensen looked at him, and Ja’red could almost see the gears in his mate’s head turn as he weighed what Ja’red said for truth. 

“I despised you for it. I-I never wanted to be treated like some kind of war prize, a possession. I may be an omega, but I’m a man. I’ve got a brain. With what you’ve learned about omegas, do you think i-if anyone had known, that I would have gone as far as I did? Do you think I’d have been the Head Strategist for the Imperium if the prince had known?” 

Jensen swallowed and shook his head ‘no’.

“When the knotting triggered my first heat, I think I went a little insane for a while, and I punished you for that, something you had no fault in.”

Jensen looked over at him again, stone-faced, and Ja’red hoped the man could see the real regret in his eyes.

Ja’red moved toward Jensen slowly, like he was approaching a wild, hurt thing, and finally dropped to his knees before the felix so he could stare up into his alpha’s face. He reached out to Jensen, then dropped his hands suddenly and clenched them at his sides. He hadn’t earned the right to touch this man after what he’d done. Tears appeared in the corners of his eyes, and he hung his head in shame.

“I’m so sorry, Jen’son. I’ve done everything I could to hurt you and drive you away. And I just realized, you made me realize, I don’t want that now. I’ve been so busy battling myself, despising myself, what I am, that I couldn’t see what I could have, what I could be. That what I need is right here in front of me. 

Ja’red shook his head and continued, “I don’t want you to leave. I don’t want to die a discarded omega whose mate so disgusted and abused him that he left. I-I wouldn’t blame you if you did. I-I don't deserve your kindness. But – but if you stay, if they let me live… I don’t want you to stay out of pity to keep me alive, existing, like a duty or an obligation. I want it to be because you stay with me…as my mate, to give us a try.’’ Ja’red started to cry, ugly, noisy sobs of guilt, and despair, wrenched out of him in gulps and gasps. He wrapped his hands around his sides to prevent himself from grabbing onto Jen’son like a life preserver.

It took him a few moments to realize that Jensen had moved to sit beside him and he was being pulled into the alpha’s arms. He felt Jensen’s sandy tongue rasp across the cheek nearest him, licking up his tears. Ja’red laughed, hiccupping in despair at how pitiful he was, and burrowed deeper into his alpha’s embrace. Jensen's soothing purr rumbled in his ears.

It took him even longer to register that Jensen was talking, soft, soothing words, nonsense words at first as he held Ja’red close. When Ja’red finally calmed, Jensen tipped his chin up and looked into his eyes and said solemnly, “I don’t have all the answers; I wish I did. But I’m just one mixed up cat.” Jensen’s beautiful lips curved in a gentle smirk. All I know is I’ve come this far now, and I can’t walk away, in spite of everything. Maybe you’re mine as much as I’m yours. If you feel the same way, you’re just going to have to get used to having me around because I’m not going anywhere.” They lay there a while in shared silence, Ja’red sprawled across Jensen’s lap, the older man running his hand through the cinnamon-striped locks. Finally, Ja’red twisted around so he could see Jensen’s face again and asked quietly, “How can you possibly forgive me after what I’ve done?”

“I don’t know, man, but I want to find a way. This planet is no more home to me than it is to you, but being near you makes it feel like one. And from the look of that jury box today it doesn’t look like we’re leaving here anytime soon.”

Ja’red snorted. “Maybe for life.”

“Yeah.” Jensen rubbed the back of his neck now free of the collar. Ja’red could see the faint scars from Simion’s old collar on Jensen’s neck, and his hands itched to sooth the hurt away. “Yeah, they said that too, that you might get life. But that’s better than a death sentence.” Jensen’s voice held a hopeful tone.

“You don’t know that.”

“Ja’red…I-I’ve been a slave for five years. I think I know a little something about being at other people’s mercy. Y-you can’t give up; you just don’t know what might happen next.”

“Why do you care, Jen’son? Why do you care for me?”

Jensen had looked down at him, his eyes wide and his mouth open in a little ‘o’ of surprise.

“I-I feel it too,” Jensen whispered. “The bond…my cat wants… hell, I want… you. Right now.” Jensen’s eyes darkened with heat. “You’re mine. And the more I’m around you, the more I get to know you, the more I think my cat’s got it right.”

“But what if that’s just pheromones influencing you? If I wasn’t here, you’d be free to choose someone you really wanted.” Ja’red bit his tongue. He was like a missile set on self-destruct; he couldn’t keep himself from trying to push Jensen away one last time, just to be sure. His wolf snarled at him in disgust, and he could feel it nipping at his insides in punishment.

“Who says that that someone I really want wasn’t always meant to be you, Jay… that’s what I think. And that’s why I’m staying right here… with you. Well, maybe not in this cell; my ass is getting damned uncomfortable on this concrete, but you know what I mean.” Jensen hugged him tight. Ja’red sat up still slightly dazed but oh so contented. The nickname that had slipped off Jen'son’s tongue had felt so right to Ja’red, so intimate. No one had ever had a pet name for him before. It made him more… Jensen's, somehow, and for the first time that seemed all right too.

: : :

The court case had dragged on, first waiting for his case to be scheduled, then the trial itself. Ja’red sat squirming in his seat during the hearing. He was going to be convicted; why didn’t they stop wasting time and money and just do it already? Then he swallowed and realized ‘just do it’ might mean ‘put him to death’, and he mentally retracted that hasty thought. He squirmed again and wondered why he felt so unaccountably hot. Sweat was sliding down his spine, and his face felt flush. The clanking of the plasticrete cuffs as he tugged on the chains holding his arms pinned behind him seemed conspicuously loud in the courtroom.

He dropped his head and hunched in his chair. He couldn’t stop squirming. Suddenly, a hand was on his chin, lifting his face up. He looked into the emerald gaze of his mate as Jensen crouched beside the defense table where Ja’red was chained.

He took one look at Ja’red and then rose and bowed a little toward the bench. “Excuse me, your Honor, your Felixness, uh—”  He bit his lip as he realized he didn’t know what to call the head Felix judging the case.

The silver and black striped Felix paused and looked down her long, elegant nose at Jensen. “This is highly unusual. Explain yourself, Mr. Ackles.”

“I-I think we need a recess or break or something, your honor; my mate is going into heat.”

Jensen’s fingers stroked the side of Ja’red’s face, leaving a cooling sensation on the overheated skin. Ja'red leaned into the touch and closed his eyes.

“It boggles my mind that in this day and age they can’t make a heat suppressant that works reliably and safely for an omega on a regularbasis.. I mean, what good is all our technology if we can’t manage to control a simple heat? Very well then. Obviously he will soon be too incapacitated to come to court. Won’t he?”

“Yes, your Honor and I-I’m sorry, your Honor. I don’t know what else to say.”

The judge sighed heavily, and Jensen could almost hear the unspoken ‘wolves’.

“Very well.” The judge took in Ja’red’s dazed, glassy eyes and flushed face.

“We’ll postpone the (trial, hearing, proceedings) for four days; go take care of your mate, Mr. Ackles.”

: : :

 

“Hey, don’t forget, we’re going for drinks tonight man. I’d like to introduce you around to the other guys.” Tom’s broad smile was a refreshing way to end his day. Be’var wasn’t a bad boss as bosses went but the man was cranky and it would take some to get used to the old cat. But Tom was straightforward and earnest and a balm to Jensen’s frazzled nerves.

“Oh sorry man, I’d love to really,” Jensen rushed to add at Tom’s crestfallen and slightly skeptical look, “but I just got word, my mate’s gone into heat. I-He needs me. I only stayed on shift because I needed the cash.”

“Oh!” Tom’s face brightened again. “Oh sorry, well good, Ummm I’ll shut up now. I’m mated to a beta myself, so it’s just go time all the time you know?” He shrugged his shoulders in a downtrodden expression, the smile on his face telling another story of a happily mated man.

“Next time, I promise.” Jensen pulled his coat out of his locker and shouldered his backpack, walking with Tom to clock out for the day.

“Sure man, sure.” Tommar patted his back companionably and stuck his card in the punch clock. Seemed like even space garages had time cards, Jensen grumped and punched out next. 

He worried a little about going out with Tom and the other guys. He had so many secrets to keep, but in truth, he knew he needed to get out more. He never used to be a hermit. Jensen grimaced. He could be fun, damn it! Well he used to be fun. And Tom seemed like a nice guy, someone to enjoy spending time with. Right now though, he had to get to his wolf. The sooner he got home and threw a few clothes in his backpack, the sooner he’d get there. 

He trudged wearily back to his apartment block. It had been a long day. As much as he looked forward to seeing Ja’red, he would have loved a quick nap. The piping little voices that greeted him on his arrival at the rundown tenement he called home, did perk him up, though. 

“Jens, Jens! Did you hear? Did you hear?” Jensen was surrounded by three shining Felix faces. The children ranged in age from about three to six, he guessed. 

“Hear what guys?” Jensen knelt down and the children swarmed over him. Lexy draped one softly furred arm over his shoulder and looked at him conspiratorially, whispering loudly, “It’s a secret.” Petra pushed herself up on little stubby legs to lean on his knee. The soft baby fur on her face still had its molting spots; they looked a lot like freckles. Secretly Jensen thought that was why the children had taken to him so quickly when he first moved into the block. With his freckles and spots they thought he was just another child, one of them. They were probably right, he snorted to himself.

Jada bounced on the tips of his toes in excitement and stood proudly in front of Jensen. His little bewhiskered face serious, his hand outstretched towards him; fingers closed tightly over something.

“Jada wost a baby fang!” Petra lisped, innocently, spilling the beans. For a moment Jada looked crestfallen, even his little whiskers drooped. Then like a summer storm it was forgotten and he smiled broadly. He opened up wide for Jensen to see and sure enough there was a hole in the array of dental armament. “See?” he said, word muffled and wet as he used his fingers to pry his mouth open wider.

Jensen chuckled. “WOW, now that’s a big hole, so let’s see it, show me the money.”

Jada crowded up and opened his hand, lying in his palm was a small baby canine, it’s point slightly rounded. “Now that’s a great tooth. Bet you’ll get a lot for that.”

“Huh?” Jada said, bewildered. 

“What don’t you guys have the tooth fairy?”

“What dat, Jens?” Petra asked, her huge violet-coloured eyes staring up at him in complete trust.

“Oh, the tooth fairy comes at night. And if you’ve been very good, and cleaned your teeth every night, then when they fall out, she wants them. You leave them under your pillow and in the morning she’ll have taken your tooth and left some money in trade for it.”

Jensen looked around and was met by three pairs of saucer-sized eyes.

“Really?” Lexy breathed. “Cross my heart.” Jensen made the gesture he’d shown the children before. “Wow,” was all Jensen heard as the three rushed off to help Jada put his tooth under his pillow. Jensen rose to his feet.

“Really Jensen, you tell the wildest stories. Where did you say you were from again?”

“Sometimes Mit’za, it feels like outer space.” Jensen smiled at their mother, a hard working woman who lived upstairs from Jensen. He’d gotten to know her and her alpha when he’d first moved in. 

“Here I want you to give this to Jada.” Jensen pushed a bronze credit coin into Mit’za’s hands, “For Jada.” 

“But Jensen, you can’t afford this,” She protested. Mit’za knew Ja’red was in prison, though she didn’t know all the details. She didn’t know that his mate was a Lycan, for one. 

“Well, I’ve been a couple of weeks on the new job now and should get my first paycheck soon. I think I can spare it, and it’ll make him smile.”

The redhaired felix leaned up and kissed him on the cheek. He smiled and rubbed the spot. “Your whiskers tickle girl!”

They had just moved to follow the children up the stairs when the warning alert siren went off. 

: : :

The prison guards escorted Ja’red into the conjugal unit. He and Jensen would be sealed up in this room for the next three days. With their usual care they shoved him into the room so hard he stumbled in his chains, tripped, and came to land heavily on his knees in the middle of the cell floor.

“Hey, what the hell, leave him alone!” Jensen’s voice shouted out in anger as the heavy cell door slammed shut to the mutters of, “Frakin’ wolf lover,” and “Freak.” Jensen had already leapt off the bed where he had been sitting, legs casually crossed, waiting for Ja’red. He rushed over to help his mate to his feet, helped him shuffle to sit on the end of the bed.

Ja’red couldn’t look his mate in the eye, couldn’t help the tremor of fear that shot through him. It was one thing to sit, day after day, beside his alpha in court, or to watch each other from opposite sides of the cell, but it was another thing completely to be here, chained and hobbled at his alpha’s mercy.

“Quite the hospitality they have here,” Jensen observed. “Good thing they gave me these.” Ja’red could hear the smile in his alpha’s voice as he ducked down to crouch in front of him, dangling a set of keys from his fingers. Ja’red’s eyes widened in dread, and a trickle of cool sweat went down his spine. Their talk the other day had made Ja’red believe he could have a clean start, but who’s to say what might happen here. He bit his lip; payback was a bitch, but it was nothing he didn’t deserve. Ja’red flinched in surprise and let out a soft cry when the chains connecting his ankles released and clanked to the floor.

Jensen looked up at his mate’s face; his grin instantly vanished as he knelt up and grabbed Ja’red’s collar and hooked his fingers through it, gently pulling him in close. “Whoa, whoa, wait, now. There was no way I was leaving you in those chains. Don’t even go there.”

Jensen tilted the collar up, forcing Ja’red to look him in the eyes.

“But...”

“No buts about it; this is a clean start. Nothing but good, old fashioned, earth-style, sweaty sex till you drop. Well, maybe more like space alien knot till you drop, but you get the idea. We’re here to have a good time.” Jensen reeled Ja’red in by the collar and kissed him. The sandpaper tongue swiped over the seam of his lips, demanding entrance, and when Ja’red breathed out, the plush, plump lips sealed onto his and crushed into him. Jensen didn’t pull back until Ja’red’s head was dizzy with lack of air and sudden need. 

Ja’red suddenly realized his alpha meant every word he said, that this was a fresh start, a new chance. Ja’red felt like the door that had been holding his emotions tightly sealed inside had been suddenly blown open, and he could allow himself to hope and trust. 

Jensen peppered small, light kisses along Ja’red’s collarbone before reluctantly returning to the task of removing the manacles. The gears in Ja’red’s mind started to turn, and by the time the chains holding his wrists together were off, Ja’red had a plan.

“So I kinda thought we could grab something to eat first…” Jensen stood, anxiously bouncing on the balls of his feet. He jerked when Ja’red’s hand reached up and placed itself over his heart. Ja’red tipped his head, and Jensen inhaled a deep breath, noticing for the first time Ja’red’s spicy scent was starting to fill the room. “Or maybe…”

Ja’red drew himself to his full 6’5” and grabbed his mate and pushed Jensen down so he sprawled on his back on the bed. Ja’red could tell his mate was a little stunned at being manhandled so easily. Ja’red began to slowly, carefully unzip his prison overalls. And Jensen’s eyes went wide and lust-darkened as Ja’red peeled his long length out of the confining cloth. He stood there at the foot of the bed and slowly licked up the length of his palm and took himself in hand. Jensen groaned, his mouth falling open a little at the sight of Ja’red’s already considerable cock growing fatter and impossibly long in his hand. Ja’red moaned as he stripped himself and looked down at Jensen. His mate’s pants had tightened perceptibly around the bulge of his own growing arousal, and his eyes closed to emerald slits as he watched his mate stroke himself. Ja’red growled darkly, “Strip.”

Jensen hastily yanked his t-shirt over his head and fought with his boots and pants to finally kick them off to land in a muddle by the bed. He lay back, naked, and watched his mate, green eyes glittering. Ja’red’s hand had started to speed up, and his neck muscles tensed as he felt his balls draw up.

“Jay,” Jensen breathed out, a dark, possessive tone to his voice. Ja’red’s face was red, struggling as he chased his release. Finally realizing what was happening, Jensen took pity and whispered out in a dirty, filth-tinged voice, “Come for me, Jay,” and Ja’red was coming, arching back as he shot his load out over his hand and across his bare chest.

Jensen crawled, cat like, down to the foot of the bed, rose up to his knees, and embraced his blissed-out lover. His hands trailed across the come-covered chest, his tongue licking at Ja’red’s release. He hauled Ja’red down onto the bed with him and twisted them around so that Jensen ended up on top, straddling his body. Jensen pounced, his head dipping down to cover Ja’red's mouth, plunging in and purring with satisfaction inside him. Ja’red lost himself in the wet heat and scratchy lick of that tongue, the soft vibration and taste of himself on those plush lips. He gasped in a breath when Jensen finally, reluctantly, released his lips. Dazed, he looked up and took in the beautiful sight of his felix, spots moving sinuously across the broad chest. He watched Jensen move to snatch up some lube from the bedside table and oil himself. Ja’red almost laughed, his hole was leaking enough fluid to slick an army, but it touched his heart in a funny, twisting way that Jensen would take no chance of hurting him. His wolf growled in approval.

Jensen stared down at Ja’red, and the look of dark ownership in his eyes didn’t scare Ja’red like he had thought it would. It only thrilled him. He felt his cock struggle to rise again. Jensen leaned forward and licked at one of Ja’red’s nipples, nipped at the bud until it stood upright, dusky and proud, and then his raspy tongue moved on to torment the other one. Ja’red shivered beneath him at his touch. He licked his way up to Ja’red’s collarbone where his mating mark stood out on the golden skin. It had scarred in the healing, and it would never fade; not through time, nor shifts. It would always be a reminder of Jensen’s dominion over him, his ownership. Ja’red turned his head, exposing his throat in offering, in submission. He closed his eyes as Jensen’s sharp fangs sprang out but only felt a rough swipe of his tongue as he laved the mark. 

Jensen moved his hand down to Ja’red’s heat slick entrance and eased him open. First one finger, then two, and finally three fingers fucking into him. Whimpering in dissatisfaction, Ja’red widened his legs and humped himself on those blunt digits. His cock fattened and rose again between them. He mewled helplessly, bucking up against Jensen for more, yearning to feel his alpha’s body blanketing his, to feel him inside. 

Jensen’s fingers retreated, and Ja’red whimpered in relief when he felt the round mushroom head at his entrance. He whined as Jensen began slowly to enter him, desperately trying to wiggle down onto his shaft. The bright, hard smack to his ass cheek had Ja’red’s eyes fluttering open, and Jensen growled, “Be good; we’re doing this my way this time.” His mate continued to ease gently into Ja’red in one smooth, slick glide.

Once fully seated, his furry balls tickling the backs of Ja’red's cheeks, Jensen just paused there, his eyes half closed, a contented, totally feline look of satisfaction on his face as he crouched above him. “Mine,” he whispered as he drew out almost completely, then slammed back in. While he continued to thrust into his mate, Jensen leaned forward on his forearms and lapped at the seam of Ja’red’s lips again. 

Ja’red gasped, open-mouthed, for breath, and Jensen’s tongue swept inside. He played there a while until he had Ja’red panting and needy. Then he trailed a line of sharp nips and wet kisses down the long, elegant column of Ja’red’s throat to his mating mark, suckling at it once more. With a sly, knowing glance at Ja’red’s heat-reddened face, he pulled back till the head of his dick caught on Ja’red’s rim. Just as the needy whine left Ja’red’s mouth, Jensen thrust back in and bit down on his mark at the same time.

Ja’red’s wolf howled in pleasure, and Jensen picked up a snapping rhythm. Jensen’s cat-snarl of satisfaction mixed with those howls, and Ja’red could feel Jensen’s knot start to thicken. Jensen raised Ja’red’s leg up over his shoulder as it became harder and harder to move in and out and purred softly, “Flip over, Jay.” Ja’red was suddenly face down on the threadbare prison issue sheets. Jensen’s thrusts grew more erratic, and his knot swelled and began to catch more firmly, barely moving now. The knot slipped in one final time and stayed. It was pressing, pressing down on Ja’red’s prostate, sending sparks up and down his spine, and he felt his body stiffen. He howled again as he came, untouched, on the sheets beneath him. 

Ja’red clenched down, tipping Jensen over the edge after him, and Jensen started to come. Ja’red sighed as he felt warmth invade him, and Jensen shot his seed deep inside him. He heard his own satisfied moan and closed his eyes sleepily, his wolf having found a nice, warm place to curl up. Jensen lay draped over his back, gently running his hand over Ja’red’s collarbone in light circles. As he lay there boneless, fucked out and infinitely satisfied, Jensen continued to rut gently into him, fully knotted and coming sporadically. He took the first opportunity to ease them gently to their sides into a more comfortable long term position. 

Even sexed out and falling asleep Ja’red had enough brainpower left to realize this wasn’t the scenario of domination and abuse he had been led to fear. Instead it felt a lot like being cherished. Ja’red sighed and wondered at all the stories his father had told him about his omega parent. Whatever had gone on with them, his relationship with Jensen was taking a completely different turn.

He hummed sleepily as a strong arm was slung over his waist, and his mate cinched him in closer to his chest, purring in satisfaction. Ja’red nodded off to Jensen’s soft rumble in his ear, relaxing into the stunning realization that Jensen felt like home.

: : :

What’s Earth like?” Ja’red asked as Jensen rutted gently into him. He’d awoken a few hours ago, and they had quickly eaten and knotted again. It was the first day of heat, which he’d always heard was the worst, and it had been living up to its reputation. Jensen wiped a hand over Ja’red’s sweat-damp brow and blew softly over the heated skin of his cheek. 

“What’s Earth like…” Jensen repeated thoughtfully as he rocked into his mate. “Uh… I don’t know, Jay. It’s definitely different.”

“Come on, you've got to give me more than that. Different how?”

“Well, for one thing we’ve got one sun, not two.”

“Okay, but that’s kind of normal; we’ve got lots of planets in the Imperium with one sun. What else?”

“Ah – well we don’t have any weres.”

“What, none at all?” Ja’red tried to twist back and get a look at his mate’s face to make sure he wasn’t fooling with him. He moaned suddenly as Jensen’s knot hit him in just the right spot, and sparks danced along his nerve endings. He swallowed and tried to concentrate on what they were saying again.

“Nope, not a one. The only thing we have with knots or heats are dogs or wolves and such. Animals on our planet.”

Ja’red’s eyes flew back to stare at him with that statement, “So, so you really did change then? This isn’t how you looked on Earth?”

“No, I never had fur before, Jay, or ear tufts, or retractable claws – nothing like that. And no damn spots, either. Yeah, I changed.”

“But I love your spots! Love to lick them,” Ja’red sighed as Jensen came again, and he felt warm seed shooting up into his overstuffed channel. His fuzzy brain swam back to the topic at hand. “Well if that’s the case, how did your species evolve to protect itself then?”

“Oh, probably something like the Vegans with clubs and sticks, then guns. We haven’t gotten to the ray gun stage yet, but we’re on our way.”

“D-do you want to go back there?”

“Hell yeah! Sure I do, Jay, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen any time soon. And I’d kinda stand out in the crowd now. They’d think I was some kind of circus freak and put me away. When I first was captured, became a slave, or even knew I was a slave, not just a prisoner kept in a clear glass cage, I came up with a list of all the things I wanted to do when I got back to Earth. Eventually I got it pared down to my top twenty. Honestly though, I’d have as good a chance of flying as getting back there. I don’t even know where Earth is. Or what you guys call it.”

“What do you miss most?”

“Oh, a whole bunch of things… my mom, my dad, my brother Rick and sister Hannah. But right now I’m really missing Number Six: Video games. You know, cooped up in here with nothing to do but make out, we could do with a little distraction, and 'No. 6: Play video games till my eyes bleed' would do the trick right about now.”

Ja’red could feel Jensen release another load into him, and he squirmed against Jensen’s groin at the sexy feeling it gave him.

“Ss-oo tell me a little about this Video game thing, and why you would need a distraction when I’m in your bed?” Ja’red pouted slightly. He loved how confident Jensen's desire made him feel.

Jensen chuckled, his teeth flashing, and crinkles appeared in the corner of his eyes. Ja’red gasped at the beauty of his mate. Jensen smirked and pulled him closer and looked at him with affection in his gaze. “Well I was thinking more when we were trapped here ‘joined together’, darlin’, you’d have something to do besides sleep and feel me coming, so pull in your claws,” Jensen teased as his hand reached around to fondle Ja’red’s half hard penis. “Maybe I’m overstating the power of Number Six. There are a few other things we could do,” he said and proceeded to show him.

: : :

Chapter Text




: : :

Ja’red swung up to sit on his bunk. A lot of good that break had done them. When they had come back to court three days later, the judge had still convicted his ass of being an enemy of the state In extremis and sentenced him to life. Better than the alternative though. They had talked a lot those three days, and it had been a pretty significant turning point in their relationship. 

He smiled at the thought of Jensen, fucked out and satisfied, lying all long and slightly bow-legged on the doublewide prison conjugal bed. Ja’red had asked if that was how all earthmen’s legs looked, because he found it rather sexy. Jensen had smirked and used them to grip him tight around his waist and said, “All the better to catch wolves with, my dear,” which had caused a big grin to appear on his face. Ja’red hadn’t known what the grin was about, but the spike in arousal had him bending down and sealing Jen’s mouth shut with a fevered kiss that was not all caused by the heat.

: : :

A light tap on the cell door had him rising to sit up. The frosted opaque plexicrete cleared, and Protector Co’hen appeared at the door. Ja’red had already moved to get into ‘inspection position’, somewhat surprised to see the guard back so early. He didn’t think Jensen’s shift at the garage would be over quite so soon. He placed his hands on either side of the top bunk, legs apart, spread eagle for inspection. Co’hen entered swiftly, not even bothering to check the cell. 

He barked out, “Turn, hands behind your head.” When Ja’red had turned and was repositioned, he asked cautiously, “Is there any reason Protector Pileg’gi would be all fired up interested in being your escort?” 

Ja’red swallowed and looked away. If Pileg’gi took him to the heat box, he might never get there. Va'rul and his buddies could have arranged something with the protector. He wasn’t sure how the guard would explain Ja’red’s sudden absence, but there was no doubt in his mind that Pileg'gi was up to no good.

“Listen, Padalecki, tell me now or I’m turning your ass over to him. I–I just want to know because, honestly, even though I can’t prove it, something doesn’t smell right in all this. I feel responsible for all the omegas under my care. If something happens that I could have prevented, I...”

Ja’red bit his lip. He had no facts to go on. Nothing other than a vague suspicion that Pileg’gi was in cahoots with Va'rul, but Ja’red was going to be in Bardoon Prison for potentially the rest of his life, and he didn’t need to start making lifelong enemies right at the onset.

“N-no, sir, there’s nothing to know.”

Ja’red forced himself to stop there. Part of him wanted to say he felt safer in Co’hens’ hands, but gods knew how that would be misinterpreted. No, Ja’red would have to just hope it was all his overactive imagination.

“I was worried you’d say that, pup. Well, that’s okay.” He could see Co’hen scrub his face with his hand in frustration. “Hell with it. I’m just going to escort you to the heat box now. That should be the last place they look for you, if someone is looking. Your alpha’s been called, so, soon as his shift is over, he’ll be here.” Co’hen reached behind him and brought out the first of the two sets of transport chains to attach to his manacles.

“Okay, put out your left hand.”

: : :

Ja’red shuffled down the corridor in front of the guard. The short span of chain between his ankles had him taking mincing steps or risk doing a face plant in the corridor. His arms were chained together behind him. Protectors didn't always require full sets of chains, but Co’hen must have wanted to be sure he only had to worry about other attackers, not Ja’red, so Ja’red shut his mouth and tried not to aggravate the guard. He’d take Co’hen’s tentative advances over Va’rul’s brutality any day.

Ja’red breathed a sigh of relief; the heat boxes were just ahead, their normal cell just two doors in. When they arrived at the right door, Co’hen’s hand reached out and caught Ja’red’s neck gently; he ordered, “Position.” Ja’red let his head touch the wall of the hallway and inched his feet back till he was leaning head first against the wall, his view limited to the floor beneath him. With his hands trapped behind him, any sudden movement by Ja’red would cause him to fall awkwardly. Once Co’hen was satisfied his prisoner wasn’t a threat, he moved ahead of Ja’red and started to unlock the cell door. 

Ja’red heard the sound of the door being swung open and could see Cohen’s feet turn toward him to help him straighten up when he heard several pairs of footsteps approaching quickly. He heard Co’hen cry out and then a short scuffle. 

The protector groaned in pain and fell at Ja’red’s feet; he could see the shine of blood glistening in the felix’s hair. Ja’red struggled to creep his feet in to get his weight under him in order to stand again and figure out what was going on. He could see the tips of Co’hen’s shoes disappear as he was dragged into the cell as he regained his balance. He turned in time to see Va'rul leering down at him and Ja’red squeaked out a stunned, “No...” 

“Get the keys to his chains, boys; they’re gonna come in handy,” Va’rul shouted into the room. “And hurry it up. Tie him good, though. We need a bit of lead time before they discover him.”

Ja’red just stood there, stupid and wide-eyed. Va'rul ran an appreciative hand down Ja'red's side, causing him to flinch. 

“Ah, pup, don’t be like that. We’re gonna get to know you real well, and you can’t be like that with me and the boys.”

“You can’t get away with this,” Ja’red growled.

“Get away with what? You made an escape attempt and attacked your guard. You won’t be caught by the valiant efforts of Protector Pileg’gi for three, maybe four days. Then who’s gonna trust you, wolf? Certainly not pretty boy here. We’ll be able to pick you up whenever we want a bit of wolf tail, and you won’t be able to do a thing about it.”

Ja’red swallowed. He couldn’t run; the chains made his struggles laughable so he did the only thing he could and started screaming. His eyes lit with defiance. 

“I kinda thought you’d pull something like that,” Va’rul said calmly and punched him swiftly in the gut, slamming him up against the wall. As Ja’red was bent over gasping Va’rul brought a ball gag out from his prison issue coveralls and slammed Ja’red’s head up against the wall. Momentarily stunned, Ja’red couldn’t stop Va’rul from forcing the gag into his mouth. Ja’red sagged to the floor once Va’rul had the gag strapped on. He turned his head to look up dazedly just as Me'how and Gonga came out of the heat box.

“He’s all trussed up and going nowhere fast.”

“Good, now grab the entertainment and let’s get going. We need to get him situated before we check in for the night; there’s gonna be a lockdown. Pileg’gi warned me there’s rumors of an enemy attack tonight. If the Imperium doesn't blast us to hell, our pup's gonna be a busy boy tomorrow. Wanna make sure he gets his beauty sleep.” Va’rul’s two men hauled him up to his feet, holding Ja’red between them. Va’rul rubbed his hand through Ja’red’s hair and licked across his neck. The pitiful struggle he put up made no difference, and they were dragging him down the corridor in record time.

“Now we’ll show you our little place we got all fixed up for you. We hear all you wolves like to have your own den.”

Ja’red shook his head, eyes wild with panic, and tried to growl in protest past the gag. All his struggles resulted in nothing. Wheezing and out of breath he let his head droop forward in hopeless frustration as they carried him farther away from the omega block, farther from his mate. 

Ja’red felt a profound sense of shock. His life had been turned upside down since falling into the hands of his enemy, but nothing had prepared him for this. He was the Imperium’s Chief Strategist, a man to be feared, and a wolf to be reckoned with – and here he was, utterly helpless, being bundled away by the dredges of Felix society. How was that possible? How could he become any more useless than he already was? His father had been right about him, even his fellow convicts sensed his weakness. Why else would they prey upon him like this? And would Jensen even want him back when they finally found him? 

Ja’red felt tears leaking down the sides of his face, further evidence of how far he had fallen from the man he’d once been. Inside his head, his wolf howled a long, lonesome sound; echoing in the hollow spaces of the man he used to be, leaving only the useless omega behind.

: : :

Jensen cooled his heels in the bomb shelter far longer than he had anticipated. The alert sirens had gone off just as he left his apartment, heading for the prison. He had become inured to the frequent pilgrimages, to his local shelter. This time, though, with Ja’red in heat, he debated his chances of dodging the shelter patrols and making a straight run for the prison. In the end he nixed that idea; the patrols were too frequent and what good would it do Ja’red if he got blasted to pieces trying to get to him.

Jensen knew from his syncwave sessions that most of Bardoon was built into the mountains, so the effect of the bombings was somewhat minimized. Just in his short time in the city he realized the ore mining town was a regular target. The repeated hits on the city shields often caused devastating breaks in the defenses. Until the power grid could infill and stabilize the shields, bombs hailed down upon the defenseless residents. 

So here he was, hundreds of feet underground, feeling claustrophobic as hell, surrounded by hundreds of felix he didn’t know. Mit'za and the children were able to meet up with their alpha Jo'na, who relieved Jensen of little Petra. The little girl had clung to him like a spider monkey on the long walk to the shelter while Jada and Lexy talked about the Tooth Fairy and what they would do with the money and what would she do if their apartment wasn’t there when they got back, would she still be able to find them. Solemnly Jensen assured them that the Tooth Fairy could find them anywhere, maybe even in the shelter if they fell asleep. He winked at Mit’za who groaned and shook her head. “You are such a BOY!” she teased.

Jensen had found a seat not too far from the little family on one of the many benches lining the shelters walls, back in a grouping of several families. Part of him felt like a bit of a pervert, a single man hiding out in the family section, but he’d learned through bitter experience that if he hung out in the singles area it would be no end of trouble as overaggressive alphas trolled the area for victims. As he sat there, he could feel the bombs impacting overhead; every once in a while a particularly heavy blast would have dust and dirt showering down from the ceiling. This seemed a particularly brutal bombardment, and Jensen was thankful for his decision to stay put. Trying to get through this mess would have been a nightmare.

“So whatcha doing here, good looking?”

Jensen had resolutely been keeping his head down, studying his latest Felix grammar lessons on his bookpad, when the voice interrupted him.

He looked up; a tall, muscular Felix he didn’t recognize was standing over him.

“Pardon?” Jensen stared up at the stranger.

“I said, whatcha doing here? You’re too good looking to be hiding out with a bunch of boring mated couples and families. Come on over, I’ll introduce you to a couple of my friends. A guy like you could always use some more friends, couldn’t you?” The Felix leaned down and ran his hand familiarly across Jensen’s speckled chest where it showed through the V of his t-shirt.

Jensen swore and looked down at his bookpad and wondered not for the first time if the words ‘fuck me’ were written in his spots.

“Listen, buddy, I don’t want any trouble. I-”

“Neither do I, gorgeous. I just want to get to know you better. Maybe swap stories as I count how many of those delicious looking spots you have. How far do they go, anyway?” The alpha licked his lips suggestively.

“I-I don’t need any more friends, trust me. And besides, I’m mated. Now, if you don’t mind I have some work to do.” Jensen gestured at his datapad and looked back down.

A hand reached out and grabbed the pad from Jensen’s grasp and threw it up against the rock wall. Jensen heard an ominous cracking sound. “I’m trying to be nice here,” the Felix growled.

“Hey, watch it.” Jensen could feel the young mothers around him pull their children in closer, the men brace for confrontation. Jensen had had it; he rose to his feet. “Listen, buddy, fuck off. I’m not interested, and there’s kids here. You can’t just throw stuff around; you’ll hurt someone.”

Jensen felt a presence behind him. He turned cautiously and readied himself to take on two of them. He sighed in relief at the sight of Tom standing there along with Jo'na and a couple of other men from the garage that must have been seated further back in the section.

Tom was staring the other Felix down. “We got a problem here? Do I need to call over the Shelter Chief?” Tom laid his hand proprietarily on Jensen’s shoulder and said, “He told you to go away. I’d suggest you scat.”

The Felix cut short a frustrated growl, turned, and melted back into the crowd. Jensen whirled around, shrugging off Tom's hand and snarled, “What the hell was that?” Tom slowly lowered his arm and looked perplexed. “Nothing, man, just trying to be of help.”

“I didn’t need your help,” Jensen almost growled. Tom’s hand on his shoulder had felt hot and wrong. And when had that started to happen? Jensen wondered.

“Yeah, I could see how well things were going,” Tom shot back. The other men standing with him broke up and returned to their families, unwilling to get caught up in the squabble.

“You don’t know me, Tom, but I’m not some fucking princess you need to rescue. I had it under control. I was going to clock the guy.” Tom raised his hands in surrender and Jo'na looked at him kind of strange before returning to their seats.

Jensen strode over to the wall to pick up his datapad. He sighed when he saw it was smashed to hell. The government had supplied it; he didn’t want to know what it would cost to replace something like this, but probably a lot. Fuck! This day just kept getting better and better. He stood there, Tom momentarily forgotten, replaced by thoughts of what a giant struggle his life had become. He jerked when a hand settled gently on the middle of his back.

“Listen, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to – to take over. I just, I could see the guy crowding you, and I know what it’s like when you’re mated and you don’t want ‘that’ kind of attention. Sorry. I should have let you handle it.”

Jensen looked up into Tom’s sincere blue eyes and huffed out a breath. “Sorry man, I just totally over-reacted. Sorry.” 

“Don’t worry about it, Jensen. We all know the heat makes you do crazy things.”

Jensen’s eyes widened in surprise, “What?”

Tom looked at him curiously, head tilted. “Well, you’re giving off scent like no tomorrow. No wonder that alpha approached you. You should really try and control it better. And everybody knows that alphas get a bit twitchy when their mates go into heat. I should have given you more space.”

Jensen swallowed; he was giving off scent. “W-what! I-I didn’t know that. H-how do I control that? Jesus.”

Tom’s eyebrows rose slightly. “You’re a strange man, Ackles. Were you raised by wolves or something?” The man grinned, obviously trying to be funny, but Jensen just stared.

“Huh? Oh, closer than you think.” Just then the warning siren sounded twice, the signal for all clear. They could leave the shelter.

“Oh, I-I have to go. Like I said, sorry for back there, you were just trying to be nice. I-I gotta go.”

Jensen grabbed his jacket and shouldered his way to the front of the crowd, desperate to leave. He glanced back, and Tom still stood where he had left him, a bemused look on his face.

: : :

Outside the shelter was a scene out of Dante’s Inferno. The Imperium bombs had made it through the city shields with a vengeance. It took him almost five hours to cross town when normally it was a thirty to forty minute ride. With no public transit running, he ended up walking across the burning ruin of the aboveground section of Bardoon, stopping to help where he could. Here and there he could see where a bomb had gotten through their defenses and burrowed deep into the underground sections of the city. Huge craters pockmarked the land, and he could see flames and steam and heard people's cries rising up from the underground passageways and dens exposed by the blasts. 

Whole sections of the aboveground city had been reduced to total devastation. Jensen wondered if he’d actually have an apartment to go home to after Ja’red’s heat. Better than being buried alive. Jensen shuddered, and his cat whined in sympathy. He’d take his chances above ground with the failing shield and bombs, thank you. 

On his way he’d been pressed into service to help put out a fire on a housing complex. He felt his fur singe as open flames hit pockets of combustibles and roared to life unexpectedly. His respect for the Felix people grew as he watched them cope with the fallout of the bombing. No looting or violence, just an indomitable will to put things right again. He manned the lines with hundreds of other volunteers ferrying buckets of water from tanker trucks, unable to get closer to the burning building because of the mounds of debris. Fire crews worked desperately to rescue those trapped inside. The tanker ran out of water, and he and other volunteers resorted to shoveling debris on the flames, hanging on until the last of the firemen cleared the building with only a pitiful handful of survivors. 

The crews moved into a holding pattern, attempting to contain the fire to the one lost building, allowing Jensen to move on, but not before one kindly old Felix thrust food and bottled water in to his hands and wished him the blessing of the goddess. He nodded at the elderly man and struck out again. He was desperate to make his way across the city before nightfall. Visibility was slowly dropping to almost nothing as smoke and flames choked the skies. He could only hope that the prison had fared better than the rest of the city and that Ja’red was all right.

In the ashen haze, he picked his way along one of the main streets. He heard a roar too close overhead and actually ducked as he felt the warm whoosh of air swoop by him. He barely made out the shape of the back end of an aircar as it flew too low, too fast. He jumped back, covering his eyes from the sudden flash of an explosion, as the aircar tried to swerve to avoid a pile of rubble that had materialized out of the gloom. The car lurched and sputtered, the driver overcorrecting, and it slammed into the ground up ahead. The ash must have overcome the filters and stalled the car out; the driver would have lost complete control mid-flight. 

He ran toward the crash site and spotted a hand sticking out from under the downed car – some poor damned pedestrian. The man was still alive but pinned too tight for Jensen to move on his own. He left the unconscious man there for the moment and moved on to the occupants of the car as the flames started to lick higher from the engine; he knew he had very little time until they progressed to the diranimum fuel store and the tanks exploded. 

He kicked open the aircar door and was able to drag the driver to safety. He called out in the fog for help and heard people in the distance approaching. He hurried to the passenger section of the aircar and found an older woman, and what must be her bodyguard by the bulk of him, unconscious in the back. He first dragged the woman out and then returned for the bodyguard, pulling them to the relative safety off the street. 

They were unconscious but still breathing, and he called out again for help. People started to appear out of the gloom, ash covered and ragged, but determined to help. With more manpower he was then able to turn his attention back to the man trapped under the car. Together they were able to raise the aircar high enough for Jensen to crawl under and drag the wounded man out and away from the wreck. Jensen urged the assembled crowd to help carry the four survivors back even farther into a small park that had somehow remained relatively untouched. 

They had just settled the wounded on the grass when the aircar exploded, hurtling straight up into the air; it landed in a burning heap where their group had all been gathered just moments earlier. Shaking his head, Jensen turned his attention back to the crash survivors. A retired nurse emerged from the crowd and helped to stabilize the man who'd been trapped and control some of his bleeding. Armed with only his high school first aid course, Jensen moved on to the others to check their wounds and do what he could.

The three passengers seemed more banged up and bruised than cut and bleeding from gashes and open wounds. No apparent broken bones among them. Jensen tore a strip off his shirt; between his firefighting and crawling under the wreckage, his shirt hung in tatters anyway. He wet the strip of material with water from a bottle someone passed him and held it to the forehead of the older woman, hoping to soothe her. She was a very dignified looking Felix with iron-grey hair, and a formal, expensive-looking business suit. Her eyes fluttered open, and he saw the panic in her startlingly vivid violet gaze. He tried to calm her immediately. “It’s alright, you’re okay. We got all of you out in time. Help is on the way.”

He could see the confusion on the woman’s face, and as her eyes passed over his chest, he saw them widen in shock. Jensen realized he was half naked, the remains of his shirt a joke now with his bare chest clearly showing, but he shouldn’t be that shocking a sight. The woman reached up to trace the spots running across his flesh and struggled to croak out a few words. Jensen couldn’t make them out and leaned down to listen more closely, but she only sighed out a breath as she passed out again. He shook his head in confusion. He wished he could have made out what she said. 

Attracted by the explosion, a medical air squad eventually arrived on the scene to help stabilize and transport the four victims to the local hospital. From the extent of the bleeding and internal damage, the medics weren’t sure the man who had been pinned underneath the car was going to make it.

With the hospital so close to the prison, Jensen tried to beg a ride as he helped load the wounded. One of the medics, in acknowledgment of his quick thinking and help, took pity on him and nodded permission for him to jump on board. Jensen breathed a sigh of relief. He wasn’t sure how he would have made it to the prison otherwise; darkness was quickly approaching, the city fast becoming too dangerous to navigate. The flight through the burning city was eerily quiet, and Jensen wondered at the cost in lives of the devastation around him. 

Drawing closer to the prison, Jensen knew the ambulance couldn’t stop, so he decided to take his chances and jump. When the vehicle paused briefly at an intersection, he nodded at the medic and launched himself out the side door, dropping and rolling with surprising grace. He waved his thanks as the ambulance flew on toward the hospital, pitifully grateful to see the prison gates still intact. As he struck off toward the entrance, his cat preened in accomplishment. Jensen grinned; his cat came in handy for some things, it turned out. 

: : :

Ja’red lay tied to the bed, helpless. He had the small satisfaction of knowing that, even chained as he’d been, it had taken both of them to pin him to the cot. He had desperately tried to keep track of where they were taking him, but he was afraid he might have lost his way. They had shoved a pillowcase Va’rul had brought with him over his head, effectively blindfolding him, before they started to drag him away. He knew they had traveled along the utility corridor for a long while, then took a left turn off the main trunk into an unused section. 

Ja’red had been hearing the deep, booming rattles of an overhead bombardment all afternoon. So far they seemed relatively unaffected buried deep inside the mountain, but the blasts were stronger than he’d ever heard before. He wondered how Jensen was doing, topside. The man insisted on living above ground. The underground dens gave him the heebie-jeebies, he said, whatever those were. All Ja’red knew was that it all sounded bad. 

When they had gone a few feet off into the unused section, all hell had broken loose; an Imperium bomb must have made it through the barrier overtop the prison. The whole tunnel began to shake, and chunks of overhead rock fell into the passageway. Me’how screamed as a boulder hit him, and Ja’red heard the sick crunch of something breaking. He wanted to yell in triumph as the man staggered and let go of him as he fell. When Gonga went to Me’how’s aid, Ja’red made a break for it, shuffling forward as fast as his chains allowed. He heard Gonga yell, and Ja’red tripped on the debris underfoot and went down. He tried to crawl back up to his feet, but with his short shackles, it took him several attempts, long enough to have him grabbed by Va'rul, who slammed him up against the wall.

“Don’t frakin’ move you omega slut or I’ll kill ya,” Va’rul growled, squeezing his neck in menace. He left Ja’red wheezing beneath the makeshift blindfold, the corridor filled with choking dust, and returned shortly to shove him along the passageway. He could hear Gonga hauling a pitifully screaming Me’how behind them. Ja’red lost track of how many times he was thrown up against one hard surface or another or pushed and tripped over fallen rock. His heat washed through him in sickening waves, and exhausted, he eventually fell to his knees, wheezing, unable to go any farther. He felt Va’rul grab him by the collarbone, and he turned his head away as he prepared himself for the blow that would surely follow. Va’rul growled in impatience, and Ja’red could only kneel there, panting and trembling. 

Unexpectedly, the man swept him up into his arms and hoisted him up and over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry. Ja’red’s breath slammed out as his gut made contact with Va’rul’s shoulder. He hung there, limp and exhausted, pitifully relieved not to be making his way blindly through the rubble for a while, and let himself sag against the man. 

When they finally reached their destination, they secured him hand and foot to the bed, rearranging his shackles. Ja’red jerked futility at the steel links and shivered at the idea of being taken to this secret site amid all this chaos and destruction. What if the guards assumed he was dead and didn’t look for him? What if the ceiling fell in? What if another blast trapped him here, or they decided to keep him here forever? No one would know! 

What if… 

Ja’red clamped down on his growing hysteria, worried it would find its way through the bond and further distress his mate. At least they had taken the blindfold and the ball gag off before they left. 

Va’rul had started to unbutton his prison overalls, and Ja’red’s eyes had gone wide with terror. Gonga snarled at him, “Knock it off Va’rul, we’ve got to report back now and get Me’How to a doctor. Your little omega bitch will be here for you tomorrow, and by the smell of him he’ll be gagging for it, then. Typical omega slut.” 

Va’rul had looked at Gonga like he’d grown another head and growled back, “Nah, I think I want to get to know our pup a little before I turn in.”

“Frak it, Va’rul. Me’how is bleeding to death here, and I can’t carry him on my own; he’s a dead weight. You can stick your dick in the puppy all you want later, but for now we got to get back.”

Va’rul had looked down at Ja’red and ran his hand along Ja’red’s cheekbones. “Such a beautiful pup. Soon we’ll be together. You know I don’t want to leave you.”

“Gods damnit, Va’rul, come on!”

“Hold on a minute… I want to leave our pup with something to think about while we’re gone.”

The inmate pulled out a blade, and Ja’red’s eyes went wide with fear. He moved the blade down along Ja’red’s chest and started to cut. Ja’red gasped as the blade nicked flesh and the prison coveralls were methodically sliced from his body. When he lay naked and vulnerable before them on the cot, Va’rul turned and dug into a bag that had been stowed under the bed and brought out a huge butt plug. 

“Something to remember me by, pup; we’re just about the same size.”

Ja’red found himself mewling and begging behind the gag, desperate to stop this violation. Va’rul shoved a pillow under Ja’red’s backside and then knelt down between his forcibly spread legs. He trailed the plug playfully along Ja’red’s trembling thigh and then up the crease, rocking it back and forth in the slick already there. Ja’red turned his head away in embarrassment, his choked off whine trapped behind the gag. Va’rul chuckled. “So wet for us, baby, you’re really wanting it aren’t you? You omegas are all the same, knot sluts all of you. Too bad we don’t have more time; you’re so ready now.”

Ja’red gasped as the plug was shoved in on one harsh push. It was much larger than Jensen, much larger, he was sure, than Va’rul, and only the slick from his heat made its entrance this side of bearable. Ja’red bit down on the gag, breathing rapidly through the pain, air whistling through his flared nostrils. He jerked as he felt Va’rul stroke his wilted cock.

“Oh now, baby, don’t be that way; you know you want it.”

“Va’rul!” Gonga whined impatiently.

“All right, all right, coming.” The man patted Ja’red condescendingly on the cheek and got up from the bed. He heaved the heavy metal door closed on the abandoned cellblock they had outfitted as their secret den, plunging Ja’red into absolute darkness. Only knowing how much pleasure Va’rul would get from hearing him stopped Ja’red from letting lose a muffled cry as he was locked into the black. He could hear Va’rul securing the door outside, and he shivered at the fact that no one knew where he was. Even if he was unchained, how could he ever get through that door? He was trapped.

: : :

When Jensen entered the sign-in area of the prison, all he wanted was to get to his mate as fast as possible. Of course, that didn’t happen; the prison was a madhouse flurry of activity with Protectors in full riot gear reporting in, wounded guards being carried out, and the smell of smoke and fire permeating the halls. Jensen’s eyes widened at the prison's state of apparent chaos. He worried that his mate was in danger in all the insanity of the complex at the moment. 

Despite his persistence, no one would answer his questions, and finally, a large, burly felix practically manhandled him into a small holding area to cool his jets. Jensen growled as the guards slammed the door behind him. He tried to open it immediately, but he had been locked inside. He howled in rage then, and began to prowl back and forth in the small cubicle, impatient to get to his mate. When the door finally opened, he turned to watch as a protector he’d seen somewhere before entered the room, limping slightly. 

“Hello, Citizen Ackles, I’m Protector Co’hen. I-I wanted to speak to you in person; I’m sorry for the delay. I was in medical.” He looked more than a bit bashed up and gestured sheepishly for Jensen to sit as he came inside.

“I can see that.” Jensen couldn’t stand to sit while the guard stood there. He just stood looking back at him impatiently. His cat twitched inside him.

“How is my mate?”

“That’s what I wanted to speak to you about. There’s been an incident.”

Jensen could feel his stomach lurch ominously at those words, and he tried to reach out through the mating bond to feel Ja’red. He couldn’t feel anything. He unconsciously stepped toward the protector as he tried to control his panic.

“W-what’s happened; is he alright?”

“I don’t know, Citizen Ackles”

“It’s just Jensen. Please, tell me what you know. H-he’s in heat, he needs me.”

“I understand. I-I was jumped earlier today when I was escorting him to the heat box. It was made to look like Ja’red did it, but frankly, Jen’son, I don’t think it was him. I can’t quite remember what happened thanks to this nice little bump on the head, but I think there was someone else in the corridor, and Ja’red is in danger.”

“You mean you don’t have him? Jesus! It’s a prison; where could he be?”

Co’hen ran a hand carefully through his hair and winced when he hit the sore spot.

“Well, unfortunately there’s a surprising number of places, and with the bombing it’s been made even harder; there’s been some break outs.”

Jensen just looked at the guard.

“You-you mean you don’t know where he is at all?”

“I-I think he’s been taken. Too many suspicious things have happened recently for this to be a coincidence.”

Jensen was on him before he knew it and had the guard pinned up against the wall, his hand on his throat.

“Where the fuck is my mate?”

Co’hen choked, his feet dangling, as Jensen held him suspended against the wall. Jensen’s cat snarled in fury, and he could feel the bones in the man’s neck as his grip tightened. From the alarming color of Cohen's face as he tried to force sounds past the choke hold, Jensen realized he was close to damaging the Protector permanently. Disgusted, he eased him down onto the ground.

“I have to find him now, he could be hurt. Let me in there, the mating bond… I can find him.”

Co’hen coughed and gagged; bent over heaving, he finally stood and rubbed his throat, looking at Jensen warily. “I could have you charged for that.”

“Go ahead, then I’ll run around in here like all your other inmates; at least I’ll have a chance of finding Ja’red,” Jensen snarled.

“Shit, this is just so messed up. One of the Blocks, not O Block, D block,” Co’hen hastened to add, “got bombed a few hours ago. Blasted into nothingness, so we’ve got a lot of dead to sort through, but C and E block were also damaged, and we’ve got inmates running around loose. I – I can’t let you in there. It’s too dangerous.”

“No, that’s just unacceptable. My mate, you just said my mate is in danger. So he’s in there, in heat, with loose inmates. He could be ripped apart.”

“I know, I realize that. And I can’t let you in there alone, b-but I can accompany you. At least until I’m due back on shift. But you have to do what I say and stick with me at all times. It’s dangerous in there right now.”

“I don’t care. We’ve got to find him. Now.”

: : :

Chapter Text




: : :

Ja’red lay on the cot, covered in sweat as he writhed and twisted in pleasurepain, swimming in an over-stimulated haze of need. He’d tried to sleep, but as his heat grew worse, finding rest soon became impossible. The plug Va’rul had pushed inside him was doing nothing to soothe the situation; he imagined the alpha knew that and that was why he’d did it. He groaned and ground himself down on the unforgiving hardness of the plastic, only to end up whimpering in dissatisfaction. He wanted his alpha; he needed Jensen. He felt his cock bob against his belly, rock hard and weeping, and he tossed his head in frustration. Theoretically he had always known that a heat untended by an alpha could be hell, but actually experiencing it gave new meaning to the word. 

Worse yet were all the places Va’rul had touched him, his thigh, his cock, on his face; they physically burned, like a brand where the man’s fingers had been. If just his touch hurt this bad, if he were actually to mate with Ja’red, insert his flesh inside him, Ja'red thought he might well die. Maybe this was the real reason omegas died when they were touched by other alphas, not just by being raped to death but from the pain of the actual contact. Jared could believe it now, having experienced just a small taste of it.

He could smell his own scent, heavy with heat, in the enclosed room. Ja’red let out a moan, and his wolf howled; it was only a matter of hours before he was at full cycle. He bucked up and yanked uselessly on his chained wrists. They were already raw and bleeding, but at least it distracted him from the burn of Va’rul’s fingerprints on his flesh. The lingering scent of the foreign alpha almost made him sick. 

When he returned, maybe Ja’red could just throw up on him. He laughed weakly behind the gag in the darkened cell and rattled the bed again in fury. He wasn’t sure when they would be back. He only hoped that by some miracle Jensen might find him first. He helped his wolf howl through the bond but could only feel Jensen faintly.

He heard the soft pad of footsteps outside and a scraping sound at the door as someone undid the lock. Jared sniffed the air, and his heart sank.

: : :

Protector Co’hen led Jensen down to the omega block, glancing back curiously at him. “So it's pretty rough out there?” he asked, gesturing to Jensen’s torn and burned clothes.

“Yeah, pretty bad; practically the whole city is on fire.”

“I thought as much. I haven’t heard pounding like that in years, and with the one bomb making it through to the prison it’s been insane here. Anyway, I want to take you to the heat box first, that’s where I was attacked. Maybe you can follow his scent trail from there.”

“Okay, lead on.”

Traveling there, it became obvious to Jensen that Co’hen wasn't overstating the situation in the prison. He could hear the screams of inmates in the halls, and squads of Protectors in full riot gear rushed by them more than once, off to round up escaped prisoners.

“So this is it.” Co’hen gestured to the cell where Jensen and Ja’red had met several times during the course of his internment. Looking around, Jensen sensed nothing at first. He started to panic – what if he couldn’t find Ja’red, what if his mate was alone and trapped, hurt, somewhere in this prison, and he couldn’t get to him? Jensen could feel himself spiraling into a panic attack.

He felt a hand on his arm, and he flinched as Protector Co’hen spoke softly to him.

“Jen’son… I-I don’t have a mate, but if I did, if I could save him by tapping into the bond, I’d do everything in my power to do so. You need to stay calm or it will never work. Can you do that, Jen’son, stay calm, for Ja’red?”

Jensen squeezed his eyes tightly closed and then breathed in deep as he tried to pull himself together. Co’hen was right, Ja’red needed him now; his life could depend on it. Jensen could fall apart later.

He concentrated on his link with Ja’red and breathed out one long, slow breath. He had never been as good at this as Ja’red, but his mate’s life could depend on Jensen's success here, now. He could feel his cat grow still within him as they both reached out through the bond, reached for Ja’red, for his warm presence, for his large hands as they cradled Jensen so gently, for those crazy dimples and flashing smile.

Jensen felt just the barest brush of soft fur – Ja’red’s wolf, the spicy scent of his mate. His eyes wide open now, pain ripped through him. His cat reacted instantly and swiped out in outrage. It felt like his insides shred with the force of the blow, but the physical hurt in his body was nothing to the pain and self doubt searing through the link.

Jensen gasped and doubled over, moaning, “He’s being hurt!!!! Right now, he’s being raped. I can feel it through the bond. Oh my god. We have to get to him, now!”

Co’hen grabbed Jensen’s arm, probably just to try and calm him, but Jensen tore himself from the grasp, unable to stay still another moment. He ran, letting his cat guide him, following the gossamer-thin link that their animals’ shared. The prison around him faded almost to non-existence as he sensed…and followed. With his senses so finely attuned, he could pick up just the barest whiff of Ja’red’s scent in the air as he traveled through the long corridors of the prison, turning this way or that as his cat directed. 

Jensen stumbled and went down, caught by the debris that littered the floor. “He’s been here,” Jensen gasped when he felt Co’hen’s strong grip steadying him and helping him up. He lunged forward, but this time Co’hen stayed with him, maintaining his grip on Jensen’s arm as Jensen followed the connection. 

The man wasn’t stopping him from moving forward, and that was all that mattered. Jensen stopped when the corridor came to a T-junction, inclined his head and then slowly turned to the left. He took that corridor.

Co’hen hung onto him, probably stopping him from walking through more than one wall and gently guiding him around various obstructions in their path. All the while Jensen whispered, “Hold on, Jay, I’m coming, just hold on, man. Just a few minutes more.”

The corridors continued to grow dimmer and more disused as they went farther off the main throughway. Co’hen almost tripped over him as he slowed suddenly. His cat screamed: Ja’red was here. 

Co’hen suddenly hauled Jensen back behind a doorway and quietly shook him saying, “Jen’son, Jen’son, I hear them; they’re just up ahead.” 

Jensen struggled to understand what Co’hen was saying, so caught up in the bond, he could just barely make out the sound of voices nearby. Despair, humiliation, sadness, he was drowning in his mate’s sorrow. He started to surface and could hear the slide of Co’hen’s weapon on its holster as he pulled his jumbler out.

Jensen nodded absently and groaned. The link was being flooded by pain and shame and grief now, so close, so close to Ja’red. “He’s right here,” Jensen whined shakily.

“I know; I can hear them. Can you pull yourself together? Ease back from the link? I need your help. I don’t know how many there are or if they have weapons.”

Jensen tried to pull his focus outward to Co’hen; he had to do this. Finally, he was able to see the worried Protector standing before him. “I’m- I’m here. I can help.”

“Do you know how to use a jumbler?”

Jensen grimaced and said honestly, “I used to hunt with my dad, but it was with a gun. S-show me how this works. I’m sure it’s similar.”

Co’hen gave him the stripped down lesson, and Jensen nodded. “Close enough, I can do it. What’s next?”

“We’ll get to the door and I’ll take a look in. If they’re in there, keep to the shelter of the archway and aim from there. We’ll set these to stun and sort it out after. Even if they aren’t doing anything, they’re escaped prisoners, so we can shoot first and ask questions later. Okay?”

Jensen forced himself to nod and concentrated on narrowing down the link between him and Ja’red, emotions searing a hole in his mind. Hold on, Jay, I’m coming, he tried to think back to his mate. 

He wasn’t sure his wolf could feel anything past the pain at the moment. Jensen’s cat snarled in fury and Jensen had a hard time holding his cat back. He had a responsibility to see Ja’red though and losing control now might well cost his mate his life.

: : :

Va’rul entered the little cell, flipping on the overhead lights. Ja’red blinked repeatedly trying to adjust to the sudden illumination after hours in darkness. He squinted up and the leering menace in the Alpha’s eyes froze Ja’red’s breath in terror. Behind him Gonga chuckled, “See, there’s your puppy. No need to have worried.”

“Mmm, my bitch. I missed you so. You miss your daddy, baby?” 

Ja’red swallowed and looked away in disgust. There was no way he missed his daddy, either this want-to-be brute or the real thing.

A sharp slap from a meaty paw had his head whipping sideways. He grunted into the gag and felt tears in the corners of his eyes.

“I said, you miss your daddy, pup?” Va’rul loomed over him, angry, and Ja’red blearily looked up at the Alpha, wincing at the strain on his neck and the sting to his jaw. There was one of two ways things could go here. Bad or worse. He could try and fight the Alpha or he could acquiesce and maybe live to survive his imprisonment. He let his eye lids drop half down over his eyes to help hide his expression and nodded submissively. He felt a rush of relief flow through him as he obeyed, and cringed at his omega nature asserting itself. 

Now you gonna be good if I take off this gag? No screaming now. Not that anyone’ll hear ya, but I don’t like the noise. I like my puppy’s quiet. Ya’ hear me?”

Ja’red nodded solemnly. He would love to get the gag out of his mouth. He hurt and was desperately thirsty. To make matters worse, he had to piss something terrible. 

Va’rul reached down and petted his head roughly with his big hand, his knuckles running along the hollow of his cheek. He felt a sickening rush of pleasure at pleasing the man. He turned his head away, blushing in embarrassment.

“Now, pup, no shame in being a good bitch. It’s what you are after all. My good bitch. Gonna knot you boy. Gonna fill you up with your daddy’s come till it pushes out around my knot. Then I’m gonna knot you some more. Would you like that, baby boy?”

Ja’red nodded and felt a rush of shame when his cock hardened at the thought of being knotted. 

The convict smiled at him and moved forward. He moaned as the man unbuckled the gag and freed his mouth. He worked his jaw back and forth, relishing the ability to close it after so many hours. His wolf hummed in approval. 

Ja’red felt eyes on him. He looked up to see Va’rul and Gonga both watching him with a predatory gleam. The small pleasure he’d gotten with the release of the gag dimmed.

Gonga pressed a water bottle to his mouth and Ja’red sucked in the liquid gratefully. He was so dry and thirsty. Gonga ran his fingers through Ja’red’s hair petting him as he struggled to drink lying down. Water rushed over his face and hair, but it felt wet and refreshing after hours spent in dust and dryness. Finally the bottle was empty and Gonga looked at his partner expectantly.

Va’rul reached out and started to pet Ja’red’s cock in his large paw. Ja’red arched in pain, the alpha’s touch notmyalphabad stung and burned, but the heat riding him howled yesmorenow. The weeping treacherous member fattened in the Alpha’s hand, and Ja’red bit off a groan of misery at the horrible mix of pleasure pain and hardwired response. 

He lay there shocked as his own slutty, wanton nature asserted itself. Where was the proud wolf? Where was the warrior? Was this all he was now, the slutty omega his father had always accused his Oa of being? 

Jared moaned and Va’rul took it as a sign for more and lowered his hand to the butt plug sealing Ja’red up. He wiggled the unforgiving plastic around, and Ja’red could feel a rush of moisture and arousal as the plastic rubbed repeatedly over his engorged prostate. His inner thighs burned like a bad sunburn where Va’rul’s hands brushed up against his flesh. He squirmed in confusing mix of pleasurepain.

The alpha snickered “That’s okay, bitch, we’ll get you there, baby, just you wait. Papa’s gonna get you there. First though, baby, you gotta go, piss, shit? Cause we’re gonna go a long time.”

Ja’red felt humiliated, but his desire to pee was suddenly overriding everything, even holding back his erection a little.

A small hope formed – he could fight back if he could get Va’rul to let him up. “Piss,” he whispered. 

“Hmm, I thought so.” Instead of helping him up, though, Va’rul leaned down and rifled through a satchel under the bed and snatched up an empty water bottle. Ja’red turned his head away and swallowed in humiliation as Va’rul inserted the tip of his penis into the bottle. He grasped Ja’red’s dick and squeezed the base hard to help his erection to wilt.

“Come on, boy. Piss for papa. We got things to do.” 

Ja’red lay there for a moment stunned, then the urge to pee overcame his humiliation and he tried to relax his bladder. Va’rul rubbed small circles on his belly, and Ja’red whimpered, and tried to escape the man’s touch. It took him a few endless minutes, but he was finally able to coax out a steady stream. 

Finishing up, Va’rul shook him off and took the pitcher to the little sink in the corner. He returned and dug around in his satchel again. 

“Now, a good puppy only comes when he’s allowed. You’re a good puppy, right son?”

Ja’red was forced to nod numbly. Va’rul dug around a bit further and brought out a cock cage. Ja’red’s breath caught in his chest at the sight and the man calmly handed it to Gonga to strap on. In the meantime, Va’rul reached down and started to lick at Ja’red’s lips. 

“Wanted you for so long, puppy, wanted those lips wrapped around my knot, taking me down. You’re gonna be a good pup, aren’t you now?” Va’rul forced his tongue down Ja’red’s throat licking and biting at the man, dominating the kiss. Ja’red squirmed and moaned as Gonga shoved his dick into the plastic tube. Encouraged Va’rul lifted a leg to straddle the bed just above Ja’red’s head. “Now suck me bitch.” He ordered shoving his dick into Ja’red’s aching mouth.

Ja’red’s head was pressed back as the Alpha’s flesh pushed into him, hot and hard, and reeking with an odor repellant to Ja’red’s wolf. He gagged and choked, but Va’rul kept feeding his hard flesh into him until he bumped at the back of his throat. He rutted into Ja’red roughly until his rhythm became sloppy, his hands holding Ja’red’s head to the bed as he used him. 

“Come on. I know you can do better. I know you’ve sucked that pretty cat of yours down a time or two. Suck me, bitch.”

Va’rul pulled his dick out, roughly slapping Ja’red’s face with it, and reached out a hand to twist one of Ja’red’s nipples. Ja’red yipped in pain. Va’rul stared down. “Make me happy, pup, or you might never come up for air again.” 

Ja’red’s cheeks burned red and he opened his mouth submissively when Va’rul nudged the broad head of his dick back up against his face. He didn’t know why he didn’t just bite the bastards dick off and be done with it, but his wolf whimpered at the thought and Ja’red squirmed uncomfortably. 

Gonga had moved to Ja’red’s ass and was playing with the butt plug, shoving it in and out of Ja’red’s body. Ja’red moaned over the meat of Va’rul’s dick, the plug rocking against his prostate and throwing out sparks of arousal. Ja’red was devastated that he could be made to feel this way by complete strangers. He felt horny and wanton and weak, a hole to be filled just like…

Va’rul withdrew his cock from Ja’red’s face and he bit back a cry, barely stopping himself from chasing it with his lips as his mouth salivated.

He really was gagging for it. He really was their omega bitch. 

“Unchain our boy.” Va’rul ordered. 

Gonga yanked out the plug, leaving Ja’red’s hole open and vulnerable, fluttering as it tried to close. Ja’red bit his lip in need. Need for hot hard flesh, overwhelming desire, rushed through him, but he braced himself to take advantage of the promised freedom. 

Gonga hurried to undo the chains holding Ja’red down to the bed. The moment his arms were free Ja’red tried to take a swing at Gonga. But so long in the same position, his limbs were numb and weak and they easily overpowered him. 

“Now flip him over, I want to fuck that sweet omega hole of his.” 

Ja’red continued to struggle but felt wounded and small as the two alphas easily manhandled him onto his belly. The cock cage dug into his groin as they bolstered his vulnerable and leaking ass up onto a pillow. Ja’red groaned in humiliation as he felt another wave of moisture rush out of him, and his cock pressed against the walls of the cage in arousal. 

Va’rul knelt in between his legs and slapped the cheek of Ja’red’s ass as he started to laugh. 

Minutes, hours, and eternity later, the link between him and Jensen blasted wide open as Ja’red lost any semblance of dignity or control. In a brief moment of lucidity he realized all he could share with his mate was his pain. 

Ja’red screamed. His scream was quickly cut off as Gonga, grabbed hold of his head and strapped the ring gag on his mouth.

: : :

Co’hen limped forward, Jensen shadowing the man closely as he struggled to stay in the here and now. At the doorway they could hear ragged pain filled grunts and lust filled sighs. It sounded like an orgy, and Jensen was sure that Ja’red was the main course. Co’hen darted to the other side, positioning himself on the other side of the half open steel door. He signaled to Jensen on the other side and counted down with his fingers from three… 

two… 

One. 

They moved out from behind their cover and started firing.

The scene would forever be seared into Jensen’s brain. Ja’red chained, naked and bruised, covered in blood and come, laying face down on the bed. One of the inmates knelt in the v of his chained legs thrusting into him mercilessly. Ja’red bucked weakly, uselessly trying to get away, but the large hands holding his hips down kept him immobile. 

A second inmate was up at the head of the bed thrusting into Ja’red’s mouth, as careless of him as the first. That one’s hand held Ja’red cruelly by the hair, while his other hand roamed possessively across Ja’red’s shoulders, a glazed, distant look on his face as he chased his pleasure. 

Co’hen opened fire. 

It took Jensen a moment to do the same. His finger twitched over the settings as Jensen debated flipping it to kill rather than stun. Knocking these animals out would only postpone the problem and leave his mate vulnerable, but killing them... He bit his lip and closed his eyes and prayed Ja’red would forgive him for his decision as he pulled the trigger. He shot at the one holding Ja’red’s head while Co’hen pulsed three shots into the fat monolith straddling Ja’red’s body.

The monolith jiggled with the force of the jumbler shots, then toppled face first onto Ja’red’s back with a heavy thump. Jensen flinched at the impact of that behemoth landing on his mate. The second inmate let out a long, warbling scream before he collapsed, unconscious, in a twitching pile on the floor, his dick slipping free of Ja’red’s mouth as he fell to the ground. 

Ja’red didn’t react to their presence at all, just collapsed face down and shivering on the bed. It took Jensen a minute to tamp down his rage and anger enough to be able to move forward toward his mate. He turned the sweat damp head gently to be able to see his mate’s eyes. 

He cringed as he saw the ring gag cruelly holding Ja’red’s mouth open and the lost, hopeless look on the man’s face as he stared up at him, unseeing. Jensen gently wiped at the tears trickling out of Ja’red’s eyes, whispering, “Shhh, everything’s going to be all right. We’ll get you out of here. Ssshhhh, it’s okay, I gotcha.” He unbuckled the gag and threw it into the corner and gently nestled Ja’red’s head onto his chest as he knelt by the bed.

Co’hen had dragged the heavier inmate off Ja’red’s back, and Jensen winced when he saw the man’s dick tug out of Ja’red’s bleeding hole. Fortunately they’d arrived in time before the convict has shoved his knot fully inside Ja’red. 

Jensen clenched his teeth and tried to stop his cat from shifting right there and ripping the man apart.  A part of him regretted not killing the men when he had the chance, but a larger part of him still couldn’t take the lives of unarmed men; even if it was scum like this. 

He hoped he wouldn’t live to regret this decision. He understood letting these men live left Ja’red open to retribution in the future. He would fight fang and claw to keep Ja’red safe but he couldn’t abandon all the things he mama had taught him growing up and Thou Shalt Not Kill, still loomed large in his mind.

Co’hen returned and quickly undid the chains holding Ja’red’s legs pinned spread eagle to the bed. He could feel Ja’red wince as they were loosened, the red, angry lines of the shackles testament to how hard Ja’red had struggled. Jensen just knelt there, rocking Ja’red in his arms and running his hands through his hair and down over his back in comfort, trying to erase the feel of other hands on his mate’s violated body and reassure him with scent and touch. 

This close, Jensen could smell the scent of Ja’red’s mating heat, but he could also feel the hurt and humiliation radiating off his mate’s body and through the bond. He could practically hear Ja’red’s wolf as it whimpered in pain, and Jensen’s cat howled in outrage and fury at the defiling of his mate. Jensen kept a lid on it all; he just needed to get his mate away from here as fast as possible.

Co’hen eased the shackles from around first one bleeding wrist, then the other. Finally free, Jensen was able to ease Ja’red onto his side. Jensen climbed on the bed behind his mate and held him in the v of his legs, wrapped his arms around his wolf’s shivering body. His mate had yet to say anything. Jensen knew he was deep in shock; he just lay there trembling, his large body curling in even tighter into itself.

“Jay, Jay, Ja’red, it’s okay, we’re here, you’re safe,” Jensen soothed, trying to reassure himself as much as Ja’red. He rocked Ja’red’s body in his arms shocked at how small and fragile his large, strong omega suddenly appeared.

Co’hen took the chains that had been on Ja’red and began to shackle the unconscious inmates’ arms behind their backs. He dragged the smaller one over to the behemoth and positioned them back-to-back so he could interweave the cuffs; the two weren’t going anywhere anytime soon even if they woke up. 

He turned to Jensen and said, “Okay, now what?”

Jensen’s eyebrows rose in surprise; when did he become the boss? “Well, Ja’red needs a hospital or something.”

“Hospital was in C Block and was vaporized. You could take him to the public hospital near here. I can help.”

Ja’red surprised them both as he started to struggle in Jensen’s arms and moaned out, “No, no, no touching, I-I don’t want anyone touching me.” He breathed out desperately, “Nooooo, want to be with you, Jen.”

Jensen looked at Co’hen, and the man shrugged.

“The prison is overrun; there are no safe or guarded heat cells. With Ja’red’s heat, it would be inviting disaster for him to stay here. He’ll be gang raped and killed if they catch his scent.”

Jensen licked his lips and looked down at his beaten and abused mate. He would love to just let the man sleep but knew it was far too dangerous for them to stay here any longer than necessary. “Ja’red, I don't know what to do. We could try for my apartment, but it’s way across town, and I’m not sure it’s even there anymore; that part of town took a pounding. And there’s no transit; we’d have to walk. Wait, wait…Missha has a place this side of town, a government apartment he uses when he’s in town; they set it aside for him. It’s closer. We could make for there, hole up at his place until things get back to normal. Hopefully it isn’t bombed to hell.”

“Do you think you can walk that far? It’s almost seven blocks from here.”

He could barely feel Ja’red nod. The man still hadn’t looked him directly in the eyes and Jensen could feel the tremors rippling through his body. Jensen would have to worry about Ja’red’s recovery later; for now he had to get him out of here. He turned to Co’hen and said, “So what do you say to your bosses? You just let us go?”

Co’hen rubbed the palm of his hand along the seam of his pants and swore softly. “In a few days, I’ll tell them where you are and that I put you there under house arrest. This is not an escape attempt; it is an emergency conjugal visit.”

“Yeah, right.” Jensen smirked bitterly but was relieved he didn’t have to try and overcome the Protector in order to smuggle Ja’red out.

“Okay, let’s get the hell out of here then.”

That proved a little easier said than done. First, they had to find Ja’red some clothes, his own lay in shreds near the bed. They had obviously been cut off him; Jensen’s cat roared in fury again. 

They ended up stripping the bigger convict down to his briefs and Co’hen put on the orange coverall, saying he could get to his locker and change pretty easily.

Refusing Co’hen’s offer of help, Jensen gently eased Ja’red into the Protector's blue uniform shirt and pants. The two pieces were easier to get on than a coverall would have been and had the added benefit of not standing out like the prison coverall would have, once they got outside. With the tail untucked, the shirt was almost long enough for Ja'red's taller body. 

They found a couple of bottles of water, along with an alarming array of sex toys, in a bag near the bed. Jensen didn’t want to think too much about what that said about the convicts' plans for Ja’red. He didn’t want to imagine his mate held helpless and alone here, their prisoner and sex toy for the days of his heat, or he would change his mind and slip his cat’s leash, shift right here and tear their miserable throats out. 

He got Ja’red to drink most of the bottle and then put the breather mask he’d been given on Ja’red to help with the choking dust filling the prison halls. It would also obscure his identity if they passed any guards on the way out.

They made a motley crew as they staggered out into the darkened corridor: Jensen in rags, Co’hen in filthy, smoke-stained orange, and Ja’red half conscious, slung between them, dressed as a protector. They weaved their way back out of the haze-filled halls, still hearing bombs dropping overhead. Jensen wondered if they would make it to Missha’s in one piece.

When they rejoined the main corridor, Jensen was trying to figure out how they could get past the various check-in stations at the prison entrance, but the Imperium had, surprisingly, come to their rescue for once. In the wide corridor between the omega ward and F block, a gaping hole had been blasted out of the mountain; Jensen could see murky daylight beyond. 

He looked at Co’hen, who just shook his head in amazement as they staggered over to the blast hole. The bomb had tunneled almost thirty feet into the side of the mountain before it had gone off. Surprisingly, it had done little damage at this intersection of the cellblocks. The men picked their way through rubble and sparking power lines to the outside. The sun was rising, and looking down over the side of the steep incline, Jensen could see people moving about the ruins of the city, repair and emergency crews everywhere. The bombing had finally stopped, but fires raged throughout the city and the air was still choked with smoke.

They eased Ja'red down onto a boulder near the blast hole. It was a sideways, uncomfortable sit. Still, he could rest a little while they all caught their breath.

Co’hen rubbed a hand through his hair and winced again when he hit the goose egg he was still nursing from his earlier encounter with Va’rul and his crew. “So here’s where I leave you. I’ve got to get back, take Va’rul and his scum partners into custody. My regular shift is starting, and I’m needed. I’ll give you three days before I say anything. I can cover for Ja’red’s absence till then.” Co’hen reached out to Jensen and grasped his forearm in the traditional Felix manner. “Good luck. Keep him safe.”

Jensen nodded, searching the guard's expression as he exchanged the grip, and then let go. He wasn’t sure why Co’hen was being so nice to them. He shook his head wryly as the Protector walked away; at this point, he wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. He crouched down in front of Ja’red to check on his mate. Ja’red refused to look him in the face, so Jensen took his chin gently in his hand and lifted it up. “Ja’red, Jay, it’s okay. We’ll get you somewhere safe.”

Ja’red’s eyes were bright with tears, and his face was red. His mouth opened to speak, then closed with a snap and twisted in a grimace. He tried to turn his head away, but when Jensen refused to let him slip out of his grasp, he said in a soft sob, “You can’t want me now. Just leave me.”

Jensen felt his mouth go slack at his mate’s words. He leaned forward and hugged his mate as fiercely as he thought his battered body could stand and whispered softly, “No, Jay, not leaving you, not ever. Why would l leave you after working so hard to find you, love?”

Ja’red stilled; in all the months they’d been together, neither had ever said the ‘L’ word. They’d tip toed around it but never uttered it out loud. Ja’red turned vulnerable, tip-tilted eyes up towards Jensen’s and said in a sob, “How can you, after….”

“You think that matters to me? My god, Ja’red, I’ve had that and worse done to me, and you’re still with me. How could I think less of you for the same? You survived until I was able to find you. That’s all that matters, Jay; that's all that ever mattered.”

Ja’red just shook his head, weary and lost, and cried into Jensen’s chest in wet, hurt sobs.

As he rocked Ja’red in his arms, Jensen winced as he took in his mate’s appearance in the morning light. The back of Ja’red’s bowed neck was covered in bruises from being choked and mauled. His wrists were bloody ruins with deep runnels gouged into his flesh where the cuffs had sawed into him during his struggles. Jensen saw literal fingerprints on his forearms where he’d been forcibly held. 

He hugged his mate tighter, and his gut tightened as he felt the tremors running through Ja’red’s shivering body. He felt his canines lengthening and forcibly had to stop himself from shifting and going back in to tear Ja’red’s attackers apart. He heard himself snarl, and Ja’red flinched in fear.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I- I just want to kill both of them.” Jensen felt Ja’red slump weakly in his hold as he blew out his own ragged breath. Jensen rose up from his crouch in front of Ja’red and sat down beside him. He reslung his arm around his mate, holding him close.

“How did you do it, Jen?”

“It was the bond, my cat, it followed...”

“No,” Ja’red’s voice was a wrecked whisper, and Jensen had to lean in to hear him speak. “H-how did you survive as a slave, a-at others’ mercy l-like that? I-I couldn’t… I –”

Jensen nodded, understanding what his mate was getting at. He let the hand that was splayed flat across Ja’red back rub soothing circles there as he thought about the answer to that question.

“I-It was different, Jay. I don’t know how to describe it; I was a slave, and I had no choice, b-but somehow I knew I had a value. Not me personally, but as a slave there was a monetary value, that and the reputation of Simion’s house; I think those two things gave me some security that I would live to see the next day. Or at least until I was of no more use to Simion. I-it became sort of a safely net I let myself rely on. 

“A master might go pretty far, and god knows they did, but most of them wouldn’t kill a slave because they’d have to pay for him – or her – that, and Simion would ruin their reputation in town, and no one would rent to them again. You didn’t even have that today. Those psychopaths could have ended you at any moment and not thought twice about it. You can’t continue to live and have hope under those circumstances. You weren’t a slave; you were a hostage.”

“B-but you were so strong, and you didn’t have anyone.” Ja’red’s voice came out as a sob. “I-I knew I had you.”

Ja’red collapsed into Jensen’s arms and started to cry again, a broken, hopeless sound. Jensen had no answers. He didn’t know why he’d survived. He just knew he had. He wasn’t so sure that Ja’red would bounce back so readily, though; his wolf had had so much taken away from him. He could only hope that with time and love he would recover. 

Jensen didn’t know how he was going to be able to turn Ja’red back in to the prison in three days. Co’hen couldn’t protect him every minute of the day, and those two would still be in there, maybe in another block, but predators were predators, and his mate was a marked man. He bit his lip in worry as he held the trembling body tighter to his. He rested his chin on Ja’red’s head as his mate curled into the protective shelter of his chest. There had to be another solution.

They sat there a while as the sun rose, and the air brightened slowly around them. When Ja’red finally regained his composure, Jensen carefully helped his mate to his feet to begin the long walk to Missha’s apartment.

Together they limped along the edge of the blast site, slowly making their way toward the front of the prison and the main thoroughfare that would take them to Missha’s. Anxious to be away from the prison, Jensen had to force himself to slow his pace; Ja’red was in no shape to run a marathon right now. He looked over his shoulder; no one seemed to be following them. He breathed out a sigh of relief and gently urged Ja’red forward.

: : :

By the time they got to Missha’s street, Ja’red was nearly incoherent; he had been limping for the last few blocks, and Jensen could feel the physical heat coming off him as his cycle started to peak. Jensen almost sagged in relief when he saw Missha’s apartment building was still standing, if a bit the worse for wear. He only had to get Ja’red to go a bit further, and then his mate could collapse in the safety of Missha’s place for a few days. 

He could tell by the glazed look in Ja’red’s eyes that he could barely hear him now. Ja’red’s musk was everywhere and Jensen’s cock twitched as the scent wrapped around him, the scent instinctively urging him to pound his mate into the mattress. But Ja’red was in no shape for knotting. Jensen worried at the damage already done, and he felt a bit disgusted with himself at having any urges at all toward the wounded man. But he could control himself. 

He licked his lips and prayed that Missha had a medical kit in his apartment and that Ja’red had no lasting damage; he didn’t know what to do otherwise. Ja’red’s hands were like wild things roaming over Jensen’s body, touching and grasping tentatively, desperate mewling sounds issuing from his mouth as he became more and more confused. All Jensen could do was shoulder more of his weight as he coaxed his mate forward. Urging him to place one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.

They were cutting across a little park in front of Missha’s apartment building when they first heard the whir of aircars overhead. Suddenly, like a scene out of an action movie, dark visored and menacingly armor-clad Felix were rappelling down jump lines from air cars hovering above them, surrounding them, guns raised. 

Shocked, Jensen raised a hand in the air in surrender, the other busy holding Ja’red up.

Seeing the gunmen, Ja’red, already nearly unconscious, whined in misery and folded weakly to his knees on to the ground at Jensen’s feet, shaking in delirium. Jensen was left standing next to his mate with both hands raised now as the men advanced on them. He stepped in front of Ja’red and called out, “Don’t hurt him. Don’t you dare hurt him. He’s not resisting.” 

Absolute silence greeted his plea. The black ops unit continued closer. 

Desperate, Jensen repeated, “God damn you all to hell, don’t you touch him.” He could feel Ja’red’s head pressing against the back of his knees as his mate leaned into his solidity and warmth. He could hear Ja’red keen in exhausted anguish. Jensen looked furiously back and forth across the black masked faces as they closed in around them. His cat clawed at him, begging to be let loose, but Jensen knew that would do neither of them any good. He had to stay alive for Ja’red.

Beyond them, one of the aircars started to land with a flurry of dust that had Jensen holding a hand before his eyes and squinting, the circle of black SWAT Felix parted, and, after a moment, an opening was made. Jensen stared in surprise as an elderly Felix exited the aircar and moved toward the group. As she came closer, Jensen recognized the woman from the downed aircar the day before, the violet-eyed Felix he had saved. 

She leaned heavily on a cane, but seemed otherwise all right. As she entered the circle formed by the armed men, she walked directly up before Jensen and then, without preamble, dropped stiffly, but with the grace of long practice, to one knee, her head bowed. The armed swat team followed suit, all kneeling before Jensen and Ja’red. The woman raised her hands in supplication toward Jensen and said, “Emissary, we have searched so long for you. Welcome.”

: : :

Chapter Text



: : :

Jensen looked around the palatial flat they had been brought to. Palatial seemed a bit redundant, though, since they were in an actual Felix palace, the summer palace, he’d been informed. He hadn’t realized before coming here that the Felix were ruled by a monarch. All he had ever heard about Felix before was about their goddess Treeva, to whom they prayed when they shifted on the full moon. The moon’s call to all weres to shift then seemed to be a universal constant. Ja’red had talked about it too, head ducked in embarrassment, explaining shyly that that was when most weres experienced their heat. Right now, though, he had more important things to worry about than goddesses and their origins, like the status of his mate, who the palace physician and nurse were treating behind the closed bedroom doors of the suite. 

It felt like they’d been in there for hours. Jensen barely resisted the urge to stop pacing and shove open the double doors and order the doctor to tell him what was going on, right now. He snarled softly, impatient at being in the dark again. He looked absently out the open wall of ‘windows’. He knew it was more a transparent force field than anything like glass. The force field let a controlled amount of air and light through, but no bugs or rain. The view was spectacular; it was like standing on the edge of a sheer cliff looking out over the Felix countryside, but it did nothing to soothe his nerves. The huge Felix guards at the main doors of the suite weren’t helping much either. What was going on, and why were they here? This wasn’t about Ja’red as an escaped convict anymore.

He heard a slight rustling and turned to see the doctor easing himself out of the bedroom, closing the door softly behind him. He was a tall, slim, dignified looking Felix with salt and pepper hair and white tufts on his ears. Jensen noticed his eyes were kind.

Jensen strode over immediately to the man and asked, “Well, Doc, how is he? Is he going to be okay?”

The white-clad Felix sank to one knee before Jensen and bowed his head. “Emissary….”

“Don’t give me that Emissary crap; you sound like that old woman. How is Ja’red?” Jensen raked a hand through his hair in frustration, thoroughly rattled by the whole situation.

The doctor nodded and rose to his feet and looked him carefully in the eye. “As you wish, sire. 

“I have given him a minor sedative and an injection of Sedazine. The sedative will allow him to get some much needed rest, and the Sedazine will cancel out his heat for this cycle, though you know it’s dangerous to use on a regular basis. Even short term use of the drug for only a few cycles can cause convulsions, and irrecoverable harm, both physical and mental. We never encourage omegas to use it, except in situations like this, when it’s the only option we can offer. It's unfortunate that even after extensive research, we've made  so little progress in developing a safe, effective heat suppressant. The geneticists who engineered us shifters really didn’t want anything to interfere with our fertility." The doctor shook his head and sighed. “We’ll have to dose him a few times but it should do the trick. His heat will return in the next cycle, but this break will give his body and mind a chance to recover.

“You know your mate has been violated?” At Jensen’s terse nod the doctor continued, “I have given him two complete sessions with the Med-light; there was some minor bleeding and tearing, but I do not believe surgery will be required. I think he will recover sufficiently on his own, given enough rest and quiet. He is also suffering from symptoms of Salix syndrome.” 

At Jensen’s perplexed look the doctor explained, “Being touched by another alpha during heat is physically harmful to a mated omega and can be traumatic to the mental health of the Felix. I can only assume it is similar in Lycans, since I've never had the opportunity to study the breed. Fortunately, it seems you did what was most needed by touching your mate as much as you could upon recovery. Re-marking your mate is the only way to remove both the pheromonal and psychological marks of the intruder alpha. It’s one of the things that make omegas more delicate in nature.

“Yeah, like an alpha would do any better after being raped.” Jensen sneered at the doctor’s diagnosis.

“You misunderstand me, sire. There is an acute physical response in omegas that is entirely lacking in both alphas and betas that makes them far more vulnerable. This is not a slur on the sex; it’s a scientific reality.”

“Okay, it just sounds a bit far fetched that another alpha’s touch could damage Ja’red.”

“You must have noticed it to a minor degree yourself. Salix syndrome affects alphas and betas, but not to the debilitating degree it does an omega. It only begins to happen when the bond reaches its full strength. You and your mate have been together for what – six, seven, months now? You would be just reaching your peak. Have you not felt even a casual touch from another alpha burn as Ja’red’s cycle nears? It is a mere shadow of what the omega feels.”

Jensen thought immediately of the strange wrongbadwrong feeling when Tom touched him in the raid shelter the other day. If that was only a portion of what Ja’red felt… Jensen shuddered in sympathy.

“So what needs to happen next? What should I do?”

“Your mate should sleep through the rest of the night. It would be good for you to sleep skin-to-skin with him and mark as much of his body as you can with your touch. It will soothe him more than any drug I could give him at this point. In the morning, when his heat returns, just try and be gentle. I can give Ja’red one more round with the Med-light before I go, but as I said, he should fully recover physically within the week. The mental scarring from the trauma he has experienced will take longer, I’m afraid.” 

The doctor turned to go back into the bedroom, then thought better of it and paused and said a bit hesitantly, “I believe our guardian wishes to speak with you. She is waiting outside. While you are gone I will give Ja’red one more treatment.”

“I want to see him first.” 

The doctor nodded, bowing slightly, and Jensen went to the bedroom. It was another sprawling room, the decor mostly white with white and almond-colored wood accents. It was very understated and serene, with more of the huge floor to ceiling height openings across one wall that looked out over the surrounding area. 

What caught Jensen’s attention though wasn’t the spectacular countryside but the barely noticeable lump in the large bed. A throw made of some kind of white fur lay across the foot of the bed that was covered by a puffy, duvet-type covering and soft-looking pillows. His mate was curled on his side under the covers, and Jensen’s hand reached out toward his mate before he even got close. 

Ja’red looked so small and vulnerable amid the sea of white linens. His hair lay damp and messy across his face. Jensen perched carefully on the side of the bed and couldn’t resist brushing some of the stray strands back from his forehead. Ja’red’s eyes were closed, the fan of his long eyelashes hiding the prismatic green-blue gaze. The Med-light had taken care of the many marks covering his body, but his eyes were still shadowed with dark rings from exhaustion. 

Jensen ran his knuckles gently along his wolf’s cheek and feathered them along the long column of Ja’red’s neck. In his sleep, Ja’red rolled over on to his back, tossing covers aside, unconsciously opening himself up for his mate’s touch. Jensen could feel himself begin to purr.

Jensen’s fingers dusted across Ja'red's chest. The nurse had stripped off the Protector's uniform in order to examine him when he first came in and then had shooed Jensen away. They must have dressed him in the soft white sleeping pants and clean white t-shirt after they had completed their examination. The temptation too much to resist, Jensen’s hand slipped in under the hem of the shirt and hungrily traced across Ja’red’s flanks, touching as much of the long expanse of smooth skin as he could reach. 

He felt Ja’red's body subtly relax as his hand traveled over him and Jensen felt some part of himself uncoil as well, the touch of his mate beneath his fingertips healing something in both of them. He wanted to stay and rub himself all over his mate, and his cat purred in approval. Rationally, he knew marking Ja’red wouldn't stop having to return him to prison or prevent the hurt that would show when his eyes opened. It was just the one thing Jensen could do to ease his suffering. 

He sighed, not wanting to leave his mate’s side, and instead ran his hand over his own face to impart some of Ja'red's scent onto his skin. If he was quick and lucky, Jared's scent would linger and last on his skin till he was able to return to him. He dipped down and kissed his mate’s forehead, a butterfly ghosting of his lips over the soft brow and then stood up. He wanted to get this talk over with the old woman, the ‘Guardian’, so he could get back and spend as much time as there was left with his wolf. Now that he knew Ja’red was safe and recovering, he took the time to wonder why she’d brought them here at all.

A Felix wearing what looked like palace livery in silvers and blacks rushed over to meet him as soon as he left the suite, some kind of assistant, Jensen assumed. 

“Sire, the Guardian is waiting to see you, if you could please come with me?”

Jensen nodded and followed the man down a series of corridors. The two Felix standing guard outside fell in step behind him as they proceeded through the palace. He thought that a bit strange as Ja’red was the escaped prisoner, not him. He shrugged it off; he had a ‘Guardian’ to meet.

Eventually they came to a stop at a set of ornate double doors.

The assistant knocked softly, then opened the door and gestured for Jensen to enter. The two guards took up position outside. Jensen’s eyebrow arched in surprise. He really was curious to know what was going on. He surveyed the room he had entered. Unlike the other chambers he had seen so far, this one was small and intimate, a study of some kind with books lining the walls and a fire crackling in a hearth along one wall. Patterned drapes lined the window areas, and two big, comfy chairs faced the hearth.

When his gaze returned to the fire again, the older Felix with the violet eyes was rising to stand beside one of the chairs. Before he could stop her, she again knelt on one knee and bowed her head to him. “Emissary….” she breathed out reverently.

“Please, please stand. Ah…I’m sorry I don’t know what…who that is,” Jensen stuttered out. “My name is Jensen Ackles.”

The woman, the Guardian, rose stiffly and gestured to the second wingbacked chair. “Please sit, my lord.”

“Listen, lady, I am nobody’s lord. I’m… I’m…”

“You are a former slave originally from Earth,” the woman explained serenely, “Property of your mate, a Lycan, a convicted enemy of the state who now lies recovering in the Snow suite. But you are also much more, Jensen; you are the hope of a nation.”

“W-what?”

“Please sit; these old bones, we don’t do so well on our feet as we used to.”

Jensen moved slowly over to the second chair and sat down. He turned to look at the Felix, confusion on his face. “I don’t understand any of this.”

“From what we've been able to piece together from the records, you were turned on the slave ship Zarbeena. Tell me about your maker.”

“T-there isn’t much to tell. I had just been decanted out of this cube thing and given a translation device. I was being taken somewhere on the ship and an alarm went off. We, my guards and I, came around the corner and ran into this Felix fighting off ten or twenty guards. There were three small children crouched behind him, and he was protecting them. Or trying to.” Jensen winced in memory. ”The guards were rushing him in groups trying to overpower him. He went through them like butter, but the sheer numbers…there were just too many of them.”

“And the children?” The Felix leaned forward on her chair, concern in her warm voice. 

Jensen ran his hand through his hair, suddenly anxious at the mention of the children. “Yeah, the kids, the guards kept deliberately distracting the adult, and when they did, one of the others would sneak in and pick off a child, spirit it away. They were crying and didn’t want to leave him. I-I just stood there; I didn’t know what to do, and he- he eventually lost them all. I only saw them once afterward.” Jensen shook his head, agitated. “Anyway, when he realized he hadn’t been able to protect any of them, he kind of went insane. I think he was making a run for it, but they shot him down, and his claws – they caught me, more of an accident, I think, than anything. H-He died in my arms. The only thing he said was ‘Emissary’. I still don’t know what that means.”

“And the children, you say you saw them again?”

“Only once. I had turned by then; I guess he… the blood, well, you know. It was several days later, and I was recovering. They brought me into this room, and the three children were there, crying. When they saw me they ran to me and hugged me. I-I don’t know why they brought me there, but I just sat with them and tried to comfort them until they dragged me away again. They were just little, you know? Two young boys, maybe 3 and 6, and a young girl somewhere in between in age. One of them, the oldest boy, was like me; he had spots on him. I-I didn’t realize then that Felix don’t usually have them, but he did. They were just scared kids.” Jensen ran his hand over his face wearily; of all the things that had happened to him, this was one of his worst memories.

“I think I told them a bedtime story. They all fell asleep, curled up around me like little kittens. I wanted to fight when the guards came to get me, but I didn’t want to upset the children any further. I never saw them again. I wonder if they’re okay?”

“They’re all dead, Jen’son. They were executed by Prince Jeffra’ Deen when they reached the planet.”

“Why would he kill them? They were only children.” 

“We weren’t sure until now, but this confirms it. When the Emissary didn’t arrive at the peace talks, it gave the prince the excuse he needed to go to war with the Alliance. The Emissary and his family didn’t disappear though. They were taken, and it only makes sense that the prince was behind it all. They were the only evidence left. They were the children of the Emissary – his last blood link until you. And the prince would have wanted to rub that link out.”

“What? I’m not related.”

“You are in every way that counts, Jen’son. In ancient times, Felix increased their ranks by changing humans with their bite or the transfer of their blood. Our blood is capable of rewriting a normal human’s DNA, making them genetic offspring of their ‘makers’. Nowadays, the Felix bloodline is usually passed down through our children, but the sharing of blood, or ‘making’ of a new Felix, is still just as viable. You were ‘made’ by the Emissary, and now you are his only direct descendant left alive. Jen’son, you are now the ruler of the Felix nation and the defacto ruler of the Alliance.”

Jensen sat stunned. This was absurd. There was no way he could be the ruler of anything, let alone the entire Felix planet. He was a mechanic from Texas, dammit, not a werecat leader of a planet at war. He had no idea how to lead anybody, let alone a whole planet of aliens. 

“No way, lady, you got the wrong guy, the wrong cat. That is so not me.”

“But it is you, Jen’son. The Emissary spirit only inhabits those who are worthy. If you had not been, you would not bear his mark. You would have become an ordinary Felix. He was not trying to get away that day. He was trying to ensure the furtherance of his bloodline for his people. You were chosen.”

“I was the only slave in the corridor; he didn’t have a choice.”

“There is always a choice, and his cat chose you. Never doubt it. He saw something of value there.”

“So supposing you’re right, what of it? What does that mean? I’m just a grease monkey. I don't know how to be an Emissary.”

“First, we must unleash your spirit. Then you will have access to the genetic memories of all the Emissaries who have ever lived. You will be able to fully embrace your destiny and lead us. It’s more important than ever that the Felix people have a strong leader.

“I’ll be honest with you, Emissary, we aren’t doing well against the Imperium and if we lose, there is a good chance the entire Felix race will be enslaved. King Merridan and his son, Prince Jeffra’ Deen, have been systematically taking over every shifter planet in the known galaxy, except for those in the Alliance and the ones along the Fringe. First he conquers them, then takes hostages or war prizes against the planets' good behavior. At first everything seems to be all right, but then taxes rise to the point where the regular working class can’t afford to live. Travel to other worlds is suspended and the laws change. Slavery becomes the sentence for every infraction.”

“How do you know all this? Why haven’t I heard this?”

The Guardian sighed. “The Imperium has gone to great lengths to segregate the shifter worlds, few people know the extent of their tyranny over them. In the matter of only a few years the King reduces the populace to two classes, the very rich and privileged and the very poor and enslaved. Bribery and corruption keep this secret and it is only at great sacrifice and the loss of life of many shifters that this information has come into our hands.”

“But why, why do this to your own planets?” Jensen’s head hurt. How could all this be going on under everyone’s noses and no one knew?

The Guardian shrugged and shook her head, “Power. Evil, I don’t really understand myself, but King Merridan gains more control every day. Giant conglomerates battle for his favour to run the shifter worlds. When we are snuffed out, Merridan will grind the rest of the shifter races under his boots.” 

The Guardian reached for her tea, her hand shaking in upset.

“The Lycan’s learned this all too well. Your wolf should know this.”

“What do you mean? Ja’red doesn’t know anything, his father never contacted him again after he was given over to foster on Vega.”

Unsurprised, the Guardian sipped her tea and nodded sadly, “Ja’red’s father Hedric is probably dying of shame or not allowed to communicate at all. Somehow Merridan found that Lycans can mine Trydocodill with no side effects, unlike most humanoids. He conscripted vast numbers of Lycans with a lottery and shipped them off to the asteroid belts of Sandora to mine the ore. Families were torn apart and wolves died by the thousands, isolated in the cramped mining ships and unable to shift or run free. King Padalecki protested but he had no real power. When the Lycans rioted in protest, Merridan sent in shock troops to punish the people. Now, half of Lycus is enslaved and working for Vegan overlords who moved onworld and now run huge agricultural slave farms on what once were vast open tracts of land kept that way by the wolves. The planet has been torn apart and their King can do nothing. This is just one story of many of Merridan’s evil tyranny. He will crush us as he has the wolves if he has the chance.”

“So the shifters inside the Imperium are slowly being enslaved an no one even suspects? Ja’red doesn’t even realize. He thought his father… ” Jensen swallowed and cut himself off, he didn’t want to discuss Ja’red’s family with the Guardian right now it felt too much like an invasion of his privacy. He forced himself to go on, ”If I decide to be this Emissary and unleash my spirit, how does that happen?”

“It’s actually a simple ceremony, and one easily performed. But it should wait until your omega is recovered and you are sure of your decision. Rest now and see to your mate.”

: : :

Ja’red screamed – a raw, animal sound. His arms flailed, desperately trying to shove the bodies around him away. The burning, awful touch sliced through his body. He whined pitifully, but the ache, the violation, overwhelmed him. He screamed again.

“It’s okay, it’s okay, you’re here, you’re safe. Ja’red, Jay, you’re here with me. Come back, come back from that awful place. You’re safe."

Ja’red panted, heart thundering in his chest as he finally woke fully and realized where he was, who he was with…Matesafemate. He curled around his cat’s sturdy body and tried to still the shaking of his limbs as the horror receded for yet another night.

: : :

The Med-light may have healed the obvious rips and gouges in his flesh, but it was Jensen who had healed the torn and shredded parts of his soul. His mate hadn’t knotted him, he’d simply held him and comforted him and touched and worshiped every inch of Ja’red’s body, overwriting the memory of those other hands on him, erasing them away. 

For a long time that’s all Ja’red could even handle - just the proximity of his mate, nothing more. Then, as days and weeks passed and he healed, his body’s natural cycle asserted itself and his need had grown. Jensen had licked over bruised flesh and nipped along straining, sweat-soaked muscle. Loving hands had coasted gently across the plains of Ja'red's chest and the flat disks of his nipples, while plush lips swept over his cock and swallowed him down. It was like being reborn; he felt the dirty, violated feeling slough off, and he was left vulnerable and needy before his alpha. 

He had been laid out like a prize on the white expanse of bed, his arms and legs spread wide, Jensen kneeling between his legs. A part of Ja’red wanted to curl up and hide the worthless omega that he’d proven himself to be, but beneath his alpha's loving gaze, he felt safe and cherished in a way he hadn’t in a long time, if ever. He heard Jensen begin to purr, and his own wolf mewled in answer, panting and wanting. He arched his hips up and was surprised to see his cock half hard and leaking. He hadn’t been sure that even during his heat he would have any desire to be with anyone again, certainly not as soon as this. But his desire for Jensen was fanned slowly to a flame as the weeks had passed, and his mate relearned his body. 

Jensen had smiled fondly at him and swooped down to capture his lips, tongue sweeping inside to reclaim, to possess. Jensen lifted his head again, leaving Ja’red breathless. Rubbing helplessly against him, he had heard his mate chuckle. “Want something, Jay? You need something?” Jensen purred louder. The purr seemed to rumble through Ja’red’s chest as Jensen slowly rubbed his face down along his body to come to rest beside his fat, aching cock. The drugs the doctor had given him to postpone his heat had worn off, and he could feel sweat beading on his forehead as his body reasserted it’s natural rhythms. Jensen’s tongue darted out to playfully lick the hard, velvet flesh. “Jen, Jen, want you now.”

“You sure, Jay?” Jensen’s teasing tone grew serious. “I don’t want to hurt you, push you too fast. They must have other ways of handling a heat here. I could just use my mouth… my hands…If you’re not ready, tell me.”

“Need you now, please, please, please…” Ja’red bucked up and tried to rub his now straining erection against Jensen’s body above him. That’s what he was after all, a needy omega, Jensen’s omega. 

Jensen looked down and smiled a little cockeyed grin as he put a hand on either hip, holding him down. Ja’red resisted the urge to panic, tried to focus on the touch of those hands, so different from others, not punishment, no brutal squeeze, just the lava-hot touch of his mate. Mate. His mate! Jared's body twisted and arched in want, and Jensen growled, “Yeah, baby, I gotcha.” 

Jensen wrapped Ja’red in his arms and flipped his mate so Jensen was on the bottom and Ja’red was on the top. Ja’red looked down at him, his brows arched.

“Want you to control this Jay, want you to feel safe that anything we do is at your pace. Now, baby, please, fuck me.” Jensen leaned back and waited, his cock straining upright from his body. Waited for Ja’red to make the first move. 

Ja’red was slow to react, unsure of himself now. He shivered and looked down at his mate, looked at the sweat covering his brow and the hands clenched in the sheets to resist the temptation to reach out and touch ‘him’. Ja’red felt tears in his eyes, the patience and love he saw for Jensen to resist grabbing his wolf and slamming him home down onto his aching cock. But Ja’red knew this was all about building up his wolf’s confidence. Building up his faith in himself. So he smiled softly as Jensen bit back a groan and hitched himself up above his mate on the bed. Carefully and slowly, oh so slowly, he impaled himself on Jensen’s length, moaning with arousal but still biting his lip, nervous and fearful at the same time. He carefully eased down until he was fully seated on the fluffy fur of Jensen’s groin.

Successful, he let out a fluttery nervous laugh and Jensen leaned up, desire lighting his alpha’s eyes. He swiped a soft sandpaper tongue over Ja’red's bitten and swollen lips and pushed gently inside, licking and kissing him with everything he had. Ja’red felt timid and unsure but he knew he was safe in his alpha’s arms, knew that all Jensen wanted was the best for Ja’red and to make his wolf howl.

He succeeded.

Ja’red lay on the rumpled, sweaty sheets, replete, his heat momentarily sated, staring up at the ceiling. He was exhausted and aching in the very best way. He ran a hand thoughtfully across his chest. 

Waking screaming in the middle of the night, half remembered dreams of brutality and shame, it had been like that for the last month, ever since… The drugs had mercifully kept his heat at bay, had pushed his body’s needs back so that his mind could begin to heal. Even now, so much later, the ugly, used, hollowed-out feeling was still there. Ja’red had wondered if he would ever be without it again. But there were small mercies at least; the creepingdirtywrong sensation on his skin was beginning to fade. 

He listened to the silence around him and shivered at the thought of the healing touch of his mate.

It was one of the more startling things about the palace. Prison was so noisy, there was always sound, always. The clanging of bars, the scrape of shoes on concrete floors, the whoosh of cell doors as they opened or closed, talking, laughing, fucking, fighting, each cell a tissue paper barrier to the noise from its neighbors. At the palace there was silence, and it made Ja’red uneasy. 

Ja’red knew there must be hundreds, maybe thousands of people at the summer palace, but he couldn’t hear them. He could only just make out the soft scrape of the curtains on the sides of the force field as the wind blew through the room, the rustle of leaves in the trees beyond their balcony doors, and the quiet pad of Jensen’s feet as he entered the room. 

Ja’red flinched unconsciously as he heard him come in, and he saw the look of sadness enter his mate’s eyes when he registered Ja'red's reaction. Ja'red licked his lips as an apology sprang to them but instead closed his eyes and swallowed it back. Apologizing to Jensen would only make his actions more pathetic. Was this what his life would be like now, scared all the time of every sudden sound? Wary of even his own mate? He fell asleep contemplating that thought.

: : :

He felt something touch him and his eyes flew open, his heart jolted in panic. He shivered when he realized it was just the warmth of Jensen’s work-rough hand on his shoulder.

“Come, sit up. I brought you something to eat. You need to keep up your strength before we have another go. Maybe fit in a quick shower, or a longer bath. I’m up for bath sex.” Jensen waggled his eyebrows suggestively, and Ja’red’s mouth trembled as he tried to smile. He felt so distant from Jensen, not physically but inside somehow, as though he was standing on top of a far hill looking down. The achy, hollow feeling occupied his chest again, and his hand went there once more and rubbed.

“Yeah, a shower would be good. I think I’m kinda rank, man.” Ja’red ran his hand self-consciously through his hair, but Jensen caught it and turned his wrist so he could kiss the tender inner flesh. “You smell perfect to me. You smell like…Mine.”

Ja’red felt a warm tingle at his mate's words. He focused on it and felt the warmth bloom inside him. It helped him force back the emptiness as he reached toward Jensen, toward life and light, and he grasped his mate's head, surprising him by hauling him close for a kiss. He could feel the smile on Jensen’s lips as he breathed out, “Yours.”

: : :

They were eating a light snack in bed, as a servant had thoughtfully left a tray outside their door. Jensen had brought it in, his lips smacking together with glee and presented Ja’red with the booty. They lay touching, Jensen feeding Ja’red tender treats while Ja’red, too exhausted to move, lay back on several pillows, his longish hair fanned out around him.

“I gotta tell you, Jay, even after researching the shifter wars and finding out about all this it all seems pretty unbelievable. And, I hate to say it but a part of me still has a lot of doubts. I don’t know about this whole Emissary thing. She seems pretty sure they’ve got the right cat but, I don’t know… And even though the idea of trying to ‘lead a people’ scares the absolute shit out of me, another part of me thinks this ceremony is something I can’t turn down, or shouldn’t turn down.” 

Jensen rose from the bed and began pacing back and forth as he tried to organize his thoughts. “I don’t know if I’m up to it or not, but the Imperium seems to be really evil. How can I turn my back on that when I could make a difference? Man, just your world alone, all those wolves enslaved, and no one knows….” Jensen glanced cautiously over at Ja’red. He had put off this talk as long as he could. There were so many different fires going on in their lives right now, between Ja’red’s heat, his rape, prison, and this Emissary thing, they could only deal with so much at a time. He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose; he could feel a headache coming on. 

Ja’red stared at him but said nothing, his prismatic eyes focused inward in thought.

“And Jay, it-it could be our one chance to get you free – this Emissary thing. I think I could talk to the Guardian, negotiate maybe, get some kind of a pass, I don’t know, something where I get to keep you here out of prison, like a permanent day pass. Jesus, that alone would make it all worthwhile. I-I keep thinking about it, and honestly, I-I don’t think you’d be safe going back there now.” 

Jensen leaned over and tipped up his mate’s chin so that Ja'red was forced to look at him. He gently pushed the floppy hair out of his eyes. “I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t do this and we ended up missing out on the one opportunity that could have kept you out. I-if anything happened to you when they sent you back, Jay…. And it’s not like being a mechanic was really going to bring in the dough. We wouldn’t be going from hand to mouth with this job. Hell, I don’t think we’d ever have to worry about money again. B-but it would be dangerous too Jay… it would paint a big fat target on both our backs. They- they've already assassinated one Emissary, I could be next. And the Felix people won’t exactly be thrilled with a former enemy of the state so close to the throne. It could be dangerous and ugly for both of us. So we need to talk it over man.

“It needs to be our decision, together, with your full blessing, Ja’red. I-I don’t think I can do this without your support. I feel like the biggest fraud in the world as it is. I’m no Emissary. I don’t know what she even sees in me. A few spots don’t make me the leader of a nation… Fuck!!!” Jensen glanced away embarrassed. He forced himself to look back at Ja’red who was staring off into the distance, his gaze unfocused. “Jay, talk to me man, you’re the one with the big strategic brain, help me here.”

Jar’ed seemed to snap back into himself, and raised fear-filled eyes to Jensen’s. “I-I don’t want to go back, Jen. Gods, please don’t make me go back, please, Jen, please. I I-I’m afraid all the time now.”

Jensen watched as Ja’red’s hands twitched and jerked in his lap, awkward, like an uncoordinated marionette. He grabbed up those hands, and, cupping them in his own, brought them to his face, Jared's palms against the contours of Jensen's cheek. When he felt the strength in them return enough to cup his face on their own, he pulled his mate into his arms and held him tight, feeling the tremors that shook his body. Where was the bold, confident wolf of just a few months ago? Jensen bit his lip. 

Finally, Ja’red pushed back and looked at him, really looked at him, as he hadn’t done in days. His hands fluttered purposelessly in his lap, like small birds, but he forced himself to speak. Jensen held his breath.

“Jen, think about it, there really is no choice. You have to become the Emissary, whether you’re ready to be one or not. I never thought I’d say something like this, let alone believe something like this, but I think it’s your destiny. All the things that have happened, all the things you’ve gone through, it’s statistically improbable that all these different events would result in you arriving here at this time, in this place. But they did. And I can’t help but think this is not a random event. It’s a sign.” Ja’red shifted to sit higher up on the bed so he was looking Jensen in the eyes. “And I think at heart you are a good man, a kind man, and the Felix people should be proud to have you as their ruler. As proud as I am to have you as my mate. You’ll…” 

Jensen said nothing, just gave Ja'red his whole focus, silently urging him to go on. 

“We’ll make this work, man. You’ll be the best gods damn Emissary they’ve ever seen. And maybe if we’re lucky we can win this war and free all our people.” Ja’red ducked his head down into Jensen’s neck. It was the most words he’d spoken in weeks.

Jensen eased Ja’red back a little so he could kiss his brow, “You know you’re remarkable right? Okay I’ll take on this Emissary thing and I’ll figure out a way to keep you from going back there.”

: : :

It had been a whirlwind week of planning and fittings and now the day was finally here. Jensen was escorted to a separate suite to dress for the ceremony and to learn his lines. He was forced to leave Ja’red in the care of the palace servants who would prepare him and bring him to the hall when it was time. The guardian assured him nothing would happen to his mate; he was surrounded by guards. 

“So it’s nearly time for the ceremony.” Ja’red nervously bobbed his head as he sat at the end of the bed, biting back a whimper. They had spent almost four days in bed together during Ja’red’s delayed heat. Although Ja’red had finally recovered to the point where he didn’t flinch every time Jensen walked into the room, or reached to touch him, Jensen knew his mate had a long way to go to fully recover. Every night Ja’red would toss and turn in his sleep, often screaming himself – and Jensen – awake more than once. Jensen would pull his mate in tight against him and try to calm his shivering wolf. He could only hope that time and loving reassurance would help heal the man. Jensen squeezed his mate’s hand. A part of him wanted to say to hell with the ceremony and pull his mate down onto bed again and cuddle the wolf tight. The rational side understood they couldn’t stay in bed forever. 

“So, today's the day.” Jensen bounced up and down on the toes of his feet, full of surplus energy. Ja’red watched, bemused. Jensen was usually the calm one, the unflappable one, but anything that brought those dimples out and Ja’red’s wide gentle smile, couldn’t be all bad. Jensen wished he smiled more often these days.

There was a light tap on the door and several guards quietly entered the room, some to escort him to the Guardian, some to stay and watch Ja’red. Jensen hugged his mate and gave him a long, tender kiss.

“I’ll see you at the ceremony.” He rose from his crouch in front of the bed, reluctant to let go. The door opened again, and a small army of servants entered with towels and fresh clothing for his mate.

“You’ll be okay; they’ll take good care of you.” Jensen nodded toward the two remaining guards. He stood and leaned down and kissed his mate once more, then was ushered away. His last view of Ja’red was of him nodding absently at Jensen as he left, then biting his lip and hanging his head to hide behind his shaggy hair.

: : :

 

Chapter Text




: : :

It seemed like hours later when Jensen was finally outfitted in the robes of state and prepared as to what was going to happen during the ceremony. He was dressed in tight black leggings and a green thigh-length vest trimmed in fur, laced loosely enough across the chest to show off his hereditary spots for all to see. A long, flowing green cape was attached to ornate clips on the front of his vest so that it draped regally behind him, and a simple gold circlet was set low across his brow. He had asked the Guardian why it was not more commonly known what the spots meant, and she had said it was kept a secret, reserved to the upper classes to protect the Emissary should he be captured or want to go about among his people.

Jensen was led down a wide corridor; at the end, two-story high doors were flung open, and trumpets announced his arrival. The chamber he entered was packed with the cream of Felix society outfitted in all their finery. A Felix honor guard escorted Jensen along a broad red carpet to a slightly raised area where Marla (for that, she had confided to Jensen, was the Guardian's name) stood beside a pedestal where a silver chalice waited. All eyes were on Jensen as he walked towards the dais. 

Jensen didn’t register any of it as his eyes frantically scanned the crowd for Ja’red. Where was his mate? As he drew closer to the podium, he saw his mate being escorted out of a small side door near the dais. Guards stood at either side of him, and his mate was outfitted in new clothes, black with green trim to match his own. What Jensen wasn’t expecting was the full body harness strapped on his mate’s slim frame. Twin leashes ran from either sides of the harness to the hands of large Felix guards on either side of him. 

Jensen actually paused mid stride in shock at the specter of his mate bridled like a bad dog. He felt his groin tighten and a twitch of sick desire bolt through him at the sight of his long, muscular wolf bound and helpless before him in the guards’ grasp. His cat wanted to pounce on his prey, lick and bite and make the wolf whimper in pleasure as he lay helpless before him. 

Jensen bit back his wanton groan as images of Ja’red at his mercy swamped him with dark desire. He watched as the guards jerked on the reins, forcing Ja’red forward awkwardly with the straps of the harness holding his arms securely to his sides. He could see his mate’s discomfort in the red tips of his ears and how he hid his eyes, so vulnerable. Jensen suppressed a shiver of want and was grateful his mate wasn’t looking up; he must feel the shocked eyes of the crowd upon him. Then Jensen gulped down a breath, pressing his hand down on his aching cock as he saw that Ja’red’s head hung low, both in shame and by design, a buckle and strap between the body harness and his collar was forcing him to bow down. Even from where he stood across the hall, Jensen could make out the slight tremble of his mate’s body, and his lust evaporated in shame.

He watched, horrified, as the guards pushed Ja’red to his knees on the dais to await his arrival. He saw his mate land heavily and wince as, without the use of his hands to aid him, he tried not to sprawl forward in an undignified heap onto his face. It was the sight of his mate in pain that jerked him out of his lustful thoughts and propelled him to action. 

“What the hell?” Jensen roared as he strode across the hall. “Get that off him, now!”

The Guardian stepped forward in front of him before he could reach Ja’red and said gently, “Sire, he is an enemy of the state; the control harness will not hurt him if he doesn’t struggle. It is completely comfortable.”

Ja’red wouldn’t look up, couldn’t look up, Jensen reminded himself, and continued to kneel, completely still, on the floor of the dais near Jensen’s feet. Jensen could see the flush of embarrassment across his omega’s cheeks, and his heart ached for him.

“Then you try wearing it, lady. Listen, if you want me to lead your people, my mate has to be free. Free of prison, free of that fucking control harness, free. That’s it, that’s all, non-fucking-negotiable. That’s the only way I’m doing this.”

“We can discuss it after you have performed the ceremony, sire, as planned.”

“No, we discuss it now, or there is no ceremony; you can find another Emissary. I’m sure they’re growing on trees.”

“Very well,” the guardian snapped. “This is highly unusual.” She turned to the guards and ordered, “Release the consort.”

The guards rushed to unbuckle his quivering mate, and Jensen crouched to help raise Ja’red up from his knees. Ja’red buried his head in Jensen’s shoulder and refused to look anywhere. Fine tremors ran through him and he flinched from the touch of the guards’ fumbling as they unstrapped the harness. Jensen ran his own hands over Ja’red’s back, trying to soothe and reclaim as he cursed this world. Once Ja’red was free of the device, he cast it ruthlessly into a far corner and held Ja’red, murmuring comforting sounds and touching as much of him as Jensen could reach until Ja'red's shaking stilled. With his arm securely around his mate’s waist, he guided Ja’red to stand beside him on the dais, their backs to the gathered assembly. His mate stayed glued to his side, not looking at anyone or saying a word.

“Let’s get this done. I want to get out of here,” Jensen growled. The guardian nodded, and, gathering a handful of her robes, picked them up and walked quickly back to the dais. Once in position, she took a moment to smooth her hair and take a deep breath before beginning the ceremony. She started with a brief nod to Jensen and stolidly ignored Ja’red by his side. Jensen wondered how long that had been going on and made a mental note that that would stop in the future.

“We are here today to witness our newest Emissary embrace his heritage. Today he will unlock the collective memories of all those who came before him and take up his sworn duty to champion the Felix people.

“Jensen Ackles, do you swear by the moon goddess Treeva, who guards us and watches over us, to use the knowledge and skills you gain here today only in the most honorable of ways, to protect and uphold the values of the Felix people? To safeguard and watch over us and defend us from both our enemies and ourselves?”

Jensen looked at her; they had practiced this. “I do swear.”

“With this drink you unlock the hidden secrets of your bloodline and embrace both this responsibility and your heritage. From this moment, your journey to guide your people begins. With the blessing and knowledge of those that came before, drink, Jensen Ackles, Emissary of Felix.”

Jensen took the cup and drank down the strong, bitter brew. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting, but the strange, sizzling strike down his spine was not it. He fell to his knees in shock and pain; the last thing he heard was the gasp of the crowd, and then he was somewhere else. 

: : :

He was looking through the eyes of his maker. His cat purred reassuringly, and every instinct in Jensen told him that, impossible as it seemed, that was who, what, he was now. He was in the library where he had first met the Guardian, and a conversation was in progress. 

“But we must meet with them. Hold out the hand of friendship to the Imperium. If we do not, we’ll plunge our people into needless war. This meeting could head off all that. How can you ask me not to go, with so much at stake?”

“Van’un, you know how I feel about the Imperium. I think they are untrustworthy scum, and King Merridan and Prince Jeffra' Deen will betray you at their earliest opportunity. Just because he asked you to this meeting himself doesn’t mean he is not planning something. To think otherwise is foolishness and to place the children in peril… it’s simply crazy, sire.

“Xethic must prepare himself for leadership. He will take my place one day as Emissary. He must have experience before that time. I cannot coddle the future Emissary of Felix or any of my other children. They need to be exposed to the machinations of state. Too much is at state, Marla.”

“The boy is only twelve, my lord. He should stay here. If Sira were alive…” the Guardian cut herself off short and turned away, obviously flustered.

“But Sira isn’t alive, thanks to our ongoing skirmishes with the Imperium. This is my chance to end it for my people; this is a chance for our future, and I am taking it.”

“What if something should happen to him my Lord? Gods forbid it, but the other children cannot inherit, they do not bare the mark.”

“Yes, Gods forbid. But after the kidnapping attempt last month I feel the children are safer by my side than anywhere else. I can only hope that Treeva will care for us and find our people a new and worthy Emissary should something happen. For now I can only give Xethic and his siblings the best possible start in life, with full knowledge and exposure to what they will all be up to against with the Imperium.”

The scene faded, and like flashback clips from a movie, he was somewhere else, suddenly seeing himself through Van’un’s eyes as he stood, shivering and alone, across the corridor of the slave ship. He could feel the Emissary’s unspoken question to his were, and his cat purred its approval. He lunged purposefully toward this other Jensen, There was the sharp raking of claws across his side, his cry of pain and then... 

Then he was a primitive Felix overlooking his tribe in the grasslands of the Mavve; they were at war with the neighboring Prevex clan, and the leader had an idea of how to settle their dispute...

Then he was a clan leader at a great gathering of all the prides. Flames danced in the night sky, and her mate approached and ran his hands over her slim hips; she purred in approval. She had chosen well; he would be a good protector to their kits…

Images, time periods, significant scenarios of Emissary after Emissary, down through the twisting tunnels of time, one after another after another filled his mind to overloading, faster and faster, until he began to scream, and then… 

Nothing...

: : :

“Jensen, Jensen, are you all right? Come back to me! Please don’t leave me here! Jensen, can you hear me?”

He felt himself rocked and held in large hands; his eyes struggled to open past the gummy crusts holding them closed.

“Jaaa’rrrred,” he breathed out as the confusion dropped away, and the scent of his mate cocooned him. A damp cloth was suddenly at his face, at his eyes, moistening his lids so he could more easily open them. “I’m here…” his cracked voice husked out. “Thirsty …”

A straw was touched to his lips, and he sipped. It was all coming back to him, slowly this time, the long line of Felix who had come before him, their lives, their loves, their travails. He knew skills he’d never mastered himself, abilities he’d never learned, languages he’d never heard – it was all there. His head ached, and he felt a tender spot at the back of his skull as he moved in Ja’red’s embrace. “Oww,” he whined.

“You did a dead drop onto the stone floor after taking the drink,” Ja’red whispered as he helped ease Jensen to sitting.

“It must be your human heritage, some incompatibility, my lord. We’ve never had this kind of reaction to accepting the matrix before. Not in all our history.” The Guardian spoke from the other side of the bed, and Jensen could feel Ja’red twitch in unease. Jensen’s new rolodex memory was busy shifting through hundreds of ceremonies, none ending in disaster. He grunted at the effort it took to hold the rush of memories back into a manageable flow that wouldn’t swamp him again. Ja’red looked at him in concern.

His head throbbed, and he was exhausted already, despite having only just woken up. He forced himself to lever higher up in the bed. He was thankful of Ja’red’s supporting hands as the flickering images of other lives past overlay the present. He could see the Guardian superimposed over a much younger Guardian of his maker’s memory. Even something as simple as taking a look around the room was disorienting, each painting or object was overlaid by a different Emissary’s recollection of the item. 

“The matrix will find its level soon, Emissary,” the Guardian soothed, sensing his unease with the situation. “You just need time to incorporate all the memories. In a few days, the confusion will pass, and all that will be left is the knowledge. I was there when Van’un took his matrix. Even as a full blooded Felix it took him a few hours to incorporate the knowledge. Sleep, my lord, it will be better in the morning.” Jensen could feel Marla’s presence retreat from the room. Ja’red still hovered, uncertain, by his side.

Jensen reached out a blind hand until it contacted the sturdy forearm of his mate, and he whispered out, “Come’ere, darlin’.”

He could hear Ja’red’s slight intake of breath and then, so tentatively Jensen’s heart ached, his mate was burrowing into the covers in front of him, head popping up from under the sheets like an eager puppy to lean back into Jensen’s chest. “I-Is this alright? I-I don’t want to hurt you.” Jensen pressed his forehead against the nape of Ja’red’s neck and prayed for strength. The strength to help his mate come back to himself again. To be the strong confident wolf he knew he could be.

“Fine, perfect. I missed you,” Jensen whispered into his mate’s ear. “I want you to know I-I had no idea they would-would put you in that thing. That wasn’t my order.”

“I-I didn’t think so… I hoped not anyway. I-It’s alright – to them I-I’m the enemy. And I’m supposed to be in prison, safely away from good people.”

“You are good people, Ja’red; you just need the opportunity to show it.”

“I’m really not, Jensen. Millions of the Alliance died because of me… How do you make up for something like that?”

“I don’t know, but keeping you in that dog harness isn’t going to fix it. We’ll figure it out – right after I get my head back on straight.” Jensen pulled Ja’red in closer and snuggled his chin in next to Ja’red’s long, warm neck. Next thing he knew, the soft scent of his mate was lulling his rattled nerves, more comforting than the expensive linens, and he was fast asleep.

: : :

 

Jensen walked into their suite and paused at the door. The sun was streaming in the floor to ceiling windows, and dappled light fell over the bowed head of his mate where he sat, hunched over the table. Jensen breathed in; the smell of his mate alone could ease his jangled nerves. He watched as Ja’red swiped a strand of hair back from his face as he read, and then looked up, his expression soft and vulnerable, lost in thought.

Jensen strode over to him, his hands hungry now to touch those soft, messy locks. A welcoming smile eased Ja’red’s expression when he saw Jensen approach, and he put a slip of paper in the book to mark his place and closed the dusty tome. Jensen's mate tilted his face up toward him, and the light caught the strange, wistful expression he wore. 

Jensen’s hands sank into the spun-silk hair, easing his mate’s head back for a kiss. Their tongues met and glided over one another, warm and welcoming. 

“Mmm, love the way you say hello,” Jensen teased. “So what are you reading today? Don’t you ever get tired of dusty books?”

Ja’red’s large hand reached up and softly brushed over the new bruise discoloring Jensen’s cheek. He tsked in disapproval. “What about you, ever get tired of trying to pummel things with your new found skills?”

“I don’t know about me doing the pummeling,” Jensen answered ruefully, releasing Ja’red to rub the back of his neck sheepishly. “Tenndar kicked my butt in archery this morning, and my swordplay still sucks, but I have to say I’m getting better at the hand to hand. I actually pinned him to the ground today, and that’s a first, but he kind of winged me. The Guardian says I’m making good progress, but I guess I sort of hoped these memories would just let me do stuff right away. There seems to be a huge difference between remembering something and having it be second nature.” Jensen sighed and then turned and gestured toward the huge mound of books stacked on the table. ”What about you; what’s with all the books you’ve got here?”

Ja’red ducked his head, and Jensen’s heart fell; he knew the answer before Ja’red even answered him.

“Umm, I just like it here better, no funny looks like I’m going to shift and tear somebody’s throat out, you know, evil enemy and all that. It-It’s just easier, and I can study, and no one messes with me.”

“Ah, Jay, I’m sorry. I want you to fit in, find a place here. I don’t want you to have to hide here in our rooms. You’re the consort of the Emissary; that should count for something. Tell me what I can do? Why not come with me this afternoon, sit by my side in the conference. You’d be a great help. You know all this stuff way better than I do, anyway, even with my fancy ‘matrix’”. Jensen's ironic air quotes made Ja'red's dimples appear, and it made Jensen smile to see them.

“I don’t know, I-I’m just not ready. Not yet anyway. I don’t feel safe out there. Maybe I never will, maybe I’ll never fit in here. But I have you, and I have my books. It’s not bad, it's kind of similar to what I had on Vega. Except no Chris, none of his grousing at me.” Ja’red’s smile was tremulous, and Jensen’s heart ached for his mate; he knew he was joking, but he missed his long time guardian, and he was lonely here. Jensen made a vow to always take lunch with his mate from now on, no matter how busy things got. The planet could just go on spinning without him for a while.

“But it’s been nearly a month. And it’s not like I want you to run in front of me tossing flower petals all day. This is all stuff in your wheelhouse, man. Stuff you’re good at, brilliant at. You should be in charge of some of our strategy sessions. You could probably teach them a thing or two. You’re the Chief Strategist for the Imperium for gods' sake, why shouldn’t we benefit from that?”

Ja’red stilled, and he grasped at Jensen’s hand so hard it hurt, but Jensen was too worried by his mate’s reaction to notice. “No, no, Jen, please…. Promise me you won’t do that. That was before… before I...I-I don’t think I can do any of that now. Be in charge, and I don’t want them all hating me and then hating you for forcing me on them. Please, promise me.”

Jensen kissed Ja’red’s hand as his wolf literally shivered against him in sudden fear. “No, baby, no, I was just talking; I’d never do anything like that without checking with you first, right?” Jensen buried his face in Ja’red’s hair and kissed his head and then rubbed his face against Ja’red’s cheek to calm him. “Ughhh, why are things so complicated? Don’t worry, we’ll have you up to working in not time, and they’ll love you just as much as I do.” 

Ja’red’s death grip finally loosened from Jensen’s hand, and Jensen was able to wrap his arm around his mate’s shoulders and tenderly squeeze his arm. He searched for something less contentious to talk about and said, “So what are you studying now?” He sat down close to Ja’red, his thigh deliberately rubbing along the length of Ja’red’s as he pushed his chair up close, the physical touch more soothing than anything else he might actually say to his wolf.

Ja’red flashed a quick smile, and Jensen could hear excitement enter his wolf’s voice as he began to speak. “Oh well, it’s pretty fascinating actually. The Guardian told me about the celebration at the beginning of next month: The Ceremony of Lights. She said we need to take part in the festivities, and that it’s in your honor this year. I never heard of it before and wanted to find out more. It turns out that once a year all of Felix lights small paper lanterns and releases them into the night sky, to honor the moon goddess, Treeva. She’s kind of the only deity that the Felix really still hold onto. Anyway, the Emissary is considered her living link to Felix, and appointment of a new Emissary is cause for big celebration here.” As Ja’red warmed to his topic, his hands moved to reach for other books on the table, touching them as if to reassure himself he was still in contact with the knowledge he had pulled from them. 

His gaze dropped down, and he hid behind his hair as he continued in a lower tone, “I – we always knew the full moon was important to Felix shifters; I know it is to the Lycan. In fact, we had planned our big offensive against Felix on the full moon because of it.” He glanced up guiltily at Jensen and then continued, “All of Felix is sort of preoccupied then with heat and shifting. I-I guess now that you’re Emissary, you should do something about that, from a protection point of view. The Imperium knows it’s Felix’s most vulnerable time…” Ja’red’s voice trailed off. “Anyway, that’s kind of up to you now, but the Guardian says we’ll need to travel to the capital city, Sariddiuum, for the ceremony, so I just wanted to know more.”

“So the Ceremony of Lights, eh? That’s sounds like a lot to live up to. I’ll have to work on my awesomeness.” Jensen’s eyes crinkled in self-mockery. He tugged on Ja’red’s hand to urge him up. “And I like your idea of being better prepared against the Imperium. See what I mean, Jay, you can be of so much help here.” At Ja’red’s rueful shake of his head Jensen continued, “Come join me for lunch out on the patio, and you can tell me more about this ceremony I’m supposed to be the star of, and I’ll practice my awesomeness on you. Have to be at my best for it.”

Ja’red’s short bark of laughter was reward enough for Jensen.

: : :

“I don’t understand, you’re saying it’s a monarchy but it isn’t? I’m confused.” Ja’red’s bright laugh at Jensen’s confusion tickled across his ears and they twitched in pleasure.

“Oh my gods, it’s easy, you should know this by now from all your memories,” Ja’red said, slightly exasperated by his mate as they sat together over a picnic lunch. “Felix operates as a strange mix of monarchy and free republic, unlike the Imperium, which is a dictatorship. Here, the two seemingly disparate systems somehow manage to mesh into a productive union. Wartime, however, gives you, as the Emissary, complete operational control. But historically, he or she would always inform or consult parliament before any major decisions were made. It’s like the two sides of the brain, the Emissary side and parliament. They co-operate together to get things done. But during war, you have final say.” Ja’red laughed. Jensen held a slice of manga melon to his wolf’s lips and had the desired effect of getting his wolf to stop talking and start eating. Ja’red was still far too thin, in Jensen’s opinion. A bit of the juice dripped down Ja’red’s mouth, and Jensen leaned in to lap it up. His sandpaper tongue swiped over his wolf’s mouth tenderly.

“Mmmm, parliamentary politics make me hungry.” Jensen could feel Ja’red smirk as he rubbed his nose affectionately against his cheek. Jensen’s hand swooped down to pick up another morsel and trail it teasingly across his wolf’s lips.

“You are so not into politics.” Ja’red laughed before Jensen tipped another bite into his mouth, his emerald gaze hooded as he surveyed his wolf. Another week had gone by, and Jensen marveled at Ja’red’s grasp of politics in so short a time. The man was a strategic genius, and he knew how to play the long game in any arena, be it war or politics.

“That’s why I’m glad you are. Being able to talk with you about all this stuff just makes everything at court so much easier. Like General Tau, I’m not sure if I have to listen to him, or he has to listen to me?”

“Oh, he may act like you have to listen to him, but according to Parliamentary procedure, he is only your advisor, and he has to do what you say. I think you should stick to your guns about the planetary automated defense system. I never understood how the Alliance operated without them before; it’s what makes the air strikes so easy for the Imperium. Your defenses are like a sieve right now. It’s crazy to oppose installing them, and I know you’d have the backing of Parliament to get it passed.”

“See, that’s why I love you; you’re the brains of the operation, and I'm the beauty.”

Ja’red rolled his eyes, and Jensen waited until he had stopped laughing to feed him a slice of nulla nut bread. Jensen laughed and fed his mate another piece. Jared looked at Jensen, his head cocked awkwardly for a moment, thinking. Jensen watched the expression flicker across Ja’red’s face, first tentative and unsure, then a more determined look enter his wolf’s prismatic eyes. He swallowed the morsel, then deliberately sucked Jensen’s fingers into his mouth. Jensen drew in a sharp breath as his wolf gently ran his tongue into the webbing of Jensen’s fingers, laving at the digits until they were clean of the last crumb of bread. He hummed in approval as Ja’red released them from his mouth with a wet plop. His wolf’s eyes were dark with arousal and he licked his lips. He tilted his long elegant neck to the side, his head bowed submissively before his alpha. 

Jensen felt heat coil in his belly at his mate's behavior, and his mouth watered with the urge to bite at his mating mark, so beautifully displayed. At Jensen’s soft purr, Ja’red turned, his head still lower than his alpha's and reached his hand up tentatively to touch Jensen’s face. He leaned forward and kissed at the corner of Jensen’s mouth and across the line of his jaw to nibble at his ear. 

Jensen's breath quickened as a sharp spike of desire nearly made him groan aloud. Ja’red rose from their picnic blanket, sinuously arching his back. He prowled closer and straddled Jensen’s legs, a soft growl on his lips. He rutted gently back and forth on Jensen’s legs, and Jensen could feel his cock lengthen through the material of his jeans. Jensen moaned and he could see a glimmer of triumph in his wolf’s eyes.

“Jensen, why not let your omega serve you, as is his place, my alpha.”

Jensen’s brow furrowed, his lust mixed with confusion as Ja’red ground his erection against Jensen’s. His wolf was so much more than this, so much more to him than a needy hole, a good omega. Dazedly Jensen realized that he had seen this pattern before in Ja'red since his recovery. Jensen knew his wolf felt helpless and weak, and had no faith in himself or his ability to function independently. That he had nothing of value now to offer his mate except sex. 

Every attempt by Jensen to draw Ja’red into areas of palace life where he would thrive had all resulted the same way; Ja’red trying to distract him with sex. Well not this time. Jensen wasn’t going to let that happen, two could play this game. Jensen let out a purr as Ja’red ground down on him, his plan almost foiled before he started, with Ja’red’s determined efforts to cause him to spill in his pants like a teenager. “Hey now, slow down, not so fast, baby.” Jensen let out a long breath to stall for time enough to get his brain to engage. He swallowed a few times around his thickening tongue so he could finally form coherent words again.

“Look, I know I’m pretty awesome at this mating thing now, but you’ve got to do me a favor before I do one for you.”

Ja’red looked at him licking his lips, his expression turning to anxious and uncertain as he continued to rock up against him.

“If you don’t want to get involved in palace life right now, I want you at least to start coming with me on my morning training sessions with Tenndar. That way I’ll know you’ll be able to handle yourself, protect yourself in the future.” Jensen reached out and tugged his wolf closer, rubbed his back reassuringly as he felt Ja’red stiffen in alarm. He tipped his forehead to touch brows with Ja’red and spoke gently.

“I know you’re a big bad wolf with a sword, but I want you to know hand to hand too. I’ve just been researching this technique – it can only be performed between the Emissary and his mate. It’s a partial shift. The texts say… Hey don’t look like that, I read! Anyway, they say it takes a tremendous amount of power to do successfully, and even a mated pair can only achieve it by one lending power to the other through the bond. Emissaries have used it for centuries to intimidate their foes. Can you imagine it, a partially shifted Emissary or his mate coming at you half man, half cat? Must have frightened more than one enemy bad enough to flee in their tracks.” Jensen chuckled, creases appearing in the corners of his eyes. “Sounds like the Earth equivalent of bagpipes.”

Ja’red tipped his head quizzically. He felt Ja’red grow still as the game changed, his wolf suddenly tentative and unsure. “And you want me to know how to do that?” 

Jensen’s cat wanted to curl around him and pet him. So did Jensen.

“Jens… I don’t know… I’m just an omega now….I-I don’t want to let you down, make a mistake. Your people already hate me – and they should. I can’t believe what a stupid fool I’ve been. All this time on Vega, I thought I was so smart making vast decisions on how to win worlds for Jeffra’ Deen, and I only had half the story. They only fed me the parts they wanted me to know, and I fell for it. I believed them when they praised me for being smart, being good at seeing patterns and putting strategies into play. What they never let me know, what I was too naïve to ask, was what those strategies meant to people on the opposing side, to troops on ships, and people on the ground. Not just soldiers, but civilians too: families, homes, all those lives…. Jensen, what if that happens here? I-I just can't take that responsibility, I’m not that strong. When I was in prison…. No," he whispered, with a small shake of his head. "I’m just an omega now. Please, just let me be your omega.” 

Jensen's proud wolf ducked his head, and the sultry seducer evaporated like a mirage in the desert, leaving only the scared, shattered man in Jensen’s lap. 

“Oh Ja'red, you are so much more than just an omega. So much more, believe me.”

: : :

“There’s someone I want you to meet.”

Ja’red looked up as Jensen slipped into the big bed to join his mate.

“Oh yeah, who?”

“My friend, Missha.” Ja’red visibly swallowed as he recalled the name from his time on the Alliance cruiser. Ja’red sat very still, as pale now as the sheets around him.

“It’s okay, he’s a good guy, Jay. He kept me sane while you were in prison. I think he could help us. I think he could help make the transition into Felix politics that much easier for you, especially when we move back to the capital in the fall. I’m going to ask him to meet us when we go there for the ceremony. We'll both meet him under better circumstances than last time.”

“You mean when I’m not bleeding on the floor.”

Jensen bit his lip and winced; he understood what a vulnerable place Ja’red was still in, mentally. He didn’t want to push him to do anything he wasn’t ready for, but it still saddened him how cut off his mate was from everything. He spent far too much time now in their suite alone. He had simply changed one prison for another.

“Jay, I won’t force you to do anything, but I think you should meet him again. He’ll have some good ideas… Think about it, at least?”

Ja’red nodded jerkily. 

Jensen sighed, reached over and pulled his mate against his chest. Ja’red squeaked as Jensen began to lick a line up his neck. Determination lit Jensen’s eyes; there was at least one place he knew he could make his wolf feel at home: in his arms.

: : :

They were lying sprawled in the gardens under the shade of a giant nulla tree when Jensen spotted what looked like a rabbit bouncing across the lawn and disappearing into a hedge. He sat up, his nose twitching, and looked over his shoulder at Ja’red who had been idly combing his hand through his hair, every once in a while tickling the tufts of his ears.

“Let’s go after it!” Jensen’s smile felt like it was splitting his face. Electricity seemed to zing through his veins at the thought, and his cat rubbed up along his insides in eager approval at the idea. The predator in him wanted to hunt with his mate and share the spoils – or the victory celebration.

“What!” Ja’red’s voice nearly squeaked, as he sat up as well. “Are you crazy? Security will go nuts.”

“I don’t care; it’s been weeks since I went on a run, and it's been and months for you. Your wolf must be chomping at the bit for a shift. Let’s go. I know my cat would love it.”

“But… They’ll think I kidnapped you – that I'm trying to kill you or something.”

“Ah, nuts to them. Are you planning any ne'er-do-well activities toward me and my body?” Jensen eyebrows wiggled salaciously, and Ja’red winced. “Cause I’m kinda hopin’ so.” Ja’red snorted and shook his head, his hand unconsciously reaching up to rub the back of his neck where the suppression collar no longer chafed. 

Undaunted, Jensen continued in a more serious tone, “To hell with em all. I’m the Emissary. Nobody’s the boss of me, and I say we need a good run. So come on, get out of those clothes, 'cause if you don’t have any dirty ideas on what to do with my body, I sure have a few in mind for yours.”

It took him by surprise when Ja’red suddenly laughed out loud at Jensen’s exaggerated lecherous tone, and Jensen’s heart sang at the sound. It had been so long since his mate had really laughed, and though the last few weeks had seen definite improvement, Ja’red was still much quieter and more reserved than Jensen thought he should be. Jensen grabbed up his communicator and ordered the guards to stand down, that the Emissary and his mate were going on a run, and then cut off all argument by snapping the device shut mid-protest. He started to shuck off his shirt and pants, hopping on one leg until he fell on his butt when he forgot to take his shoes off first, much to Ja’red’s delight.

“Hey, don’t be laughing at me, you even remember how to shift?” Jensen teased and suddenly there was a beautiful chocolate and cinnamon wolf standing in front of him, head tilted as if to say ‘what’s taking you so long?’ Jensen laughed, and a white-spotted cat joined the wolf in the tree’s shade. Jensen’s cat leaned over and licked the wolf’s muzzle gently as it purred. Ja’red’s wolf whined and bared its throat submissively, its tail wagging softly in the breeze. Jensen growled suddenly and nudged at the wolf, who rolled swiftly onto its back, wiggling as the cat closed in to lick across his fur and nuzzle his soft belly. 

The snap of a twig had the two of them looking up and at each other, coming back to the original reason for their shift. At the barest nod from the cat they were instantly on their feet and off into the hedge and the forest beyond. They barreled wildly through the woods in pursuit of their prey, and the wolf yipped in pleasure. As they crashed through the forest, knocking shoulders as they ran, their joy at stretching their legs in the clear country air had the rabbity thing soon forgotten. 

Ja’red kept glancing over at Jensen’s cat to make sure he wasn’t outdistancing his alpha. Jensen kept up easily now, in far more perfect harmony with his cat than in that first shift. There was a whole new forest of sights and smells to explore, and the two weres were soon taking turns in the lead. 

Jensen’s cat purred in appreciation as he watched his long-legged wolf eat up the distance. He could feel Ja’red’s joy through the mating bond and knew that runs must become part of their time together as well – Ja’red had missed out on this for too long. Jensen looked up at the midday sun and realized that the time was flying by; they needed to return. He slowed as they reached an overlook and watched Ja’red survey the forest below in appreciation. He knew Ja’red’s wolf self was singing in joy at his release.

Not wanting to exhaust his mate, Jensen growled and pointed his muzzle back toward the palace. Ja’red whined and pawed at the ground and rubbed himself insistently up against him. Jensen moaned as Ja’red’s increasingly aroused scent taunted him, and when Ja’red’s tail flagged in invitation, his cat couldn’t help but sniff and lick at his mate’s entrance. The whimpering sounds his wolf made as he lapped at him had Jensen’s dick swelling and peeking out from its sheath, his mate pushing back insistently against his tongue. It had been a long time since they’d first mated in their were forms. Ja’red abruptly dropped to his front paws, his shoulders low to the ground, and wriggled his back end, arched up, the scent of his arousal on the air intoxicating. 

Jensen could take the teasing no longer. He straddled his mate in one swift move. He snarled in relief as his cock entered Ja’red’s tight heat. His wolf wiggled back, and Jensen clamped his forelegs tight against his mate’s sides to pin him in place, and thrust in. He growled in satisfaction, buried fully in his mate. He leaned forward and bit down on the soft fur of his mate’s neck: his mark, claimed, marked, mine; Ja’red bowed his head and whimpered. 

Jensen lifted his snout and snarled in triumph and began to thrust steadily into his mate, and Ja’red’s wolf yipped in pleasure, his chest rubbing on the ground, the pink of his cock hanging low and dripping below him. Jensen’s pace became more frantic as he felt the knot start to form. It began to catch on Ja’red’s rim as it thickened, and with a final cry, Jensen pushed his knot into his mate. He started to come almost immediately, warm seed pulsing into his mate, and he purposefully rocked against Ja’red’s prostate. He felt the wolf tense and then there was the smell of Ja’red’s seed as it spilled on the dry earth beneath them.

Fully seated inside his mate, Jensen refused to move or turn; he wanted to keep nuzzling and licking at his mate’s neck. Still joined he forced them to their sides so they lay on the sun warmed earth while Jensen continued to come in pulses. Jensen continued to rock against his mate’s gland, and Ja’red’s cock filled once again until both Ja’red and Jensen, howling and snarling, were coming together. Finally sated, Jensen’s knot began to deflate, and wet seed started to trickle out of Ja’red’s hole while the two weres lay panting in the grass. Reluctantly, Jensen pulled out of his mate, aware enough even in his animal form to do it gently. He turned and lapped at his mate’s hole, tasting himself as he soothed the puffy flesh. Ja’red wriggled and turned to lick Jensen’s muzzle enthusiastically before lifting his own skyward and letting loose a long howl that sounded through the valley. Jensen grinned, and his wolf grinned back at him. He nodded his head toward the palace; now it really was time to get back.

There would be another day like this, many more. Jensen would make sure of it.

: : :

“Come for me.” Jensen’s husky voice rolled out over Ja’red, and he arched up against his mate, spilling his seed helplessly between them. Jensen was still deeply knotted inside him; his hands pinned Ja’red’s to the bed above him. Gentle rocking motions had brought Ja’red to his pleasure three times so far that night, and the omega lolled, half conscious, in a sea of pheromones and sparkling lust while his alpha continued to hold him down, suckling at the mating mark on Ja’red’s neck.

“You liked it, didn’t you?” Ja’red’s soft voice spilled out into the darkness before his brain could fully engage. He could swear Jensen’s eyes glowed green in the dark when his head lifted, lips reluctantly letting go of Ja’red’s neck. He looked down at him thoughtfully, his cat’s interest piqued.

“Liked what, darlin’?” Jensen’s soft voice was a sensuous purr.

“Liked seeing me bound, helpless. I-I could feel it through the bond.” Ja’red turned his head away, biting his tongue. That wasn’t what he’d planned to say. Why couldn’t he leave it alone, keep his big mouth closed? In spite of the strong hands that briefly tightened around his wrists, urging him to look up, he didn’t want to look at Jensen’s face, didn’t want to think of his alpha as being anything like Va'rul or Me'how, didn’t want to think that Jensen might like hurting him. 

Or worse, that a part of him might have grown to like it. 

Ja’red felt shame curl through his belly, and he closed his eyes, hoping the darkness would hide the flush of embarrassment and lust that rushed through him.

Jensen’s cat continued to purr, and Ja’red felt the steady vibration run through him, soothing his jangled nerves. Ja’red tried to fight his fucked out body's natural inclination to relax against Jensen, to stay focused on what he had asked. He listened to his mate’s breathing and wondered what sick part of him had felt in necessary to stir this pot. Why could he not simply accept whatever happiness his mate gave him and be grateful?

“Yeah, Jay, I’ll admit it. I liked it.”

Ja’red’s breath caught in his throat; his heart ached at hearing the words spoken aloud.

“And I think a part of you liked it too, but not like that, with the public spectacle, the humiliation. What I liked was having you right there, bound and helpless, dependent on me. Mine.” 

Ja’red licked his lips and felt emotions roil through him that he couldn’t quite understand. His wolf whined. It had no problem with the idea of crawling on its belly toward its alpha, submissive. Ja’red had already unconsciously turned and bared his neck to his cat. He could feel Jensen’s smile as he nuzzled at his exposed throat. “Yeah, Jay, just like that. Mine, all mine.”

A shudder ran through Ja’red at the word mine, and impossibly, he was coming again, nearly dry as Jensen’s cock leapt inside him, seed splashing deep inside Ja’red’s channel as the words left his alpha’s lips. He felt a sob of surrender escape, and his wolf howled in the darkness.

They lay there together a while. Jensen’s knot slowly softened until he finally withdrew and rolled the two of them on their sides. He pulled Ja’red back against his chest and snuggled into him. Ja’red struggled and forced his head away; his wolf whimpered in protest, but Ja’red couldn’t just lie down so easily, couldn’t just take it. He was more than his alpha’s chew toy. He was a man, damn it; biology wasn’t going to control everything about him! He snarled, “So is that all we have together, all you want from me? The slave has his own slave now?” The bitterness in his voice took him by surprise. He didn’t know who he was madder at – Jensen for his dark desires that Ja'red could feel through the bond, or his own weakness in wanting to submit to those dark desires. “You don’t own me.” 

He shook his head and tried to ignore the hurt in Jensen’s voice when he spoke. “Yeah, actually, I do. You’re mine in every way that matters, Jay. You’re my omega, my mate, my responsibility, but, love, it’s your surrender I want, not your subjugation. Slavery is not surrender; it is brutal and hopeless, and there is no choice about it, trust me on that. Your submission to me is a gift I cherish. To push you, to push myself to the limits of what we need, to recognize what we desire, to dominate or be dominated, those darker urges of ours, of our animals, yeah, I’ll admit to wanting that. The idea of having you in that control harness, helpless at my command – nothing sexier, man. But those are our private moments, private little battles where I prove to you that you’re mine; it’s not a spectator sport. And there’s a difference in playing versus hurting.” 

Jensen ran his hand along Ja’red’s cheek. “I hope you know I’d never want to hurt you. I’m not those men, Jay; I’m not the one that hurt you. And I’m certainly not your father.” Jensen’s hand slipped around Ja’red’s waist and started to rub soothing circles on his chest as he spoke. He could feel Ja’red’s confusion through the bond, his struggle with his own identity, and Jensen felt maybe it was time to lay some more cards on the table, that his wolf was ready to hear them now.

“I think you do know the difference between them and me. I think you’re bothered more by your omega nature than anything else, bothered that you do better when you’re sure of your place, where you belong. That you want to be sure of me, and my possession of you.” Jensen growled throatily and nuzzled into Ja’red’s neck. Ja’red felt rage rush through him. He’d been in charge of himself and those around him for years; how dare this upstart cat think he could rule him so easily. He was done being the victim, done taking it. He’d been bullied in prison, he’d been raped and beaten. He hadn’t been in control at all since he met Jensen. No more. 

He squirmed out of Jensen’s hold and flipped his alpha onto his belly. He captured Jensen’s two hands and yanked them up above his head on the bed, the reverse of their positions a few hours ago. Jensen struggled, but Ja’red was surprised when, in spite of Jensen’s Emissary-enhanced strength, he had the alpha pinned helplessly beneath him, squirming. Ja’red shifted his grip, holding Jensen down with only his one hand while the other slid onto his hip to grasp his haunch and pull him in tight up against his body.

Jensen gasped as Ja’red’s dick pressed at his entrance, but Ja’red wasn't hard, not even close. He cursed. This used to be so easy! Ja’red always used to be the aggressor, the one on top. It was only since meeting Jensen that this whole other side of him had been exposed, the side that liked being taken and possessed. He wasn’t sure how he could reconcile these submissive urges with the man he used to be. All he knew was he wasn’t going to be anyone’s victim anymore. 

Ja’red shook his head and pushed forward at his mate’s puckered opening, then he remembered: unlike an omega, Jensen would need some help if Ja'red was going to take him this way. His desire retreated. In spite of his anger he didn’t want to hurt his mate; he had just wanted to prove a point. His reluctant dick twitched, and Ja’red said, “I can have you anytime I want, Jensen; two can play at this. Would you like that? Hmmm?” His voice was a dark rumble around them.

Jensen lay there for a moment and then ground his ass up suggestively against Ja’red’s crotch, teasing, and said, “Go ahead, Jay, I’d enjoy it; in fact, I’d like you to take me every now and then. But I don’t think that’s what this is about, or what you need right now, is it? What happened in prison wasn’t what you wanted either; it was rape. Submission and rape aren’t the same things, Jay. Just because you enjoy being taken by your mate doesn’t mean you’re weak or lesser. That’s why we mated; we complete each other, our needs, our desires. Our animals know better than we do, man. Being on top doesn’t make you better, it just makes you responsible to someone. Those times you were powerless back there didn’t mean you weren’t strong. There’s nothing weak about you, Jay.” 

Jensen’s words soothed a rough, jagged place inside him. He was confusing the two, he realized, confusing desire to be forced with what was forced upon him. Ja’red wanted Jensen to be wrong. He wanted to find some lube and fuck his mate into next week to show him who was boss, but, the act itself wasn’t really what he or his wolf wanted. Unfortunately, his cat was right, and Ja’red let go of him with a disgruntled growl and rolled away from him to the far side of the bed.

“Now, don’t be like that, darlin’; we’ll find our way together.” Jensen chuckled and pulled an unresisting Ja’red back into his arms. Ja’red couldn’t argue feeling the rightness of being held by his alpha. 

“You know I let you catch me, right?” Jensen’s voice was a soft, teasing purr in his ear. 

Ja’red growled again for the principal of it; damn, he knew it had been too easy. He fell asleep to the sound of Jensen’s soft chuckle in his ear. Jerk.

: : :

“Come on, Jay, we’re going to be late.” Jensen stood at the door to their suite and waited for his mate after their self-defense lessons with Tenndar. It had been nearly a month since the ceremony to unlock his Felix memories. At first he had felt like he was caught in an unending loop of flashbacks, but as time passed, he had slowly started to master the matrix. He felt increasingly comfortable in his role as Emissary and even more at home in his role of Alpha. 

The more he interacted with the Felix people the more he came to love them. Tough and independent, fierce and strong, there was much to love and admire about them. It was when the Guardian had approached him with a message from his former work mates that he had turned the corner between being along for the ride and wanting to win this war. 

“Sire, do you have a moment?” The old Guardian had appeared at the other end of the corridor and approached him, clearly agitated. 

A towel around his neck, trying to mop up some of the sweat from their session, Ja'red started to leave. 

Jensen grabbed his hand and kept him from sneaking off to slip into the safety of their suite, as he usually did. Ja’red huffed, uneasy and unsure, but remained standing beside his mate as they waited for her to approach. 

“Guardian?” Jensen nodded. 

“Sire, sorry to disturb you, but it’s about your old apartment.”

“Yes, what’s wrong? I thought you were going to move all my stuff out?”

“Well we tried, sire, but… they wouldn’t let us.”

“They wouldn’t let you? Who wouldn’t you?” Jensen smiled quizzically and glanced over at Ja’red who had a similar expression on his face.

“The report said there was a Tommar, Jo’na, Mit’za, a Jim Be’var and four or five others along with several children. The child named…" she checked her report. "Petra, bit our guard.”

Jensen started to laugh and Ja’red’s eyebrows rose in astonishment.

“They didn’t hurt them did they?” Jensen gasped out as he tried to stop laughing.

“Of course not, sire. They are our people.” The Guardian looked affronted.

“What did they want?” Jensen grinned, curious. He didn’t think his neighbors and co-workers really even knew him.

“Well, sire, there are signs up everywhere, with rather childish drawings of you, demanding that the Tooth Fairy, whatever that means, bring you back, and that you had to come to Tommar’s birthday party in Septus, his beta demanded it. They – they wouldn’t let us into your apartment to retrieve your belongings, sire. They said you must come and talk to them, to show them that you are okay. They demanded it, sire. What should we do? I do not believe they even know you are the Emissary.”

The corners of his eyes crinkled in mirth and Jensen tried to stand straighter but his sides hurt from laughing. “Well Ja’red, Guardian, I think we have our first official function. I have a birthday party to attend, and Petra, Lexy, and Jada will not be disappointed. I can’t have the Tooth Fairy taking the rap for my disappearance.”

The Guardian left in a huff, and Jensen wasted no time explaining to Ja’red exactly who the Tooth Fairy was. 

While Ja’red went off to shower Jensen sat chuckling about Tooth Fairies, and then his mind turned to the events of the previous night, Ja’red and him, together. He'd never known he had this side to him, this aggressive, dominant beast. He shook his head. He’d been trying to be so careful around Ja’red, so gentle and then last night…His cat couldn’t take all the blame; it was him. It had never come up on Earth; the few relationships he’d sandwiched in between getting his business going and spending time with family had never given him a clue to this side of his nature. Certainly nothing had while he was a slave, and on the receiving side of any punishment or domination. 

Now though, with Ja’red…. He licked his lips as a series of images flashed before him of what he’d like to do to his omega, and not all of them were his own. The one drawback and sometimes benefit of being the Emissary was his ability to dig into the archive of past Emissaries' lives, and their very inventive times with their mates. He growled low in his chest. Yes, there was much to explore with his wolf.

The Ceremony of Light would take place in another three weeks on the full moon, and would coincide, not accidentally, with the beginning of Ja’red’s heat. Most omegas went into heat during the lunar cycle, and this would be his mate’s second since his attack in prison. They hadn’t been back to the capital since Ja’red’s trial, and he hoped their return to the city wouldn't destroy all the progress he and Ja'red had made. 

Ja’red strolled through the suite door, freshly showered, toweling off. Jensen grinned at him. “I don’t know why you bother, man. You know how your wolf likes to roll in the mud. Now come on, I’ve got to meet with the committee at 4:00.”

: : :

They were running through the woods, Jensen several lengths ahead, paws eating up the distance. Their runs together had become a near daily occurrence, a way to blow off steam and reconnect with their weres. It had been a good thing, Jensen growled to himself in approval; he could see Ja’red feeling more secure in his position with Jensen, and their mating bond was growing stronger as time went by. The ease with which they read each other through the bond increased every day. 

Today was different though; his wolf had been moving slower. Even the lure of skinny dipping hadn’t cut through Ja’red’s obvious despondency. It made Jensen all the more desperate to explore their relationship and help his mate discover who he was. He could only hope he wasn’t misreading the cues from Ja’red. He knew his mate’s heart and head were at odds right now, that he was mixing up the violence at the prison with their alpha/omega relationship. 

Jensen refused to cut them off from a whole side of their life together they needed to explore because of the actions of a few thugs, but he also knew he had to be careful. For several reasons, Ja’red was quite vulnerable. With the added insight of the matrix and the relationships of all the Emissaries before him to draw on, he knew in his heart it could be good between them. He just had to be patient as they found their way. 

He tripped on an errant branch and realized he had to get his head back in the game, concentrate on where he were going, before he broke a leg or a paw or something. They had discussed it before they shifted and had planned to head for the lake across the valley. There was just enough time for a quick dip and to dry off before they had to be back to the palace. Or at least Jensen had to be back at the palace; no one was looking for Ja’red. Jensen was still scratching his brain on that one, trying to find a way to better involve his mate in court life.

: : :

Ja’red heard a strangled off snarl, and his tip tilted eyes scanned the forest to locate his cat. When he couldn't see him, he lifted his head to scent the air and realized Jensen was far ahead him. He rushed down along the trail they had come up earlier that afternoon, looking everywhere along the way. Starting to panic, he barreled back down the mountainside and cursed himself for getting so caught up in his thoughts as to lose track of his mate’s location. His wolf howled out. The sound echoed through the valley, but no responding cry met his call. His heart clenched in fear, where was Jensen? 

Finally, he spotted the bright fur of his mate amid the underbrush. His gut lurched; was his cat hurt? He rushed towards Jensen, but stopped abruptly at the click of a jumbler loading. Three men stepped out from behind the trees in full camouflage gear, all with scope-equipped jumblers. Ja’red halted abruptly and ducked behind some nearby brush before they spotted him. Trying to catch his breath without panting loudly enough to be heard, he peered out to watch. 

His wolf whined in misery, part of it wanting to leap forward and fight, the other half wanting to crawl to them on his belly and beg Jensen’s release. Equal parts shame and fear left Ja’red trembling. He clenched down on the near-hysterical flood of emotions tumbling through him. This was his mate. Now was not the time to indulge his omega weakness, he had to stay in control. His mate’s life could be in jeopardy.

“That’s the cat,” one of the men announced, using his foot to roll Jensen’s still form over onto his back and comparing his face to one of two holo prints he held in his hand. “That’s not the one the prince ordered us to recover. He said to bring the cat if we stumbled over it, but it was the wolf he wanted.” Ja’red felt a growl start low in his throat and had to force it down. His eyes burned with unshed tears as he watched, helpless, as the two of the three men closed in on his defenseless mate. 

They uncapped a syringe and jabbed him with it. Ja’red watched, fascinated and horrified, as Jensen changed back almost instantly to his humanoid form. The hunters began to immediately bind him. When he was hobbled, with his hands manacled behind his back, they started to shove him in a black body bag they rolled out. That was too much for Ja’red, he couldn’t sit here hiding in the bushes while they spirited his mate off to Gods knew where. He might be omega and he might be weak but this was his mate. 

He didn’t think, just leapt, fangs bared. He took down the first man on point with no effort and had already sunk his teeth into the neck of the second, shaking him like a rag doll, when he felt the shot. A surprised yip sprang from his mouth as he dropped his prey and turned, his gaze raking the forest. A fourth sniper had been deeper in the woods. He snarled and reached down and snapped his jaws down on the throat of the second man, finishing him off. He reached back with his teeth to try and remove the yellow dart sticking out of his flank. He pulled the needle free too late; the world was already spinning. He fell, boneless, to the ground, body completely unresponsive to any orders he sent it. 

He lay there in the grass unable to move a muscle and watched as the two remaining men checked on their comrades, methodically vaporizing the bodies once they assured themselves they were indeed dead. They shoved Jensen the rest of the way into the body sleeve and zipped his mate in. Ja’red wanted to growl, writhe, howl, in rage as they touched his mate but his body lay unresponsive to his commands. Distantly he could barely make out Jensen’s presence in the bond. At least, whatever they had given him, he was still alive

They advanced toward Ja’red, another syringe in the hands of one of the men. Ja’red breathed in; he wanted to remember their scent. If anything bad happened to his mate, their lives were forfeit.

“Gods damned wolf killed Ghaal and Veedo.” He felt the foot connect to the side of his head, and that was all he remembered.

: : :

Chapter Text




: : :

Ja’red's head hurt badly – it felt like someone had smashed it repeatedly against a wall. He bit back a moan as he tried to remember what had happened and drew a puzzled blank. His only small comfort, amid the throbbing pain, was that he was lying on something soft. Survival instincts kicked in and he eased his eyelids open. He squinted cautiously through the barely open slits and looked around as best he could. 

All he could see was a wall, a blank ordinary, unremarkable wall. Something felt off though. With his pounding head, he couldn’t quite pin down what that was. It took a minute but it was his wolf that solved the mystery when it noticed the minute difference in gravity. 

They were no longer on Felix. 

He sucked in a shocked breath as memory of the sting of the hunter’s dart flooded back to him, and he remembered the horror of being forced to watch, helpless, as his attackers drugged and bound his unsuspecting mate. Jensen! He inhaled deeply, but he couldn’t scent him nearby. 

Ja’red tried to sit up, but he couldn’t move; his hands and feet refused to respond. Beginning to panic, he tried to lick his lips and failed, whatever drugs they had given him were still riding his system. Only able to growl softly, and exhausted by his inability to do anything other than stare blurrily at the panels in front of him, he let sleep reclaim him.

When next he awoke, he found that if he strained, he was able to lift the hand that lay before him up an inch or two in the air. When he ran out of energy, it flopped uselessly back onto covers.

A whisky rough voice spoke softly somewhere nearby, “You back with the living, pup?”

Ja’red stiffened. He knew that voice, as familiar as his own. It was Prince Jeffra’ Deen. “Nah, don’t try and talk just yet, or move. It’ll take a while before the shot wears off.” He saw a brief flash of movement in the periphery of his view. A straw was suddenly pressed against his lips. “Drink, boy, you must be pretty dry.”

Ja’red didn’t question, just forced his mouth to open and struggled to suck in some of the liquid. He was exhausted and ready to sleep again by the time he’d managed to get a mouthful inside him.

The bed dipped behind him, and he felt a hand run roughly through his hair as the prince made himself comfortable. 

“Gotta say, pup, you’ve been missed. The war hasn’t been going nearly as well since your defection.”

Ja’red startled, but a slight intake of breath was all the sound he made. He felt a hand trail along his hip. A burning sensation followed wherever the hand touched, and Ja’red suddenly realized he was lying entirely naked and exposed.

“Yeah, I’m sure you have a good reason for doing what you did. Frankly I don’t care why, or what the Felix and their mysterious new Emissary promised you. Those days are over now, along with you hobnobbing with your new cat friends in the palace. Bottom line, we have you back and we’re keeping you, pup. As soon as one of our spies spotted you and your slave on these runs of yours, we knew it was a perfect opportunity to bring you back into the fold. Pretty careless of your cat buddies to just let you go gallivanting off with so little security. I know I won’t be making that mistake again.” 

“Your father has already been punished for your disappearance. Fortunately, your younger brother, Gerik, was able to take over the throne. Not sure if Daddy’s going to recover from the loss of his right hand. It only seemed fair: I was missing mine, he should miss his.”

Ja’red squeezed his eyes shut and struggled to breathe. His father…guilt crushed down on him. His dad was an abusive dick, sure, but Ja’red wasn’t sure the man deserved that. The Lycan people needed their leader. If he hadn’t rushed to grab Jensen, he would still be back on Vega where he belonged and his father would be in one piece. He wished he could see the prince’s face, he wanted to look into the man’s eyes as he spoke. He couldn’t always read the prince perfectly, but he needed to know how much of this was a lie to torment him, or if he was telling the truth. Unfortunately, the prince was twisted enough Ja'red could believe he would do all of it. 

Ja’red felt sick, like he was going to throw up. The prince’s hand slid along his side and curved up around his shoulder. Ja’red’s shoulder blade twitched, like his body was trying to shake off the man’s touch even when he couldn’t move. He heard a deep chuckle, as if this was all quite amusing to the Prince. It probably was.

“So I was thinking, if you can’t be the well behaved little omega bitch you’re supposed to be, after how good I’ve been to you all these years, we’ll just have to try a different route. This time around you’ll be my personal slave. No more retreats and personal staff, no more private mansions. A bitch like you only responds to one thing, a controlling hand – and that’ll be me. You’ve used up all my good will, pup. Now you’ll produce, or we’ll see what we need to cut off Gerik. Or maybe better yet, your pretty slave.” Ja’red felt the world go dark, and he struggled to breathe, struggled to take in what the prince was saying.

Jeffra Deen’s face suddenly swam into Ja’red’s tear filled view. “You’re going to be a good little omega for me this time around, now aren’t you? Get our war effort back on track and win this, once and for all. Do that, and maybe I’ll let your slave live.” Ja’red felt his body tense, and the Prince laughed. Ja’red could see the smile of satisfaction on the prince’s face as he recognized he’d hit on something here. He let another little piece of information slip, “Oh yeah, I have him here. Right now he’s in my bed, can hardly wait for my return, that cat of yours. You act right, and I’ll let you see him, maybe even let him fuck you. That’s what you omegas like, isn’t it, a good fucking? But only if you’ve been a good boy and proven to me you’re worthy of a treat. 'Cause now it’s all about pleasing me – or punishment.”

“Just to start us off on the right foot so you’ll know how this relationship is going to work, we’ll start with a little orientation. This is how I warmed your slave up, he's a lot more receptive now that he has his mind right. And I’m sure it will work for you too.” Jeffra’ Deen’s deep laugh filled the room. “I want total access to that big brain of yours, Ja’red, and a hundred percent dedication, or I’ll know. And I’ll tap that sweet omega ass anytime I want or give you to my guards. My men would love a piece of you. You killed two of their comrades, two of my best hunters; they were only mercs, but still...you’ll have to pay for that too.” 

The Prince sighed and looked up at the ceiling thoughtfully, playing with his beard. “Yes that would work, you know, men have never been my first choice – well except for your Pussycat – I seem to have developed a penchant for cats – or at least your cat.”

Ja’red couldn’t suppress the growl that rumbled in his throat as his teeth bared. Mine! No one touched his alpha! The prince’s smile widened and his eyes gleamed darkly, “Ah, hit a sore spot with that, did I? Hmmm, we can work with that too, baby. But first we have to orient you to your new role.”

The prince rolled him over onto his stomach and shoved his legs apart. Ja’red swallowed in fear as the man’s hands trailed down his back and spread the cheeks of his ass. “I hear you omegas come with your own juice, so we won’t need much to get you going, huh?” He heard the prince spit and felt the wet, soft splat of it as it hit his sphincter. Ja’red wanted to cringe in embarrassment, scream, or break into tears, but nothing but a low, ragged moan came out.

“Oh wait. First things first.” He felt the prince step away from his body and heard the slide of a drawer as it opened. The prince returned to the head of the bed with something in his hands.

“Here’s a little welcome home present, boy.” Jeffra' Deen snapped the collar around Ja’red’s neck and rubbed the nape of his neck. Ja’red lay there in stunned shock as his were senses shut down, as though they'd been wrapped in layers of muffling cotton. It had been a while since he’d had the prison collar removed, and he'd gotten used to having all his faculties. Shut off as he was now, he had even less of a chance of reaching Jensen through their bond.

Jeffra’ Deen was still talking, “It’s got a nice little bonus I had built in to it; if I don’t feel you’re living up to your true potential, zap!” The prince illustrated as he pressed the red button on a little narrow remote in his hands, and Ja’red felt lightning slam through his body. He gurgled in pain as every muscle he owned tensed and tried to fly away from the bone at the same time. He arched off the bed so hard he thought his spine might snap, current pouring through him. His eyes rolled up in his head and he was close to blacking out when the prince said, “I think that’s enough for our first lesson.”

The charge cut off, and Ja’red flopped weakly back onto the bed. Still unable to control his own movements, he writhed in agony as aftershocks traveled up and down his length. His breath whistled in and out like a freight train, and he felt a warm puddle grow under him as blackness crept in around the edges of his vision.

The prince put down the remote and returned to the foot of the bed. Ja’red felt it sag under the prince’s weight, and the brush of pants between his spread legs when the prince knelt there again. All he could think of was another room and Va’rul and Gonga and pain and he wanted to howl and bite and struggle….’No’. 

The Demon Prince’s hand was suddenly on the back of his neck, massaging up under the edge of the collar. The burning trail of his fingers on his skin brought him back to consciousness. “Come on, baby, don’t be like that. Stay with me now, or I’ll have to punish you again, and you don’t want that already, do you? Besides, I’m sure an omega like you can take it up the ass like a champion. Show me what you can do. Yes?”

The prince’s hand left his neck and then both hands were at his hips. He felt the nudge of the prince’s fat cock at his entrance. The broad head slipped in on the bed of spittle and for once in his life, Ja’red was grateful to be an omega as the prince sank into him. Ja’red panted as he tried to absorb the pain of entry and the nothisalpha burn. He could feel a keening wail start to come from somewhere, an animal hurt sound. He realized dimly it was him making that noise.

“Oh so good, baby, got all those omega juices working for you. Makes me feel so good, such a nice tight fit, like a glove. Didn’t you let that slave of yours fuck you? We gotta get that hole loosened up a bit. I think I’ve been missing something here; I may have been a bit hasty in my preferences. Just like a frakin’ velvet vise on my cock. Genius, boy, just genius.”

The prince kept up a steady stream of filthy banter as he speared him, slamming in as far as he could go until his balls started to slap Ja’red’s ass in a steady rhythm. Finally, groaning and shivering, he felt the prince shoot his load. Ja’red closed his eyes, waiting for the prince to pull out. 

As the prince’s cock slid out of him, he felt the wet trickle of seed drip down onto his balls. Ja’red tried to hold back the tears that threatened again. The prince rolled him over onto his back and patted his hip.

“Now that we’ve established who’s top dog in our relationship, so to speak, I want you to get some sleep. When you wake up, I want you to start getting up to speed on the offensive, there’s a comp unit in the corner, it has all the information you need – but no outside access. I want a report by tomorrow afternoon and by the time we get back to Vega, I want options on the table and results within the week. Now I’m gonna go spend time with my Pussycat. Oh don’t worry, you’ll be able to watch.” Deen swung a monitor around so it was now in Ja’red’s field of view and turned it on. 

On it he could see a darkened room and a man hanging from chains at the foot of a four poster bed. The prince patted Ja’red’s leg and strolled out of view. Ja’red’s breath inhaled sharply, it was Jensen! He tried to twist his neck frantically toward the prince as he strolled from the cabin. “Wait, what are you going to do to him? He’s done nothing… He can’t help you. D-Don’t hurt him. Please…” 

He heard the whoosh of the door as it closed on his desperate pleas. It took a force of will for Ja’red not to break down and cry. He had to be strong, he had to be ready for any opening, any weakness the prince showed. He had to get Jensen free, get his mate to safety. 

He reached out through the bond desperate now to feel his alpha, assure himself after the Prince’s threats that he was okay. It took time and was like searching through thick syrup, but eventually he felt it, the barest brush of soft fur through the link. His heart soared with joy. His alpha was asleep in his bonds, but still very much alive. Holding that warm though close to his heart Ja’red clenched his teeth and waited for Jeffra’ Deen to reach his mate.

: : :

Jensen groaned aloud, his arms felt like they were being pulled from his shoulder sockets. He bit back a whimper as he struggled to open his eyes. He had an instant feeling of déjà vu as he found himself poised spread eagle at the foot of a large bed, his full weight hanging from his wrists, chained to tall posts at either corner of the bed.

He felt another presence in the darkened room, the sweet sickening familiar smell of cigar alerting him to the fact the Demon Prince was there with him. He hung quietly, unwilling to alert the man he had awakened.

“I know you’re awake Pussycat, you can’t hide from me.” The princes’ dark drawl whispered out of the dark. The charade over, Jensen indulged his curiosity and raised his head. The prince was sprawled amid a mound of cushions at the head of the bed, simply watching him. He saw smoke curling blue black around the glint of white teeth in the dark as the prince took another puff on his cigar and smiled up at him through the curling smoke.

“Didn’t think we’d meet again, did you, Pussycat? Thought you’d gotten away free and clear? You and your wolf running to hide under the skirt-tails of your new Emissary. Well I’ve got you now boy. Actually, I’ve got you both.” 

Jensen tried to get his numb feet under him on the bed and take some of the pressure off his manacled hands. The chains holding him clicked softly in the dark as he staggered to his feet. He moaned out loud as the pressure was relieved from his wrists. He could feel the wet slick of blood where the chains had dug in. 

Jensen ground his teeth together and he felt rage boil through him. “If you’ve hurt him…” He bit off his response, so stupid to rise to the Prince’s bait, stupid, stupid fool.

“If I’ve hurt him what? What you gonna do about it boy? Sic your kittycat on me?” Jeffra’ Deen laughed, low and mean. “That’s ain’t happenin’ sweetheart, your furry little butt is mine now as much mine as his is.” The prince rose and prowled around the bed. Jensen forced himself to settle. He clenched his fists as he tried to control his breathing.

“Gotta say, I can see what you see in his sweet little omega ass though. Seeing him all stripped down and at my mercy… I hadn’t realized what I was missing. And if your boy isn’t good, very good, I’ll have to teach him his place. That’s where you come in, Pussycat, 'cause our boy's a stubborn son of a bitch and I don’t think a lot gets through that thick skull of his. Hurting him will just make him more stubborn. But hurtin’ his slave… Now that’s a nice little lever to keep our boy in line. And oh, so much fun for me.” 

The prince leaned against the bedpost on Jensen’s left and blew out another ring of smoke. It curled around the blue black shadows of his face and forehead ridges, making him look every inch the Demon Prince. “I have to say I'd forgot just how pretty you are, just how much I wanted to explore those spots, see you burn for release or pain. I’m good either way.” The prince whispered in his ear.

Jensen’s mind was a whirl of confusion. The last thing he remembered was being on a run with Ja’red, then a dart, and his cat snarling in anger when he couldn’t move. He felt dizzy and weak, whatever was in the shot was still affecting him. And where were his troops? Security? Surely they would burst in soon. Jensen shook his head, trying to clear it. And where was Ja’red? He reached through the bond to touch his mate and Ja’red seemed very far away. Jensen could barely make out the touch of the wolf in the link. He seemed to be awake but confused, maybe from the same drugs affecting Jensen. 

While he was lost in the bond, the Prince had moved slowly behind Jensen, where he was chained, and it took a force of will not to try and lean away when he realized this. The prince’s hands came from behind him and both were suddenly ringing his neck, squeezing lightly, threateningly, as he hummed in disapproval. Jensen’s breath left him as he was reminded again of how the Prince’s touch burned, the notmyomegawrong burn across his skin. “Where’s your collar boy? Your wolf think he could free you?” He felt one of the Prince’s hands reach down to splay over the brand on his hip, ruffling the soft hair there. 

Jensen snarled before he could help himself, “What have you done with him you bastard?” Anger and fear for his mate fueled his rage.

Lightning-quick, the prince moved around beside him. Jensen's face was suddenly yanked to the side, to look directly into the prince’s eyes, the prince’s remaining hand slid up Jensen’s throat to grasp under his jaw. Jeffra’ Deen held him as he gasped and struggled uselessly against the punishing hold. His chains rattled frantically as he ran out of air. When Jensen’s struggles weakened he leaned in and licked a slow line that felt like molten lava up Jensen’s cheek before freeing him. Jensen choked, hoarse, cat-like coughs as the pressure on his throat was released and he slouched forward gasping for breath.

Jensen dropped his head submissively. The prince tickled under his chin almost dotingly and growled, “There, so much better. That’s a good boy.”

Jensen barely managed to bite back a rebuttal before his brain reengaged. He had to be smarter than this, not allow himself to be baited so easily. The prince seemed to have no idea he was the new Emissary and that Ja’red was his mate. Jeffra’ Deen seemed to still think Jensen was a slave. It would be good to keep it that way for now, they might have a better chance of escape.

The Prince returned momentarily, holding something in front of Jensen’s face for him to look at. It was a gold collar, tiny suppression light visible on the front. Jensen inhaled sharply. Engraved on the front of the collar were words Jensen could now read, “Pussycat”. He couldn’t hide the shudder of disgust that ran through him as the Prince ran his hand possessively along his collar bone and brought the collar up to his throat.

“First we’ll start with this and then I’ve got a few ideas on how to get reacquainted.”

The collar snapped around Jensen’s neck with finality. He could feel the low grade thrum of power as the suppressor kicked in and Jensen’s senses dulled. He reached out blindly through the link, but Ja’red’s barely there presence was being pushed back even more by the collar’s cancelation wave, his link to his mate muffled by the power wave of the inhibitor. His cat cried out and Jensen couldn’t help the rumbling snarl that escaped him. He’d forgotten what it was like to live with only half his soul.

“There, so much better, don’t you think? Now that you’re dressed,” Jeffra’ Deen smirked as his gaze traveled over Jensen’s naked form, “Now, I want you to look up into the vidcam, so your Master can see your pretty face. He’s going to have a ring side seat every time he messes up.” Jeffra’ Dean pointed cheerfully to the small grey orb that floated quietly near the ceiling. It looked like a miniature model of the Deathstar hovering above them in the room, tiny and menacing. Jensen squinted and could see one red light blinking slowly. He swallowed in shock. The prince was filming him, broadcasting everything he did to him to Ja’red – and who knew where else and to whom? He would use Jensen as whipping boy to get Ja'red to work for the Imperium. 

Jensen quickly yelled out, praying the feed was live. “Don’t help this bastard, Ja’red, Felix must come first, before either of us. Stay strong!”

Jeffra’ Deen’s meaty hand slammed hard across his face before he finished saying the words. Rabbit punches to his kidneys had him crumpling over in pain, losing his balance, falling helplessly, cuffs biting into his wrists, shoulders screaming at the sudden weight. Jensen grunted as his head spun round, and he clamped his jaw, refusing to give voice to his agony.

Jensen would reconsider that bravery, because before he could get his feet under him to take the weight off his arms, Jeffra’ Deen was strapping a ball gag in his mouth, the buckle catching on skin and hair in his uncaring rage.

The prince stood at the side of the bed, glowering at Jensen, hands curled into fists as he caught his breath. Jensen couldn’t smile like he wanted to with the gag in his mouth, but he wisely lowered his head to hide the victory in his eyes. Hopefully his mate had been warned, the message received. He started as the prince’s hand came up to trail along his tufts. He shivered at the seemingly gentle touch, the man’s quicksilver moods unpredictable and deadly.

“Now see, that there will cost your wolf, and don’t think it won’t. Your good behavior affects his well being and health, just as surely as his affects yours. I wasn’t going to start so quickly but it’s evident from that little stunt that a little refresher course for you is in order.” Jensen’s breath froze in his chest at the prince’s cruel tone and the man pinched his ear cruelly. ”And if you forget who you are again, what you are, I’m always happy to punish your wolf for it.” 

Jensen could hear the menace in the man’s voice and he shivered and kept his head down submissively. He had forgotten how very much the prince scared him. His skin burned where the prince touched him. But it wasn’t just his tainted touch, the evil that radiated off the man made both him and his cat cringe, even more so now that his mate was in this egotistical sadist’s power. 

The prince chuckled, ruffling Jensen’s hair affectionately before he strolled over to a table at the side of the room and returned with a syringe. 

Jensen started to shake his head, he didn't know what was in that needle, but he didn’t want any part of it. He began to mewl behind the gag, ‘no, no, no’. His body thrashed weakly, ineffectually in his bonds, but he tried anyway, to lean back and away from the prince’s advance. Deen ran his hand over his back comfortingly and Jensen arched back at the pain of his touch. It’ll be alright boy, just a little something to remind you what you are.”

Jensen snarled helplessly as the needle sank into his neck.

Deen’s hand snaked forward and twisted his nipple, “There Pussycat, this won’t take long. And we’ll have to see about getting those nipples pierced. They are just way too perky not to have something in them.”

Jensen felt dizzy and the room started to darken. His heart was pounding like a drum.

He felt the prince lean against his back, wrapping his arms around Jensen’s chest with an appreciative growl. He moved to nuzzle his face against Jensen’s neck, the rub of his beard a slight burn. “It’ll be all better soon Pussycat. And let’s hope that with one less sense, you’ll be able to focus better on the things you should.”

‘WW-what?’ Jensen thought as the room listed sideways, going darker, like someone was slowly dialing the lights down.

“Noooo,” Jensen breathed out muffled and indistinct through the gag. As he was plunged into darkness his mind went instantly to his hours of pain and degradation at Ja’red's hands. He felt instantly guilty even comparing his mate to something as vile as the prince, but he couldn’t help it and he trembled in the prince’s hold. 

The room was completely black now. Jensen whimpered, and even so far removed from him now, he felt his cat whine in sympathy. The Prince’s breath chuffed against his ear as he said, “And now we’ll get started.” Jensen felt the blades of the vibra whip caress gently across his back, and then he felt them open. Jensen whimpered through his gag and the Prince began to laugh. “Now we’ll have to unbuckle that. Wouldn’t want your mate to miss the show.”

The fear the darkness brought was very real.

: : :

Ja’red was finally able to move, but he wasn’t going anywhere, he realized grimly. While he slept, a chain had been attached between his new collar and the headboard. It had enough slack to reach the small lavatory just off to the right of the bed and the desk set up in the corner. He couldn’t get within two feet of the door though, or it’s control panel. Head still aching, his ass bruised and bleeding, Ja’red carefully eased himself up to sitting. He tried to gather his thoughts, assess his situation. 

After the Prince had finished punishing Jensen he had lain awake for hours, his mate's screams of pain echoing in his mind. His eyes had remained glued to the monitor the whole time. If Jensen had to endure this, the very least Ja’red would do is bear witness. Silent tears tracked down his face; Ja’red, still under the sway of the drugs, was helpless to brush them away. Helpless to make anything go away, least of all his mate’s pain.

He watched as his mate’s twitching body eventually grew still and the screaming trailed away. Deen cut Ja'red's unconscious alpha down and left him chained and bleeding on the floor at the foot of the bed, as the Prince readied himself for sleep. Ja’red watched every moan, every twitch of his mate’s body, tormenting himself with "what ifs" and "what might have beens". The words his alpha had yelled out desperately before the pain had begun had burnt themselves into his mind. 

His alpha wanted him to choose Felix over himself, wanted him to choose Felix over each other and Ja’red wasn't sure he could do that. He worried at his lip, already bleeding from biting at it through the night. It would be an easy choice if it was only Ja’red, but to be forced to watch the Prince torture Jensen, Ja’red wasn’t sure he was that strong. He would have to try, though. Rationally, he knew his alpha was right, but realistically he couldn’t guarantee he wouldn’t break the next time he saw his alpha bleed. The only thing making him take grim hold of his alpha’s direction was the knowledge that no matter what Ja'red did, Jeffra’ Deen could not be trusted. Ja’red knew the only way out of this was to find a third option, one that took them safely out of Deen’s grasp – escape.

He rewound in his head the conversation with the prince from the previous evening again and it suddenly occurred to him, as it must have done to Jensen, that Jeffra’ Deen had no idea who Jensen really was. He had been after Ja’red, and capturing Jensen had been just a byproduct of that goal. The prince was completely unaware he had the Emissary in his grasp. It didn’t put Jensen out of danger, but at least he wasn’t in the prince’s sights specifically, either. 

Ja’red had to bite his tongue to keep the sudden fierce grin from spreading across his face. He didn’t know if the room was monitored or not, but knowing the prince, he was sure it was. He didn’t want to imagine what the prince would do if he found out he had the leader of the Alliance right here under his thumb. Ja’red knew he had to do everything in his power to make sure the prince didn’t find that out, and use his big brain, as Jensen was so fond of calling it, to figure out a way out for both of them. 

He looked at the computer he’d been ordered to use with disgust and no small measure of trepidation. He was about to defy the prince on order of his alpha and for his own good conscience. He couldn’t be a part of the Imperium’s quest for domination any longer. The prince would not find him so easy to manipulate this time around. There was too much at stake. If the Alliance fell, the entire galaxy would soon be at the mercy of Jeffra’ Deen and his father. Even his and Jensen’s lives paled in comparison to that terrible fate. He vowed to keep this pledge no matter what pain and anguish came of it. 

This wolf had teeth. But maybe there was a smarter way to go about this.

: : :

Jeffra’ Deen entered the cabin and Jensen tried to control the fear response that was nearly Pavlovian when it came to the prince. He would believe it was almost irrational, except the prince was a sadistic bastard and worthy of being feared. Jensen was surprised how quickly his own instincts had dulled. He had lived in survival mode as a slave for so long, just taken it all and tried to somehow keep going with a small ray of hope in his heart that things would turn out alright. Then he’d gotten everything he’d ever dreamed of and more, freedom, a mate, love – hell, even the rule of an empire; truly the stuff of dreams. Now it was all snatched away in the blink of an eye and Jensen was caught reeling and defenseless in the whiplash of it all. He felt weak and vulnerable in a way he never had before. Jeffra’ Deen had him balancing on a knife edge, and he wasn’t sure he would make it out of this catastrophe without being slashed and left to bleed, and his mate along with him. 

A spasm tore through his left leg again and he started to tremble, his heels dipping precariously low. He felt the sizzle of the jolt plate arc as he got too close. He whined in pain and raised himself again on tiptoe, his muscles cramping. He couldn’t last much longer, the prince must know this. Maybe that was the point.

He jumped when a hand fell on his shoulder. “How you doing sweetheart? Can you last a little longer for me? I want your master to see what he’s caused.” Jeffra’ Deen’s thumb was rubbing slow circles in his flesh, still gentle, but Jensen could feel agitation coming off him, and he sensed deep upset from his wolf through the bond. What had happened?

“This is all on you, Ja’red. You’re the one making me do this, you hearin’ me, pup?” Deen released Jensen’s shoulder and he swayed, struggling to regain his balance. The prince paced back and forth in front of him, like a angry tiger. “Any pain your slave experiences is all on you, son. What, did you think I was a fool? Did you think you could just play along at this, pretend? Well this, this is what happens when you don’t hold up your end of the bargain. Your Pussycat pays the price.”

Jensen stiffened his spine at the adrenaline bolt of fear that flashed through him at the prince’s words. Whatever was coming, he had to be strong. He tried to ignore the slow trickle of sweat down his spine. Even in his exhaustion and pain he hadn’t forgotten. He knew it was there, the hovering sentinel above broadcasting his every weakness, his every whimper to Ja’red. He had to do his best by his mate, make him proud. He’d never done this particular sadist's trick before, but it was a rigged game. How could he balance there on tiptoes indefinitely? Sooner or later he was going to falter and his heels would touch down on the jolt plate. He wished he could see the prince's face, see what he was thinking, but maybe it was better this way, not having to see his lustful leers as he savored Jensen’s pain like a fine wine. He wheezed in a sharp breath when the hand on his shoulder squeezed painfully and he realized he’d forgotten to answer.

“S-sorry master. Yes, master, I can try to last longer.”

“Good boy. My good Pussycat.” Jensen was horrified at the rush of relief that washed through him at the sound of his Master’s approval.

He heard the prince sit down somewhere in front of him, making himself comfortable to watch the show.

“Just another hour Pussycat, want you to make me proud.”

Jensen wobbled there on his tiptoes, the manacles on his hands clipped behind his back, the leash to his collar strung up tightly overhead just the way Deen had left him. It was predicament bondage worthy of Deen’s twisted mind. If he let his toes dip, not only did he complete the circuit with the jolt plate waiting to shock him unconscious, but his collar would tighten and he would begin to choke. Just marvelous, Jensen thought, feeling the sweat break out all over his body. He wondered what it was Ja’red had refused to do this time. He couldn’t help the surge of pride in his wolf, even if it was at his expense. His calves started to shake, he knew he couldn’t last long.

He felt his heels dip one more time and jumped as the circuit zapped through him again. He tried to concentrate on something other than the unending black before his eyes and the tremble of his weakening flesh. It was the third time he’d been zapped in as many minutes.

He surged back up to his tiptoes, but exhaustion was dragging him down quicker each cycle. Jeffra’ Deen’s voice growled out, “You watching this Ja’red? This is all on you.”

Jensen teetered there suspended until suddenly he was falling. Electricity snapped through him, making his limbs weak as he danced in its synaptic embrace, and it burned. Bright hot pain lit up his exhausted limbs. He cried out, and then like a hangman’s noose, he felt the snap of the leash on his collar strangling him as he fell. He gasped and sputtered, electrical spikes zinging through him. He struggled to scream, but no noise came out as he slowly, inextricably, started to choke to death. 

: : :

Ja’red rushed to the bathroom loosing what little lunch he had left. The sight of Jeffra’ Deen torturing his mate sickened him. He could hear the sounds of Jensen’s pain and forced himself to stand. He owed his mate that much. If his plan was going to work Jeffra’ Deen had to believe he had broken Ja’red, forced him to comply and the prince knew that wouldn’t happen overnight. He just hoped that Jensen would be able to forgive him when this was over.

“Are you working yet, Ja’red? I want to see fingers on keyboard. No? Okay we’ll move on to the main event then and get our boy warmed up. Lean forward.”

Ja’red washed his mouth out, his hands gripping the sides of the sink as he heard the prince speak into the Vidcam. His wolf howled in anger and rubbed at his insides. He knew Jensen was helpless to obey the prince. 

Ja’red rubbed a weary hand over his face, he couldn’t break now. Part One of his plan had worked. After a suitable amount of time watching the prince ‘break’ his mate, he’d told Jeffra’ Deen he agreed to go along with him in order to save Jensen. It had been hard to watch his mate suffer, but Ja’red had to keep the end game in mind, his alpha’s wishes. 

Then he’d fed the prince just the right amount of bad advice to anger the man. Deen would have been suspicious if he’d actually capitulated completely or too quickly. The prince had an instinct for betrayal, and his sly, suspicious nature would suspect nothing less from those around him. Now caught red-handed in his small betrayal and his mate suitably chastened, Deen’s suspicions would die away and Ja’red could move into Part Two of his plan. 

Ja’red shuddered. It was unfair. He’d rather be the one taking the beatings, not the one causing it, but he guessed that was the point.

He walked unsteadily into the room. The prince’s shows always ended the same way. Fortunately, Jeffra’ Deen wanted to keep Jensen alive, so they couldn’t go on for too long.

: : :

“Yes, that’s enough slave.” The feel of prince’s cock as it rubbed up against the steaming hot thing that once was his ass was enough to make Jensen begin to cry, and he felt Deen lean forward, blanketing him. He heard the zip of Deen’s pants and without preamble Deen removed the butt plug from Jensen’s ass in one quick pull.

The prince’s voice was a rough growl in his ear. “You’re gonna please me boy, cause if you don’t that wolf of yours will pay the price next. Now, nice and loud for our audience, beg me to fuck you, slave.”

Jensen gasped in a pained breath and cried out, “Fuck me master, please.” And the broad head of Deen’s dick started to shove inside him. The prince laughed, “Of course slave, all you needed to do was ask.”

Jensen grunted in pain as the prince paused his advance. “Too busy fucking your wolf to get fucked?” The prince guessed. Jensen grunted in acknowledgement, “Yes, master.”

“Well we’ll get you stretched out in no time.” Jensen could feel the prince's smile as he rubbed his face across Jensen’s back. “These spots, these frakkin’ spots. They drive me wild.” The prince bottomed out and Jensen exhaled in relief. The prince paused, then pulled out almost completely only to shove back in hard and fast. “Ughhh so good, missed you. Missed this. We’ll be doing this a lot more of this now, especially if your wolf keeps acting up.” The prince promised with a chuckle. 

Jensen felt the prince rub over his prostate and he groaned at the feel of it sparking over his skin, then the prince deliberately shoved Jensen’s hips down so he didn’t stroke over that spot again. Jensen bit into the cushions, unwilling to humiliate himself anymore than he had to. 

Deen’s thrusts sped up and Jensen could only pray for it to be over soon. 

Eventually, huffing out a breath, the prince came. He pulled carelessly out of Jensen and kneeled up behind him, slapping Jensen hard in the ass. Jensen sucked in a shocked breath as the prince’s hand came into contact with his bruised and battered flesh. The prince chuckled and Jensen could hear the smile in his voice as he reached down to grasp Jensen’s limp and uninterested knot in his hand. 

“Hmm, interesting, and you manage to stuff all that inside your wolf? Impressive…We’ll have to see you in action some time. Maybe I’ll let you take the wolf one of these days if you’re both good.” 

The prince rose and Jensen sagged against the sofa, burying his face in the cushions so his watching mate couldn’t see his pain. Everything Jeffra’ Deen did was designed to motivate his mate into helping him, and Ja’red knew how close the Felix people were to losing. He wouldn’t, he couldn’t give in. 

Some minutes later, he felt Jeffra’ Dean swipe a wet cloth over his bottom and continued the cool and soapy trail over his dick and balls. The prince casually stuffed a butt plug back into his puffy entrance, sealing the spend that had been slowly trickling out from inside him. Jensen felt the low level burn of the notmyomega come inside him.

“Up on the bed now, sunshine.” The prince said. Wearily Jensen crawled unseeing into place, surprised that he would be allowed to sleep there. The prince positioned him on the bottom half of the bed then reattached his ankle manacles to the two bottom posts. Once he was tethered there, his hands still manacled together Deen slid between the silk sheets.

“ Come 'ere, boy.” Deen growled and Jensen found himself manhandled into the v of Jeffra’ Deen’s legs. “Open wide boy.”

Deen rubbed his dick across Jensen’s lips and without thinking Jensen opened his mouth. Deen fed his softened member into his mouth and then lay back. Jensen could taste the bitter taint of himself on the Prince’s cock. “Just suck on it gently, boy. I don’t want to get off, I just want my cock warmed and that there is your job from now on in.”

Jensen swallowed, his throat undulated over Deen’s limp dick. “Oh yeah and I want you to do that purr thing.” Jensen could hear the smirk in the prince’s voice.

Dutifully Jensen lay there purring softly, his master’s soft cock filling his mouth. He felt the waves of despair and humiliation cover him more effectively than the perpetual darkness he dwelt in. Ja’red watching his fall, from ruler and mate to slut and cockwarmer in only a handful of days. Jensen didn’t know what to do with the emotions welling up in him. He had survived so long by not allowing himself to think, not allowing himself to feel anything. Now all he did was feel. 

Lying there in the dark, Jensen felt himself breaking apart; reduced to a thing used and abused at will, and even his cat’s soothing purr couldn’t comfort him.

: : :

Ja’red turned away sickened. He’d forced himself, as he did with every punishment his cat suffered, to watch. To suffer with him. Even if his cat didn’t know it, he wasn’t alone in the dark. Ja’red turned wearily from the scene on the monitor, any desire for sleep or food having fled as he watched his mate bleed. He looked back at his own work screen and blew out a shuddery breath.

Now to launch Part Two. Ja’red was slowly and carefully shorting the troops' rations and spreading out supply lines, as he advised sending them on farther flung missions to juicy but non-critical targets within the Alliance. He was gradually breaking Deen’s fleet into smaller, more vulnerable groups. Groups small enough to be easily overtaken, if the Alliance knew where to strike. Given the results of the targets Ja’red had offered up and the disorganized resistance they had come into contact with from the Alliance so far, no one suspected a thing. 

Ja’red had already compiled a huge list in his mind of Imperium weak points and new troop movements. Once the Alliance had this information, a series of larger combined Alliance strikes could take out the smaller Imperium forces out one by one. They wouldn’t even see it coming. It could all work so perfectly. Now that Jeffra’ Deen assumed he had been cowed into submission, he could truly start to shift his plan into action. Then all they needed to do was escape. 

Time for Part Three.

: : :

Chapter Text



: : :

Days went by slowly on the ship, days without number, and Jensen could only assume they would arrive on Vega soon. After the first day spent chained in Deen’s rooms, Jensen's punishments became a regular part of the routine. Jensen tried to hang onto his pride in his mate for defying the prince while his soul cracked and shattered under the unending rounds of humiliation and pain. 

But after his last beating, things had shifted, and Jensen had a bit of a reprieve. The prince still beat him bloody on occasion, railing and ranting at Ja’red when he did, but mostly he just used him. When the Prince had other matters to attend to, or when Jensen was recovering from a particularly vicious punishment, he was left in the ship’s kennels, rather than master’s bedroom. 

So, when Jensen awoke to find himself in a cage, it wasn’t a huge surprise. Deen had dumped him there after another beating earlier in that morning for some supposed offense of the wolf’s. Jensen had fallen wearily asleep soon after being fed, too sore and exhausted to even pretend to stay alert. His first thought upon waking was ‘Ja’red’ as he thought he sensed his mate cry out in pain through the weakened bond. In outrage he forgot the cage and tried to stand. In the low space of the cage he ended up crouching in the metal prison. He breathed in wishing, not for the first time, that he could see and touch his mate, and tried to sense more through the bond. 

“He’s not here, Pussycat.”

The familiar voice echoing in the room startled him. He’d been so focused on Ja’red that he hadn’t even noticed another scent. He swung toward the voice and tilted his head, trying to pin down who it was. It wasn’t only that it was a different guard than the one he had been given over to earlier in the day, no, this was someone else, someone somehow familiar. Finally it came to him. “Chris'tian?” His voice sounded ragged to his ears, and he licked his dry, cracked lips.

“Yeah, it’s me, Pussycat,” Chris'tian answered his unspoken question, “And no, I haven’t seen your Master, but I do know the Prince is with him.”

Jensen’s mind wasn’t catching up fast enough. He felt the slosh of water as it slopped onto his naked knees as Chris'tian pushed a pan of water in through a slot near the bottom of the cage. He winced at the pain in his back as he picked it up. He was grateful for the liquid and he drank it all down.

“How is he, Master?” His voice still sounded raw and cracked as the words left his lips. 

“I don’t know, he won’t let me see Ja’red yet. He wouldn’t even let me guard you till now. Suspicious bastard.”

“W-would he really hurt him? They used to be friends,” Jensen asked, hopefully.

“It ain’t like that no more, Pussycat. The prince was pretty pissed with your master. He’s made him a slave too, and he wants results, pronto. It seems our side ain’t doin’ so well since your master defected. But I hear our wolf’s shutting down. Not eating, hardly sleeps. He’s still doing his job, so the prince can’t complain, but he’s not well and the prince is furious.”

Jensen rubbed a hand across his chest, gone suddenly tight in agitation as he tried to figure out what this meant, what his wolf was up to. His hands grabbed at the bars, and he pushed up against them, tracking Chris'tian’s location from his voice as he moved back and forth at the far end of the room.

“Chris'tian, you’ve got to help me, please, Chris'tian. The prince is insane; h-he’ll hurt Ja’red. You’ve been with Ja’red for years, you know how vulnerable he is. The Prince is capable of anything and what he’s doing right now, he could destroy Ja’red and the man has already been through so much. You’re the only one that can help. You’re still in the Prince’s good graces you can get us in there… to do something…You’ve got to help me save him.”

“You think I like this, Pussycat? I practically raised that boy, and the prince… damn it, I know the prince is hurting him, but I ain’t gonna take down the Imperium on my own, even with the help of a blind slave. Hell, why do you think I’m on kennel detail? And you can’t see, but trust me when I say I wear my own little gifts from the Prince. I fucked up by letting our boy escape. Prince didn’t forgive, he – hell, he ain’t never gonna forgive me. But he’s carved off as much of me as I can handle, I can’t take no more. No. I just gotta suck it up and be there to pick up the pieces when he’s through with him.”

Jensen, pressed his face up against the bars. Chris’tian was the first frail glimmer of hope he’d had yet and he couldn’t just let it go. 

“Please, Chris'tian… Kane, we have to try.”

: : :

After days spent either as the Prince’s punching bag or languishing in the kennel awaiting his pleasure, Jensen had almost lost all hope of ever actually seeing his mate alive again. Then the comm buzzed. 

Chris'tian answered, “Yes, sire?” 

“Clean up the slave and bring it here. Our pup hasn’t been eating and I think he needs a little extra incentive to stay healthy for me. Upfront and personal this time.”

Chris'tian nodded at Jensen and said, “You heard the man, move.”

Jensen was led by his leash, naked and shackled, down the corridor. He could feel the cool deck plates on his bare feet. It was a small ship, Mee-Kong class with only a crew of thirty, his matrix supplied. The prince must have been pretty confident he’d get in and out of the Felix system with no trouble to risk taking such a small vessel. Jensen made a mental note to check the duty rosters of the newly established perimeter watch; it suggested a traitor somewhere in the Felix ranks that the prince could travel so boldly into the heart of Alliance space. That is, if he ever saw Alliance space again as a free man.

Chris'tian shoved him through a cabin door, and Jensen landed in an undignified heap on the floor. He smelled his mate as soon as he entered the room and sensed the fear pouring off the man like water. He swung his head, trying to locate his wolf by scent alone. There, off to the left in the cabin. From his mate’s thready breathing, he knew Ja’red was hurting too. He cocked his head, hoping to hear the sound of Ja’red’s voice, but realized that was probably too much to ask under the circumstances. 

Jensen knew he probably looked a fright himself. He could feel the bloom of bruises all over his flesh and his back was covered in whip marks and blood streaks where the overzealous prince had sometimes beaten him unconscious. He wondered suddenly if his wolf hated himself for what was happening to Jensen? He shook his head in his darkness, none of this was on his wolf; it all rested with one man: Jeffra’ Deen.

“You forget your manners so fast, boy?” 

The Demon Prince’s gravely voice cracked like a whip in the room, and Jensen startled. He quickly pulled himself up onto his knees, head down toward the floor, knees spread wide, his eyes steadfastly glued to the floor. He didn’t try to mask the tremors that ran through his body, he had quickly realized the prince relished his pain.

“That’s more like it. I don’t need two slaves to correct. Go to your former master. Feed him his lunch. He seems to be having trouble eating these days.”

Jensen nodded and rose to find his way over to where Ja’red scent was located. 

A snap of Jeffra’ Deen’s fingers as he stood had him halting in fear. He dropped to his knees and started to crawl the rest of the way. It was awkward with the chains running between his manacled hands and feet. He could feel the Prince watching him. 

Ja’red’s scent grew stronger as Jensen neared. Jensen’s heart ached as he felt the pain and guilt coming off his wolf. He reached out his hand to feel his way forward, the chains between his manacles nearly silent as he came into contact with his mate’s naked leg. He kneeled up beside his mate. His hands fluttered up the line of his body, across Ja’red’s chest, and he could hear the shocked inhale of breath as Ja’red saw the true extent of his injuries in person, the sadness as Ja’red witnessed for himself that his mate was now blind. 

A kind hand reached out and grasped Jensen’s hand gently, and brought it to Ja’red’s cheek. 

Ja’red whimpered, “Jen? I knew you’d come.” His wolf leaned down towards him and pressed his cheek against Jensen’s as he sought comfort in the skin to skin contact. Jensen could feel his mate tremble. He breathed in deeply, taking in his mate’s scent. The healing bliss that was his mate’s touch made Jensen’s cat purr and he couldn’t regret the soft sound as it whispered over his mate’s skin. He wished he could see his mate with his own eyes. 

Jensen knew that whatever the prince had asked his mate to do, Ja’red had not bowed willingly to it. 

“I-I tried, Jensen, I tried. Gods help me. I stood up to him for as long as I could. I-I just I couldn't last… ” Ja’red’s whisper was a harsh rasp in Jensen’s ear. “I had to do what he wanted. B-but it’s killing me, Jen… I-I want you to know I love you, before...” Jensen could hear his mate lick his lips frantically and when he spoke again, his voice came out cracked and raw, “Jens, Jensen, whatever you do don’t do what he wants, don’t be like me.”

Jensen’s heart threatened to break in two and he leaned forward and interrupted his mate’s hurried confession. The kiss was soft and tender. Jensen deepened the kiss, and Ja’red stiffened with surprise as Jensen nudged the collar key that he held in his mouth into his mate's. Ja’red nodded nearly imperceptibly against Jensen’s cheek and hummed in approval. 

“That’s enough!” Jeffra’ Deen’s voice snapped like a whip through the quiet of the room and Ja’red jerked back as if in pain. The prince stalked over to them, “I try to be nice to you, I bring you your cat to feed you, and this is how you repay me. You’re not even trying to eat, keep up your part of the bargain. This, this is why you can’t have nice things, Ja’red, you have no sense of gratitude.” Furious, the prince reached out and grabbed one of Jensen’s manacled hands and took hold of one of his fingers and deliberately snapped the digit.

Jensen’s breath went out of him in a rush as the pain of the broken finger resonated through him. He hunched down, closing his eyes, his hand still in the prince’s grip. He could hear the soft mewl of Ja’red’s protest as the prince continued to speak.

“I treat you well, better than any omega has a right to, and this is what you do.” ‘Snap’, another finger was broken. Jeffra’ Deen moved his iron grasp over to the next digit, extending it out, probably for Ja’red to better see. Jensen twisted and writhed on the floor only barely remembering to hold back his screams. He could sense Kane looming close, the vibra whip in his hand crackling in threat. 

“I’ve been patient, Ja’red, but it ends here.” ‘Snap’, and Jensen sagged down toward the floor, his other hand wide on the carpet to help hold him upright, his arm still held high by the strength of Jeffra’ Deen’s hold. 

“You will do as you’re told,” ‘Snap’

The prince dropped Jensen’s hand. Jensen cradled it in his lap, the fingers crooked and wrong. Pain sliced through him and he could feel his body trembling in shock. He didn’t want to cry out. Didn’t want to make his wolf feel worse than he already did. He could feel Ja’red’s wolf throwing itself against the bond to try and reach and comfort him. He bit his lip and a snarl of pain slipped out. He tilted his head away, he didn’t want Ja’red to see the pain he knew might be showing on his face.

He had a moment to hope it was over before suddenly the Prince was snatching up his other hand. Jensen could barely catch his breath before the prince had it in a death grip, saliva spewing from his mouth as he raged, “And,” ‘Snap’, “ I.” ‘Snap’, “Want.” ‘Snap’, “Results.” ‘Snap’. “ And I want them now!” He snarled. Jensen felt Ja’red crumple to the floor beside him, holding his arms gently to keep him from dropping his ruined hands on the floor.

“But I understand you omegas are pretty slow. Maybe you need to see how a real slave obeys. Show you how it’s done.” Jeffra’ Deen reached down and dragged Jensen by the collar. He threw Jensen down on what felt like a bed, and, in shock, Jensen didn’t know whether to struggle or lie still. Everything he did seemed to make the situation worse. He heard Jeffra’ Deen loosening his belt and peeling down his pants.

He jerked as he felt a hand on his shoulder. “Those dambdable spots, so pretty boy. Forgot just how pretty you are, how much I wanted to fuck you again.” 

Jensen struggled in the prince’s hold, bucking up until he was able to turn towards where he thought Jeffra’ Deen’s leering face was and snarled, “Bite me, you bastard.” He couldn’t do it, couldn’t play along with the princes’ sick orders any more, no matter what the repercussions. He had reached his end, he had to fight.

“Why, you impertinent little shit. Seems to me you need to be shown your place again.” Jensen felt a finger shove into him and he arched back with a cry at the pain of the dry, thrusting digit. The prince chuckled sadistically. “Right… I forgot you alpha’s don’t come with your own juice. Too bad.” Jensen panted through the pain of his bent and twisted fingers, tried to stop himself from clenching down as he heard the sound of a cap and the prince’s hand returned. Jensen winced as the finger returned again, barely greased, to push inside him. He lunged forward, scrambling to get away from the Prince’s hand. 

“Stop, Master please!”

Jensen felt the prince’s fingers still, then gave one last harsh twist inside him and Jensen tried to hold back a groan of pain, but it hurt too much.

“Please, stop and I’ll do whatever you want.” Ja’red’s quiet voice seemed to fill the cabin.

Jeffra’ Deen withdrew his hand completely and wiped his oiled fingers on Jensen’s thighs.

“But I want to touch him, hold him, see how bad the damage is. Then I’ll do whatever you want,” Ja’red qualified.

He could practically see the slow, sly grin that came over Jeffra’ Deen’s face, so close to winning. The prince stood and said, “Sure, you got five minutes, then you prove it to me.” The prince moved back to take a seat and watch the show. 

“Free him,” the prince must have gestured toward Kane because the man stalked over to his tethered wolf and Jensen heard the clinking of chains. “Now crawl,” the prince ordered.

There was a slight pause as Jensen waited for Ja’red to come to him. 

“No, not you,” the prince sneered maliciously. “This one,” he said tapping Jensen’s side lightly where he still lay face down on the bed. The feel of the prince’s hand on his flesh revolted him, but Jensen nodded, and ground his teeth together. He began the slow crawl toward Ja’red's scent. He panted through the worst of the pain and kept crawling, his mate was waiting for him. Jensen tried to put weight only on the back of his palms and elbows so as not to put pressure or strain on his broken fingers. He had to stop twice, the agony too great. Finally, he was kneeling in front of his mate, head bowed, dizzy and exhausted. He whimpered, low and needy, he felt so broken inside. He didn’t think he could fight any longer. This had to work.

Ja’red reached out and brushed the knuckles of his hand gently along his cheek. Jensen leaned into the warmth and safety of his mate’s bulk. He started to shiver as shock set in. Ja’red carefully embraced him, mindful of his broken hands. His wolf touched his forehead to Jensen’s and wrapped his large hands around his shoulder and wound them around his neck. Under the cover of kissing his mate he slipped the lock into Jensen’s collar and Jensen heard the faint click of the collar opening and the suppression field shutting down. 

The bond snapped in place and Jensen felt a surge of relief as he felt his wolf’s emotions wash over him and the myomega sense of rightness in the world as they touched. Ja’red withdrew far enough to whisper, “Together, now!” and his wolf and cat acted as one as Jensen started to feed Ja’red power. He heard his mate tear the collar from his neck and rose to stand, moving in front of Jensen, sheltering him.

: : :

A deadly gleam appeared in Ja’red’s eyes and for the first time in a long time his fear fell away. He tapped Jensen’s shoulder reassuringly, the power already flowing to him through his mate, and his wolf shifted. He didn’t move fully into his wolf form, though. With Jensen funneling him the additional power he needed through the bond, Ja’red moved into a partial shift. His body roared with strength, and he felt like himself for the first time in a long time – not a victim, not an omega, not weak or useless, but an equal, a partner. Jensen’s equal, as the man had been trying to tell him for a long time now. He could do this, he would do this, he’d stand up for his mate and for himself and make them both proud.

He imagined no omega in history had ever wanted revenge more. He wanted to look the prince in the eyes when he confronted him. His hands shifted, wolf paw pads with razor sharp claws replacing human feet and hands, cinnamon colored streaks appearing across his now fur-covered forearms, and he felt his eyes glow with power. He turned toward the prince, clawed hands raised at his sides, shifting. Sharp teeth extending from his mouth, he advanced on his prey.

“What the frak! What kind of were is he… Jeezoo! Chris'tian, you fool, why isn’t his suppression collar working? Do something!” The panic stricken orders were hurled at Kane as the prince backed away. The wolf stalked toward him while he fumbled uselessly for his jumbler; Jeffra’ Deen barely had time to scream before Ja’red leapt. He grabbed the prince with one clawed hand and felt the nails dig into the soft flesh of the man’s neck as he hauled him up, his feet dangling above the floor. 

Chris'tian’s voice mused, “Oh, sire, I must have misplaced my key.” 

Ja’red stared into the prince’s shocked eyes and listened to his panicked, gurgled screams as his hand tightened on the prince’s neck and squeezed. His knew his cat wanted him to play with his prey, make Jeffra’ Deen suffer for what he had done, but wolves were much more methodical beasts. 

Ja’red just wanted him dead. 

Ja’red looked over his shoulder at his mate. Chris’tian was by Jensen’s side helping him to stand. Jensen turned instinctively toward him the wide bond open between them. With Jensen’s nod, he leaned forward, canines bared. A snarl, and he was tearing into the soft flesh of the prince’s neck. He felt the warm spray of arterial blood as it splattered across his chest. 

In one savage move, he released the prince’s dying body and tore his head from his shoulders. Ja’red stood over the decapitated husk and nodded to himself. It was a start. Blood fueled rage pounded in his ears, and he allowed himself a satisfied, feral grin before he shifted completely to his wolf form and stalked out of the cabin. He had much to do. He could feel the silent presence of Jensen’s cat padding along beside him through the bond. His mate would have his revenge as well.

Ja’red moved through the ship, a sleek, sylvan killing machine. 

He cut a swath of red from one deck to the next. There may have been innocents here but Ja’red’s wolf was well past the point of caring, they had allowed his mate to be hurt. No one would leave alive. He started at the ship’s helm and took down the captain and his bridge crew with frightening ease. He left their sightless bodies lying in pools of their own blood on the helm floor. He only shifted to operate transport tubes or unlock turbo lift doors. He had never let his wolf have such full rein and, free, it played mercilessly with its enemies, leaving the decks littered with the dead and dying as his animal’s outrage burned bright-hot.

He saved the two merc hunters for last. He had their scent. He tracked them leisurely through the blood soaked decks and found them cowering in their cabin, having tried to barricade the doors. It didn’t save them. Ja’red took them apart piece by piece, and his wolf howled with each of their screams. He wanted to let his mate know he was avenging him. Distantly he could hear his cat roar in response, and Ja’red smiled. A bloody, horrible smile. His bared sharp teeth the last thing the two hunters ever saw. He left them unrecognizable red lumps of flesh for having dared to hurt his mate.

He stalked back to his cat, a man again, a red wraith, hands still bearing claws, a mark of his growing power to hold both shapes so long. He went directly to the door to the captain’s cabin where Chris had quickly muttered he would take Jensen. Even not knowing, Ja’red could have followed his mate’s scent anywhere on the ship just then. When the door opened he growled, “Leave us.”

: : :

Chris'tian nodded, nearly bowed as he saw the red manwolf before him, his gleaming wolf’s claws still dripping gore. While Ja’red had reaped his revenge on the Imperium crew, Chris'tian had carefully helped Ja’red’s Felix move to the relative safety of the captain’s cabin. Jensen had gritted his teeth in agony as he helped him sit on the bed. In spite of his protests and questions about Ja’red, Kane had quickly put him under with some Medi-shots of Mercadol. Chris'tian wanted Ja'red's boy asleep for the painful process of using the ship’s MedLight on his poor, mangled hands. Awake, he knew Ja’red’s cat would be screaming in pain as his fingers were reformed, and then healed, and Kane was having none of that. He didn’t want his commander’s cat to be hurt under his watch any more than he could possibly help.

Under the guidance of the ship’s Med holo, Kane began the long careful process of righting the bones and healing the splintered remains. Kane placed the order with the holo unit for a vial of antidote to return Jensen’s sight. Using a hypo spray he injected the serum. The last thing he did was carefully run the MedLight over the Felix's bruised and beaten body. It would take several treatments to heal the whip scars and deeper bruising, but it was a start to righting more of the prince’s wrongs. 

Checking his blood levels one more time, Chris’tian assured himself that the meds would slowly work their way out of Jensen’s system, and his rest would become the more natural sleep of exhaustion. Chris’tian wrapped Ja’red’s cat in a soft ambergeese blanket he had found, and left him nestled safely in the captain’s double bed. When he awoke, he would be healed and whole again. Chris'tian hummed in satisfaction; their plan had gone well. 

As Chris'tian passed Ja’red on his way out of the cabin, the wolf stopped him with a bloody clawed hand on his shoulder, squeezing gently. His prismatic eyes flickered as he surveyed him carefully taking in the jagged scar that now ran down one side of his face, bisecting one white and glassy eye. Ja’red grimaced, the line of his mouth tightened with anger, and his gaze narrowed. Kane had no doubt his Commander knew who had put those scars there. If the prince had still been alive Chris’tian thought Ja’red might have killed him all over again. It brought a soft smile to Kane’s face.

Ja’red nodded in silent acknowledgement, one warrior to another. His own near feral smile had far too many teeth for Kane to not be afraid for his enemies. 

In a voice still almost a growl he said, “I knew, I knew if I could somehow manage to have Jensen in the same room we’d figure a way out. I knew my mate would come through, and he did.” Ja’red looked over at Jensen’s sleeping form with a fond look in his eyes and his body started to shift. When he had finally returned to the man, he turned his blood streaked face toward Kane and smiled, shaking his head wearily. “And thank you my friend. Don’t think I don’t know that you had something to do with Jensen having those keys. I am in your debt for my mate's life forever. Now forgive me, but I need to be alone with him. Signal the Alliance; they are just off the port bow. Tell them to bring us back to Felix and tell them that the Emissary and his Consort do not wish to be disturbed.”

: : :

Jensen’s eyelids fluttered open, he was still alive. He moaned as he sat up, so sore, gasping as he remembered his last moments with the prince and his ruined hands. Unthinking he brought them up in front of him to take a look, and he did... He could see; crystal clear vision as perfect as before. His nostrils flared and he smelt the sweet spicy scent of his mate. He glanced around and found Ja’red’s blood soaked and gore covered form curled up beside him on the bed, one large hand that had been around his waist while he slept now fallen to Jensen’s lap as he sat there in stunned silence. He reached up, remembering suddenly, and the collar was gone. They had done it. They were free.

The first time they made love, it was careful and slow. Each hurting and so cautious Jensen’s teeth ached with the sweet of it. Yearning and wanting so badly to crawl into each other’s skin. Looking for home. 

Like strangers they circled each other, at first flirty and light, then tender and shy as they relearned each other’s scent. Then their need had swelled and they had clung to each other like survivors in a storm, tossed and turned and holding tight. The storm only soothed by Jensen sliding tight and hot into the velvet core of his omega. Still knotted, bound together, Jensen fell asleep in the loving arms of his mate.

: : :

He was screaming, hands were holding him down, shaking him, and he whimpered in fear in the darkness. His whole body was shaking as Ja’red rode him, hard and unfeeling, forcing Jensen to come again and again, in the dark. Then he was being shoved down over a bench, his hands manacled to the supports. He could feel the blades of the vibra whip as they were shaken out over his shivering skin, Ja’red's voice a dark menace over him, “Gonna hurt you, Pussycat, gonna make you scream.” Then Ja’red stepped back, and it was the prince’s face that loomed over him out of the dark. A thin trail of smoke escaped his nostrils, curling up around the blue of his horns. Then he laughed and it was Ja’red and Ja’red held him down and Jensen was choking, gasping. He couldn’t breathe and he struggled to rise but he couldn’t.

“Jensen, Jensen wake up. You’re safe, you’re here with me. Jensen, come back to me now.” Jensen blinked, finally rising slowly to the surface. The grip of Ja’red’s arms, hard and bracing, jolted him to awareness. He looked up into the face of his wolf and his eyes went wide. Crying out he scrambled back, away, curling into a small ball shivering at the head of the bed, begging. “Please, no more, please, please.” He couldn’t stop the stream of words, and tears, the humiliation and fear hammering through him. 

He felt his wolf go still and somehow that, more than anything else Ja’red could have done, penetrated the haze. Jensen froze as sudden realization of where he was, what he had said came to him, and he rushed out, “Jay, god no, Jay I didn’t mean it. It was a dream. God Jay….” Ja’red rubbed his large hands over his face and huffed out a thready breath. His wolf stood, retreated. Jensen scrambled to gather together his shattered pride and right himself on the bed. Shivers still traveled through his body from the dream and he worked to separate nightmare from fact. 

“Are you okay now?” Ja’red’s voice from across the room.

Jensen nodded and tried to look up. Not quite ready to face his mate yet… and say what, exactly?

Ja’red made it easy for him by starting. “It’s okay man. I understand. I get it, I do. I-I just wish… And it’s not like I don’t deserve it all. It’s just, it kills me that it comes confused with him. If I could take it all back, do it differently, I would in a minute. I am so sorry for what I’ve done to you, Jensen. But I can’t be sorry for what we have, what we are to each other. I just hope that one day you can forgive me for what I’ve done.”

Jensen looked down at himself, at the unhealed marks the prince had put there. Remains of bruises, cuts and slashes covered him everywhere and his hands ached as he clenched his eyes tightly closed and condemned the prince once more to hell. And he thought about the road he and his wolf had traveled these last few months. Nothing much had been easy. He breathed out, calming himself, and looked at his wolf, his heart breaking at the pain in Ja’red’s face. The pain he’d put there. 

The stared at each other across the bed, and Jensen didn’t have the words to make it right. Ja’red sat down on the other side of the bed and as the silence grew he unfolded his large form and lay down. Jensen finally did the same. They both lay on either side of the bed that night, not touching, listening to each other breathe.

“Jay, we have to talk about this. I-it won’t go away on its own. Talk to me. Please.”

His wolf’s voice came out soft and low. “What can I say after what you’ve been through? What he put you through, what I put you through? Where do I start?” He felt Ja’red's weight shift on the mattress, and Jensen blindly reached out a hand to grasp for his mate. Ja’red’s larger one encompassed his and he squeezed.

“What do you do when the devil steals your face and shows up at your door.” Ja’red whispered hopelessly.

Jensen turned his head to look at his wolf, “Have I thanked you for saving me?”

“About as many times as I thanked you for saving me.” Ja’red soft smile was bitter sweet.

Jensen’s eyes grew serious as he forced himself to keep looking at his mate. “Seriously Jay, I –I, know it wasn’t you. These dreams, they’re a mishmash of everything. But you’re not him, you’re not evil. I would know in my heart if you were. You’re not. And you saved me. I couldn’t save you. I couldn’t save myself. What Jeffra’ Deen did to me…” Jensen shivered.

Ja’red reached out, wrapping his large hands around his mate, shifting him, pulling Jensen over to lie across Ja’red’s chest and into the shelter of his arms. He rubbed his hands in soothing strokes up and down along Jensen’s arms.

“He broke me Jay. The darkness, the pain, I-there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do to stop it from hurting. I’ve never been so afraid. I-I know things didn’t start out so well between us and I’m working on that, too, but I can’t regret meeting you, mating you, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me and that’s what made this all worse. One minute I’m the Emissary, happy and successful, and the next minute, I’m nothing. I thought I’d lost everything, but the worst part was, I thought I had lost you.”

“You can’t lose me. I’m stuck on you like glue. Omega strength glue.” Ja’red smiled softly, trying to soothe his mate.

“I was so proud of you Jay, not just for standing up to the Demon Prince, at the end, but for fighting him all the way along. I know you did.”

Ja’red looked away, anguished. “But every time I resisted, he hurt you. I know he did, I watched it happen. How can you forgive me?”

“Easily, happily. What you did was more important than you and me, more important than us. It was about saving both our peoples. If our people fell under total Imperium rule, it would have been the same as dying. Doing what you did, hanging tough, was so much more important than just you and me, Jay. And you did it.” Jensen's eyes welled with unshed tears. When had he become such a girl?

“We did it.” Ja’red rebutted. “Without you smuggling in the keys, this rebellion would never have gotten off the ground.”

“And we have Kane to thank for that. For taking a chance on us.”

Ja’red groaned dramatically, “Yeah, don’t remind me. Now I’ll never be able to not listen to his advice, he’ll lord this over me forever.”

Jensen laughed out loud, the bright hot feeling in his chest uncontainable. “Price of freedom man, price of freedom,” He smirked. “Oh, and you know, I totally let you kill Jeffra’ Deen. I could have taken him, but I wanted you to have him… my gift.” Jensen grinned up at his mate innocently. 

Ja’red rolled to look his alpha, tip tilted eyes widened in humor, a matching smirk on his face. “Right, those broken fingers weren’t in any way a hindrance. Not to mention being blind as a bat.”

“Exactly. I was just playing possum. Wanted to give you a chance to show your stuff. If I had to, I would have pulled out some top secret Felix mojo, these hands are lethal weapons you know.” Jensen purred.

Ja’red rolled his mate around so that Jensen was lying flat on the bed and Ja’red was looking down into his eyes. “And are you bluffing now?” Ja’red asked, dimples appearing in the creases of his mouth.

“Never,” Jensen whispered and proceeded to show his wolf just how well his fingers worked.

: : :

“Captain NaGal, you’ll forgive me and my mate for not meeting with you sooner. We needed….some alone time.” Jensen braced arms with the Felix captain. He and Ja’red stood ready to depart. The ship had already reached Felix, and they were about to land at the capital.

“I have to ask, how did you find us so quickly, Captain?” Ja’red asked, his forehead scrunched in puzzlement.

“My lord, I hope you’ll forgive us, but both of you still have embedded tracking chips.” 

“What do you mean? Our collars were removed ages ago.” Ja’red’s voice sounded a little shocked at the idea that they could still be tracked.

“Yes, Sire, the collar was removed, but there is also a chip subcutaneously embedded on your persons. In the Emissary’s case in the translation device behind his ear, in your case, my lord, in your neck when you were taken to prison.”

“So for months now you’ve known where we were all the time?” Jensen quirked an eyebrow, a dry, disapproving tone to his voice.

“It made it easier, sire, to keep track of you on your umm…runs without upsetting you with an obvious armed presence. When your signal disappeared off the planet, we were able to recalibrate for space. Fortunately we were able to scramble a Raptor class to follow you before you went out of range.”

“So why did it take days for me to sense your presence?”

“We were cloaked off the hull all the time, but we didn't know what was happening inside the ship. When the ship went off course and dropped out of sublight, that was our window. You and your consort had pretty much saved yourselves at that point. We just had a bit of cleaning up to do.” The captain grimaced, thinking of the blood soaked hallways and body parts strewn all over the Imperium ship and the Emissary’s wolf tearing a bloody swath through their enemies. 

“Well, thank you anyway for your assistance, Captain. I have to say I was a bit shocked when you mentioned the tracking devices were still active, but thinking on it a bit more I’m very grateful we had this advantage. I think moving forward it would be a good idea to keep these in place, I cannot be careless with my mate’s safety. I’ve very grateful to know you were keeping an eye on us and our safety through all of this. I had not suspected danger was so close at hand.”

“Your will, Sire.” The captain bowed with a wry grin and stepped back from the transport ring. She smiled slightly and through the Emissary and his consort had done quite well on their own tracking devices or not, but thought it prudent to stay quiet on the subject. “The war council is assembled as directed my lord. As soon as you touch down an air car will take you and your consort directly to them,” the ship's captain informed them.

“Very good, Captain. Thanks to my consort here, we have some pretty important surprises in store for the Imperium. This could be the turning point of the war.” Jensen smiled, a predatory gleam in his eyes and looked over with pride at his mate. “We might want to stop off and get some real clothes first though.” Jensen grimaced as he looked down. Once they decided to get dressed again, the only clothes she or Kane could lay his hands on were simple one piece crew uniforms from the ship’s stores. Something a bit more polished would be needed for the council meeting the Captain thought. Maybe something not labeled with the Imperium insignia. 

As the royal couple left, the captain suppressed a shiver. She was very, very glad they were on the same side. She would not want to face the Emissary or his wolf in battle.

: : :

Chapter Text

 


: : :

Jensen stared out the window watching the crowd gather in the plaza below. It was a hot sultry night, the air through the large windows off their suite like silk against the skin. The moon was still small and barely visible as the sky slowly darkened. More strongly than he’d ever experienced since becoming Emissary, Jensen could feel her sway, feel the tug of her call, feel the desire to run fast and hard under her silvery light and cry out in the joy of being alive. His cat purred in approval.

It looked like the whole populace of Sariddiuum and then some were turning out for tonight’s festivities. He could see vid cams hovering over the crowd, and he shuddered involuntarily as he flashed back, on the Demon Prince’s face looming over him as he raped him. It was like being a slave all over again, the feeling of helplessness and weakness as the Prince controlled every aspect of his life, his pleasure and his pain. 

He made himself turn his back and leave that memory behind as he moved to survey himself critically in the full length mirror. Gone was the thin, tired alien who had barely fit into Felix society. In its place stood a robust, confident being that exuded an aura of power – even menace, if he was totally honest with himself. Jensen held himself differently now, and he could swear his green eyes glowed brighter in the evening twilight. 

He could admit that he looked regal dressed in a black form-fitting suit, a bit of green piping at his collar and along his sleeves. It was the only bit of color, other than the soft glint of the light in his light blond hair and the gold circlet on his brow.

He was thankful Felix law prevented vid cording the royal family except during official events, no Felix paparazzi here hanging off fences and swinging vid cams through bedroom windows to get their million dollar shots. These people were civilized! 

Jensen smirked, he’d give a few million himself for the spectacular view of his omega sprawled out on their bed all loose limbed and fucked out, his skin still damp and hair flopping messy around his face, one large hand reaching back to hold him as they rocked gently together in the mid afternoon sun, Jensen’s knot still firmly locking them together. Ja’red arcing back against him, a soft snuffling cry breaking his lips as Jensen’s hot seed pumped into him. Ja’red coming dry after so many rounds, the sheets damp and sweaty now, his mate's scent curled around him, them, on everything, mine. So hungry to mark the long lean lines of golden flesh, leave soft bruises across his skin to lick and taste later. Teeth bared, the soft whimper of Ja’red’s pain as Jensen sinks them into his mark, the sign of their bond. Warmth blossoming in Jensen’s chest and tickling at the soft fur around his knot from the press and wiggle of Jensen’s wolf against his mate, easily borne. The sun no warmer than Jensen’s heart, full to bursting as he surveys the bounty that is his: his mate, his happiness, his joy. 

Jensen purred and shifted his stance to adjust for the sudden tightness in his immaculately tailored breeches. 

He tried to finish tying his tie, but he was pretty much hopeless, he’d have to ask for Ja’red’s help. 

It was becoming so easy to do so now. Ja’red’s walls had fallen; his guard between them was finally down. 

His fingers still ached, though the docs said it would pass. Jensen wasn’t sure if the pain was even real or just psychosomatic. All he knew was that any time he looked down at his freckle dusted knuckles he could hear the twig dry sound of them breaking, and he shuddered. He didn’t want to think about their time on the Prince’s ship, didn’t want to let the man’s ghost intrude on this celebratory mood, but he guessed it couldn’t be helped. 

It had only been a week since their ‘rescue from’ – or maybe more accurately their ‘defeat of’ Jeffra’ Deen. He couldn’t believe so little time had passed here in the real world, now that they were safe back in the bosom of his people, their people. He guessed time in hell was like that, much longer than time in the real world. 

Lost in thought, he startled when he felt hands slip around his waist. Ja’red’s voice soft was in his ear, his chin resting on Jensen’s shoulder. “You ready, or do I need to help you with something?” Ja’red’s hand slipped down and rubbed suggestively across Jensen’s cock.

Jensen looked up into the mirror and saw his wolf behind him, the long, lean length of him reflected in all its glory. Unruly cinnamon streaked hair fell over eyes that stared at him with a dark hunger. He loved the confidence and love that he saw shining out of those hazel depths. 

“Mmmm, been thinking about me I see.” The soft laugh Jensen heard in his mate's voice, the casual confidence that filled his wolf’s words now, made Jensen’s joyous mood soar even higher.  

“Maybe I was thinking about Marit’sia?” Jensen teased.

Ja’red stilled, and then growled softly against his neck, his teeth grazing lightly over Jensen’s collarbone, marking him in kind. 

Jensen laughed and bright hot sparks shivered over his skin as his mate’s hand reached around to rub possessively across his chest. It warmed some still broken and fragile thing inside him and stitched all his sharp, jagged edges together. Ja’red’s touch, his presence, made Jensen make sense. The hurt that remained was subtle, deeper; he had not escaped the prince’s clutches unscathed. Ja’red’s calming presence was the only thing that soothed him when he woke screaming in the middle of the night.

“Better not let Missha hear you say that. Speaking of, you need to get your furry butt in gear, they’ll be here soon.”

Jensen nodded absently, turned in the cage of his mate’s arms, and hummed. “Oh, I think there’s time.”

: : :

Their hands roamed, hard, desperate and wanting, over each other’s skin, biting and licking and grabbing. Maybe it was the frantic rush to pleasure each other before the ceremony began, but this time their lovemaking felt different somehow, closer, more intimate. Whether it was Ja’red’s rising heat, or the moon’s call, they grasped at each other desperate to touch, to take and be taken by alphaomegamine

Jensen snarled and pounced on his mate, pinning Ja’red’s hands to the bed. He dipped down to lick his raspy tongue over one of Ja’red’s nipples, and the morsel stiffened with need as he sucked and nipped at the dark flesh. Satisfied, he licked a line across his mate’s chest to the other side and softly lapped at the rising flesh.

Ja’red whimpered and tried to buck up against his alpha, tried to rub his red and aching cock against the hard flesh of his alpha’s stomach. Jensen’s cat snarled, and he bracketed his wolf’s hips with his thighs and squeezed until Ja’red was trapped. His wolf whimpered in need. “Jen, Jensen, please, please, babe. Need you so bad, been so long.” 

His wolf whined beneath him prettily, and it should have been enough, but something was riding Jensen’s skin; some urge to dominate, to possess and his cat wasn’t going to make it that easy.

“Tell me what you want, Jay, maybe I’ll give it to you.” Jensen stared down at his mate. He knew his eyelids had fallen near closed, leaving mere emerald glints in the dark of their cabin. Jensen had never felt like this before. A drugged, heavy feeling of power ran through him and all he wanted was to lick every inch of his wolf, mark him up so all he could scent was mine. Breed his bitch till he was fat and happy with his pup. Jensen’s head swam in confusion and his cat snarled in approval as it moved through him. His cat wanted this – wanted to play, wanted to reestablish its dominion over his wolf. 

Jensen’s voice growled out in the darkness, “I hated the thought of his hands on you – mine,” he snarled. “Want to kill him all over again.” Jensen’s head dipped down and kissed a wet trail along Ja’red neck. “I want to lick every inch of you, mark you up, make you mine again.” He kissed the corner of Ja’red mouth and swiped his tongue over his mate’s lips. 

Ja’red looked up at him, flushed with need, his hair sweaty and mussed, his hazel eyes blown nearly black with desire - desire for Jensen. 

He leaned down and sucked at a patch of skin near his mark and savored the desperation on his wolf’s skin. 

“Need you so bad,” Jared moaned, “Fuck! Fuck me, baby… Jensen, please.” His wolf wiggled prettily against him. He’d be even prettier hanging off Jensen’s knot, his cat purred.

“Need me babe? All you need to do is beg.” His cat snarled, smug and preening moving to lick at his mark. Jensen’s wolf whimpered in needily. “Please Jensen, please, I’m begging you. Want to feel you inside me, want to feel you knotting me. Want you to make me yours.” 

Jensen’s cat roared in triumph.

: : :

The loud rapping on the door to the private entrance of their suite had barely stopped before Missha stuck his head in. He yelled out, announcing in an overloud stage voice, “I’m here, you need to stop having the sex!”

Jensen could only shudder at what the guards posted at their suite’s entrance must think, but he shrugged and grinned as a loose sock went flying by his face. Ja’red and Jensen tumbled across each other, wrestling like puppies and grinning at each other like schoolboys as they hurried to push the last of their clothes back in place.

Jensen came to a skidding stop in the hall, Ja’red barely halting in time to avoid running over his mate. He still ended up bumping up against Jensen's back in his haste. Ja’red’s flustered, “Umm,” as he ran his hand through his hair, rebellious pieces sticking up everywhere, easily proclaimed their guilt. Jensen stood there grinning admiringly at his mate and Ja’red's cheeks pinked with embarrassment. Only Missha’s overly dramatic cough forced him to turn away from the delectable sight, a wry grin on his face as he rubbed at his neck. 

He was confronted with the sight of Missha grinning like a fool as he watched the pair of them with apparent glee.

Jensen couldn’t believe all the changes that had occurred over the last couple of months. From being his prisoner to becoming his dearest friend, Missha had been there with him through it all. 

It seemed only right to ask this man, who had crafted such a brilliant argument for change on Ja’red’s behalf to his people, to join them for the evening’s festivities. 

“Jen’son…Sire!” Missha’s mischievous grin widened and his eyes sparkled.

“It’s good to see you again, my friend. Thanks for coming.” Jensen stepped forward to grip Missha’s arm in welcome and then pulled the man into a hug, patting his back affectionately. Missha relaxed into the embrace. This was the man he knew; this was the man he’d drunk with at The Feathered Flutox. 

“So much has changed. It’s hard to believe.” Jensen’s voice was a low, earnest growl.

“And now we celebrate your accession at the Ceremony of Lights," Missha added. "I assume word has reached the Imperium of Prince Jeffra' Deen’s death?”

Jen’son nodded and rubbed his forehead. “Yes, maybe Ja’red shouldn’t have killed him, but I can’t regret it. He was an evil man, Missha. King Merridan is in negotiations to have his body returned. He’s playing nice for now, but the war’s far from over. There’ll be plenty of fighting yet, my friend. At least we’ve made a start.” Jensen turned to grab his mate’s hand as they walked into the main room.

“But enough of that,” Jensen continued, “I asked you over tonight to enjoy the festivities.”

Missha’s dubious expression and arched brow soon had Jensen guiltily confessing. “Okay, okay for two reasons: I wanted to see you again, but I know Ja’red wants to thank you too.” 

He poked Ja’red mercilessly in the ribs and Ja’red coughed up, “Um, yeah, I wanted to thank you, that’s right!” At Jensen’s slightly frazzled look at his wolf Ja’red shrugged and said innocently, “What? It’s your evil plan, I’m just along for the ride.”

“Yeah, right, thanks for the support oh, mate of mine.” Jensen turned as Ja’red, laughing, took a seat on the long white sectional and Missha plopped himself into a chair, already at home. Jensen rubbed at his neck again before he continued. 

“Well, I know you two didn’t meet under the best of circumstances, but what you’ve done for Ja’red, getting his real story out there, it’s meant a lot to both of us. If it had been up to my Generals the whole thing would be buried under Top Secret mission status and forgotten." 

Missha started to protest and Jensen waved him off.

“Don’t get me wrong, I know this was probably the career opportunity of a lifetime for you. It was hard enough discovering just what exactly you did for a living – I had to use my Emissary status to find out. But when you turned out to be in media and working in the Intelligence branch, it seemed almost too good to be true.” Jensen looked straight at the dark felix – he wanted him to really understand this.

“But what you did, Missha, getting my consort’s story of bravery and courage and almost epically feline – but in a wolf sort of way – story of retribution out there,” Jensen smirked and Ja’red rolled his eyes. “That has just been kind of – unbelievable.” Jensen continued to pace back and forth nervously. Missha actually sat up, serious for once, and listened quietly. 

“ Knowing you as well as I do, I know it probably ticked your irreverent cat’s fancy to rub the Felix people’s nose’s in it. Challenging their prejudice's against the Emissary’s mate, and one by one cutting them down. And Ja’red came across so well, sincere and earnest and humble, not like the real Ja’red at all." Jensen shot a grin at his wolf. "Probably hardest of all, you brought out how intelligent my mate is for all our people to see so they could understand what a valuable asset to the Felix Alliance Ja’red is. The wellspring of change and support that's grown out of that interview has been nothing short of miraculous and I – we – wanted to thank you.”

“So, does that mean I get a raise?” Missha quipped.

“No,” both Ja’red and Jensen answered in unison.

The three looked at each other and laughed. 

Jensen went to the sideboard to serve them up some drinks. He brought tumblers filled with a dark amber liquid, the closest thing Jensen could find to Scotch on this planet, one for each of them.

“So, to you!” Jensen tipped his glass to Missha and waited till everyone had taken a sip before he continued. “But also, I did ask you to come because I have a favor I wanted to ask.”

“No, you can’t have Marit’sia’s number. We’re dating now, you know.”

Ja’red’s eyebrows rose and he looked knowingly at Jensen with a slight smirk on his cat-like lips. Jensen laughed, head thrown back and eyes crinkled as he dissolved into helpless guffaws.

Jensen wiped the tears from his eyes, still chuckling. “Ha, ha, ha, no, Marit’sia is safe from me. I’m very happy with my mate, and speaking of, the favor is more to do with Ja’red.”

“Anything, sire.”

“God, Missha, call me Jensen, please; you’ve seen me a naked slave, and you’ve drunk me under the table. ‘Sire’ just doesn’t cut it after that.” Missha grinned and waited for Jensen to continue.

“I want you to continue to work with my mate, promoting his role here. He’s brilliant, as you well know; he has already singlehandedly turned the tide of the war against the Imperium with our Wolf’s Claw campaign. Thanks to the information Ja’red uncovered while he was the prince’s captive, and the cunning way he redirected the Imperium’s ships, we destroyed their fleets. It will be months, if not years, before they are up to fighting strength like that again, more than enough of a tactical advantage for us to end this war once and for all. 

"I know not everyone changes their mind overnight. But Ja’red and I have discussed it and I – we – want him to become more involved. I am appointing him to head up several ministries, but I need someone here to watch out for him in the committees and in the ministry, basically everywhere. I want you to make sure he is treated with the respect he deserves.”

Jensen forced himself to stop pacing and look at his friend. “I trust you, and more importantly, Ja’red trusts you. That’s more than I can say for a lot of Felix. So, will you do it, Missha? Care for my mate and protect him when I cannot be there? Safeguard him? He can win this war for us, I know it in my gut. We just need some of the more pigheaded Felix on the committees to see past his time in the Imperium. Need them to understand he was a hostage to his father’s good behavior when their home planet was overrun.” Jensen sighed and ran his fingers through his hair.

“It’ll be an ongoing task, but you’ve had such great success so far. I know if anyone can pull this off, it’s you. The man who can walk out of the Feathered Flutox with Marit’sia’s number can do anything.”

Missha laughed and clasped Jen’son’s arm. “Yes, you’re right, I can do the impossible. But I think when it comes to your wolf he’ll do it all himself. They’ve already fallen in love with him.”

“Fallen in love with who?” Ja’red snorted skeptically.

“With you, of course. You’ve already stolen the Felix people’s heart.”

Ja’red strode over, and, even prepared for it, Jensen could see the surprise in Missha’s face at how far up he had to look to take in Jensen’s mate, dressed in a dark green suit, a match to Jensen’s black outfit, black piping at his collar and sleeves to Jensen’s green. His opposite, his compliment, his mate. 

“Missha, I am in your debt. I know how hard you worked to get our…to get my story out fairly and I so appreciate it. I thank you.”

Serious, exotically tilted eyes stared down at him, and Jensen knew Missha, like himself, would do anything to protect this man, Jensen’s mate. 

“You are most welcome, Consort. You shall steal the Felix people’s hearts as you have stolen my friend’s.”

“Please, call me Ja’red. If we’re going to be working together, you’ll have to use my name.” Ja’red gave Missha a lop-sided grin.

“Very well then.” Missha grinned back. 

A chime rang throughout the room, and Jensen called out, “Enter.” 

Missha turned as the Guardian swept regally into the room, her entourage behind her. “It is time, my lords. The ceremony is about to begin.”

: : :

Missha watched as Jen’son reached over, a flash of sudden nervousness on his face as he took his mate’s hand and led him out onto the balcony. The moon glowed overhead, full and huge and silver bright, gazing down upon them all. Missha could feel his cat purr as he looked up at her reassuring presence. Below, thousands of Felix gathered, many holding lanterns for the ceremony. Missha couldn’t quite remember what was said that night, too engrossed in watching the body language of the wolf and the cat as they held hands and looked into each other’s eyes while the Guardian went through the ritual. 

At last the time came for the Emissary to light the first lantern. Instead of setting it aloft on his own, as was tradition, Jen’son turned to the crowd and asked their permission, on account of his still tender hands, if they would mind if his mate helped with the task. Stunned silence greeted his request at first, and then that silence turned into a cheer. Jensen turned to his mate, smiling in happiness at his people's approval, so they could do it together. They lit the little candle, and the delicate lantern began to glow softly. 

The couple lifted it up toward the sky, and slowly it rose and floated off on the cool evening breeze. Missha watched as a different fire kindled in the Emissary’s eyes when he turned to look at his mate. Missha swore he could hear the thousand people below sigh as Jensen pulled his wolf gently into his arms and kissed him. A cheer went up again, startling the couple apart. They looked out at the crowd, having forgotten their huge audience below. 

The people laughed and, as if on command, thousands of lanterns lit up. Soon the air was full of their soft, glowing shapes. The crowd started to chant requests for another kiss; Missha approved, the Felix people were as enchanted by the brave heroic wolf and his shy Emissary as he was himself. 

Backlit by the dazzling display of the many points of light, the couple stood shoulder to shoulder, holding hands and watching the spectacle. As the lanterns lofted gracefully toward the stars, this time it was Jensen’s wolf who turned and gathered his alpha into his arms, kissing him thoroughly. The crowd went wild, and a slightly dazed-looking Jensen grinned and shrugged sheepishly. 

Missha realized it was only a matter of when, not if, these two conquered not only the hearts of the Felix people, but the galaxy itself. As they leaned in together for another kiss, Missha knew how they would do it. It was simple.

They would start with one heart at a time.

: : :

: : :

 

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