When Jared first asked Jensen to move in with him, he said, “No.” Jared tried not to hold it against his mate, but the wincing that Jensen did every time that Jared got close was a good sign that he wasn’t succeeding in keeping his hurt and rejection from broadcasting clear across their bond.
Jensen had explained that humans didn’t do that, didn’t move so fast with the moving in and the nesting and the forever, but it was a concept that Jared just couldn’t ever quite grasp. He knew enough seraphs that had found their mate in a human, and those humans had always been eager to move in together. But, as Jensen infuriatingly pointed out, those humans were also younger and far less established than Jensen was.
There was a reason that the academies preferred younger students. They bonded easier and were less suspicious of the motivations of their mates. They were more open, less set in their ways. And they were living in dorms instead of nicely furnished nesting apartments, so there was a clear benefit to ‘shacking up’ as Chad put it.
Jensen was older and more stubborn, and it took nearly two weeks of Jared’s hurt and sadness for him to cave and call Chris to help move him into their apartment.
That fall had been the best fall that Jared had ever had. His mate, all curled up next to him in the evenings and giving him groggy kisses hello in the mornings, made it absolutely perfect. The sense of drive and devotion that he felt was astounding and eye opening and just perfect.
He loved Jensen. He loved him a lot, and just having him made him want to take to the skies and sing ballads at bigoted Mr. Nelson’s window at three in the morning just to show the old curmudgeon who it was that had ended up happy.
But as blissful as Jared was, he knew that their mating and subsequent nesting was hard on Jensen. The Ackleses had been warm enough to Jared, but his superior hearing had let him know that Jensen had gotten the third degree on his intentions towards Jared from both his mother and his father.
They, odd as it sounded, were worried that Jensen was just with Jared because of his seraph obsession. They thought that maybe he truly didn’t care for his mate at all and that he was possibly being unfair to Jared with his preoccupation with Jared’s species clouding his better judgment.
It hurt Jared to hear that even though he could understand their logic about it. Jensen had been almost frantic to get into the academy, and with them not knowing about mates and how certain humans were just born to bond with seraph, Jared could completely understand their concern. He just wished that he could set them straight about it, but that would mean a discussion that would lead to far worse things so he kept quiet.
Fall gave way into winter and as Jensen continued to work in the hospital, Jared continued going to school, trying to double his class load so that Jensen didn’t feel obligated to try to spend more time with him when his beautiful mate was so clearly overworked and needed to rest when at home instead of trying to summon energy to do things with his mate.
And, if Jared was honest with himself, his tired student routine often brought Jensen’s sympathetic and doting mate side out in full force. He would give Jared extra shoulder rubs and a little additional preening with bonus snuggling.
Jared knew he was using his mate, but the snuggling and closeness was mutually beneficial, so he didn’t feel too bad about it.
But there was mutually beneficial, and then there was doing something nice for your mate because they liked it. And if there was one thing that Jensen’s family was right about, it was that Jensen had a thing for the wings.
It wasn’t his fault. All mates had a fascination with their seraph’s wings to at least some extent. It was just that after all of his rejections, Jensen was skittish about voicing that want and desire to his mate. He groomed Jared and took care of his wings with the utmost care and precision, but he didn’t start to fondle them until they were already into some more serious heavy petting, and his hormones started taking control.
As Jensen’s mate, it was Jared’s duty to give him both what he yearned for and craved.
The whole Cupid thing was a little clichéd for Valentine’s Day. If Jared’s mother ever found out about the outfit, she wasn’t going to be able to look at him for at least half a year because she once read a female seraph article that spoke out against the objectification of winged people in human literature and how cupid was really just a subservient figure that was only there to fulfill the happiness of humans.
But what Jared’s mother didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her, and a little role play in the bedroom could be a good release and bonding exercise between mates.
And sure, Jared felt the tiniest bit awkward with the tiny, white loincloth draping across his altogethers, and the bow with its suction cupped, heart shaped tip was a little silly looking. But when Jensen came home to find Jared perching just so on the kitchen stool, wings flared and muscles gleaming with glittery body oil?
The look on his face was totally worth it.