alpha superpowers (GH pt 5)

tate’s horrible playlist that gets mentioned further down also exists here.

Another week passes in what would be a blur, if not for the handful of moments that Tate manages to steal with Kyah or Ari. He wants more, but with all of them – mostly Kyah – still tiptoeing around this new thing, it’s the best they can do.

But it means by the time Friday arrives and Tate is forced into a room with the rest of the pack’s management team, which is apparently what his brain has decided to call two generations of alphas and seconds, he’s tired. Astrid still isn’t speaking to him, Kyah didn’t seem interested in talking about their fight the week before, and none of the three of them are on the same page.

So it’s a disaster. He’s actually not sure how it could get worse.

“Oh no,” she whispers, clearly not meaning to say it out loud at all.

“Ky?” His nostrils flare, and oh. That’s how. He’s glad they’re sitting around a table because that’s the only thing hiding his very immediate, automatic response.

She turns to look at Astrid, her expression one of barely contained panic. Astrid is breathing through her mouth, and that’s- smart. Yeah. Smart.

It doesn’t help. The scent is already burned into his brain, lighting his veins on fire. He grips the arms of the chair; by some small miracle, they don’t crack.

“Dad, that’s all we had for today, right? All that was important?”

He has to notice it too – he and Isaiah both, although it’s supposed to be different for them, since they’re both mated and one is her dad.

Please please please say yes, Tate silently begs. He has to get out of there. There’s only so much that can be ignored as unavoidable biological impulse, and he doubts Isaiah is likely to be any more forgiving than usual.

“I think we can call it good, all things considered. Isiah, I’ll speak with you more later.”

Isiah nods and stands, waving Kyah out of the conference room.

Once the door shuts behind them, Reuben looks first at Astrid, then Tate. “You two good?”

Astrid exhales slowly and says, “Yeah.” She means it, of course. Even unmated, her control rivals Reuben’s.

Meanwhile, Tate keeps having to fight his attention away from the door.

Apparently Reuben takes that as answer enough because instead of asking again, he says, “I’m going you assume you still haven’t told her parents.”

Swallowing, Tate takes a deep breath through his mouth and says, “No. She wants to wait until-” he shrugs.

“Fantastic. Well, I have some calls to make, so I’ll leave you two to take care of everything else here.” He’s out of the room before either of them can protest, although he leaves the door open slightly to let air circulate.

At first, they work in silence. More accurately, Astrid does something on her laptop in stony silence while Tate tries to get his body under control, but once he manages that, he pulls the folder of paperwork across the table and starts going through it.

“Pass me the P&L for the property side.”

“Just the month or you want the annual?” he asks, already thumbing through to find both.

“Just the month.”

He extends it and Astrid takes it without looking at him. This happens a few more times before she sighs and shoves her laptop away, turning the full weight of her attention to Tate.

“Look, I won’t lie and say I’m not still mad or hurt or whatever, but-“

“You have every right to be, Apollo, I get it-“

“But-” she says, more loudly this time, “I’m tired of it. It sucks. You’re an idiot but I’ve always known you’re an idiot and I want my best friend back.”

“Yeah?” he says, grinning helplessly.

“Yeah. And it was funny as fuck watching you pop the world’s fastest hard on under the table,” she says, laughing.

Tate groans and drops his head into his hands. “Was it that noticeable?”

“I mean, I noticed. And Kyah sure as shit noticed.”

“But did he-“

“God, let’s hope not, or none of us will hear the end of it. I genuinely wonder sometimes if that man has gotten laid since before Kyah was born.”

“Oh god.”

“I know, right? Speaking of, have you two?” She gestures suggestively, grinning wickedly the entire time.

“No,” Tate says with a dramatic whine.

“Nothing? Seriously? Damn dude how long has it been?”

He lets his head drop to the table with a thud, thinking about the week before. About how Ari has been easier since – and possibly directly related, Kyah has too – but how there’s been nothing other than a few heated makeouts since then.

It’s bad enough that even that is enough to have his cock stirring to life in his pants.

Astrid laughs again, bright and familiar and absolutely merciless.

Somehow, they get through the files. The only thing that keeps Tate going is a Snapchat from Ari that he seems to have taken in another meeting with Reuben without anyone noticing. He looks impossibly bored.

Ari > is my brain leaking out of my ears noticeably?

Breathing a laugh, Tate had snapped a picture of Astrid glaring at her computer.

> Nope, but I think one of us might commit a crime soon. Dinner?

He gets a text back instead of a snap.

Ari > yeah ok. Kyah coming?

> No, she’s- I’ll explain later? It’s been a weird day.

Ari > ok. Everything ok?

> Yeah. Let me know when you get off? Any preference on food?

Ari > i’m down with whatever. You cooking?

> I can probably figure out something edible, yeah.

Ari > ok. Gotta go the big boss is staring at me

He smiles and puts his phone away.

“Keep it in your pants, Hansen. We’ve still got shit to do.”

“Yeah, yeah,” he grumbles.

Now that they’re working functionally again, he and Astrid make it through everything quickly enough, which leaves Tate’s afternoon free. He runs to the store on his way home after a quick mental checklist confirms that no, there really isn’t much of anything in his apartment.

And then, there’s nothing to do but wait. The long stretch of tension before someone’s at the door and he opens it to see Ari, fist raised to knock.

“Um. Hi.”

“Hi, sorry, I just-”

“Were you like, looking through the peep- oh, you don’t even have one.”

“I think it might be another one of those things? I dunno like our apartments are pretty well soundproofed between units because, y’know. Werewolves. Sounds and smells. But there’s still this like… sense.”

Ari laughs. “Like dogs knowing someone’s outside?”

Tate shrugs. “I guess? I’ve honestly never had a dog.”

“Wait, really?” Ari asks, following him inside.

He turns around to look at Ari, who’s toeing off his shoes. “How many dogs have you seen since you got here…?”

Ari’s face scrunches adorably as he thinks. “Huh.”

“Uh huh.”

“Why is that?”

He shrugs again and turns toward the kitchen, where food was more or less just waiting for Ari to arrive. Pressing play on his phone, he picks up the bag of cheese he’d been about to dump on top of the dish of lasagna.

“So what other weird things am I missing around here?” Ari asks, taking a seat at Tate’s table.

“Uhhh I dunno, the store only has a pharmacy section in case random people come through town.”

“Huh,” Ari says again.

“Mhmm. I guess like, there’s not much in terms of normal people drugs that are necessary or even like, effective on us. We don’t get sick, and most injury related stuff heals fast enough that no one bothers with like, pain meds.”

“God, you have no idea how excited I am to never get a sinus infection again.”

Tate laughs, and looks over his shoulder to see Ari smiling. “I’m gonna go ahead and imagine that they suck? I’ve never had one,” he says. Cheese layering finished, he turns the oven on to preheat and leans back against the counter.

“I mean I guess relatively they’re not that bad, but yeah being sick in general just kinda blows. Speaking of, what’s up with Kyah?”

“Oh. She uh, went into heat in the middle of a meeting with me, Astrid, Reuben, and her dad. So that was fucking great.”

“That sounds less than ideal?”

“I mean I don’t think it’s like, that early? Hers fluctuates a little more than mine or Astrids, but still should’ve seen it coming with how uhh, hot and cold she’s been the last week or so.”

“Ohhh yeah that would make sense.”

“Yep. So, meeting ended, she peaced out presumably to go lock herself in her parents’ basement for the next however many days, and I got to spend the rest of the day doing paperwork with Astrid.”

“So yeah, definitely explains why- wait are we seriously listening to Taylor Swift right now?”

The sudden change of topic makes Tate bark another laugh. “Look man-“

Ari grimaces.

“Ok I did something wrong. What?”

“It’s- I dunno. Like it’s dumb because I know it’s just one of those language things and you didn’t mean anything by it but like man doesn’t… really fit?” Ari shrugs, staring down at the floor.

“O…k? Like I won’t say I get it because I don’t really?” He holds up a hand to get Ari to let him finish. “I don’t care. Not like, ‘fuck that, I don’t care,’ but it doesn’t make a difference to me where my interest in you is concerned. Tell me what bothers you and what makes you happy and I’ll adjust accordingly. It’s chill. I can’t really read minds though.”

Ari’s expression changes. Goes pensive and considering in a way Tate hasn’t really seen.

“Here, we’ll start easy. Because I know you and Astrid sorta talked when you very first got here but that whole time period was… yeah. And really all she said was ‘don’t use she’ which like, ok, not super helpful. But like? He? They? One of the others that I definitely don’t know how they work but I’ll figure it out?”

That gets him a breathed laugh, at least, which Tate takes as a good sign. “‘He’ is ok. But it’s kinda like. I dunno. Either situations where I can’t get into it with people or like, situations where it’s understood that ‘he’ doesn’t come with the implications of like. Well, you, no offense.”

He smiles and holds out a hand. “C’mere?”

Ari gives him another long, considering look, then crosses to where Tate stands near the stove.  Moving slowly, Tate pulls him into a loose hug.

“I dunno. Like. Nothing really fits?” Ari says, voice thick and muffled against Tate’s chest. “I just want to be, and I know I’m not a girl. And like- damn if I don’t wish I could be. Girls are fuckin’ great. But that fits the least of anything.”

Tate lets his face drop to the top of Ari’s head, his lips just sort of resting there so that when he exhales, it messes up Ari’s hair and tickles his nose. “Ok.”

The disbelieving little laugh Ari lets out hurts. “Ok? It’s never ok. At best, it’s ok, but. Ok, but I’m going to ignore it. Ok, but if you bring it up and make a whole thing it’s annoying and you’re shoving it in my face. Ok, but-“



“It’s ok. Small, angry boyfriend, not-boyfriend, boyfriend-but-wrong – this is me telling you that I really do not mind. I just want you to be happy.”

With that, Ari seems to deflate all at once. “Why does it seem like you actually mean it?”

“Because I do. Tell me I’m lying.”

Tate can feel the sharp rise of Ari’s chest as he sniffs and wonders if he even realizes that he did it. That that’s how he checks for a lie now.

“What about dude? Is dude ok?”

Ari laughs, the sound still wet and tense, but better. “Yeah, dude is fine.”

“Thank god because that would be hard as fuck to get out of my vocabulary.”

For a moment, they just stand there in the easiest silence Tate has experienced since he’s been back. Since he found Ari in the first place. Maybe even ever. It’s comfortable, even after the preceding tension.

“Hey,” he says softly, leaning back to give Ari space without having to let him go. His train of thought stutters when Ari looks up at him, everything he meant to say overwhelmed by the green and gold of Ari’s eyes.

“Hi. You gonna keep trying to defend your thing for Taylor Swift, or is that done?”

Tate laughs quietly and lets his head tip back so he can think. “I guess it all kind of comes full circle. Because what I was gonna say is that I learned in, I dunno, high school? College? That as soon as girls found out I liked guys, I was more or less automatically gay and they weren’t interested. So at some point I sort of said fuck it and decided to do what I wanted and like what I liked and the people who were supposed to be in my life would be ok with it. Either it would work out or it wouldn’t.”

“That’s a little bit easier of a stance when you’re six-four and like, what, three hundred pounds?”

He laughs again and looks back at Ari. “I’m only 280, damn. You’re right, though. And I know I was lucky because I had people who were pretty much going to have my back either way.”

“Say that again?”


“The part about me being right.”

Smiling, Tate rests his chin on the top of Ari’s head again. “I don’t mind admitting when I’m wrong. Mostly. Don’t tell Kyah. Or her parents. Ha! God, I can only imagine the look on her dad’s face if he knew some of the things I’ve- well. Uh.”

Ari’s head moves under his, almost like he’s looking up. “Are we still talking about sex stuff? Because that’s like, never really bothered me. I’m not, I dunno, a jealous person or anything really?”

“Good to know. You don’t need to lose all respect for me right away, though. Give it another week or two. Plus like, you and Kyah have your whole thing and I don’t wanna put you in a weird spot because she definitely is.”

Shrugging, Ari says, “I mean I’m not gonna lie to her, but if she’s happier not knowing things that’s her prerogative. Some people are. I’m… not.”

He’s not sure what to say to that. Not sure of his own stance, even.

The oven beeps to signal that it’s done preheating and Tate sighs as Ari pulls away. He puts the lasagna in and sets a timer. When he turns back around, Ari has not only stolen his spot, but is sitting on the counter. It puts them much closer in height, but the gap is still too much for Tate to close when there’s so much still unsaid between them.

“Hey so uh. Can I ask another question?”

“Does it relate to what we were talking about a minute ago?” Ari asks, one eyebrow raised.

“Mm, kinda?”

Ari rolls his eyes and smiles. “Go ahead.”

“So uh. In regards to the uh- sex stuff-“

He’s interrupted by Ari’s laughter, sharp and genuine. “Sorry, you just went from being like, mister scandalous stories to super flustered like that and it was so good.”

“Glad you’re entertained.” He leans against the counter, his hip just barely brushing Ari’s knee. “No but I uh- look there’s no great way to ask but I’d kind of like a clear answer and I’m sure Kyah would too when she’s not, y’know, yeah. But in terms of like… physical shit? Are there words to avoid? Ones you prefer? Things that are off limits? I mean I know you’ve mentioned not knowing on bottoming which is fine, I’ll figure it out when the time comes and that’s a good ways out. But like, there’s all sorts of other things. Hands. Oral.”

“I mean, are you requesting or offering?”

Without meaning to, Tate licks his lips. Ari’s eyes track the movement, his pulse speeding up slightly. He twists on the counter, his fingers curling in Tate’s shirt. Tate ducks to eliminate the bulk of the remaining space, but the decision is Ari’s. Their noses brush, their breaths mingling in the space in the seconds before Ari tilts his chin and closes the gap.

It’s different from the other times. Before, there were clear lines. This, and nothing else. Before, they weren’t talking about more and touching. This, and nothing else. Before, he hadn’t spent the entire week thinking about Ari’s teeth tugging on his bottom lip and Ari’s voice on the phone while he absolutely ruined his sweatpants and Kyah’s tits and the way Kyah smelled when heat hit early in the day-

Ari shifts so Tate is in the space between his legs, heels hooked around the backs of Tate’s thighs, which is generally a sign he can touch, so his hands settle on Ari’s hips. This, and nothing else.

And where before, Ari’s scent was either tinged with discomfort, with anxiety, now it’s exactly like the one that seems to have soaked into his fucking mattress. It makes him want to touch and claim and fuck and bite-

Ari moans into his mouth – almost like he heard – and pulls away, panting. “Should we um. Check on Kyah or something?”

“Is this like, a distraction tactic because too much, or?” Tate manages, sounding far too wrecked.

“No. Maybe. I don’t think so. More just uh, thought about it since she’s- I mean how does that shit even work? I mean I know all of this-” he says, gesturing vaguely between himself and Tate, “-is new and all, but isn’t that like, not an alone thing?”

“If you’re mated, sure. But otherwise it just kind of sucks. A lot of needing to get railed worse than you ever have in your life and not being able to do that.” His fingers clench slightly and Tate ducks to nose at the underside of Ari’s jaw. “I’m not sure if she’ll have her phone on her, or if she’ll answer, but if you wanna try, be my guest.” He lets his lips drag over the beat of Ari’s pulse, fighting a groan when Ari’s head tilts back to give him better access.

Shifting slightly, Ari pulls his phone out and opens his recent contacts; he taps Kyah’s name and pulls Tate impossibly closer with his legs. The call connects and Ari puts the phone on speaker before setting it on the counter.

“Hey,” Kyah says, sounding strained but pleased that Ari called. “Have you um- did Tate tell you-”

“Yeah, he’s here right now. You’re on speaker. Wanted to check and see how you’re doing.”


“Hi Ky,” Tate says, his mouth still brushing over Ari’s throat. It gets him a shiver that goes straight to his cock.

This, and nothing else.

“Hi Tate. I’m um. Sorry. About earlier. I shouldn’t have come. I knew I felt off and that it’d be soon, but-”

“It’s ok.” He tries to keep his tone soothing. To focus on the conversation instead of the way he can feel his pulse in his dick where it’s trapped against Ari. “It’s not-” Ari noses at the curve of Tate’s ear, making him shiver. “It’s not like you knew, or planned it.”

“Still. Are um. Are you ok?”

He opens his mouth to respond, but his breath catches when the tip of Ari’s tongue follows the same path as his nose. His fingers clench in Ari’s jeans. This, and-


“He’s alright. Might be a little distracted. Honestly Kyah I think he has been all day.”

“That’s what I was worried about,” she says, sounding almost upset.

“Kyah, I’m really ok.” It comes out rough, though. “Ari’s just apparently choosing now to-“

“Hey, Kyah?” Ari interrupts.


“He really is fine. I think. There might not be any blood in his brain, but- really did call to see how you were. D’you need anything? Want anything?”

“Those are two very different questions, Ari.”

“Ok. What are the answers and maybe we can find a solution?”

She huffs. Not her normal, annoyed huff, but somewhere between a laugh and something else. Something breathless that Tate can almost imagine on his skin.

“Well, what I want- um. Has anyone explained this to you yet? I know I probably should have, especially sometime recently since-” she lets out another shivery breath.

Ari pulls back to get Tate’s attention, then kisses him. It’s silent, somehow, but still searingly hot. And then, all too quick, it’s over.

“Tease,” Tate mouths, making Ari grin.

“Yeah Tate gave me the gist of it. That’s kind of what gave me the idea to call, y’know? He made it seem like it wasn’t exactly enjoyable if you were on your own.”

“Ari, you two cannot come anywhere near this house,” she says, almost pleading.

At this, Ari frowns.

“Told you,” Tate says quietly.

“I’ll be ok. I’ve done this on my own for, fuck, fifteen years now? Give or take?”

“Yeah but-“

“Like, I’m glad you called. Thank you, really, but I really shouldn’t even-“

“Kyah, your dad’s not going to find out.”

“Tate, you can’t know that.”

“The basement is soundproofed for that exact reason. And besides, what’s he going to do if he does? Because I will come get you then.”

“Tate-” she says again, but this time it’s an entirely different sound. Almost a whine.

“You can’t just… say things like that. Not right now.”

“It’s true, though.”

After a moment, she whispers, “I know.”

It curls inside him like something warm, only intensifying the nebulous cloud of want that seems to have permeated his entire being. The need to have them both close.

“You’re sure there’s not anything we can do to help?” Ari asks.

“Honestly the distraction has been nice. Astrid texted me way earlier, but it was just like a quick thing. Not, y’know, this.”

“So is now a good time to ask you about the FDA story?”

Tate and Kyah both groan at the same time. He buries his face under Ari’s chin like that will somehow make the whole situation go away.

“Really, Tate? Why is Ari asking me this? Why now? Tate’s a giant ho and he was late to breakfast with me and Astrid one day because he was hooking up with some girl.”

“Never said it was a girl,” Tate mumbles.

“What was that?”

“He said that he never said it was a girl.”

“You literally yelled at me asking who I was to determine that pussy isn’t a breakfa- oh.”

Ari laughs, smothering the sound against Tate’s hair. “So you really are well-rounded, huh?”

“Told you.”


For a second, Tate worries that Ari will ask something else. Something that’ll push this conversation in a bad direction, no matter that he wouldn’t mean to.

“Hey Kyah, what’re you doing right now?” Ari asks instead.

Another huff, this one closer to annoyed. “Um, talking to you?”

“Yeah but like, is that it?”

“What else would I be doing?”

Ari shrugs, even though Kyah can’t see them. “I dunno. I know Tate just said-“

“You said what?”

“I just gave him the high-level overview on cycles, Ky. Don’t yell at me. For one, someone had to and you apparently didn’t, but for two it’s not like I know what you get up to.”

She sighs. “I’m sorry. This one feels… worse. Already.”

“Do you have-” Tate starts to ask, before he can stop himself. It’s not like he can do anything either way. He doesn’t have anything to offer her but himself, and even if he did, she’s been adamant that they stay away.

“Yeah,” she says, so softly he barely even registers that she spoke at first. “It’s just not-“

Not enough. Not the same. And oh, how he knows. How long has it been, since-

“I think I see what you mean about the smell thing,” Ari murmurs in his ear, voice low.

Kyah makes a bitten off noise that buries itself inside of Tate’s skull, right beside the way she smelled earlier. The way Ari smells now-


“I’m gonna um. I’m gonna have to let you two go. I’ll see you in a few days, yeah?”

“Yeah, Ky. Let us know if you need anything.”

“Thanks, Tate,” she says, so sincerely that he doesn’t even know what to do with it. “Bye Ari.”

“Keep me posted, yeah?”

“I’ll try.”

And then the line goes silent, the only sound in the room that of their breathing. Of the hammering in Tate’s chest, or maybe Ari’s.

“Ari,” Tate starts. He closes his eyes, trying to think.

But what comes next? What comes after this? After that, when Ari’s legs are still holding him in place and the smell is so thick he thinks he might choke on it.

It’s ok. He’ll let himself drown in this.

“Tate,” Ari replies, voice rough but even.

“Tell me what you want,” he whispers on an exhale.

Ari shifts on the countertop. Not quite against him, but it’s enough to have Tate sucking in a breath.

“I don’t know,” Ari replies, just as quiet. “I don’t know, I just-” He moves again, more intentionally this time. “I think I still need… like, slow. But it feels ok right now, so I think maybe- if you want to-“

“Baby I don’t know what you’re ok with and I can’t-” his words dissolve into a whine when Ari’s teeth scrape over the skin just below the corner of his jaw.

A moment later, Ari does it again, just slightly lower. Then again, and again, trailing tiny not-bites down Tate’s throat until he reaches the juncture of his neck and shoulder and meets fabric.

“Just- probably stick with the options that don’t involve anything in me and if I don’t like something, I’ll let you know,” Ari says, breathing heavily.

It’s a lot of freedom. A lot of responsibility. But there’s just enough guidance in Ari’s answer for Tate to have a viable option.

“You promise.” His fingers tighten in Ari’s pants again, a reflexive thing.

Ari meets his eyes and nods, then leans in and kisses him.

He lets his hands go to work, slipping the button of Ari’s pants free. His zipper follows, and to Tate’s surprise, Ari leans back against the cabinets and lifts his hips so Tate can pull pants and underwear down at once. Even then, though, there’s only so far down he can get them like this.

“You’re gonna have to let me go if you want-“

The frustrated growl Tate gets in response is followed by Ari’s heels hitting the cabinet door.

“Hey, don’t take it out on the furniture,” Tate says, laughing. He pulls Ari’s pants off the rest of the way, tossing them in the direction of the table.

He doesn’t realize he’s staring until Ari says, “You have seventeen minutes.”


Ari nods to the timer on the oven.

“Is that a challenge or a threat?”

“Whichever one it needs to be to make you stop looking at me like that,” Ari replies, tone one of a very specific sort of discomfort.

Tate steps back into the space between his knees and kisses him slowly. “You gonna be able to actually relax for me?” He asks, smoothing his palms over Ari’s thighs.

“Depends on whether or not you can live up to the hype.” The joke is better than the blatant tension, but only slightly.

He takes a slow breath, trying to sift through the layers of smells. The anxiety is there, but only faintly. More than anything else is the dripping need, both from himself and – literally – from Ari.

Bending down, Tate kisses the top of one knee and then the other before he drops to the floor. He trails lips and tongue up the inside of one thigh then back down the other, focusing intently on the sounds of Ari’s breathing and pulse. Quick, and unsteady, but not concerning. Especially not when Ari’s legs spread further in invitation.

He shifts to get a better angle before biting down gently on soft skin. This gets him a tiny whine. Tate does the same on the other side, but this time follows it with a kiss, then another, and another until the next draws a shocked moan from Ari’s throat. Smiling, Tate presses another wet, open-mouthed kiss to the same spot, then drags his tongue in its wake.

“How much time?”

“What? Fuck, fifteen.”

His smile turns into a grin. Should be plenty of time. Might even be enough for two.

Unlike most occasions, he doesn’t quite lose himself in it. Generally, his mind will sort of drift in the sea of smells and sounds.

But now – now he has to pay attention. Not that it’s a hardship, by any means. That he’s getting to do this at all is-

The moan slips out, and seems, somehow, to be what pushes Ari over the edge. Tate slows, returning to the same soft, open-mouthed wet kisses from before until Ari’s fingers thread into his hair and he slumps against the counter.

And then, the timer. Tate grumbles and Ari sighs. Now is not the time. He stands quickly – too quickly, the blood rushing from his head – and shuts it up, then returns to his spot between Ari’s knees. Smoothing his hands over Ari’s thighs again, he says, “You ok?”

Ari lets out a shaky breath and nods. “Oh yeah.” Another gulp of air. Another nod. “It’s just um. Been a while.”

Slowly, Tate cups Ari’s jaw in one hand and kisses him. It’s different from before – lazy and boneless. “Dinner?”

He watches Ari blink. Watches the flicker of emotions cross his face as Ari tries to sort through his response. “Yeah,” he says after a moment. “Yeah I um. I could probably eat. You?”

Tate nods and kisses him again. Because he wants to, and he can.

When he goes to pull away, Ari surprises him with a finger in his belt loop, tugging him back for another.

“Ok,” Ari says when they part. “Ok now you can- I think.”

He smiles and presses his lips to Ari’s forehead, and then he’s released.

Dinner is a quiet, relaxed thing. Conversation – when they talk at all – is about nothing. Not quite small talk. It’s more personal than that. Almost-meaningless little stories from before they knew each other.

But as their plates empty and their stomachs fill, the words come less frequently. Eventually, Ari slumps back in his chair looking sleepy and Tate rests his chin in his hand and the silence stretches until Ari yawns loudly and sits up like he might have actually fallen asleep.

“Bed time?” Tate asks, then laughs at how he sounds barely awake.

“Think it might be. Thanks for dinner. And uh. Y’know.”

He smiles, at that. “Yeah. Any time.”

“For which one?” Ari asks, a glint that’s pure mischief in his eyes.


That gets him an appraising look.

“You uh- you headed back to yours or?”

Ari cocks his head like he’s waiting for Tate to finish.

Stay, Tate thinks.

“You have anything going on in the morning?”

He smiles again, although this one is a different feeling from the last. “Nope.”

“Let’s go to bed.”

Tate’s on his feet in a second, one hand extended to pull Ari up.

Again, he falls asleep with Ari’s arm around his ribs and his face between the back of his shoulder blades.

The next morning, though, the hot puff of Ari’s breath is accompanied by the drag of lips and teeth. Tate groans and stretches out against him. He feels like he should say something – that Ari doesn’t have to, that there’s no expectation. But then Ari’s hand slips under the waistband of his underwear and all thoughts of anything other than the hand on his cock go away.

It doesn’t take long for either one of them to figure out that the angle is bad. Ari lets out a frustrated huff that has Tate turning onto his back and pushing his underwear off all at once, his thighs spreading in a silent plea for more. For something. Anything.

Ari’s fingertips ghost over his thigh to his hip, then across his stomach, forcing a whine from Tate’s throat. He can feel Ari’s puff of amusement on his skin – a tease all on its own.

There’s hesitation, this time, before Ari’s fingers close around him again. Once he settles into a rhythm, Tate has to fight the need to move. To meet his hand and seek more.

When he opens his mouth to warn Ari that he’s close, a moan escapes instead and then it’s too late. He spills over Ari’s fist and across his own chest, the moan shifting into a shocked cry when Ari’s grip tightens around the base of his dick, squeezing his knot in a way that makes his knees go weak.

“Baby-” he protests with an overstimulated laugh.

Tate can feel Ari’s grin when his teeth bite down on his bicep, self-satisfied.

“Mm, c’mere,” he says, dragging Ari closer but not fully on top of him.

“Hi,” Ari says shyly.

“Hi. You want-” he half asks. Because for all that he’s pretty sure he knows the answer – for all he can smell it – he doesn’t want to assume. Doesn’t want to push.


He smiles and cranes his neck to kiss the top of Ari’s head, then rolls so Ari is on his back. “How much of this d’you wanna get rid of?”

“Um.” Ari’s eyes squeeze shut and his face scrunches in something like thought. And then, in lieu of an answer, Ari strips quickly, tossing his shirt and underwear like he’s worried he’ll change his mind if they’re too close. “Ok but now I need you to-“

Tate’s moving before the words are all the way out. One hand spans Ari’s ribs as he fits their mouths together, kissing him greedily until he’s as close to settled between Ari’s thighs as he can get without separating. It means he feels the shift in Ari’s breathing, though – the way it steadies into something less frantic and stays that way as he trails a meandering path down Ari’s chest with his lips.

It’s better than the night before. Without the added stress of it being the first time or the very real countdown, he can draw it out and explore. Find out what is more take-it-or-leave-it and what makes Ari scream. And he does scream, especially the second time, one fist clenched in the pillow beside his head and the other in Tate’s hair.

“Ok, ok fuck you’ve made your point,” Ari says, slightly hoarse.

“You sure? Don’t wanna go for three?” He moves to flop down beside Ari on the bed, though, running a hand over Ari’s stomach to settle on his ribs again.

“I think I might die. Also is your dick really hard again?”

Tate laughs. “Welcome to the double edged sword of being a werewolf?”

With an amused huff, Ari shifts closer and lays his head on Tate’s chest. “I’ll get used to it, eventually.”

“Mm, no rush.” This, he thinks, wrapping his arm around Ari’s waist to keep him close. Just let me keep this.

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