Cali scooped Jacob up and carried him to the bathroom. He had to pause often, the need to kiss Jacob and nuzzle him too great to resist. Something had changed inside of him, Cali felt it, something ancient and forgotten had come out from whatever part of his DNA it’d been hidden in.
Every time his heart beat, Minerepeated in his ear. He heard it, felt it, knew it in every cell of his being, Jacob was meant to be his, and he, Jacob’s.
But Jacob’s body had been worn out, and Cali needed to soothe him, to care for and ease his stiff muscles and aching bones.
Desire was a slow-burning ember; he wanted Jacob, but not more than he wanted to provide comfort and safety for him. The time would come when Jacob wasn’t exhausted or sore, and then, then Cali would make love to him, learn every sweet spot of his body, would give himself to Jacob and hide nothing from him…
“Bath,” he murmured, settling Jacob on the side of the tub. “Let’s bathe. I smell like sweat and god knows what. You must be sore after what your body’s been through.”
Jacob looked up at him with so much trust and love, Cali felt like the greatest man alive. “I am tired, and everything hurts, but I want you. I want…” He shook his head. “You can fuck me without—”
Cali didn’t want to know what the rest of that sentence was. “No, I won’t fuck you without concern for you.” He was afraid it had been something close to that. “Whatever this is between us, it isn’t going to vanish because we take a bath, then sleep. I won’t hurt you to get off, and sex, as amazing as it can be, isn’t my priority with you.” He blushed, his cheeks going hot on him. “I don’t know much about making love, because I’ve only ever fucked around, but I do know that you and I, when the time is right, we will make love to each other. I’m not going to take from you, Jacob. I’m not going to see to my own pleasure—there’d be no pleasure for me in that. I want you, all of you, and I want to give myself to you in return.”
Jacob was wide-eyed and his mouth had dropped open. He closed it with an audible snap.
“What? You can ask me anything,” Cali said as he pulled the stopper on the tub, then started the water. He was trying his best to sound assured, confident, but the feelings he had for Jacob were so new to him, every word he spoke carried a fragility—his emotional fragility-- in it he couldn’t repress.But how must Jacob feel? He mentioned his pack status before. Jesus, no wonder he’s staring at me like I’ve sprouted two heads. “You’re my equal in every way, Jacob. Not my omega, or…or whatever you might have been in the past.”
Jacob made a garbled sound then lowered his gaze.
“Do you know what that means?” Cali asked him, gently cupping Jacob’s chin.
Jacob shrugged, shook his head, nodded, then shook his head again.
It made Cali ache for him, to know how unsettled and lost Jacob appeared. “Have you ever had sex that you enjoyed?”
Jacob winced and didn’t answer at first, then, “With other omegas. We can—could—decide.”
Cali’s stomach threatened to heave. “Have you…has sex been consensual for you, besides with omegas?”
Jacob darted a quick glance up at him. “All omegas consent. Always. We have no right to…to not consent. By being born what we are, our place in the pack is sealed. It is what it is, and there’s no other way.”
“There are other ways,” Cali rumbled, trying not to outright growl. The idea of this generous, sweet man being forced to do anything, of himbeing raped, was enough to make Cali want to hurt someone. But those who’d hurt Jacob were dead, mowed down by humans with assault rifles, and—
“Cali.” Jacob touched his cheek, and for once, looked him in the eyes with no trace of hesitation. “It was the way of our pack, of every wolf pack I knew. None of us thought it was wrong, including me. The human world is different. I haven’t seen much of it, but I doknow that, and living here, with you, being kept safe and not…not forced to do anything, it’s shown me that just because a pack has rules, rules that existed for hundreds of years, that doesn’t mean those rules were right. Even so, all of my life, I have believed that my body isn’t my own. I lived and could have died by any higher-ranking pack member’s teeth. I’m learning that isn’t the case any longer. It…it hurts, in a way. I loved my pack. They weren’t horrible, they just…were, they were what they had always been.”
He pressed his lips tight and shook his head yet still didn’t look away from Cali.
Cali’s eyes burned with unshed tears. “I’ve never known anyone as strong as you.”
“I wanted it, what we did before. I want you,” Jacob whispered, his voice a raw scrape of sound. “I want to be enough.”
“You are, you always have been,” Cali responded, and those tears escaped to trail down his cheeks. “Jacob, if anyone here needs to prove their worthiness, it’s me.”
Jacob shook his head vehemently, then in a quick couple of moves, he framed Cali’s face with his hands, and kissed Cali.
Cali was startled for only a second, then he opened for Jacob, moaning and settling his hands on Jacob’s trim waist.
Jacob wasn’t tentative, or gentle, even. He kissed with a hunger that stirred Cali’s cock and made him shake with want.
But he wouldn’t take. He’d give. He’d give Jacob everything.