start with chapter 1
Content warning: this story contains adult incest and MPREG
Nor woke with a jolt, his eyes gritty, his mind caught in the remnants of a nightmare. He jerked upright, flooded with a fear he couldn’t identify the reason for until his empty arms supplied the answer. Whatever he’d been dreaming about, the reality was worse. Toby was pregnant, he was the father, and now Toby was gone.
He’d fallen asleep last night almost against his will, his body giving way to fatigue after long hours of cradling Toby’s wolf, promising him he hardly knew what. Anything. Anything if Toby would return to human form and talk to him. Forgive him. But Toby had turned his reproachful wolf eyes away and shivered himself into a twitching slumber.
Nor got up. There was no point staying in bed, whatever might be waiting for him outside of Auntie El’s guest room. He packed the bag they’d brought—Toby’s comb on the dresser an indication he might not have gone too far, the long strands of hair tangled in it familiar and hopeful. Out in the great-room, he found Toby nestled amongst Auntie El’s brood eating breakfast, and for a moment, he thought everything was okay. Then he saw Toby’s empty smile and flat eyes and knew nothing was okay at all.
“We should go.” He couldn’t sit there and pretend everything was normal, even if Toby could.
“Nonsense,” Auntie El insisted. “Sit down and have something to eat. It’s a long way home.”
He sat because he couldn’t do anything else, and he ate because she was right. They had a full day’s run in front of them, and Toby might need him, though physically he seemed fine—healthy, with that new layer of fat that made his cheeks so temptingly round. Nor understood now why Toby had been blooming lately, and if he concentrated, he could smell the child Toby carried—that new scent that was a little bit him and a little bit Toby.
Nor ate as fast as he politely could, maybe faster than that if the way Auntie El’s granddaughter Emily watched him was any indication. His appetite was surprisingly good—the alpha in him trying to bulk up so he could protect his mate and pups, not understanding that Toby and the babe weren’t his to protect. When he’d eaten enough that taking more would be ruder than declining it, he got to his feet. This was the crucial moment. Would Toby come with him? Or would he stay behind, either to have the pup without him or to get rid of it entirely?
Toby got to his feet as well. He thanked Auntie El for her hospitality, prompting Nor to mumble his own gratitude. He’d been so focused on getting Toby away somewhere he could talk to him, he’d almost walked out with saying anything. Grandma Dalita would’ve had his hide.
Pleasantries finished, they left together. Nor was so excited to be alone with Toby, both of them in human form so they could talk, that he almost forgot the gravity of the subject they needed to discuss, but Toby wasn’t talking anyway. He shuffled along, not uttering a word, his silence more terrifying than anything he might say.
“Do you want to shift?” Nor asked eventually. If they weren’t going to talk, they might as well shift. They’d make better time.
It was a relief to hear Toby speak, even if his voice was tinged with the same sorrow that colored his complexion. He ambled without purpose, scuffing at the leaves with his bare feet, his hands buried in his pockets.
“I’ll do whatever you want,” Nor reminded him. He’d said it plenty last night, so often that Toby was probably sick of hearing it, but Toby had been in wolf form last night. Sometimes human meaning didn’t get through to wolf ears, because the emotions came through so much stronger. Nor knew his emotions had been mixed. Regret, pride, fear. But mostly love. He hoped Toby had picked up on the love, at least.
Toby pulled one of his hands from his pocket. He unfurled his fist slowly, showing Nor what was clenched inside it. A pill, round and white, about the size of a mouse dropping.
“Auntie El gave it to me.”
Nor didn’t have to ask what the pill would do. “Are you going to take it?”
“Do you want me to?”
No! No, no, no. Except he couldn’t say so because the decision didn’t belong to him. It wasn’t his body or his future, and he wasn’t the one who’d be visibly carrying the result of their shameful intercourse. He swallowed hard and said, “It’s up to you.”
Toby nodded and set to walking again, his face in that same pinched expression Nor couldn’t stand to see. He pulled Toby to a stop, swinging him around so they faced each other.
“I’m sorry,” he pleaded. “I’m so sorry.”
“There were two of us there.”
“You were in heat. You weren’t in your right mind.”
“Neither were you.”
“But I’m the alpha.”
“Are you my alpha?”
“How can I be?” Nor asked, beside himself with how much he wanted to say yes. “I’m your brother.”
Toby’s face fell, the last splash of hope draining from it. “Let’s shift.”
“We should talk more.”
“We’ve already said it all. I’m pregnant, and you’re the father, but you’re not my alpha. There’s a pill I can take to change the first two, but there’s nothing I can do to change the last one.”
Every day as Nor passed behind Toby to get to his spot at the breakfast table, he gave what he hoped was a surreptitious sniff at the back of his neck and felt a mix of relief and concern when he picked up a trace of that underlying second identity. Every day, the scent grew stronger, until one night at dinner Mama leaned in to make her customary evaluation of Toby’s heat cycle and her face changed, registering first confusion, then disbelief. Toby shied away, his frightened eyes skittering over to Nor.
“Now, Marybeth,” Grandma Dalita cautioned.
“You’re pregnant,” Mama accused. She’d been bound to realize it at some point. The only surprise was that it’d taken her so long. Grandma Dalita had obviously figured it out already. “Who’s the sire?” Mama demanded. “Papa will see to them. You’ll get mated and go off somewhere until the pup is born. No one will ever know it came early.”
“I’m going to people school,” Toby reminded her. “I’m just waiting to get my acceptance letter.” That explained why Toby hadn’t made a choice about the pregnancy yet. If he got into school, he’d take the pill and go off, no doubt. Those financial aid people would give him enough money to get by, and he’d be fine. Happy, even. It wouldn’t matter so much what Nor had done to him.
“You can’t go to people school now,” Mama said. “With a pup and a mate, you won’t have time to worry about anything else.”
It was a noble thing to rear pups and care for a home, but it wouldn’t do for Toby if it wasn’t what he wanted.
“He doesn’t have to get mated,” Nor tried.
“Of course he does. He’s having a pup.”
“He doesn’t have to have the pup either.”
“But Toby,” Mama whined. “Of course you’ll have the pup. Tell us who the sire is, and we’ll take care of everything.”
Nor held his breath. If Toby admitted who the sire was, it would bring ruin to both of them, though Nor didn’t really care for his own sake. No one could think worse of him than he thought of himself, and having his actions made public would be fitting punishment for the crime of taking his brother’s first heat, not to mention those other times he’d fucked Toby, when there’d no cause for it at all other than his selfish desires.
“I think we should let Toby and the pup’s sire work through this together,” Grandma Dalita said.
“We can’t count on the sire to do the right thing,” Papa said, roused from his usual lethargy by the seriousness of the situation. “If the sire had any honor, they wouldn’t have taken Toby without being mated to him.”
The truth of it burned Nor hard enough that he reached for his glass of water, swallowing it all down in an attempt to put out the shame-fueled fire burning in his chest.
“You’ll make them,” Mama told Papa, but her gaze encompassed Nor as well. She was imagining him as Toby’s champion, facing down the rogue alpha who’d treated him so callously, not understanding that he’d have to stand in front of a mirror to do it. “I just wish it hadn’t been someone from around here. You know pups are strongest when packs crossbreed.”
“He wasn’t from around here,” Toby lied. “He was just traveling through. Papa can’t go after him, because I have no idea where he is. I don’t even know his name.”
“Sorry, Mama. The heat came on me quick, and I didn’t think.”
Mama’s lips thinned into a grim line. “The evil of some alphas,” she said. “To take you like that, without a care for the consequences. And knowing you couldn’t resist. If I ever find him, I’ll have his cock off.”
“Marybeth!” Grandma Dalita exclaimed. Mama never used language like that. Nor flushed harder. Look what he’d made his mother do.
“Castration would be no better than he deserves,” Mama said to her carrier-in-law, and Nor knew it was true. He should’ve gelded himself rather than continue on. The first time he’d knotted Toby was one thing—they’d been caught out and desperate—but Toby hadn’t gotten pregnant that first time. It’d been the second time, up at the cabin, when Nor could’ve refused to bring him along. Except what would’ve been the alternative? Forcing Toby into a mating he didn’t want?
“Are you sure you can’t identify him?” Papa asked. “You’d know him by smell, at least.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Toby said. “I wouldn’t want him anyway.”
Nor rubbed his chest, feeling the sting of Toby’s rejection. If he admitted his part in it, what good would it do? Toby could never want him.
“You’ll terminate then,” Mama said. “We’ll call in a discreet doula, get it taken care of.” There was no need to summon a doula, since Toby already had a pill. Toby didn’t say so though. He just started sobbing. “There, there, honey,” Mama soothed. “We’ll find you another mate. You’re young and fertile and handsome. No one needs to know you’ve already been had. You’ll keep your next pup. Don’t cry.”
Nor wanted to cry himself, because the thought of Toby carrying another alpha’s pup was as crushing as the thought of Toby terminating his. But he had to remain stoic—show no more concern than a brother would. He couldn’t grab Toby and whisk him away somewhere safe and close to comfort him back into smiles. No, he was sentenced to sit between Papa and Grandma Dalita and watch Mama and Toby cuddle together in a sympathetic ball, Mama talking to him all the while about how many pups he’d have and how fine a mate they’d find him.
Finally, when Nor almost couldn’t bear it anymore, Toby pulled away from her. “I’ve already decided what I’m doing,” he said, his little face determined even though it bore the heavy tracks of his tears. “I’m going to people school, and I’m keeping the pup.”
Papa mumbled something about disgracing the family name, but Toby held up his hand to shush him. “I don’t care what wolf society thinks of me. If they don’t want me, I’ll just be human” He flew from the room, leaving his dinner behind.
“Talk some sense into him,” Mama begged Nor. “He doesn’t understand how it’ll be, and it’s not just him to think of. There’s your brothers and sisters to consider, and what about their children? He can’t ask the whole family to share his shame.”
“He said he’s keeping the pup, so he’s keeping it.”
“Then we’ll find an alpha who’s willing to take on both him and the baby. We can still get him mated before the pup is born.”
Nor shook his head. He knew what kind of an alpha would claim a pregnant omega. Toby deserved the best, and he deserved someone who thought he was the best, not someone who was settling because he had to. “Toby’s going to people school. Just like he said.”
“Then he’d better go fast.” Mama’s face hardened, all the concern for Toby dropping from it. “I’m surprised the whole village doesn’t know he’s pregnant already. He reeks of it.”
Nor brought a plate up to Toby’s bedroom and cajoled him into eating it, but he didn’t say anything about alphas who would settle or a rush to leave the village. Toby had to stay until his acceptance letter came, and Nor would fight anyone who tried to make him do anything he didn’t want to.
People school was such a slow process. Humans were slow in general, and their institutions were slower yet, but finally an acceptance letter came—two of them, actually, which made Nor proud even though he had nothing to do with Toby’s worthiness. But the letters said financial aid information would follow, which meant more waiting. To know Toby had gotten into people school without knowing whether Nor could afford to send him was maddening.
While they waited, the pup grew. The dual nature of Toby’s scent became more obvious, and the new roundness to his figure, which once only Nor had noticed, became pronounced enough that any passing wolf could pick up on his condition. The whispers started, exactly as Mama had predicted. The whole family walked on eggshells around her, because she broke into tears at the mention of anything remotely related to either fertility or matings, and once she got going, Toby ended up crying with her.
All that negative emotion couldn’t be good for the pup, and the blooming glow that’d brushed Toby’s cheeks faded. His skin yellowed, and his wolf began to look mangy. He wasn’t eating enough, but no amount of pleading would make him eat more. Mama picked listlessly at her own food without urging Toby to do better, seeming to hope illness would accomplish what a pill wasn’t being allowed to do.
Nor tried to keep his distance, unsettled by how attractive he found Toby despite the pallid cast of his complexion. The roundness of Toby’s stomach, the sway of his hips, the swollen thickness of his ankles—they drove Nor mad. His cock hardened at the most casual glimpse of Toby going about his chores, and he lost himself in fantasies that alternated between fucking Toby and feeding him.
He stood one day with his chin resting on top of the hoe he ought to be using, caught in another reverie until Grandma Dalita came around the side of the barn and startled him back into awareness.
“I have to bring Toby to Auntie El,” he said, coming to a conclusion he should’ve come to long before. “Something’s wrong.”
“He doesn’t need Auntie El, Nor. He needs you.”
“Touch. Affection. The things you’ve been withholding.”
Nor shook his head. He couldn’t trust himself to cuddle his little brother without it turning sexual again.
“The pup will drain too much from him without an alpha’s touch,” Grandma Dalita warned.
“Perhaps Papa,” Nor suggested.
“Your sire already has an omega to care for. Show Toby how much you love him. Give him your strength. He needs it.”
Toby could have Nor’s anything. While Nor had been watching just now, he’d gone into the barn, and Nor wanted to follow him there, to throw him down in the hay and give him everything he had, whether it would help or not.
Selfish. He was so selfish about Toby, never able to put aside his baser instincts. He’d been a terrible alpha, a terrible sire, a terrible brother even, so it was with a mix of determination and resignation that he went to Toby’s room that night. He found Toby looking so awful, he hated himself even harder for letting him get this bad.
Thank the Moon Grandma Dalita had called him out for his neglect, he thought as he scooped up Toby’s frail body and carried him to the attic where he nestled him into the center of his bed, arranging the covers to give him an alpha-scented nest to curl into. He fed Toby by hand, the way he had when he was in heat except that he was even weaker now, a smaller bundle in his arm than he’d been a few months ago, despite the size of his belly. Nor scented beneath the layers of Toby to find the pup. It was strong and healthy, and Nor was momentarily angry at it for stealing Toby’s health from him, but no. This was his fault.
“Oh, love,” he mumbled into Toby’s hair. He had him on his lap, wrapped tight in his arms as he pressed one piece of meat after another against his lips. Toby took them, eating at last, making small noises of satisfied hunger. “Tell me how to help you, and I’ll do it. I’d do anything for you, Toby.”
“I haven’t even seen you.”
The bitter accusation stung like truth. Nor might be willing to do anything, but he’d been waiting to be told what. On the farm, he didn’t sit idly by until Papa gave him an order. He paid attention, knowing the farm was his to care for too, and when he saw what needed to be done, he did it. But he’d left Toby to handle this pregnancy alone, as though it didn’t concern him directly.
“I’m here now,” he promised. “I’ll work harder, do better.”
Toby tilted his head down and to the side, as if to escape the thrum of Nor’s voice in his ear. The move exposed the soft column of his neck and that spot at the base that made Nor’s fangs sharp with wanting. The spot drew him forward until he was nuzzling at it, his teeth grazing Toby’s skin. Toby whimpered, and Nor jerked upright.
What had he been doing? Toby had been trying to get away from him, and look how he’d responded. So possessive and selfish. Toby threw him a look that made him wince as he forced his arms to loosen.
“What is it, love?” He couldn’t stop himself from licking a dab of gravy from the corner of Toby’s mouth. “Are you still hungry? I’ll run down for dessert.”
“I’m not hungry for food.” Toby kicked at the covers Nor had drawn over him, baring his legs which were clad in a lightweight pair of cotton shorts. Beneath the swell of Toby’s stomach, Nor saw the swell of his cock. Grandma Dalita had told him Toby needed to be touched, but it was so dangerously close to what he wanted for himself. His tongue lay thick in his mouth, and when he tried to retract his fangs, he couldn’t manage it.
Touching Toby was the right thing to do, he told himself. When he ran his hands down Toby’s softly downed thighs, he was being thoughtful, not selfish. When he drew them up again, keeping to the inside so they met at the juncture of Toby’s groin, he was being responsible, not rash. And Toby proved it by relaxing against him with a moan. His head tipped back, giving Nor another flash of throat that made him dizzy.
Mine, mine, mine his wolf chanted while he executed a slow and mostly non-sexual massage, going up and down every inch of Toby’s body he could reach—stroking over the hard mound of his belly, tracing the too-obvious lines of his ribcage, admiring the lean muscle in his arms. Nor kneaded and rubbed and petted. His mouth began to move in concert with his hands, and it must be okay because Toby was melting, his body more liquid than solid.
Nor made him come, drinking down the sweet tang of Toby’s spend as hungrily as if he’d been starving himself. Color flowed into Toby’s cheeks and a shine gleamed in his eyes. He didn’t go soft though, not for a moment.
“Need you,” he gasped as Nor began sucking him again. “I’ve been needing you so bad.”
Sweet Mother. Nor’s eyes stung with self-reproach. He cried as he sucked, his nose clogging to the point it grew difficult to breathe around the intrusion of Toby’s cock, but that was all right. He deserved it. He kept working—sucking and humming, fondling the edges of Toby’s slick hole and stroking over his prostate—until Toby came for a second time.
“Are you all right?” He took Toby’s unflaggingly hard cock out of his mouth and hauled him into a bear hug. He scented quickly along Toby’s neck and found him stronger, healthier, with the scent of the pup still sharing his skin. “What is it, love?”
“Knot me. You need to knot me. I’m so—” Toby directed Nor’s hand to his cock and Nor took it, stroking hard and fast until Toby came again. But it was like with the heat. Toby was so lust-addled that each orgasm only fueled the next, none of them satisfying enough to let him rest. This was the result of Nor’s neglect: Toby had a biological need for an alpha’s touch that could only satisfied with a knot.
Nor shucked his pajamas. He rolled Toby onto his stomach and lifted his hips up in the air. Toby keened happily at finding himself in a position to be mounted. He wriggled his ass, enticing Nor to stop ogling the wet shine of his pucker and fuck him already. As soon as the head of his cock eased into the lush wetness of Toby’s ass, he was immediately buried to the hilt. Toby pushed back to meet him and they came together—no patience left in either of them—moving instinctively in perfect synchronization.
Toby whined, a high exclamation of need being met. Nor could feel the strong pulse of his blood as he fucked him. Toby was healthy and vital and would have a strong pup that would be theirs. All theirs. Nor fucked strength and love into his omega, his knot rising with dizzying speed until he was ramming it into Toby’s ass, stretching him around its bulk. They locked tight, two hot bodies freezing into sudden stillness as Nor jetted inside Toby and Toby jetted onto the bed.
When the strongest spasms had faded, Nor rolled onto his side, carrying Toby with him into a gentle spoon. Aftershocks rumbled between them—first Nor twitching when Toby’s tight ass milked more come from him, then Toby whimpering when the unyielding hardness of Nor’s knot rubbed against his prostate. Toby’s head lolled on the pillow, and Nor fought the perfect temptation of his neck with what little resolution he had left.
“Sleep now,” he numbed. “I’ll be here for you. Always.”
“Then why won’t you—” Toby broke off. He tugged but couldn’t get away. The movement only pulled on Nor’s knot.
“What do you want, love? Anything I have is yours.”
“I can’t ask you for it,” Toby grumbled, but of course he could. Toby could ask for anything. Nor saw that Toby wouldn’t ask for it, though—whatever it was he needed. He was shy, embarrassed. But why? Nor nibbled at his neck as he thought about it, his fangs making their usual pass over that spot he wanted to bite. Toby arched in response.
Nor had never claimed to be the quickest of wolves. That was Toby—so clever about everything. But he finally understood. He didn’t have any right to claim Toby, but Toby wanted him to, so he did. He sank his fangs into the spot where Toby-scent collected and pushed his own essence into the wound he made.
Toby moaned—a new moan, one Nor hadn’t heard before. It was sex and love and more. Home. Connection. This was what Toby had been needing. Not food or touch or even a knot. A claim.
Nor kept his teeth in Toby’s neck until long after Toby drifted off, making sure the claim had been sealed. Finally, he withdrew, flicking his tongue over the wound to take one more taste of his love. His mate. There was no hiding what they’d done now. Anyone who saw Toby would know he’d been claimed, and anyone who smelled him would know who’d done it.
“Don’t worry,” Toby mumbled, more asleep than awake. “We’ll figure out how to make this work. As long as we’re together.”
“As long as we’re together,” Nor agreed.
And now they always would be.
One more chapter and Nor and Toby get their happy ending
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