Author: ANONYMOUS until reveals
Title: Rise, Said the Wolf
Length: 5,000 words
Summary: Omega Joonmyun is the price to be won at the competition his father the king holds. Jongin of the Borderlands shows up with every intention to win and take the prince home with him.
Warnings: hunting and killing of wild animals
Notes: “smoking hot but romantic alpha!Jongin” sob, I tried, dear prompter. My ideas for this au could've filled a whole novel but I didn't have the time. Thank you mods for being so patient with me.
Many alphas from all over the kingdom had come to compete for Prince Joonmyun's hand. Proudly, they held their banners high. All the different colours fluttered in the wind, dotting the line between the blue sky and the green grass of the field on which their bearers were lined up to greet the king. He sat under a richly decorated pavilion, and next to him Prince Joonmyun, the youngest prince of the Kim bloodline and most courted omega in all the land.
Prince Joonmyun let the gaze of his clear, strikingly amber-coloured eyes wander over the assembled noblemen. Jongin felt his stomach swoop when their eyes met and he lowered his gaze, thinking he must look like a love-struck fool, but the other competitors weren't faring any better. All were enchanted by the prince.
A young knave walked along the line of alphas. He announced name and bloodline, after which the usual formal greetings with the king and the prince were exchanged. Starting from the oldest, who in Jongin's opinion should have no business marrying someone so young and leaving him a widower after a mere decade at most, there were mainly noblemen from the capital, recognizable by their pale, pudgy faces with feisty expressions, and their showy breast plates that were decorated with gems and pearls, but in case of an attack did nothing to protect their wearers. The earthy tones and shined bronze of Jongin's own clothing made him stand out from the city dwellers who seemed to like wearing garish colours.
Since the king had only invited handpicked alphas to the competition whose winner received his son's hand in marriage, his intentions were quite obvious to Jongin. It was not so much to test the strength and skill of the prince's future mate, as the competition was traditionally meant to do, but to forge the most advantageous bond with a rich, influential noble, using Prince Joonmyun as the coveted prize. Jongin of the Borderlands doubted he would have been invited had his exclusion not been a terrible affront against his bloodline which had for centuries been of loyal service to the royal bloodline. It only fuelled his desire to win.
The last greeting was exchanged, and then the king stood up to his impressive height, speaking the festive words that opened the competition. The task was simple. The alphas were to change into their wolf forms and go on a hunt, each on his own. By the next sunrise, they would assemble in this field again and the one who brought the most impressive game would be the winner. The kill had to be made with fangs only, weapons, traps or bait of any kind were not allowed. They had to run in wolf form until they made their kill, for the way back any form and any means of transport were allowed. Additionally, Prince Joonmyun who was a most skilled archer would hunt with his bow and if his kill was the biggest, he was free to choose any suitor – or none. This old tradition stemmed from the times before the packs had settled down and started raising cattle, when the survival of bloodlines still relied to a great deal on successful hunts.
The alphas planted their banners deep into the ground to mark the spot to which they would return. As soon as the sun reached its highest point in the sky and the shadows that the banners threw were the shortest, it was time. Jongin felt the mighty wolf blood stream through his veins and in the blink of an eye, his human form had transforms into a huge brown and grey beast. The other alphas were no less impressive, and Jongin smelled their tension. One after the other, they ran off, sprinting into the grassy hills and the forests spreading around the king's castle. Jongin found it hard to part from Prince Joonmyun's scent that he could smell a hundredfold clearer now that he was in wolf form. He sat on his hindlegs, lifted his snout up towards the sky, and let out a mighty howl. And as he dashed forward then, eager to return victorious to the prince, he thought he saw his amber eyes on him.
The hunting grounds of the kingdom were vast, stretching from the Southern Flatlands to the Northern Ridge, the mountains that curved from the north to the north-east. Behind those mountains in the Northern Uplands lay Jongin's home, the Borderlands, behind which was No-mans-land, only inhabited by enemy packs, bandits, from which the Borderlanders under leadership of Jongin's bloodline had been protecting the kingdom for centuries.
Jongin loved running in wolf form. It was the most natural thing to him, working his legs and feeling power run through his chest and leg muscles. His paws pounded the ground tirelessly as he ran north, eagerly taking in all the scents around him to sniff out the wild beasts living in the forest. He noted their presence but most of them were too small to catch his interest. There was one lone bear, too, but you just don't take on a bear, even as a wolf.
By sundown, Jongin had decided to hunt for an elk. He'd found a herd of them grazing near the foot of the mountains. It wouldn't be easy, alert as they were, especially the huge stag he'd set his eyes on. One of the branches in his left antler was missing but the massive deer looked no less impressive for it. Jongin ran a wide circle around them and climbed up the rocky slopes to a point where he had good view and lay in hiding, paws folded underneath him, thinking up a plan.
The elks were close to the edge of the forest, ready to vanish between the trees at any sign of danger. The stag had stepped the furthest out into the patch of grassland between the forest and the rocky slope leading up to the mountains. The wind brought their smell right into Jongin's snout and he decided to climb just a little further up to a ledge from where he could sprint down a steep but direct path that would allow him great speed. He knew he only had one chance.
Just as he was about to jump up onto the rock plateau, he saw a figure already standing up there. He ducked behind a rock quickly. Peeking out silently, ears perked for any sound and sniffing into the wind, he caught a whiff of an aroma he least expected out here, omega, and not just any omega but Prince Joonmyun!
Jongin came out of his hiding place, stalking closer, but either Joonmyun hadn't noticed his arrival yet or he was ignoring him in favour of his current task. He was standing close to the cliff's edge, an arrow on his bow. Jongin watched him with admiration. He made a striking figure, standing still and intensely focused, the string of his bow pulled taut as he took aim and waited for the perfect moment to shoot. It had to require great strength and yet his arms weren't even trembling.
Just as he fired the arrow with a sharp cracking sound of the string, a dark shadow creeping up behind him registered in the corners of Jongin's eyes. It was a mountain lion. It had sneaked up the other side of the plateau unbeknownst to the omega. It was preying on him! Jongin realized as it poised to jump. Without thinking he dashed forward, furious growl ripping through the air as he pushed his paws off the ground as hard as he could and his body collided with the beast. Joonmyun ducked his head screaming and nearly went off the cliff as he whirled around. The mountain lion was roaring and had sunk its claws into Jongin's shoulders but Jongin didn't let go, jaw clenched around the beast's throat, and they went down hard, writhing and grappling with each other on the rocky ground. Jongin felt painful gashes tear through his fur deep into his skin but his single-minded purpose was to take down the attacker. With all the strength he could muster, he threw his head around and ripped through the mountain lion's jugular. Thick blood gushed out of the fatal wound as it collapsed.
Jongin changed into human form, plopping down on the ground panting. Trying to assess the damage, he examined his shoulders; rolling them hurt and the gashes stung but nothing was seriously injured. Joonmyun was staring at him and Jongin looked up to meet his eyes. Shock sat deep in those amber-coloured irises and Jongin got up to step close to the prince, hand outstretched to offer comfort.
“Are you alright?”
“I'd say you're worse off then me,” Joonmyun said with a pointed glance at Jongin's blood-soaked front. “And the elks got away, shame. I was so sure my arrow had struck the stag.”
Jongin felt his mouth dropping open a little as he couldn't help gaping at the omega. He'd only been a hair's breadth away from death just moments ago but now he was already composed again, haughty even.
“Aren't you going to thank me for saving your life?” Jongin asked, confused.
“I'd rather wish you luck to win the competition, Alpha of the Borderlands. That's not a bad kill you've got there.” The prince lowered his head a fraction, but the smirk playing on his lips spoke of a prideful character rather than the deference expected of omegas, and he turned around and left.
Jongin stared after him, then looked back at the giant lump of dead mountain lion. The prince was right, this was an impressive kill, probably the most impressive he'd manage now that the herd of elks had fled and the sun was already setting. Jongin dragged it down the slope with relative ease, facilitated by loose rubble, but when he reached the grassland, he needed another means of transportation for it. Heavy as it was, it was impossible to carry. He built a simple wooden structure, like a broad ladder, on which he could place the carcass to drag it more easily, and made his way back to the king's castle. It was a long and tedious trek now that he wasn't on wolf's paws anymore and he kept glancing up at the position of the moon in the sky to judge how long he had until sunrise.
He didn't get any sleep that night but he did make it in time, putting his kill up for show at the foot of his banner. A group of other alphas sitting around their banners talking and smoking pipes looked up and immediately started making a ruckus over the mountain lion but Jongin wasn't in the mood for conversation. His shoulders hurt from the slash wounds and the strain of the transport, so he leaned back against the pole of his banner and rested until the king arrived together with the first rays of the morning sun.
Jongin even dozed through most of the king's speech, albeit standing up respectfully. All the grand words and empty congratulations didn't mean anything to him, he only perked up when they finally arrived at the part of deciding the winner. The game each alpha had brought, mostly deer and boars, were measured and their weight estimated by the king's order, though it was clear to the naked eye that hardly any of them could rival Jongin's mountain lion. Only one elk looked enormous enough to pose serious competition but – Jongin frowned – one of the branches in its left antler was missing. He tried to catch Joonmyun's eyes but the prince kept his lips pressed in a tight line and evaded Jongin's gaze adamantly.
“Prince Joonmyun,” he called, striding towards the royal pavilion under which Joonmyun and his father sat. He bowed before them curtly and pointed at the elk stag. “Why do you not claim the kill that is rightfully yours? It was your arrow that struck its fatal blow, not the wolf bite it was marked up with afterwards.”
The king drew an angry breath, slamming his fists on the armrests of his lavishly decorated seat. Joonmyun seemed to cower under him.
“I'm afraid you're mistaken, Alpha of the Borderlands. My arrow must have missed its target,” Joonmyun said. There was none of that pride in him now that Jongin had caught a glimpse of on that rock plateau and he hated seeing him like this. The king on the other hand sat back, looking pleased.
“Prince Joonmyun-!” Jongin started but in that moment, two knaves appeared before the king and reported. “Your Majesty, we're in dispute over the winner. Lord Kim's mountain lion impressed us more but going strictly by measurements, Count Ha's elk is bigger. What should we do?”
“The elk is bigger? Well, then announce him as the winner, what are you waiting for.” The king waved them away with his hand and directed a lazy smirk at Jongin. Joonmyun looked pale and small, and Jongin could tell he hated resigning himself to nothing but a pretty bargaining tool in his father's political game but he didn't dare to speak up against him.
While the preparations for the announcement of the winner went on, Jongin went over to the elk to examine it. He couldn't just let this go. Anyone could see with one glance that the bite wound torn in the flank of the elk wasn't where a wolf would usually bite his prey. To kill such a large animal you had to go for the jugular without fail. But that alone wasn't evidence enough, Jongin knew. He clenched his jaw and stuck his hand in the wound and, before long, found the proof he was looking for.
“I beg your attention,” he called loudly and held up a bloodied piece of metal for everyone to see. “This is the head of the arrow that struck down this elk. If you don't believe my words, I ask you to see for yourselves. You will find some splinters of the shaft, too.”
A murmur went through the crowd as curious gazes turned to him but most of those who had already accepted their defeat, were only mildly interested in the turn of events. The king and Count Ha looked livid and yet they couldn't dispute Jongin's finding.
Jongin almost wished Joonmyun would stand up and claim the arrowhead and therefore the elk as rightfully his, but he understood that the prince would rather avoid discrediting his father. Anyone who could put two and two together would know anyway that the only archer allowed in this game was the prince. If Count Ha insisted on his kill now, he'd out himself as a cheater.
Begrudgingly, the king let Jongin be announced winner of the competition for Prince Joonmyun's hand and a feast was held at the castle. It was kept rather short though and Jongin suspected the king couldn't wait to have him out of his sight, sending the newly mated couple off in a carriage bound for the Borderlands where the prince was to live with his alpha mate.
Jongin sat facing Prince Joonmyun, eager to talk, but the prince gazed out of the window, chin propped up in his hand. He was dressed in robes of light-blue, embroidered silk, a far cry from Jongin's white shirt and deerskin vest. Jongin didn't mind their differences in dress so much as the fact that while he was happy to go home, away from the oppressive atmosphere in the castle, he thought he detected an air of melancholy in the prince's handsome features.
Not wanting his mate to be sad, an idea formed in his head and he opened the carriage door, jumping out of the rolling vehicle. Joonmyun stared after him as he changed mid-leap into wolf form and vanished into the undergrowth of the woods they travelled through. The carriage was convenient, especially carrying Joonmyun's luggage as they were, but it was also rather slow and Jongin would easily catch up to them later. He gathered certain plants and flowers, weaving them carefully arranged into a flower crown.
This little wreath he handed Joonmyun as a gift after climbing back into the carriage in his human form. Joonmyun looked like he wasn't quite sure what to do with it and Jongin wondered if it was possible that he didn't know the meanings of the herbs. So he pointed them out one by one. “This is for a safe journey, this is for a happy marriage, this is to stimulate love and-” He felt himself blushing and moved on quickly, pointing at the green-leaved vines that held everything together. “And this is against homesickness.”
“I'm not homesick,” the prince replied. “I'm just not looking forward to living in the hinterland very much. But I appreciate the sentiment.” He gave Jongin a mild smile, as if praising a child, and set the flower crown on Jongin's head. “There, now you look just like a wood elf.”
It sounded like a compliment but Jongin wasn't sure if he could take it as that, since Joonmyun didn't seem to like things unassociated with the city very much. Maybe he just had to experience the life Jongin knew for himself to learn how to appreciate it. He couldn't stop himself from saying. “It has many advantages to escape the interest of the capital's eye and the strange fashions that developed there, you'll see. Our omegas are free to go in and out of the house as they wish, and become warriors, masters of herb lore, blacksmiths, or whatever else they like. Forgive me if I'm wrong but I think you might like this prospect better than being allowed not much else but decorating some rich, old merchant's arm at a ball.”
Joonmyun eyed him contemplatively. Jongin's words had hit a nerve and yet he wasn't ready to give up his position entirely. “You're young, Alpha of the Borderlands, so I will not fault you for it, but your disregard for the power of politics and diplomacy might cost you dearly one day.”
There was some truth in that, too, Jongin had to admit and he instinctively knew that neither of the two of them was too stubborn to meet in the middle. They were actually a perfect match, each complementing the other where he was lacking. His heart fluttered warmly at the thought.
“You can always teach me.” Jongin grinned and leaned closer slowly, watching Joonmyun struggle not to blush at the proximity. It made Jongin's heart rate pick up and he dropped his flirtatious smirk, asking with what was actually a bit of shyness. “Could you call me by my name?” He wanted to become closer to Joonmyun. Besides, he didn't feel right being called his title by someone who was older and a prince only because omega upbringing demanded it.
“Yes, I would like to,” Joonmyun answered him honestly.
After some silence, he suddenly turned to Jongin again and gave him a smile, a real one that pushed his cheeks up into rosy apples and made his amber eyes shine brightly. “I am glad to be with you, though. Thank goodness I don't have to marry on of those...” He pulled a face and made a spitting sound instead of speaking the curse words that were no doubt at the tip of his tongue. “You're a bit hot-headed but your heart's in the right place. And,” he said, as if cheekily adding an after-thought he'd better keep to himself, “you're not bad to look at.”
Jongins chest expanded. Technically, he knew that he was rather handsome, but he regarded it as a gift from his parents, not something he could take credit for himself. Still, hearing it from Joonmyun's mouth made him happy, hoping it meant Joonmyun found him attractive. “You're the most beautiful omega in all the lands,” Jongin burst out wholeheartedly. Then, chuckling, he added. “But you probably hear that ten times a day.”
Joonmyun looked at him, eyes sparkling with hidden amusement. “Not nearly as often from people I'd actually like to receive compliments from.”
“Would you like me to make up for it?” Jongin said, grinning, looking into Joonmyun's eyes while leaning closer again.
“I prefer actions to follow up words if you don't want me to regard them as empty,” Joonmyun whispered, hooking a finger in the lacing ties at the neckline of Jongin's white shirt. His amber eyes dropped to Jongin's mouth while his small tongue darted out to moisten his own lips. That was all Jongin needed to cross the rest of the distance between them and kiss his prince longingly, stopping only when he leaned back, looking dazed and delectably flustered, cheeks pink and kiss-swollen lips even pinker. A faint scent of his arousal was in the air and Jongin breathed it in greedily, almost moaning and sighing with every breath.
When they finally arrived at Jongin's estate, it was already evening and he was pleased to see that a festive meal had already been prepared for them under the lantern-hung trees in the inner courtyard. Hungry as he was, he only pointed out to Joonmyun that the side wings housed a granary and stables while the living quarters were in the main building up ahead, and promised to show him around tomorrow. They washed up, then dined together, and after that came a part of the traditional wedding ceremony had secretly looked forward to all day.
A large, round bathtub made from wood had been filled with hot, scented water and they got in, submerged to the hips. Jongin offered Joonmyun a special expensive soap as a present to welcome him into his house and then the couple washed each other with soft cloths. The actual cleaning had been done before but this ritual washing symbolized their promise to always care for and help each other.
Joonmyun was extra careful with Jongin's injured shoulders, although the gashes had closed already. Jongin almost worked himself into a trance as his left hand held Joonmyun's waist gently and his other hand dipped the washcloth into the water and ran it over Joonmyun's skin, dipping and washing, dipping and washing. The misty moon above them cast its silvery glow and Jongin couldn't get enough of the omega, drinking up the feeling of his flawless skin gliding under his fingertips as he drew the wet cloth up a toned arm, following veins up to the crook of Joonmyun's elbow, dipped the cloth in water, continued up firm biceps and a strong shoulder, dipped the cloth again, then guided it slowly along sharp collarbones. At this point, Joonmyun laid his head to the side, baring the other side of his neck completely to Jongin with a sigh. Jongin dragged the washcloth over it with trembling fingers. He could see Joonmyun's pulse jumping under his pale skin. The washcloth landed in the tub with a little splash as he dropped it, overcome with desire, and pressed his tongue to Joonmyun's neck. Joonmyun dug his fingers into the muscles of Kai's back, a small moan falling from his lips as Jongin licked up the water drops on his neck in one long, hot, agonizingly slow swipe of his tongue.
“Let me take you to bed,” Jongin panted, dropping his forehead on Joonmyun's shoulder.
“Yes,” Joonmyun breathed, no less aroused, and they got dressed in long, soft robes that had been placed folded next to the bathtub. Padding across the courtyard, they couldn't get to the house quick enough, so they started running on bare feet, laughter echoing in the entrance hall as they threw the doors open. Jongin took Joonmyun's hand and let him to the bedchambers, not caring that running like this had Joonmyun unable to hold the robe closed he'd only thrown on haphazardly. The cloth fluttering from his shoulders like a waterfall to remain behind as a rippling pool on the corridor floor.
Throwing the doors close behind them, Jongin swept Joonmyun up and laid him out in the middle of the huge, springy bed, among soft pillows and blankets. Heart hammering incredibly fast, he climbed up leaning over Joonmyun who accepted him between his legs. He was just about to kiss Joonmyun when his thighs squeezed playfully around Jongin's waist, making Jongin groan and bite his lip. He leaned back up and scooted down to lay kissed all along the insides of Joonmyun's thighs instead. Joonmyun pressed the back of his hand against his mouth to stifle his sounds but Jongin could feel his stomach muscles clench. He kissed up Joonmyun's thigh to the junction of leg and hip, nuzzling his lips over tight, small balls before daring a lick at the base of Joonmyun's cock.
“Ahh, no!” Joonmyun cried and Jongin stopped, looking up at him while stroking his hipbone soothingly.
Joonmyun averted his gaze, blushing. “No, it's alright,” he said and Jongin put his lips softly back on Joonmyun's cock, “I just wanted to taste you first...”
Jongin moaned around Joonmyun's cock, feeling his own harden even more at the prospect of having it in Joonmyun's small mouth, pink lips stretched deliciously around it, but at the same time he was unwilling to let go now that he was rubbing his lips along Joonmyun's hot, hard length. Oh, but he only needed to turn around, bringing his hips over Joonmyun's face, and he could have both. Joonmyun caught on quickly, taking him into his mouth, and Jongin moaned deeply when he felt the wet heat engulf him. He hurried to get his own mouth back on Joonmyun, fully taking him in now, as deep as he could to stifle his moans. He tried to suck around Joonmyun's cock, make it good for him, but Joomyun's slick tongue was stroking along his cock, pressing him to the roof of Joonmyun's mouth, and then Joonmyun swallowed, unbearably hot pressure and suction around Jongin's cock and he couldn't hold it in anymore. He came with a scream and pushed his back up to watch underneath his body as Joonmyun's throat worked hastily, swallowing every mouthful. As he pulled out, the last bit dripped messily onto Joonmyun's cheek.
Jongin turned the right way around again, tangling his feet with Joonmyun's, and gazed heatedly at his mouth. He stopped Joonmyun's hand when he brought it up to wipe the drops of his cheek.
“Leave it,” Jongin said, voice dripping with lust, “you can wash up later.” He dipped his fingertips in the creamy fluids and trailed them down Joonmyun's neck, rubbing them into his skin until they were dry. A deep blush heated Joonmyun's skin from his face all the way down his neck and chest, Jongin could feel it as he pressed his nose into the crook of Joonmyun's neck, greedily sucking in lungfuls of the scent of sex on Joonmyun's skin. “I'll be able to smell myself on you for days,” he moaned.
Joonmyun whimpered and pushed him off, turning onto his stomach, hiding his embarrassed face in the pillow. But he was so horny that he rutted into the sheets, spreading his legs for Jongin. “Please, Jongin please don't make me wait.”
Jongin dipped his fingers into a pot of oil on the nightstand and painted a warm line down Joonmyun's back with one fingertip. Joonmyun stilled his hips, gasping, and his back arched until his ass was high up in presenting position. Jongin flushed deeply but he wasted no time, spreading oil to Joonmyun's most intimate place, fingering his asshole until he felt that his cock was fully hard again. He mounted Joonmyun and pushed in until his round ass cheeks were pressed neatly against Jongin's hips, and then he took him in fast, hard strokes that had the omega spilling into his fist only too soon. Jongin kept going, didn't empty his seed deep in Joonmyun until he was throbbing around him helplessly in overstimulation. When he pulled out, he'd never felt so sated in his life. Joonmyun rolled on his back, spreading his arms and his legs weakly. They caught each other's eyes and smiled. Jongin knew he should get a washcloth, but looking at Joonmyun, his beautiful and proud and wise mate, he was so in love with him that he didn't want to part from his side. He embraced Joonmyun around the middle and pulled him against his chest.
“You make me crazy,” Jongin groaned and pressed kisses to Joonmyun's skin where his lips were touching, “I've never felt anything like this. I don't want to stop.”
“Please, no more.” Joonmyun chuckled. “For today, you've worn me out completely. Shouldn't you be tired, too? I heard that it takes a lot of energy to... Sometimes I wonder what it's like in your position.”
Jongin leaned up on his elbow. “You've never-? Alright, we're trying it next time.”
“But I'm an omega, I can't do that.”
Jongin shook his head. “You're my mate, my equal. I wouldn't want to do anything to you that you couldn't do to me, as well. I know you've been taught differently but I want you to think about what pleases you and tell me.”
“I want...” Joonmyun thought about it for a long while, letting his gaze and his hands wander over Jongin's body. He thumbed over a small nipple, smiling at Jongin's reaction when he gasped. He stroked a fingertip along Jongin's waist and then settled his hand on top of his thigh, kneading into the supple muscle as he let out an aroused hum. “Yes, I want you to ride me. One day, when I'm ready to ask that of you.”
Jongin let out a soft, lingering moan as he heard those words. “I'd like that very much. Maybe I should get one of those wooden knobs to practice?”
“Jongin!” Joonmyun turned away, blushing. “Sleep now.”
“Yes, my prince,” Jongin said and burrowed into the blankets and pillows. “Joonmyun, my love.” He pressed a soft kiss atop Joonmyun's shoulder blade.