Winner Take All

Characters: Alec, Tavish
Origin: World of Egaea (WIP)
Advent Day: Day 2 (November 28th)
Rating: NC-17
Word count: 2,159


Tavish moved carefully through the forest, his fur-covered feet almost silent in the snow. Almost. He wasn't nearly as stealthy as the feral-Maith with their paws and claws. He just had feet, covered in thick fur and hide, and that didn't lend itself to silence. But he tried. Every winter, he tried. Tavish thought he was doing a hell of a lot better than the previous two years, but he still worried. Alec expected him to hunt him down, to capture him.

But, Tavish had never been an ideal hunter. It was a hopeless cause, if anyone had asked him... though no one had. Alec and Nahele were certain that since he was now bound to the lynx, he should be as good a hunter. Or that he could become as good a hunter.

He wasn't a hunter, though.

He was just Tavish. A scribe. Even if he never saw Forrin again, he was a scribe. It was all he knew. Books and parchment and ink and quills. Not stealth and scenting and pouncing and killing. Especially the killing. Killing wasn't high on Tavish's list of things to accomplish. They'd had too much death in their lives, and if he didn't have to take a life—even the life of an animal that would sustain him—he was all the happier for it.

Then, he heard a soft laugh.

Alec was teasing him! Tavish growled. Damn his mate. Damn Alec for making him want to hunt him down successfully.

He crouched down and inhaled, trying to call on the feral spirit that was bound with his. It wasn't easy, not with his lynx back at their den, but when he dug down deep inside and followed that thread of connection, it helped just a little. He felt his senses expand, and the scent of the snowy landscape deepened. Alec had left no tracks. Alec was far too smart to leave an easy trail, but then the slightest hint of scent reached his nose. Tavish perked. The scent went up.

Tavish frowned a little, and then inwardly cursed himself. He knew where to look now, but he kept his eyes trained on the snow. He crept along, each step careful and slow, but now his attention was directed upwards. He would get Alec. By all the gods, he would succeed.

It took him another freezing twenty minutes to follow the trail. And then he scurried up a tree, moving carefully from branch to branch, making his way higher. Then he perched, waited. It was times like these he wished he had a tail. A tail would make this so much easier. He huffed softly in the cold air and waited.

He didn't have to wait long.

Alec effortlessly hopped from one tree to the next, coming closer and closer. Tavish had selected right, and he couldn't help the triumphant smile that curled his lips. One more leap... and Tavish lunged. Mid-air, he brought Alec down into the soft snowdrift below. He growled, straddled Alec to hold him down, and then sank his teeth into his mate's furry throat.

I caught you! Tavish cried out delightedly between their minds, his words carrying easily down their soulbond.

Alec gasped beneath him, but the purr he emitted rumbled loudly up against Tavish's lips. You did it all on your own! I knew you could do it. Alec's strong hands hugged him close, moved from his back down to his hips, kneading at him through the furs keeping his pale skin safe from the frigid cold. The kneading shifted over his hips, teasing up under the fur on his back, and then down to his ass.

Tavish whined and wriggled, bearing down on Alec to keep him in the snow. It was then that he felt Alec more fully beneath him, and it sent a shiver through him. Alec was hard as a rock beneath him. He froze atop his mate and pulled back from Alec's throat, wide-eyed. "Y-Y-You're..."

"So happy you caught me, love," Alec purred with a smirk.

A flush moved over Tavish's cheeks. It didn't matter how long he'd been mated to Alec, he easily became flustered about intimacy. He licked his lips. "It took m-me over an h-hour to c-c-catch you."

"But you caught me." Alec rolled his hips up, and Tavish couldn't help the soft mewl that came from his throat. "Don't you think that deserves celebrating?"

"Celebrating?" Tavish opened his eyes. "You m-mean... rut? Out here?"

Alec moaned, squeezed Tavish's ass again. "I mean, the winner should take his prize."

Tavish shook his head a little. "One of the others might come by. They m-might see."

"And what would you like them to think if they see, hmm?" Alec asked, his nails digging into Tavish's hips a little. "Do you want them to think I just humored you? That you gave up the hunt?"

A muscle in Tavish's face twitched, and he frowned, pushing Alec down into the snow. "No. Everyone sh-should know I caught you. I s-succeeded."

"That's right," Alec encouraged with a grin. "But if I struggle, push you into the snow, and take you..."

Alec began to shift beneath him, and Tavish growled. "No! They have to know I won!" He ground down to try to stop Alec's squirming, and when that didn't keep his mate still, he grabbed Alec's arms and pinned them into the snow. "I hunted you." There was no hint of his stutter now. That feral spirit inside him rose up. "I caught you." He'd never caught Alec before without Alec giving in and letting himself be caught. "The whole clan should know I caught you, and that you were mine to claim."

"Can you claim me?" Alec whispered, struggling against Tavish's strength.

Tavish snarled, a wildness surging up through him at the challenge. "Yes!" In a flurry of motion, Tavish turned Alec over, forced him face first into the snow as his clawed hands pulled at Alec's loincloth. When he leaned down to nose and lick at Alec's exposed hole, he smelled oil. If he hadn't been hard already, that would have done it for him. "Did you let me win?" he snarled, wondering if Alec had prepared himself knowing he'd give up and let Tavish catch him. The idea he hadn't won fair and square this time set Tavish on edge, made him angry in a way he wasn't accustomed to.

A muffled sound escaped Alec, and Alec's long tail twitched. Tavish let up his grip on Alec ever so slightly, and Alec turned his head, panting, "No! No, Tavish. I just... I hoped. Gods, I've prepared myself and hoped every year."

Tavish frowned a little. "Every year?"

Alec whined. "Every year. I swear."

"So... I did catch you fairly?"

"Yes, love, you did," Alec panted. "Do you plan to stake your claim on what you've captured?"

Tavish growled again, nipping at the base of Alec's twitching tail. "Yes. Push myself in, leave the musk of me behind," he panted, cheeks burning as he speaks so plainly.

Alec moaned and whimpered, pushing back into his bite. Alec's tail twitched one more time before curling upward, arcing over Alec's dark, furry body, and the way it exposed Alec's hole called to that feral spirit inside Tavish. He fumbled with the ties of his trousers, loosening the folds of the furs until he freed his sex.

The cold air against his hard flesh made him hiss in a breath, and he gripped Alec's hips and positioned himself quickly. He pushed forward in a single, rough thrust, and his possessive cry echoed up into the trees. Oh, gods, Alec's body was so hot around him. So slick. And the desperate whine his mate gave, shifting eagerly back against him pushed his shyness and misgivings to the far reaches of his mind.

Only one thought filled Tavish's mind: claim. He didn't wait long between the first thrust and the next. He felt overheated in his furs, his face icy from the cold wind that whipped around them. It didn't matter. What mattered was how hot and tight Alec was around him, how his mate met him thrust for thrust. Usually, he laid beneath Alec, but there were times... times like now... when the dominant beast inside Tavish took over and fulfilled its Alpha's submissive needs. Tavish took Alec as hard and fast as his slighter, leaner body could. His body tingled with heat and cold and pleasure, small barks and loud yips leaving his throat as he announced to any within hearing distance that he'd won, he'd caught his mate, and he was taking what was his.

His thighs began to burn from the strain, and he saw Alec shift and reach between his own legs. A low growl escaped him, and he leaned forward, taking the nape of Alec's neck between his teeth. He bit down as he surged forward again and again, pushing them both toward the edge. Alec's tail suddenly went rigid, and Tavish gasped when Alec's inner muscles clamped down around him. Alec came with the sweetest of cries, and Tavish tightened his jaw, biting harder as he followed his mate into that white-hot moment of pleasure and dominance.

After a few tense moments as his body shuddered, Tavish released Alec's neck. He sat back on his heels, panting, his breath icing in large clouds in front of him. Tavish stared at Alec's wet hole, smeared with his seed, and a wave of possessive triumph washed through him. He grinned as he reached out, rubbing his seed into Alec's furry flesh. "Mine," he breathed.

Alec mewled, his tail flicking and caressing up and down his arm. Tavish knew it was an unconscious touch, but it made him grin and take hold of Alec's tail with his free hand, scritching and petting the cool length of thick fur. Alec's purr was deep and loud as the cold wind died down. "Yours," he moaned. "All yours, Tavish. So proud of you."

Another flush crept over Tavish's face. "You are?"

"Yes," Alec whispered, turning around to face Tavish. "So proud." Alec leaned in to kiss him softly, and Tavish whimpered in the back of his throat as Alec's tongue moved through his mouth.

It's taken me four years to catch you. Though, if Tavish were honest, after the war three years ago, he had been off his game entirely, as had everyone else. Losing loved ones could really gum up the works. He loved the way Alec's tongue slid along his, Alec's a little rough, sandpapery, but so good. And you would have found me within five minutes if you'd been hunting me.

Alec's purr intensified, wrapping around his senses just as surely as Alec's body curled around him in the snow, holding him close. All the more reason to celebrate your successful hunt, Alec's mindvoice insisted in his head. Besides, it's taking me a lot longer to track you down without cheating these days.

Tavish pulled back from their kiss, his eyes wide. "You've cheated?"

"Maybe just once or twice, following our connection to feel which way you've gone," Alec admitted with a light blush, his ears twitching to an incredibly guilty angle.

"Alec!" Tavish laughed, fwapping his mate. "Cheating's not allowed!"

Alec pounced him, pressing him down into the snow. "Are you saying you dislike it when I catch you?"

"N-No," Tavish whispered, his hands pressed to Alec's broad chest. "It's just not fair."

"How about we go back to our den," Alec purred, nuzzling and nipping at Tavish's throat, "and you punish me for my cheating."

Tavish moaned, arousal beginning to swirl through his senses. "P-Punish you?"

"All night long, if necessary," Alec offered. "Your scent all over me so everyone will know about your triumphant hunt and the claiming of your mate."

How could he resist such a thing? He wanted everyone to know, to respect his accomplishment, and if that meant covering Alec with marks and scenting him all night, he wouldn't back down from the challenge. "B-Back to the den," he ordered.

Alec rose to his feet, picking up his loincloth, but not bothering to put it back on. "Race you?"

"You can't use the trees," Tavish said with a grin, fixing his own trousers.

"If I win, I take you," Alec purred, licking broadly over Tavish's lips.

Tavish moaned. "And if I win?"

"Aside from you rutting with me all night long?" Alec laughed. "If you win, we will finally venture to Tira for those rings you admire on the triplets and Kyran."

Wedding bands? Alec would actually wear a wedding band from him? Tavish gave an excited yip and took off toward the settlement and their den. He'd win. He had to win. He didn't want to wait a whole other year to try again! As he ran, he could hear Alec's laughter behind him, and Tavish smiled into the cold bite of the wind.

He'd win.

All works contained here are copyrighted to S.L. Armstrong. No reproduction or usage is permitted without written, express consent by the author.