Years ago, when Ren had found out that Kichirou was pregnant with Misaki, his mate, Jun had run away. Ren remembered how he yelled at Jun for abandoning Kichirou when he was pregnant and realized that he had almost just done the same thing by avoiding Shouta for the last month. This was now going to start affecting another life other than theirs. It shouldn’t be about them any longer but the unborn baby within Shouta.
A baby…Ren thought, his baby!
Terrified, Ren began to think of everything under the moon. He knew that with this baby, there would be many things that Shouta would experience that he would not, he had watched Kichirou go through almost every single one of them. Suddenly, joy overcame him at the thought of being able to feel his child kick within Shouta’s womb. If he put his ear next to Shouta’s stomach would he be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat?
Since Ren was not the one who was pregnant, all that he could do was run amok within his imagination. The very first place that imagination roller coaster stopped at was on fear. Then it tilted more toward anxiety. His head thinking a million miles per hour, he thought about how he could provide for the baby. Was his paycheck enough? Was the cafe even getting enough sales to raise a child? How much would his lifestyle change? Would he still get enough sleep to take care of the baby?
It hit him at that moment, this, these thoughts and insecurities, this was the beginning to accepting the responsibility of fatherhood. And if he felt this disjointed about a baby on his side, how was Shouta feeling?
With his mind still running away from him, Ren wanted to assure Shouta that he would help, but the only thing that left his mouth was, “Uh, what?”
Shouta stared down at Ren, whose mouth was hanging open, his eyes wide and a frantic look on his face. In realities, Shouta didn’t expect Ren’s first reaction to look like one of his students being told it wasn’t lunch time yet. Shouta wasn’t offended by the reaction, because he had the same exact one when he had brought it up with his doctor the day before. He had thought that his heat had been weird so he had gone into the doctor for a check up.
Ren’s glazed eyes just stared aimlessly at Shouta as if his brain had entirely shut down. He looked like he was a robot that had broken. Resisting a chuckle, Shouta calmly waited while Ren’s frosted eyes began to melt. Then, as if struck by lightning, he bolted to his feet and grabbed Shouta by his arms, staring down at his face with a fluttering smile.
“That’s not what I meant. How are you feeling? Are you okay?” Each question was like a gunshot, one right after another. “Do I need to take you to the doctors? Are you okay working still?”
“Hold up.” Shouta growled, lifting a hand and covering Ren’s mouth. Ren stared at him wide eyed, unable to move any more. On his palm, Shouta could feel his warm breath and he resisted the shudder rolling through his nerves.
“I feel fine. My next doctor’s appointment is in three weeks for the first ultrasound. I’m pregnant, not dying, so I can still work just fine.” Shouta looked over Ren, gazing at his golden eyes and that auburn hair that swayed with each breath he took. Ren breathed in, the feeling of the air moving across his skin jolted Shouta. But what fascinated him even more, was that Ren closed his eyes and took in another breath through his nose, as if he was smelling the edge of Shouta’s hand. When his golden eyes opened once again, he reached up and lightly pulled Shouta’s hand away from his mouth.
“What do you need me to do?”
This was the reaction Shouta had been waiting for, it was also the question that would alleviate every potential problem he could face in the immediate future. Unable to hold in his feelings, the thought that Ren would be safe if he just stayed by his side brought Shouta to his knees. Now his father would be unable to do anything. Ren was safe.
Since he had collapsed so suddenly to the floor, Ren became frantic as he squatted down beside him, his hands not knowing where to go as they flailed around. “I thought you said you were okay!? What’s wrong?”
Shouta sobbed aloud, his emotions in chaos, “Nothing, I just thought you were going to run away!” His head shot up, his turquoise eyes misted with unshed tears.
“Why would I run away?” Ren questioned, his hand finally resting on the back of Shouta’s neck unconsciously, lightly trailing his fingers across that still fresh scar.
The way omega pair marks formed had always been a fascinating topic to Ren. To form a mark on an omega, a alpha had to bite hard enough to break the skin as deep as their teeth would let them. Since the wound was normally muscle deep, the healing process varied. Most of the time, before the wound would turn into a scar, it would take almost an entire month. Even after it was healed, the scar would remain visible for many years due to the sensitive area it was created in.
Despite the only outward appearance being the scar, the most important factor was indeed the enzyme that claimed the omega called the Alpha Enzyme. This was due to the fact that scars could heal and eventually fade over time, but one could not replace every single blood cell in their body. Inside of an alpha’s canines was an enzyme unique to that individual. When that alpha bit onto the back of the neck of an unmarked omega, that enzyme would then be released into the bloodstream of the omega.
However, both parties had to be in heat, otherwise the Alpha Enzyme would not travel through the body quick enough, the bite area also had to be as close to the omega’s jugular as possible. Biting one’s hands, thighs or any other part of the body would not work, only the nape area created the Alpha Enzyme. The omega also had to be in a submissive position while the alpha had to be dominating.
During an omega’s heat, their bloodstream moved two times faster than normal in order to emit as much pheromones as possible. Due to this increase, the Alpha Enzymes would course through the omega’s entire body in a matter of minutes. Once it circulated completely once through, the enzyme then would begin to multiply until the omega’s bloodstream was essentially half of the alpha’s original DNA.
This was the body’s most complex mechanism of claiming the omega as the alpha’s forever. After the enzyme was absorbed, all that was left was the mark on the back of the omega’s nape. The alpha enzyme was also what calmed down an omega’s heat and made it impossible for them to be touched by anyone but their mated pair.
“You’re not going to run away?” Shouta whispered, his eyes bright as he unconsciously moved his neck back to push that mating scar farther into Ren’s grasp. Ren’s grip shifted as he caressed that scar with whispering light fingertip touches.
“No, I’m not going to run away.” His fingers trailed forward, drifting along the back of Shouta’s ear to follow along his jawline to finally be just a caress away from his lips right below his chin. Shouta let Ren lift his chin so that he saw nothing but Ren’s fierce eyes staring down at him. “Would you move in with me? Or is that too forward?”
Shouta’s heart thundered in his chest, wasn’t this the result he had been looking for? Why was he suddenly so nervous and unsure? But with his father’s threats still echoing in his memories, Shouta smiled slightly and whispered, “I don’t know where you live.”
“Ah,” Ren whispered back, surprised. “I guess we will have to remedy that.” His fingers still touched Shouta’s skin, and Ren was fascinated with the heat seeping into his fingers. Their eyes locked, gold touching teal and they both began to edge forward, their lips a hair’s breadth away.
Suddenly Ren’s phone began to ring, startling the two out of their own little world.They stared at each other, unable to move as the phone still rang within the background. Ren moved backward, pulling his phone out to look at who was calling. It was Akira. Cursing under his breath, Ren answered, “What?” He snapped.
“Whoa sassy pants,” Akira’s voice droned from the other side. “Don’t get your boxers in a bunch.”
“What do you need Akira?” Ren growled, his eyes still locked on Shouta’s. Shouta’s face was flushed, and he reached out, ever so slowly until his fingertips lightly touched the back of Ren’s hand. Ren resisted a shudder and tried to stay completely still to Shouta’s almost hesitant touches.
“Well, you seem to have forgotten milk again,” Akira said happily from the other-side. “I was wondering while you were out if you could perhaps grabs some, grumpy pants.”
Shouta’s hand slid up farther making light touches all the way to the crook of Ren’s elbow. “How much do we need?”
“Maybe a gallon?”
Those tempting fingers traced all the way back down to Ren’s hand in a tempting move. “Is that everything?”
“I want candy.”
Ren groaned, both from Akira’s answer and Shouta’s butterfly like caress. “I’m not going to get you candy. What are you, five?”
“But I really want some.”
“I’m hanging up now,” Ren growled, lifting his hand away from Shouta so he didn’t push the omega down right then and there. “Get back to work.”
“Get me candy!” Akira yelled, her voice so loud it echoed in the small room.
“No!” Ren hung up the phone cradling his head in his hands. Opposite of him, Shouta was chuckling quietly, amused at this side of Ren he had never seen before. Heaving one last sigh, Ren looked up toward Shouta once more. He had an amused smile on his face that made Ren want to kiss it off his lips until he was moaning in pleasure beneath him. Shaking his head of the distraction, Ren said, “What time do you get out of here?”
Shouta tilted his head in a questioning manner and responded, “Three o’clock, why?”
“I’ll come pick you up after I drop Misaki off.” Already forgetting the conversation topic from earlier, Shouta stared at Ren with a confused look on his face. “You don’t know where I live, right? So I’m going to take you home with me.”
“That sounds offly like a proposal to me.” Shouta muttered, his eyes wide. This was more than he had expected from Ren.
“Maybe it was.” Ren said sheepishly. Then he leaned forward and lightly kissed Shouta’s forehead, lingering for a moment before pulling away. He ran his fingertips lightly across Shouta’s flushed cheeks and whispered, “I’ll be back later, wait for me, okay?”
“Okay.” Shouta muttered, his left cheek on fire from the soft caress that Ren left behind. Even as he watched Ren walk out of that small room, Shouta pulled out his phone from his pocket, his phone dialing a number. The moment the person on the other side answered, the door shut behind Ren quietly.