Arthur was in love.
Had it been a month since he got married? Just barely, and yet being in public already felt so new. A deeper, more confident stride for one. The pleasant weight of a ring graced his finger, and he spent far too long fidgeting with it, letting it clank against all sorts of things just to listen to that satisfying thrum.
Then there were the omegas gushing about his obviously fresh mating mark. A quick dash to restock the fridge ended up in at least one other person approaching him. He supposed that was how it was in their small town. There was not much of the term "personal boundaries", and he could honestly pretend it annoyed him when in fact he'd find himself tickled beyond compare. His cheeks would tint pink as they preened over his newly-wed glow, and he'd find himself biting back a grin as his colleagues and students alike congratulated him. Stops by his classroom went from asking academic questions to the sole purpose of teasing him about his husband- to which he'd respond with a half-hearted scowl and a red-faced change of the subject.
It was hard to maintain a professional attitude with someone like that on your mind.
His mate was rather popular in the area. Their relationship was quite the scandal for the longest time- An elementary school teacher from a plain town such as theirs and the older CEO of a multimillion dollar corporation. Allistair McCrae, the red-haired, handsome devil of an alpha who'd just happened to visit their school for a speech. Needless to say, he had torn Arthur's breath right out of his chest at first sight. Arthur had been leading his ankle-biting students into the auditorium for the presentation when those stony green eyes had skipped over him. His heart had stopped, knees almost giving away as Allistair glanced back to grip Arthur's gaze, lips quirking up in a challenging smirk.
He'd never expected to be cornered after school by the very same man, and Arthur hadcertainly never expected that silver-tongued, silky-smooth voice to be asking for his number- yes, him! Of all the people a successful alpha could have, it was him, someone so painfully boring.
And after two years of school visits and stealing heated kisses in empty hallways, they were finally married.
Arthur couldn't help his dopey grin as he swung his car door shut. His shiny, glinting ring clacked against the steering wheel as he started the skittering ignition, green eyes bouncing around to check his mirrors before driving it out on the familiar path home. He flinched as the wheel hit a pothole.
Allistair had offered to buy him a new car.
He'd offered Arthur many things- one of them being a better job and a place in the bed of his city penthouse. Arthur had been stubborn, of course. He'd bought his car with his own hard earned money, and his school meant too much to him for making leaving easy. Being a teacher was his passion, and he supposed when it boiled down to it, he had all summer to go live with his husband anyways.
Allistair just had to deal with it. Arthur mused with a slight smirk, after all, absence did make the heart grow fonder. (That was made evident by the hoard of gifts that would greet Arthur upon Allistair's visits. Not to mention the sleepless night that would follow soon after.)
Having his mind trail off seemed to cut the travel time short. Soon, he was pushing his key into the old lock of his small apartment, sighing as the door popped open with a small, croaking click. He found that he always counted down the days to the next summer. The boiling July sun would rise and he'd be treated to the spacious rooms of Allistair's more lavish living quarters, free time on his hands to nap or get his hands on a nice book as he waited for his husband to come back home.
But, he supposed his own place had its perks as well.
Arthur opened the door to the smell of chocolate and was almost immediately pulled to a warm, broad chest, as if the owner of the said broad chest had been waiting for the moment to pounce.
"Welcome home, babe, I missed you."
This was not his husband.
Arthur pulled away with a slight smile as a pair of lips touched his for a chaste kiss, large hands rubbing circles into his back. He was guided towards the kitchen.
"You live here, needy idiot, you saw me this morning."
"Yeah but it's not summer anymore, I'm suffering from Artie-withdrawal every day you head out to that run-down school," came the whiny response. Arthur cocked a brow as he was suddenly offered what seemed to be a lump of chocolate, "I made chocolate-covered strawberries! It took me all day, babe, it looks easy as hell but I legit burned my fingers twice."
"What would you do without me, Alfred," Arthur muttered only half-seriously as he took a bite out of the offering. His immediate reaction was a deep, appreciative moan at the rich taste on his tongue, "What's the occasion, your fat arse can barely get up to fill yourself a glass of water and now you're making desserts?"
Alfred laughed at that- a loud, chiming laugh with little crinkles beside his blue eyes.
"When Alfred said you were harassing him, I didn't know he truly meant it."
That was not Alfred's voice, Arthur deduced. A wide grin crept onto his features, that rough, heady Scottish accent could only belong to one.
Alfred's hold on him went slack and Arthur turned on his heel to find a familiar alpha leaning against the bedroom door. God knew how long he'd been standing there- Arthur supposed he hadn't noticed due to the stale scent-suppression patch he'd been required to wear by his job. He picked at it almost instantaneously, preening under the eyes of his grinning husband.
"Well, now that I think about it, you are a naughty lil' thing anyway."
Allistair took long steps forward, finding that scooping Arthur into his arms wasn't so hard when Arthur had practically climbed into them himself.
Their kisses were always so breathless.
"Y'all are nasty," Alfred remarked with a crinkled nose, turning to inspect his strawberries as Arthur wrapped his legs around Allistair's torso, fingers tugging at those red locks as their tongues rubbed and intertwined.
It was cute, really. Alfred would get so flustered, cheeks ruddy-red with jealousy as Arthur tore out of his arms.
Allistair pulled away with a sneer, tossing Arthur over his shoulder and ignoring the omega's loud protests, "You forget who's married, Jones."
"Yeah," Alfred muttered, squatting to make way for the tray in the fridge. He clenched his jaw as Allistair carried a squealing, writhing Arthur to the couch, plopping down to settle Arthur onto his lap.
"Gave myself a nice, week-long break."
Allistair's breath was hot against Arthur's ear as he leaned in to whisper. A pair of arms wrapped around his middle, pressing him back against Allistair's chest. "Can't leave my naughty husband with a bachelor alpha, now can I?"
Allistair had decided to say that second bit louder, and Arthur shook his head in mock disbelief as a resounding, "hey!" tore through from the kitchen.
"You two will never get along."
The accusation brought Alfred stomping right towards them, his heavy weight pressing right against Arthur as he sank onto the couch beside them. A head of tousled blonde hair sought out Arthur's hand and Arthur smiled to himself as he knotted his fingers in Alfred's hair, pressing a light kiss onto the tanned forehead.
Alfred seemed pleased with that. He threw Allistair a smug look and brought himself up further to snuggle between Arthur's legs, pressing sweet kisses into the hand that didn't brandish Allistair's expensive mating ring.
Allistair retaliated with kisses to Arthur's neck, to which Alfred responded with a tight grip of his arms around Arthur's middle, fighting away at Allistair's hold there.
"You'll both kill me one day," Arthur muttered, helplessly submitting himself to the childish battle for his attention. It's not like he minded- not many would have what he had at that moment. Two gorgeous alphas, his two gorgeous alphas- a literal furnace of affection that despite being riddled with jealousy, still managed to pinken his cheeks after the tiring long day's work.
"Has Alfred been taking proper care of you?" Allistair inquired after a bite to the lobe of Arthur's ear.
"Oh yeah, very well."
That had been Alfred's initial job after all. A bodyguard of sorts that Allistair felt was required for his peace of mind. Arthur found it cute that Allistair had hesitated to admit his concern for leaving his husband unprotected. They lived too far apart, and though he knew just how fine Arthur was on his own (given by his rather violent reaction to a group of catcallers on a walk they'd taken once together), a little help would let him sleep at night. The life of someone so famous apparently came hand in hand with paranoia, but Arthur didn't mind.
(Or at least, he tried not to.)
Thus, Alfred was called to the job. He'd apparently been one of Allistair's closest friends. Arthur had found him incredibly annoying at first, what with following him this way and there, threatening run-of-the-mill alphas that dared to give Arthur a second glance… he found himself evading his bodyguard using a variety of tactics and battle plans, only to be caught and lectured time and time again.
On a particular visit from Allistair, the one time Arthur could be freed from the exasperatingly tight chains that went by the name of Alfred, he'd relayed his frustration to his amused husband- fiancé at the time. Allistair's response had been to emit a low chuckle and rub Arthur's hips.
His voice was almost pleased- maybe even smug with the words that spilled out of them."He likes you, ya know. He has some interesting things to say when he's drunk off his rocker."
Needless to say, Arthur had seen Alfred under a whole new light then on.
His cute little dimples, the curves of his muscles standing out against the fabric of his shirts, the flustered pink on his cheeks as he offered Arthur bits from his lunch…
By the time Allistair visited again, Arthur could tell he knew. By the sweet tinge in Arthur's scent when Alfred laughed, by the tart, bitter undertones when Allistair suggested perhaps changing Alfred's position as a bodyguard…
Yet one night, after a dinner Arthur had prepared for the three (after hours of practice), Arthur found Alfred tagging along behind Allistair as they retired to bed.
"I figured you'd want to try some new things out." Allistair had whispered into Arthur's ear, and in all his years, Arthur had never agreed so fast. He'd spent his whole life sleeping cold, and God had graced him with another to lay entangled with. Now he had two- two others that loved him more than Allistair could ever do alone. It was surreal, absolutely unreal-
It goes without saying that though Allistair and Arthur had eventually gotten married, Alfred had been in their wedding night. Though Allistair and Arthur had a ring to show for their mating, Alfred had the key to their house, and like hell if Arthur didn't love every second of it.
He supposed that now, Alfred meant a bit more to him. It was to Allistair's annoyance, of course, but who was he to deny something Arthur wanted?
"Long day at work?"
Arthur let his eyes crack open and he groaned lightly, "You have no idea. Some kids thought it would be funny to chop a whole lock off a girl's hair."
Allistair chuckled, nuzzling his head into Arthur's neck, "Kids are rascals."
"I love kids." Was Alfred's annoyed retort.
"Now, now," Arthur warned half-heartedly. His experience with children in elementary school was enough to tame his alphas, who had now taken to glaring at each other as if Arthur wasn't there to see it. "I already had to deal with difficult children, I don't need you two misbehaving as well."
The reply was a unanimous grunt and he let himself smile at that, leaning back into Allistair's chest with fingers lazily coiling in Alfred's hair.
After a long pause came yet another protest as the full meaning of Arthur's previous reply sank in, "Hold on, what's 'Alfred's treating me very well' supposed to mean?"
Alfred had chuckled at that and Arthur chose to remain silent.
"Well?" Allistair prompted.
"Let's just say Arthur was very warm these past few weeks without you."
Arthur had the sense to roll off Allistair's lap when he heard the growl. The two were back at it again with their little game of attempting to assert dominance in Arthur's eyes. It was fun really, watching them leap to the floor and roll around trying to pin each other down- Arthur buried his face in his palms at the sheer idiocy of it, but that didn't seem to stop them.
"Aha!" A cry of triumph as Alfred pinned Allistair beneath him. Another growl and a half-hearted kick sent Alfred to the floor with Allistair above him.
"Al!" A convenient nickname for the two, Arthur had decided. It had grabbed both of their attentions and Arthur noted to himself to use the name often. It would come handy in… situations. "By the time I go freshen up, I want the table set for dinner. It's late, behave."
A simultaneous roll of their eyes was inevitable, but nevertheless they managed to heave themselves off the floor. Arthur surveyed the power of his words with a self-satisfied smile.
Two alphas, his alphas- yes, Arthur had two lovers where others struggled to have one.
He was a selfish man. it was a title he'd grown to be quite familiar with, seeing as no one in their small town found anything more interesting than his love life, and he supposed it had quite the ring to it.
Perhaps 'alpha-thief' was something he wouldn't mind being called either.
After all, when his own husband didn't deny him what he wanted, did it really matter what others thought?