Yes, You Are by Willa Okati

Chapter Four

A wise man, who might or might not have been himself, had remarked to Darian that there was nothing better than going to bed with a hot piece of ass.

Yeah, he was one crude motherfucker, but he’d been right so far.

Darian woke up the way he usually did, taking one blink to figure out where the fuck he was and what he’d gotten up to, then all engines roaring. Looked like a nice morning out there. He glanced down. Nice morning wood too, and no wonder. His memory got a little fuzzy after finding a second condom in the bottom of his duffel, a second fuck, and the third and fourth round of tequila. He thought he remembered himself and Coby passing out right there on the floor in a tangle of arms and legs and all kinds of sticky things. Sometime during the night they’d rolled apart, leaving six inches of separation between himself and the big Omega.

Well. Technically no separation at all, given the morning wood thing and the space it took up. A little weird to wake up in the same place he’d been the night before -- Darian wasn’t one for making a whole night out of one-night-stands -- but he could get used to it. He indulged in a good long up and down look at Coby. Mmm. Ass as fine as he remembered, and all those miles of torso and legs. As if he sensed Darian’s gaze, Coby twitched once and took a startled breath. If he wasn’t all the way awake yet, he was getting there fast.

And that gave Darian all kinds of ideas. No sense wasting a good hard-on, after all, not if you had something better to do with it than jerk off.

A little scoot nudged him close enough to snug his cock up good and firm against that sweet ass, and now Coby was awake if that deep grunt of shocked arousal was anything to go by. “Hey, baby,” Darian said with his mouth at Coby’s shoulder. He bit down barely enough for Coby to feel it and liked the way it made him shiver. Snaking one arm around the man’s middle, he slid his hand down to take hold of a hard-on as good as any Alpha’s. “Turn around, gorgeous. Want to wake you up all the way with my mouth on your cock.”

The rest of Coby went stiff. He held his breath -- Darian felt his chest stop rising and falling -- then shoved Darian’s hand out of the way and went still again, pretending pretty badly to still be asleep after all.

You didn’t get a much clearer no fucking way than that. Darian stared at him, too nonplussed to react. Well, damn.

There really wasn’t anything better than going to bed with a hot piece of ass, but then there was the flip side: there was nothing worse than waking up with a cold shoulder turned your way.

Fuck. Darian folded his arms behind his head and stared at the ceiling. Some dickbrain had stuck a wad of gum up there, and a dozen graphite streaks around the pencil stuck in the middle told a whole story about how bored someone had been the last time it got noticed.

“You know, if somebody that I’d fucked blind and stupid last night was lying there pretending to be asleep when he knew damn well I was awake, I’d get annoyed,” Darian remarked, calm as if he’d said hmm, looks like rain later instead. “If I’d tried to go down on him and discovered he’d turned into an Alphaphobe overnight, I’d be pissed.”

There, that got a reaction. Coby jerked up, looking hard at him over his shoulder. “We don’t have any more condoms, and I’m not an -- what you said.”

“No? ‘Cause I’ve got to tell you, that’s not the usual reaction to what I was offering.”

“It’s not…” Coby fidgeted until he worked himself upright and slumped, hands between his knees and head low. “I don’t feel like I thought I would. I mean, I did it, right? I got through it.”

Whoa. Whoa. And also, what the fuck? Darian sat up too, indignation lighting his darker fires. “Okay, you better not have said what I think you said. ‘Did it’? ‘Got through it’? Like, what, I’m some mountain you had to climb or a bridge you had to jump off? Goddamn, man, thanks for the memories.”

Darian pushed himself to his feet -- it was his turn to storm out anyway -- but Coby caught him by the ankle before he could make a getaway. “No! That’s not what I meant.”

The sincerity on him was almost painful to watch, and it made Darian slow his roll despite himself.

Not enough to damp down his temper, though. “Okay, fine. What did you mean? Try again. Use small words.”

“Don’t be like that. You know I don’t think you’re stupid. Fuck. I’m the stupid one.” Coby’s head lowered, but -- huh -- he didn’t let go of Darian’s ankle. His thumb rubbed at the bone there before he looked back up. “It wasn’t what I thought -- no, let me start again. I’m not what I thought I would be, after. I wanted to be -- not me, and you were there, and -- God! Shouldn’t it have been -- it should have made me different. Shouldn’t it?”

Oh, for the love of hell. “You thought your first time fucking an Alpha would turn you into a Stepford Omega?” Darian asked incredulously. “You wanted that? And is that why you picked me? Convenience? Nearest one on hand to get the job done, and now that you did, you’re over it?”

Coby’s eyes narrowed. “If I said none of that was true, would you believe me?”

He would, yeah, and that pissed Darian off even more. Tugging his ankle free, he glowered at Coby. “All you had to do was ask, you fucker. I’d have told you. Sex doesn’t make you all growed up. It just gets you laid.”

“And that’s what you wanted.”

“I” -- Darian clamped his mouth shut because Goddamnit, he was starting to be unable to escape an awareness that that wasn’t all he wanted and --”I could have told you sex is sex is sex and what it does to you, that’s up to you. There’s no Goddamn rules about fucking and no magic wands unless you really like the dick. And you want to talk about different? Shit, that was my first time with a virgin!”

Coby stared at him for a full count of five, jaw dropped. “What?”

Oh hell. He hadn’t meant to say that. Now Coby would think it’d been a pity fuck or worse. Darian clamped his jaw shut and crossed his arms.

“I’m sorry, what?” Coby hauled himself to his feet, and good God, could that man loom when he wanted to. “Was that why you wanted it? You wanted to be the first one in there? Put your stamp on my ass?”

Yup. He’d thought “worse.” Darian threw his hands up. “Oh fuck no, you’re still the one not getting me and you know what? You’re doing it on purpose, smacking me back.”

“Oh my God, you are the most --”

“Yeah, and I knew you’d be that way!”

They were facing each other now, glare to glare, jabbing fingers, shoving each other knuckles first. “If you knew what would happen, why did you even bother?” Coby demanded.

Maybe it was the frustration, maybe it was the things Darian kept trying to stomp down finally breaking through, but he shouted, “Because you’re worth it, you fucking moron!”

Coby’s mouth opened and shut before his face went red with fury. “And you didn’t even --”

A knock on the door cut him off halfway through what promised to be one hell of a fiery rant. Darian and he swung their heads around in tandem to find Oscar standing in the doorway -- shit, they’d left it unlocked, hadn’t they?

Oscar jingled the change in his pocket, head cocked slightly. Oh yeah, he’d heard all of that. Darian didn’t even need to ask. “Bad time?” he asked, too nonchalant to fool any of them. “I came to get my vape back and ask if you two wanted breakfast.”

Coby’s stomach roared, right on cue. So did Darian’s.

Okay, fine. He wanted to tag all kind of Alpha bullshit on Darian? Fine. Darian’d give him something to really work with. Grabbing Coby by the wrist, he hauled the big man stumbling forward. “Let’s go.”

“Sure.” Oscar shrugged. “Might want to put some clothes on first, though. And shower.”

Coby went embarrassed pink as Darian clapped a hand over his face.

Oh yeah. This was going to be one hell of a day, and it’d barely even started. Who knew where it’d go from here?

* * *

Oscar, like Darian, wasn’t a total asshole when he didn’t want to be. By the time Darian and Coby had showered, separately and thank you very much, and made it out to the grassy quad, glaring at each other and anyone who happened to get in their way, Oscar had parked his ass under a tree with a cigarette in one hand and two giant bags of fast food kept safe from poachers between his boots. He gestured at those, then at the grass.

Coby shifted glances between the food, Darian, and Oscar, but the near-constant growling of his stomach won the fight there. He collapsed into a completely graceless heap of legs and grabbed one of the bags. Barely waiting to get the wrapper off a sausage biscuit, he shoved half of it into his mouth.

Darian shook his head at Oscar in warning, who shrugged. He took a long, long drag of delicious carcinogens and let it out in a streaming plume of smoke. “I ate on the way back, but there’s burritos in there for you,” he said to Darian. “Eat. You’re not yourself when you’re hungry.”

Fucking bastard, he knew that was the Snickers tag line.

Darian curled his lip at Oscar, who smirked back at him, but now that it’d been mentioned he could smell those tortillas. They’d been stuffed with eggs and bacon and peppers hot enough to melt his face off and fuck it, he needed fuel too. He sat, deliberately graceful, and dug through his bag for his share.

For a few minutes, they chewed and swallowed ferociously, sinking their teeth into bread and meat like it was the chunks of flesh they’d wanted to bite out of each other. When Coby’s stomach finally chilled the fuck out and he slowed down enough to tear bites from his fourth sandwich instead of damn near swallowing it whole, Oscar cleared his throat.

“I’d have won that bet,” he said.

In tandem -- and what the fuck was up with that, seriously -- Darian and Coby showed him their middle fingers.

One good thing about Oscar, besides his willingness to shell out a small fortune on fast food, was how little of a damn he gave about that kind of thing. He snorted and kicked lightly at Darian with one boot heel.

But then, he got evil.

“Missed you last night,” he said, lighting a second cigarette with the cherry of his first and stubbing that one out. “Thought you and I had plans.”

Darian frowned. “The fuck are you talking about?”

“Fucking,” Oscar said, still mild.

Oh shit. “Motherfucker, I will kick your ass,” Darian warned. “Stop trying to stir the pot. You know damn well what’s going on and unless I am sadly fucking mistaken I didn’t ask for your help.”

“Wait. You were going to hook up with him?” Coby looked half appalled, half dismayed.

“He was,” Oscar said. “What? I offered, I assumed Darian accepted. I waited for you. Cleaned up and out and everything and there you left me, sitting all alone like an ugly boy on prom night. Makes a man feel un-damn-appreciated. I’ve gotten fucked by some good ones, but I had ideas, man. Eating you out, for a start.” To Coby, he added, “You ever have someone eat your ass? He could give lessons, damn. Or get someone to finger-bang you while he sucks your cock? I have. A few times, but this one here, he’s top tier.”

“I will kill you,” Darian said. “Kill you with my bare hands.”

If Oscar heard him, he didn’t let on. He had all his attention fixed on Coby. “I mean, you’re an Omega. It’s probably different for you. Who’d want a briefcase bomb like him? You need someone gentle. Sweet, maybe. Someone who’ll treat you like you’re precious.” He gave Coby a lascivious once-over. “You want a taste of this, I’m still worked up, and you need a good claiming.”

Coby’s hands knotted into fists so tight the knuckles went white, and his glare could have set the whole campus on fire. That son of a bitch was goading him, wasn’t he? Darian realized.

Seriously. Kill him.

“But then again, who knows. Maybe you like being the way you are, with all that sexual tension boiling underneath. You two were too busy fighting last night? Or, you know, screwing like rabbits? Like I said, I’d have won that bet. That whole dorm stank like sex.”

Coby covered his face with both hands. “Oh my God,” he said behind them, muffled. Darian winced with embarrassment on his behalf. Virgin that he’d been, he probably didn’t realize others could smell what they’d been up to.

Oscar continued as if he’d never been interrupted, gazing thoughtfully at his cigarette ember. “I’d have won a bet that you’d fuck it up as soon as you could too. Stubborn bastards, both of you. After you’ve finished stuffing your faces on my dime, maybe try talking to each other instead of shouting. Works better.”

“Nope. No. Not doing this.”

Coby unfolded and stalked away. Even left his unfinished biscuit behind, but the back of his neck was as red as a sunset and he shudder-stumbled with a hitch of breath every few steps. No man who didn’t have the most inconvenient boner of his life moved that way, and Coby confirmed as much with a quick glance over his shoulder before turning back.

“Damn.” Oscar whistled. “How good was the sex?”

Darian calmly, slowly, reached out and put one hand around Oscar’s throat.

Oscar knocked it easily away. “Like you would, dog. You’re all bark and dick.”

“I can change if I want,” Darian growled. “What the fuck did you do that for? He was pissed off enough before. I’ll be lucky if he hasn’t moved all his shit out of the room before I get back.”

“Will he?” Oscar took the last drag off his cigarette and let it fall where it could keep burning until it reached the filter and the dirt. “You want him. I can smell it. Judas fuck, man. Why’d I do that? So he’d figure out how much he wanted you too, even after whatever happened. Anyone could see that if they weren’t being stupid on purpose. Sound familiar?” He knocked Darian upside the head, very much not gently. “Stop being stupid. That Omega’s mad as hell at the thought of anyone even talking about having you.”

Darian stared at him, struck dumb for the second time in one morning.

“I swear I can hear you thinking, what do I do?” Oscar snorted. “Go after him, dipshit. See what happens next.” His grin went evil again. “Or are you chicken?”

Darian punched him in the ribs, hard enough to knock him sideways.

“Yeah,” Oscar said from down in the dirt. “That’s what I thought. And it was worth it.”

* * *

So there were a few things he could do in response to that. There were always choices. Darian thought about getting right back on that train, drop-off to hell be damned, and hauling ass back where he’d come from where things were slightly more sane. Thought about going to the housing office and asking for another room ASAP. An Alpha changing his mind about rooming with an Omega? Nobody’d ask questions, not even Nutcracker Jaw. He spent the longest time wondering if he could pull off going back and pretending nothing had ever happened, not even the sex, and spending the rest of the session ignoring Coby until Coby did the same thing.

In the end, Darian did what he’d known he would all along, really. He went back to their shared rooms with all his sleeves rolled up, mind and body, ready to throw down however he needed to.

Not that he knew -- still -- what exactly he was fighting for. Just that he needed to fight for it.

The trick would be how Coby felt about it all. With his hand on the doorknob, Darian paused long enough to shake his head. Who even was he now, and what even was his life? Fuck.

He could taste Coby’s scent right through the door. He was in there.

Darian squared his shoulders and turned the knob.

Coby sat on his bed, pretty much the way Darian had figured he would -- but not with his back turned. He’d perched himself in profile, where he could keep an eye on the door, and rested his chin on his hand as he watched Darian walk in. “Hi.”

Darian eyed him. Hard to tell what he was thinking, from the look on his face. Definitely wasn’t playing to his strengths and it sure hadn’t worked before, but he might want to tread carefully. He grimaced at the thought, then waved off Coby’s worried glance. “Random thought. Not related.”

Coby scoffed quietly. “Until now, I never believed all that about being able to smell lies.”

Super. “Fine. Not unrelated. Still random. Mostly.”

Coby cocked his head as if curious, then made an okay, that tracks face. Then it was straight back to neutral with almost concealed worry lingering in his eyes.

Darian shoved his hands in his pockets, but so help him, he couldn’t hold it in. “All I want to do right now is kiss you. Push you down and fuck you harder than I did last night. Just so you know.”

Coby’s lips parted. He licked them and nodded once, very carefully. “But first.”

Yeah. “First,” Darian said, resigned.

“You need to understand, Darian. I fought like that with my family all the time. Not about sex! I mean.”

“Jesus, I’d sure hope not.” Darian sat on the edge of his bed, directly across from Coby, and rested his elbows on his knees. “You mean you fought about stupid shit instead of…” He winced again. “Talking about it.”

“You know you make ‘talk about it’ sound like ‘deliberately trying to catch gonorrhea,’ right?”

Catching feelings, catching STDs, what was the diff… okay, there was plenty of difference. Darian spread his hands, palms up, and shrugged. “I’m trying.”

“Yeah.” Coby looked down, biting at his lip. “This is all so weird. Can you listen for a while?” His mouth crooked in a hint of a smile. “I mean, you might rupture something from not talking for a few minutes, but if you could give it a shot.”

What Darian gave him was a rude gesture, but he settled back and indicated, go ahead.

Coby took his sweet time about it, drawing in a few deep breaths and moving his lips as if sorting through ways to put it and discarding them one after another, then finally gave a frustrated growl and went for it. He looked up at Darian, hawk eyes so fiercely locked on his that Darian damned near lost his breath -- not from being taken aback, but with a shock of pride in Coby’s newly rediscovered backbone that rocked him from brain to dick and took a return trip all the way up. “Are you listening?”

Darian nodded.

“I didn’t explain myself well this morning, and then you made it worse by pissing me off. Emotional STDs or not, if we’re going to make this work, whatever it is, we can’t throw words at each other like they’re knives and expect no one’s going to end up bleeding.”

Darian blinked. “Damn. Shit, sorry, still trying.”

Coby shook his head, but like he was doing his best not to laugh, before he went on. “I need to know something. Did you set all that up with Oscar on purpose?”

“I don’t understand.”

“Did you try to make me jealous, I mean.” Coby held his arms open at his sides. “Did you know I would be?”

“No,” Darian said. No hesitation. “You can smell that that’s the truth.”

“Yeah.” Coby rubbed his knuckles against his chin. “I didn’t consciously know myself until it happened. But -- I was. I am. Is that part of the whole Omega thing? You didn’t stamp yourself on me, but I stamped you on me? You learned a lot about the ways Omegas work. I didn’t, and I still don’t get most of it.”

“There’s… not a lot to get, aside from the obvious, and what happened last night. I don’t know most of it myself. I mean, you could have done that.”

There went those hawk eyes again. “If I had, would you mind?”

And there went Darian’s breath too. He hesitated, knowing if he went too long that smell or not anything he said would sound like a lie, and hell, he had to go for it too. “No,” he said. “I wouldn’t. And I don’t know that I didn’t stamp myself on you either. I didn’t plan on it. Fuck knows I didn’t.”

“But it happened,” Coby said. “I didn’t know it was going to be like that, Darian. Like the second I let myself think I want him I was -- gagging for it. I would have gone down on my knees if you’d pointed at the floor and said ‘heel.’”

“Holy shit, don’t say things like that if you don’t want them to happen.” Darian pressed a hand to his groin, because he wasn’t lying about that either. “Fuck, Coby. You don’t pull your punches sometimes, do you?”

Coby really laughed this time. “No promises, but what do I have to lose?”

Well, fair point. Darian gestured at him, asking him to go on.

“As long as you remember you asked for it.” Coby shivered like a man on the very finest edge of coming. “I felt like I was going to die if I didn’t get your cock inside me, and when you did -- I mean, part of me still doesn’t believe it really happened, but, Darian, I can still feel you inside me, and all I want is for you to knock me down and blow my fucking back out.”

“Oh my God.”

“And so you know, you said ‘don’t say things like that if you don’t want them to happen.’ But I do.”

“You are two words away from the deepest dicking of your young life, dude.”

“Yeah. I know.” Coby sobered. “But I need to know this too. I think it’s an Omega thing neither of us knows much about it, but it keeps beating at my head and I have to at least ask. This thing -- is it going to last?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never been there before. Didn’t know I would now. I’m kind of an asshole. I could change my mind tomorrow. Or you could, yourself.”

“Maybe,” Coby mused to himself. “Maybe not. I guess we find out. That’s the only thing we can do unless we find some other Omega to ask, and I know you’d rather be slow roasted on an open fire. I’m lucky you’re talking this much with me.”

“Not luck,” Darian said, too abruptly but there was no taking it back after the fact. “It’s just us, how we are.”

“Is it all too fast?”

“No. Fuck, depending on how you look at it, it’s been years in the making.” Darian rubbed at his forehead, where the tension in his jaw was giving him the start of a fine-ass migraine. That, and the sexual tension that kept getting resolved and then unresolved, and if Coby called him on that… “It’s just us. How we are.”

Coby smiled. Small, but sweet, almost like the boy he’d been when they met. “Can you keep teaching me? Or when we come up against something neither of us gets, can we work it out together?”

Darian considered that, then jerked his head in agreement. Seemed fair.

And it satisfied Coby, who nodded. “Okay. Then can I do something?”

Curious, Darian leaned back to look at him. “Like what?”

“Like this,” Coby said. He stood, slid easily across the small gap between their beds, and straddled Darian’s lap -- and kissed him, long and deep and slow.

Mmm. Darian liked it. Except --”Goddamn it,” he muttered into the kiss. “We’re out of condoms.”

“No, we’re not.” Coby bit the tip of Darian’s nose and, when he pulled away, Darian got another peek at that shy little grin of his. “I bought a twelve pack.”

“You are fucking amazing.”

“You’re amazing at fucking,” Coby said. “So can we?”

“Twelve times, if we want.” Darian’s hands found their home at Coby’s hips and pulled him in tight, grinding up slow and deep and long.

Yeah. He’d been right. This was them. How they were.

As for what the rest of that meant, they would find out.

Should be a hell of a lot of fun, actually. He was kind of -- no, strike that. He was fucking absolutely looking forward to seeing what came next. As he lifted them both, then gave Coby a good hard push back onto his bed and climbed on top of him, Darian didn’t even give a damn about being careful what he wished for.

He’d probably wish later that he’d known better. But that would be then. This was them, and this was now.

And there was going to be fucking within the next few minutes so seriously. No complaints.