Free Fiction: Advent 2010 – Day Six
Advent 2010: Day Six
Title: After the Solstice Hunt
Characters: Alec, Nahele
From: The World of Egaea (WIP)
Word Count: 1024
Alec fought not to pout like a kitten denied fresh cream as he all but flopped on the skins in front of the bonfire. His area might have been the most comfortable as the Alpha of the feral-Maith clan, but even the warm furs couldn’t coax a smile from his lips. His tail twitched back and forth in his agitation, and he stared into the flames, waiting for the frustration to pass.
Matters were only made worse when the reason for his anger followed him to the bonfire and sat next to him. Nahele was his second, Beta of the clan, but it was moments like these that he was forced to remember just how many years Nahele had been Alpha before him. Usually it didn’t bother him—Nahele was like a brother to him, and the two of them were a feral coalition—but now it felt like Nahele had gone too far, overshadowed him in a way that was utterly unacceptable.
“Oh, don’t be such a sore sport!” Nahele chuckled softly, nudging him in a way that just made him growl.
Alec shifted to his other side, putting just a fraction more space between them as he pretended to busy himself by grooming the thick, dark fur of his arms. His ears were angled back, however, and the way his tail swished angrily gave away his mood. He wasn’t old enough to have learned complete control of his tail like Nahele. Just another advantage Nahele had over him. Damn it.
“Come on, Alec,” Nahele murmured. “You can’t make the largest kill every single hunt, and it’s not like the other cats or wolves haven’t brought home the large stag in the past. Why is the result of this hunt making you so pissed off?”
Alec’s yellow-green eyes darted around the area before he shifted again, giving up the space in order to have a bit more privacy from the other feral-Maith who were sitting on the far side of the fire. “Because,” he hissed quietly, “this was the hunt on the solstice, the hunt on the longest night of the year.”
Nahele’s ears twitched with surprise, and Alec watched the wheels turn behind the copper eyes and spotted fur. “I’m not sure I follow,” Nahele admitted at last.
“I am Alpha,” Alec huffed, bringing his thick, long tail to his mouth with his hands for a quick grooming. “The Alpha should make the biggest kill on the solstice. It’s symbolic, Nahele. The one who provides for the clan on the longest, darkest night of the year, is the one who proves himself to be the leader at the mid-point of winter.”
The pride that had puffed up Nahele’s chest following the hunt slowly dissipated as they stared at one another. “Because I outshined you on the hunt tonight, you believe I am sending the message to the clan that I am the true leader. Alec… it wasn’t my intention to challenge you.”
“I know,” Alec grumbled, hating how childish it sounded for him to take offense at a simple hunt, but it wasn’t a simple hunt to him. This hunt meant something deeper to him. He still had to prove himself as Alpha, even if he had fought Nahele and won. Just because he had proven himself a strong fighter didn’t mean he was worthy of the highest rank in the clan. Those who doubted him were looking at him right now and seeing failure; he was sure of it.
“Brooding doesn’t suit you.”
Alec started a little when Nahele spoke again, having scooted much closer on the furs while he had been distracted by his own thoughts. Nahele dipped down and began grooming his shoulder. It was a tender gesture, friendly and soothing, and Alec sighed. “It’s my first winter as Alpha. I don’t want to be seen as a failure.”
“You aren’t. The others have been impressed by your cunning on the hunts, and we have brought back more food so far this winter than we did the whole damn season last year. You are strong, knowledgeable, and truly concerned with the well-being of the other feral-Maith. That’s the best anyone could have asked for in an Alpha.”
Alec sat up straighter, his ears perking up as his tail flicked happily. His pride was bolstered, and the smallest of smiles curved his lips as he sighed again, this time in relaxation rather than discontent. “How is it you always know exactly what to say to ruin my foul moods?” he murmured, affectionately nudging Nahele’s face with his cheek.
“Call it a learned skill,” Nahele purred, nipping and grooming his throat in a way that was just a tad more than friendly. “I’ve known you since you were a kitten, after all.”
“You think I’m going to forgive your slight just because we’re friends and you know me so well?” Alec asked, fighting back a moan as he brought up one hand to knead the spotted fur of Nahele’s back.
“No,” Nahele admitted, but there was a glint in those coppery eyes, and the scent of arousal slowly perfuming the air between them made Alec raise an eyebrow in expectation. “But it certainly won’t hurt when I humble myself by sucking you off right now in front of everyone.”
Alec shivered and masked his moan by laughing, drawing a couple glances from the other feral-Maith passing by. Nahele knew better than anyone else that he preferred the submissive role in rutting. It was a role he was no longer allowed to take, however, as to give in to another sexually as Alpha would be a sign of weakness to the rest of the clan. It was wonderfully cunning of Nahele to find ways of appearing acceptable to the clan while truly enjoying in their personal tastes. He leaned in and scent-marked Nahele’s throat, purring into his friend’s ear, “An Alpha like me would be nothing without a Beta like you.”
“Does that mean I’m off the hook?” Nahele chuckled with a playful glance to Alec’s erection.
Alec simply smirked and gently guided Nahele’s mouth down the line of his body. “Not a chance.”