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A Sporting Chase

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Yuuri watched the television screen as the cameras panned back. The forest swept below. The aerials were brief, but Yuuri committed them to memory as best he could. A map only gave you so much of an idea of the terrain.

The trees were thick and green and full, boughs heavy with broad leaves. The sweeping hills would make or break his campaign. The cliffs and rivers, he knew, were dotted with cut throughs and caves that would make things interesting. One camera sweep had shown a waterfall with a cave below, and a straight shot to the finish within.

An omega could hide in one of those if they chose to, maybe even take the path right to the gates. It was boring and slightly  unsporting, but possible. He wrote the idea off as soon as it came to him. Lesser omegas would do something like that, ones that would be claimed otherwise, or those who wanted a quick win.

A win wasn’t worth it if it was won through means like those.

The display pulled out, showing off the playing field of today’s event. A twenty foot tall fence surrounded it in its entirety, a ring ten miles across on display. There were three entrances dotted along the walls, about a quarter mile between each one. Across the ring, three exits, the only way out of the course once the gates at the back closed, the same distance between each of those.

“What a layout.” Phichit whistled low, a little impressed.

“Think you have it down?” Yuuri glanced at his friend. They’d competed similar circuits over the last few years, and had taken the jump to the international circuit at about the same time, when Phichit had turned 18. The newness never did wear off.

Phichit grinned. “They’ll never get us.”

Yuuri let out a rattling breath and nodded. The nerves never went away, either. At least, not until he made it out there. In the field, there was the rush as he let the omega side of him take charge. It was a liberating thing, a freedom of letting go, like wind through his hair.

There was no better sport in the world than The Hunt. Yuuri wouldn’t trade it for anything.

“There’s a Red Bull sponsorship waiting for me on the other side of that fence,” Phichit said. His grin was infectious. “What about you?”

“Uniqlo,” Yuuri said, feeling a little wistful.

“Damn lucky bastard.”

“I’ll only get the bonus if I make it out,” Yuuri said. “Who knows if I will.”

Phichit scoffed noisily. As the broadcast ended, other omegas in the room were beginning to stand up. The traditional pre-hunt orientation was over.

Phichit slung an arm over Yuuri and dragged him to the window for a selfie. “Of course you will, you’re Yuuri Katsuki, Japan’s ace. If anyone could, it’s you. Say ‘Victory!’” He held the camera up and snapped a quick flurry of pics. Phichit would look amazing in each of them. “Our fans will love this.”

Yuuri’s gaze slid out the window. The lodge housed the dozen omegas and dozen alphas who would participate in this year’s Hunt Grand Prix. It rested beside the forest they’d studied in the video. It was laid out beneath them, the edge of the fenced-in terrain just visible. “I had a close call in France. My nerves got the better of me. If I hadn’t gotten lucky…”

“You call that luck? Victor would have had a lesser omega pinned to the ground. What you did was masterful .” Phichit said. “Keep selling yourself short like that and I’ll tell Victor you went home and jerked off thinking about him.”

“You wouldn’t dare,” Yuuri hissed.

Phichit laughed gleefully and bolted, Yuuri charging after him through the massive lodge. He couldn't help but laugh along with Phichit. A few omegas joined in the fun.

In this wing, there were only omegas. But nearby, the alphas resided, and they would put up a better chase than the mock play of today. The main event was only two days away, and things would be very different then.


 

It went like this.

When Yuuri was twelve, he presented as omega.

When Yuuri was sixteen, old enough for the younger local competitions, he went with his alpha friend Yuuko to his first Hunt, curious about the feeling of it. It was a small, local thing, just inside Kyushu. Six omegas, four alphas.

The small course would have been a bloodbath with matched pairs. Yuuri was built for endurance, not speed. But you didn’t have to run faster than the alphas when you outnumbered them. You only had to run faster than the other omegas. Yuuri never felt the power of an alpha pinning him to the dirt and claiming him.

What he did feel was the thrill.

The omegas were sent through open gates into a course that was controlled by the four alphas. When Yuuri reached the end, breathless and panting, he'd been more than a little surprised.

His mind had almost blacked out, the omega in him let loose. He expected to be taken like the others, rolling in the dirt in the heat of carnal, animal passion. He hadn't expected the rush of escaping it all unscathed.

Yuuko retired soon after, but Yuuri was hooked. He loved the sport more than anything.

He worked his way through the circuits over the years, to higher levels, to more prestigious alphas, and things seemed clear. Yuuri might have wanted the animal desire that came from the post-chase claiming, but with the claiming came defeat.

Yuuri couldn't have that.

He wasn't scared of the sex. In fact, a large part of him anticipated it, if someone had proven themselves capable of catching him. The Hunt was entirely voluntary, the claiming just another part of it. But no one had ever captured Yuuri. Not yet.

And no one ever would, if Yuuri played his cards right. Maybe Yuuri was picky. Phichit said it had gone to his head. Yuuri didn't know what ‘it’ even was. But there was someone Yuuri didn't mind so much. Yuuri would be lying if he said he didn’t dream of one alpha in particular.

Either way, he knew one thing. He would never roll over and surrender for an alpha, regardless of how badly he wanted. A true alpha was able to earn it. No matter how fast or how hard Yuuri ran, no matter what he did to escape, a true alpha could pin Yuuri to the ground like a butterfly under glass.


 

There was always a small, televised dinner before the event. It was a way for the VIPs and sponsors to get a preview of the stock before they were released into the wild.

Sponsors liked to rub shoulders with participants before their runs, when their heads were still clear. The Hunt often left people in a baser, more animal mindset for a day or two after, and most formalities couldn’t be attended to until participants had calmed down. The dinner before was a way of offsetting the delay.

The VIPs often paid dearly for the privilege of meeting the runners, having the chance to pick up some of the scents that would be drifting through the arena, and of course, flirting. Any of the participants who made it out without being claimed were horny more often than not. It was nice to present yourself as an option before the main event began.

Yuuri fidgeted in his costume as he waited. That was what it felt like: a costume, uncomfortable and ill-fitting.  He used to wear a suit to these things, but in his memories he heard a voice laughing brightly, teasing the ugly pattern, and Yuuri felt an unmistakable starburst of joy.

The tie was fine. But if Victor Nikiforov wanted flashy, Yuuri could more than do it.

At the announcement of his name, Yuuri stepped through the doors and into the dining hall where tonight’s festivities would take place. A stunned silence fell. Yuuri’s eyes went only one place.

He picked the fair head out of the crowd without much difficulty. Victor Nikiforov. A living legend, the top alpha runner in the world. His ten year winning streak had only ended because of one omega.

This year, he'd be gunning for Yuuri.

The dress was a tactic like anything else. Yuuri wasn't blind. He knew he was at least attractive to look at when he kept his mouth shut. The commentators reviewing the footage would likely point out the exact moment Victor spotted him, because Yuuri could see it, too.

It was obvious, the blatant shock spreading over his face, the bare, animal want. The desire was quickly hidden under a pristine mask of calm, but it had been there. Yuuri quietly cursed. Victor had gotten ahold of himself quicker than Yuuri had thought he would. The surprise hadn't rattled him enough.

Throwing alphas off their game before their race was a valid tactic, and a large part of why the dinner was as much a part of the show as the Hunt itself. The dinner was where choices were made, targets picked, and any alliances struck.

It was his least favorite part of the affair.

But the night was young. There was plenty of time to even Yuuri’s odds before tomorrow.

A pretty Chinese omega was called out next, Guang Hong Ji. It was his first time in the Grand Prix ring and it showed. He was trembling slightly under the heavy gazes of the alphas. He was in a rather plain suit, suitable for a lower level competition, perhaps, but it wasn't doing him any favors here.

Then Phichit Chulanont stepped up, and he commanded the attention of the room. Red and gold suited him. Outfits that would drown out other people only made him shine brighter. Yuuri cracked a smile as he watched Phichit bask in the attention. More than one alpha raked appreciative gazes over him.

The smell of the room was dizzying by the end of it. The general hunger in the air was palpable, heavy with the scent of pheromones and anticipation. It swirled around him, mixing and mingling until it was hard to distinguish any one thing.

Yuuri forced himself to relax, and let a spill of his own scent out, confusing it among the others. He chatted with a few sponsors, and was approached by a few VIP names. One had even sponsored an extra aerial drone to follow him, a luxury that would get him more exposure within the Hunting community. He wondered if anyone would tune into an exclusive cam of him.  

The nervous feeling crept up. More people watching him, more pressure to succeed. He felt a hand on his shoulder and he turned, a catch in his breath.

Victor was there, blue eyed and beautiful.  His wintergreen and ice scent was out in full force. He smelled like the air after a fresh snowfall, full of promise and a heavy silence. He smiled like he knew something Yuuri didn't.

“You look lovely,” Victor said. “Yuuri.” The name was a caress, shaped on his lips like a kiss. He took Yuuri’s hand, bowing his head to press a kiss to Yuuri’s knuckles. Yuuri felt pulse between his legs, a trickle of slick where there shouldn't have been.

“Victor,” he said, nodding formally. “You look great too.” Victor’s suit was black and standard, made to pop with a necktie the color of his eyes. But the clean lines and cut whispered at expense and luxury.

“Looking forward to tomorrow?” The twinkle in Victor’s eye was distracting.

“I'm looking forward to walking through the exit gates,” Yuuri said lightly, letting just one corner of his mouth pull up. “And you?” Victor hummed back noncommittally.

Victor always announced his intended before the competition. Yuuri supposed the only reason that Yuuri got the attention he did was because he was the first to slip away from Victor, the only omega in a decade to evade and escape and slip from his fingers.

Yuuri had almost let him. He'd had Victor’s hands on him, the hot sensation of touch and desire and lust blooming inside the pit of his stomach. But the exit beckoned, and the grip was loose. Victor was as exhausted as him, perhaps more so.

Yuuri had broken the hold and slipped away, hauling toward the exit that had already opened for another competitor. If it had been ten seconds earlier or later, Yuuri wouldn't have made it. He'd blown a kiss at Victor as the gate slid shut behind him.

He'd found out later that the previous year’s Hunt had been the most controversial in a long time. The gates had gotten stuck, and they had been slow to rise and fall, leading to one omega being claimed against the wall, moaning in pleasure as the gate rattled up beside them. Omegas and alphas alike had gotten sick from the water in the course, and the number of terrain-induced injuries was astounding.

France was a bad year for a lot of people, Yuuri included. The close shave had been a wake up call for him. Made him train harder, run more courses to build his agility, and at the same time, he'd found himself more than a little aware of the alpha that had almost claimed him.

Sometimes when he masturbated, it was to thoughts of too blue eyes, of a silver-haired alpha leaning over him and telling him, “that's right, touch yourself, just like that,” in that same husky voice he'd used in the arena.

Meanwhile, Victor’s defeat had been the biggest upset in decades. It was just the course claiming another victim, but Yuuri didn't imagine Victor saw it that way. Yuuri was the one that got away.

Victor’s answering smile was as smooth as honey. “We’ll just have to see, won't we? Nice dress, by the way,” he added. His eyes raked over the black and silver number, the long slit down the thigh exposing the brilliantly red fabric inside the narrow skirt. Yuuri’s back was wholly exposed, the hem brushing the base of his spine just above the curve of his ass.

It was cold, but it was having the intended effect. Victor’s scent was thickening with lust already.

“Thank you,” Yuuri said. A challenge. The lust was a direct challenge to him, to see if he'd back down. An impulsive urge seized him before he could quite stop it, and he let his own interest betray him. He scented the air, just enough to give Victor a sign of interest. Challenge accepted, it said. Catch me if you can . “Good luck tomorrow.”

“The same to you,” Victor replied.

Victor blew him a little kiss as he left. A callback to the last moments in the previous Hunt. Yuuri wheezed and hunted down Phichit.

“I fucked up,” he said. “I'm fucked.”

Phichit, who was laughing at a dark-eyed sponsor of indeterminate presentation, smiled at Yuuri. “Come on, it can't be that bad. What did you do?”

“I directly challenged Victor Nikiforov?”

Phichit stared at him. He burst into laughter. “Oh Yuuri, Yuuri, Yuuri, yes you are.”


 

There was always preparation before release. Alphas were let out into the course to familiarize themselves.  

Omegas were readied in a prep room. They stripped, bathed, cleaned themselves thoroughly. Attendants brought them anything they needed.

When Yuuri was fully cleaned, he laid back in a provided chaise. The accommodations this year were substantially nicer. The lodge, owned by an alpha named Celestino Cialdini, was already one of the nicer Hunts Yuuri had participated in.

Yuuri oiled his fingers slightly and slipped one between his thighs, feeling the slight stretch. His body twitched around it, trying to accommodate the invasion.  The touch was perfunctory and clinical, setting to work stretching his body open with as much speed as he could comfortably tolerate.

There was no excess given to his own pleasure.

At least, until his mind wandered. Then images of Victor came to him. He added one more finger than usual to his routine, already picturing how Victor’s cock might feel. A little, shaky moan slipped, unbidden, from his lips. He caught himself with a few omegas giving him funny looks. One of them, a brunette woman with pouty lips, sneered a little before returning to her own preparations.

Yuuri flushed and quickly forced himself to forget. He finished and followed the others to the table near the door, where a line of gleaming, golden egg shaped vibrators waited. Yuuri picked one up by the long chain and brought it back to his chaise. He let his head fall back, and he slid it up between his thighs, pressing it against his twitching, fluttering entrance.

It was a little cool, but slick enough with lube to slide right in despite the size of it.

The vibe served multiple purposes.

First and foremost was the omega’s pleasure. It buzzed away sweetly inside, and it kept them on edge during the Hunt. It made surrender an appealing option, letting the need to have an alpha's cock replace it grow slowly more overwhelming the longer they were in the arena.

Secondary was to keep an omega loose enough for an alpha to easily enter them with little more than a swift yank to pull the egg out from inside them. When penetration was streamlined, it was easier and more pleasurable for all parties.

Lastly, there was a small tracking device within the egg that would tell, with pinpoint accuracy, where the omega was within the course. Their positions would be shown on an overlay over the course map for the viewership at home and in the massive observation towers above, where the VIPs, sponsors, and organizers would supervise.

It was currently inert. That would change soon.

Cold fear came over him. He pulled the traditional clothes over his head and repressed a shudder. The outfit was, at its most generous, a tunic, at its least, a dress.

The clothes didn’t bother him. It would keep the worst of the elements off him, but still allowed for easy access. Anything that was too much of an impediment to the claiming was an inconvenience and against the rules.

It was just that the nerves had returned, and he had to face the fact that he had painted a target on his back. He might as well make his scent a beacon, because Victor had already made a very public announcement of who his omega would be this time around.

“There’s no one else it could be,” Victor had said with a wink. “But don’t think I don’t have surprises in store today.” Yuuri had rewatched the wink six times in the last hour. Then he'd shut it off, unable to bear to watch.

Too soon, it was time. Phichit rolled his shoulders. The garment clung to his body neatly. His eyes were closed and he was murmuring something under his breath.

“Three lefts, two rights, middle, then the fifth, three lefts, two rights, middle-”

Yuuri thought back to the mess of caves. Perhaps Phichit would get lucky. Or maybe he'd find a dead end. All it would take was an alpha to corner him, and he'd be toast, especially if the passages were narrow.

Yuuri would keep to the high road, according to plan.

One by one, they were given a shot. The birth control inside would prevent any accidents from happening, and the chemicals inside would also prevent bonds from forming, in case of another kind of accident.

The claiming wasn't a permanent situation in this day and age. They weren't savages. It was just sport.

They were ferried around the exterior of the ring to where the entrances waited. The exits would spit participants out right back on the lodge grounds, which meant the long way around in the start of it. Yuuri was trembling, and not just because halfway there, the vibrator inside him twitched to life.

Yuuri studied the other omegas. His competition. If he made it out, he'd be judged against the other successful omegas on time, with bonus points available for close calls, clever tactics, and general strategy and execution. A few were poring over the maps in the last minute, knowing they wouldn't have them inside.

Omegas were graded very differently than alphas, whose scores were slanted heavily towards performance during the claiming.

Yuuri needed to measure up. He had to get out and score high. Yuuri would never get away from Victor. Except, of course, that he had once before. His mind was twisting itself into anxious knots.

At last, they pulled up to the exits. Drones were swirling around, buzzing a little more loudly than the vibrator that was currently shifting to sit right against Yuuri’s prostate.

Yuuri squirmed, biting his lip. He could feel himself stiffen a little in anticipation. His mind was airy. His omega was already stepping up to seize control, and with it the anxiety lessened by shades.

Only a fitting alpha could catch him.  

Yuuri’s knees were a little gelatinous as he followed the herd of omegas to the gates, and they fanned out. Yuuri selected the center gate, as he always did, then glanced left and right.

If Victor had laid a trap, it would be here.

Yuuri jogged to the left, grinning a little. Victor said he had surprises planned. Well, he wasn't the only one who could do that. Yuuri amended the route in his head, and tried to ignore the pleasure radiating up his spine.

He couldn't afford to be distracted, no matter how good it felt. His cock was damp at the tip with precum, the head rubbing against the garment and making it tent a little. The others were blushing a little. The air was sweet with omega arousal.

There was a brief countdown, and then the gates slid up.

There was no straight shot to the finish, unless you could scale a sheer cliff. Yuuri was strong for his size, but a rock climber he was not, especially with no safety gear provided.

The grade of it slopped as it radiated toward the edges, ending in a gentle incline around the perimeter. It was a longer route, but much less steep. A few passes of varying difficulty were marked out.

This course was half a century old and carefully curated. Any of the passes were possible, although some would leave an omega too exhausted to resist. The vibrator ticked up speeds, and Yuuri cried out in surprise. He barely quieted the little moan. He was already feeling a little on edge. His fingers tingled pleasantly, and Yuuri had a sour thought.

The International Hunting Union, IHU, wouldn't allow for another France. That didn't mean they'd want to make this easy. If the lube they'd been provided increased sensitivity, then the omegas in the ring would be that much more distracted.

Yuuri dug his nails into his hands. Now was not the time to be impulsive. He had to focus. He had to concentrate.

A few alphas had left trails of their scent behind. It was obvious which were left deliberately, and which alphas had made an attempt to conceal.

A few strands of silvery hair were tied around a branch along one path, the one marked as the hardest path. Victor had scented it heavily with the luring traces of wintergreen and ice. Ten feet down the way, more silvery hair was tied to another branch, another scent marker left.

A trail. A challenge.

Yuuri stopped dead.

Behind him, an alpha named Georgi had burst from the bushes, chasing down the brunette that had sneered at Yuuri this morning. He screamed, “Anya, I will claim you!” as he barrelled down the way. Yuuri watched Anya vanish into the brush and disappear, Georgi close behind her.

The distraction was enough to rattle him out of his own head and stop him from charging down the path after Victor.

This was an insult to Yuuri’s intelligence. Yuuri liked taking the hard path. There was a satisfaction that came from enduring the rigours of the toughest parts of the course, and succeeding where other omegas didn’t dare.

Was Victor really taking this so seriously that he would do research into Yuuri’s tactics? It was common knowledge, really, not requiring anything particularly in depth to find out, but it still required Victor to take an interest into Yuuri’s tactics. Victor was always thorough, though, and Yuuri couldn’t be too surprised at the realization.

He closed his eyes and tried to concentrate through the buzzing pleasure inside him. His mind was wandering to his hard cock, the slick dripping down his thighs. Victor’s scent. Victor was chasing him.

Victor wanted Yuuri to go down this path. Victor was issuing a challenge to him, the way he had at the dinner.

Yuuri wouldn’t fall for it twice. His lip curled, and he smiled. “I’m not that stupid, Victor,” he said. He backtracked a few feet up the way and made for the second most difficult path. The other omegas had vanished by now. Phichit had made for the thickest part of the trees, moving with purpose. Guang Hong had gone down the easiest path. Other omegas had scattered on their own paths.

Yuuri heard the whisper of a camera drone flying above his head. He glanced sideways at it and turned his shoulder. He had an arena to escape from. He started to run, making for the rigorous rocky pass.

His plans were thrown up in the air already, and Yuuri hated the feeling of not knowing perfectly what to expect. He’d given the other courses only a cursory inspection, and he didn’t know the route by heart. But there was no way he'd follow Victor’s lure. He’d have to play it safe and smart.

Alphas could be lurking in the gloom, watching and listening for the sounds of his footfalls. They’d had three hours to venture in and find their places. Victor could be anywhere inside. With any luck, he was waiting at the end of the hardest path.

The hunted feeling crept up on him, and Yuuri started to run. It was an itch under his skin, an urge to get away. It took several hard minutes to burn the feeling out of his system, feeling a pleasurable warmth in his muscles as he worked them. He slowed a little and caught his breath.

It was nice outside. The air was cool, and the breeze felt nice on his bare thighs and arms. The short shift he was wearing caught on the wind, gauzy and light enough that it threatened to expose Yuuri’s achingly hard cock.

The run had done little to cool him off, instead making his blood run hotter until it seemed to boil under his skin. He was biting his lip in pleasure from the steady buzz.

He heard a sound behind him. A stick snapping, the crunch of leaves over the sound of the wind.

Yuuri took off like a shot.

Heavy footsteps roared after him. Yuuri darted down the path, mindful of how he landed each step to avoid turning his ankle on the stony, treacherous way. The scent of alpha roared up behind him, and Yuuri risked a glance.

Tall, imposing, and smeared with mud over his scent glands, he'd been lying in wait to ambush a passing omega. Yuuri’s body sang with exertion, and the chase was freeing. His mind slipped away.

The world blurred into colors and shapes, indistinct as Yuuri focused only on what was nearby and critical. The path climbed, dipped, and then swerved around a tree, and Yuuri took the turn hard. He heard a body strike something solid and push off. Yuuri glanced back sideways and laughed. The alpha had run into a tree, slowing him down. Yuuri head fell back, the laughter wild and free.

Wind raked its fingers through his hair, cooling the burn, the stretch, the glorious feel of movement and running. Yuuri had always loved it.

The alpha lagged, and Yuuri was still going strong. He left him behind, running long past when the alpha stumbled to a stop to catch his breath.

When Yuuri finally stopped again, he was sucking down air and clutching his side.

Yuuri paced himself carefully after that, trying to catch his breath. He needed a second wind.

The trees would have been an ideal place to hide, getting him up off the ground and in the safety of the branches, but the thick trunks were bare of any handholds. He would have to go slow and careful and listen close for any alphas.

True silence was impossible with the vibrator egg buzzing noisily away inside him and the camera drone, barely a whisper, buzzing along behind him like a balloon bobbing on a ribbon. Even more pressing, each shift of the egg’s mass inside his body reminded him of its weight there, filling him up and holding his body open for an alpha’s cock to fill.

Yuuri leaned against a tree and groaned, grinding his thighs together and squirming. Yuuri wanted to fuck. He wanted to be pinned. He wanted to run.

He felt instinct bubbling over him again and he started to jog once more.

He had two more close calls, probably opportunistic alphas who'd take whatever they could get. He estimated he'd run five or six miles by now, but the path curved and doubled back on itself so much that he was nowhere near halfway.

Once or twice, he thought he smelled Victor’s scent catch on the leaves and branches, though it was hard to tell for certain.

He tried to remember if this path ever overlapped any others or came near them, and if Victor could have gone between.

At several points, he heard sharp cries rip through the air not far from him. There were screams and protests, distant enough to be faint, but loud enough to cross the distance. Another breeze carried with it a heavy scent of slick.

Yuuri could recognize the scent of the latest omega to be claimed: Guang Hong.

Yuuri had heard other the omegas claimed. He hadn’t noticed Phichit, though he'd been keeping half an ear out. This was the first omega he recognized by scent, though.

He squirmed, sucking his lip between his teeth. The American alpha, Leo De La Iglesia, had been angling for him, and Guang Hong had blushed and stammered and smiled all through the dinner under Leo’s attention.

Now the sounds of claiming were hot and heavy, and the high pitched moans of pleasure were driving Yuuri more than a little crazy. His thighs were slick. The image stuck in his mind of Victor doing the same to him, pinning him till he couldn't escape, and fucking him until his protests turned to to pleasure…

Yuuri had to shudder and push the thought from his mind. He started off at a steady loping run, not too fast, but enough to refocus his attentions.

His side was starting to hurt a little, and his breath was a little sharp. The course was definitely not an easy one, and taking it at a jog was laborious.

He set his mind to the task at hand.

Twenty minutes of steady jogging, and the sheen of sweat on his skin had helped him forget the aching arousal of his own cock. He wanted to touch himself. He wanted to slow to a walk, lift the shift, and stroke himself as he strolled through the woods. He wanted to lean against a tree and tease the vibrator against his prostate until he keened and came in his hand.

But more than anything, he wanted to win.

Denial had never suited Yuuri. If he didn't get the results he wanted, he fought harder to have things play out exactly right. Which made denying himself the urge to come an exercise in focus and determination above all else. Victory was sweeter than any orgasm, Yuuri told himself.

He stopped dead. The wind carried an unmistakable scent toward him. His mind went cloudy and he floundered to focus as it made his knees tremble.

Victor, Victor, alpha , alpha please!

Yuuri palmed a hand along his cock, his toes curling exquisitely. He barely held his voice back. He ached with want, burned with it.

He wanted to fuck, wanted to flee. He wanted to know what it felt like to have Victor’s hands on his skin once more.

His mind twisted and Yuuri broke into a dead sprint, passing a gaping cave mouth and ignoring the cock bobbing furiously between his thighs. Victor’s scent was laced all up and down the path, painted on so thick it threw up immediate flags in Yuuri’s reeling mind.

He forced himself to breath deeply, ignore the scent, calm his raging mind. The omega in him was screaming, and Yuuri needed to focus now.

He backtracked to the cave.

Did it go through? Did he dare risk it?

He struggled to think through the waves of overwhelming scent, dizzied by it, his body dribbling slick prodigiously down his thighs. .

If Yuuri traveled down the marked up path, he'd be playing right into Victor’s strategy at the dinner, and he'd do something reckless and stupid with an alpha’s pheromones clouding his mind. But if he went down the cave, it was almost certainly another trap. Yuuri couldn't smell any traces of Victor along it, but there was no telling if it went all the way through.

Yuuri desperately tried to recall the map in his mind. There were a few caves he could think of along the path. Two were solid cut throughs, and one dead ended in a large cavern at the end.  

2 out of 3 odds. He wasn't sure he liked it.

But the cave was so pristine. It felt too obvious.

The egg ticked up speeds within him, and Yuuri cried out, his legs going to jelly beneath him. He hit the dirt with a moan. The landing had jostled the egg right against his prostate, and it buzzed away merrily right against it, sending Yuuri’s mind spiraling away.

He dug his fingers into the cool earth. He had to focus. Mind over matter. Mind over boner.

His legs were trembling when he tried to stand, his breath shuddering and short.

He didn't have a choice. If he met Victor on the scent marked path, he doubted he'd even have the presence of mind to run, if he could even manage it in the first place. He braced himself at the mouth, and pushed himself to a shaky stance. Yes. Yuuri could run. He would have to.

He stumbled into a jog, trying to measure his pace carefully. He was winded already. He had to keep moving. If Victor was nearby, he could almost certainly smell Yuuri’s lust and the slick pouring down his legs.

He'd be closing the distance. Yuuri needed enough in him to be able to flee. He could outrun Victor the way he'd outrun every other alpha out there. It was the one thing Yuuri was pretty good at.

The cave narrowed, and fear clutched in grasping fingers at his heart as the path went from ten feet across to six, four, then a scant two that he had to walk down. He saw light ahead.

He broke out into daylight, spotting a distant waterfall that spilled into a river. The glade was beautiful. Birds flew between willow trees, the grass soft and waving in the wind. It was breathtaking. It was also surrounded by sheer cliffs on all sides.

This is a trap. He knew it was a trap. Every nerve in his body was screaming with it, but he had to keep moving.

The map came to mind. A cave behind the waterfall. Wasn't there another way out? It was hidden, barely a shadow behind the spill of whitewater, but Yuuri could almost make it out if he squinted.

Was it the waterfall he remembered from the video? The one that led to the exit? Yuuri looked back the way he'd come, into the narrow shadows of the cave. He didn't hear anyone coming down it.

He stepped forward, slow and cautious like a timid deer. He glanced slowly around the glade. Long shadows cast the area in an unearthly sort of light, giving everything a strangely menacing feel along the edges. The fallen logs and trees could have been hiding places. An alpha’s scent glands could have been covered in mud to dilute their presence.

Yuuri stepped up to the river. It wasn't too deep, likely up to his knees. He could wade across and inspect the waterfall for a cave.

There was a prickle low in his spine. Run, it screamed, run, run , and Yuuri silenced it. He needed focus right now, not blindly panic over an empty field.

Still panting, he took a step into the water, and then another. It went to his upper calf, almost his knees at the deepest part. The water was cool, but not freezing. It felt nice on his bare skin. He slogged through, slowly but surely making it to the opposite shore despite the resistance keeping his pace down. He stepped out, more exhausted than he'd expected.

He glance left, then right. He looked left again, and froze.

Victor was smiling from the shadows, hidden behind a willow tree dripping in flowers.

He stepped out with a wave, and the sudden wash of alpha scent spread through the glade on a breeze: ice and wintergreen and sweet purple flowers, the petals caught on the wind.

Yuuri felt his world shift. It was a trap, Yuuri knew, he'd known all along, but he hadn't realized how far this went. All this time, Victor had been corralling him here, teasing him with his scent marks and waiting for Yuuri to step through.

Some part of Yuuri must have known for longer, perhaps even from the very beginning. There was a subconscious lingering thought in his mind, and Yuuri had been too proud to listen, to desperate to think he wouldn’t fall for Victor’s trap.

But it was too late now. There was only one way Yuuri could go.

Yuuri scrambled, sprinting toward the cave. He had one shot. Victor broke into a run after him. He ran hard, Victor close on his heels.

Yuuri was in top condition. His stamina was something well known in Hunt circles. But he was exhausted. He was tired, so desperately tired. His breath was already harsh down his throat, his lungs screaming.

This was the chase Yuuri had been anticipating. This wasn’t like the alphas that had pursued Yuuri earlier. His pulse roared in his ears, every muscle in his body taut as his fight or flight response wound him up and lit his blood in shades of fire and desperation.

Victor’s scent surrounded him in thick waves, and Yuuri had never felt so alive.

A bright laugh flitted through the air. Victor. So close, right at Yuuri’s heel. He felt hands catch on his skin, raking at gauzy fabric and just missing a catch. Yuuri stumbled and poured on his speed. He laughed as well, because he could get away.

He would get away. He’d leave his alpha horny and hungry and desperately wanting more.

Evading was harder than chasing, especially when your pursuer could take shortcuts, but Yuuri made himself pour on all the speed he could manage. His world was exploding, pleasure arcing up his spine and the chase making his blood sing.

His mind was gone, single-mindedly lost to the rush.

The waterfall loomed, and Yuuri was laughing, beautiful and free. He remembered this waterfall. He knew there was a cave-

Yuuri pivoted on his heel in sudden horror, scrambling to keep from hitting the water.

There was no cave. Yuuri had gotten it wrong.

Too late, Victor had him. Pain splashed up Yuuri’s skin as the rocks pressed unforgivingly against his back, Victor pinning him down, panting as he held Yuuri firm. His breath was as  hot and heavy as the weight of Victor’s hands moving over his skin. The full weight of Victor’s body was bearing down. All the struggling in the world was for naught, even as Yuuri fought fiercely.

Victor had him right where he wanted him.

It crashed around him. He screamed, “No, no!” and thrashed, clawing out at Victor to try and break free. His vision was red. “Let me go, let me, ah, fuck,” he cried. Victor ignored him. The smile was lazy and pleased, looming above him below blue eyes.

Victor bundled Yuuri’s wrists into his hands and held them up above Yuuri’s head, pressing them hard into the stone he’d bent Yuuri over. Victor’s chest was rumbling with satisfaction.

“I’ve got you, beautiful,” Victor murmured in his ear.

Yuuri screamed louder, agonized and broken. It was useless. Victor was barely winded, and Yuuri was sucking down air like a man possessed. Victor had almost no trouble at all rolling Yuuri over, bracketing Yuuri’s body in his own and bracing him against the rocks.

Yuuri could feel the hard, thick bulge of Victor’s cock press between his asscheeks through the thin layers of fabric. Victor was aroused and hungry and the escape had only served to inflame him further. Victor ground his hips against Yuuri’s. The pleasure was overwhelming.

Yuuri’s breath was harsh and fast, his heart like a hummingbird. It had left his cheeks pink. Yuuri thrashed weakly, his animal screams turning to pitiful whimpers. The fabric around his thighs was hitched up over his hips.

He was exhausted, so tired that he almost missed Victor’s fingers sliding up between his legs, wet with slick, and close around the delicate gold chain streaming out of Yuuri’s body. Victor tugged, and the egg popped free.

Yuuri keened. He clawed at the rock at the sudden empty feeling, the loss of the pretty buzzing against his prostate. A probing finger slid up inside him with little resistance. Yuuri cried out. Tears spilled down his cheeks.

It was so much. Yuuri’s body was barely able to make sense of the glut of stimulus. Victor’s scent, the weight of the body, being trapped and caught and about to be mated. He couldn’t see past his pleasure, couldn’t process anything beyond the cruel sensation of fingers twisting into him and opening him back up. A gross sob spilled from his chest.

“You’re already so open for me,” Victor purred.

“Let me go!” Yuuri screamed. He made a desperate bid for freedom, but he only ripped one wrist free from Victor’s hands. Victory had been so close. He needed to escape. He needed to get away. Another finger pushed into the span between his legs, and then all of the fingers withdrew to catch his flailing arm.

The slick was messy on Victor’s hand. Victor’s scent reeked of amusement. Victor yanked, and Yuuri stumbled away from the rock, off-balance. Victor scooped Yuuri up and threw him over his shoulder. He started to walk.

Yuuri writhed, trying to wriggle free. Victor had a proprietary grip on his ass, another arm keeping Yuuri’s legs from kicking out. Suddenly Yuuri dropped.

Victor lowered him onto a soft bed made in the grass out of Victor’s cloak. Despite Yuuri’s struggles, Victor laid him out there and started to scent him thoroughly.

Yuuri screamed. Blankets of Victor’s scent were laying over his skin, mixing with his own. Submit, it said. Surrender to your own pleasure. The scent of nature was covered up. Other competitors would smell their mating more than a mile away.

As though Victor was thinking the same thing, he leaned forward, pressing a soft kiss to Yuuri’s own scent gland and nuzzling against him, laying his pheromones out thick.

“The others must be so disappointed,” Victor said. “So many of them wanted you for themselves, the way I did.” There was no way the other competitors didn’t smell the rush of slick on the wind, the desperate scent as Victor wrestled Yuuri onto his stomach.

Even exhausted, Yuuri was still strong, and he finally broke free. He clawed along the dirt, using fistfulls of grass to haul himself from Victor’s grasp. The cave was just ahead.

Victor pounced and landed heavily on Yuuri’s back, knocking the wind out of Yuuri’s lungs and pinning him once more. The grip was almost bruising as Victor pulled Yuuri’s hips up. The position doubled him over, chest flat to the earth and his ass in the air. Victor bent his lithe form over Yuuri’s body, while his hands slid forward and captured Yuuri’s wrists, pinioning them against the grass.

Yuuri hissed and jerked. Victor’s hard cock was already free, the laces of the trousers loose, and Victor pressed the length of it along Yuuri’s crack. Yuuri let out a feral, desperate cry.

Victor’s breath was hot on the back of Yuuri’s neck. “Mine,” he growled. His knee knocked Yuuri’s legs apart, forcing Yuuri to splay his legs. His hips drew back, and one hand came free of Yuuri’s wrist to hold Yuuri’s waist still. The blunt head of Victor’s cock found Yuuri’s entrance, the twitching muscle pink and dripping copious amounts of slick. Victor bore down.

He had to get free, had to escape, had to move-

The head popped inside. The sound that came from Yuuri wasn’t human. Victor’s cock slid inside, as easy as a dream, and the feel of it was like nothing Yuuri had ever imagined in his life. His whole body lit up from from it, spasming and jerking with renewed intensity.

He could feel every inch of Victor’s cock pushing inside of him, so hard and thick, filling him up. It was messy and wonderful and terrible at once, and tears streamed down Yuuri’s cheeks. He sobbed. “No, no no,” he gasped as Victor drew his hips back.

His mind was a disaster. He didn’t know if he was screaming because he wanted Victor to stop, or if he wanted Victor to thrust back in, but regardless the sound scraped up and down his throat, an endless repetition of ‘no’s that blurred together into a mindless stream, his words abandoning him.

Victor pushed back in. The swell if it was heavy inside Yuuri’s body, unforgiving and unstoppable. Yuuri threw back his head and moaned. The pace started slow, testing and savoring the feel of Yuuri spitted on his length. Then it slowly sped up, until Victor had built into a steady rhythm.

Moans bubbled and spilled from Yuuri’s lips, mixing with his sobs and running down his cheeks and chin, the slaver covering his throat and chest.

Victor shushed him, grinding his cock in deeper than before, reaching new depths inside Yuuri that had him screaming in bliss. Victor kissed along his neck. “Mine, mine, mine,” Victor growled. His lips found Yuuri’s nape and bit down, and Yuuri let out another filthy moan.

“Harder,” he gasped. When it seemed Victor hadn’t heard him, Yuuri cried out louder. “Ah, fuck, harder, Victor, please!”

Victor pushed him harder into the dirt, the alpha inside him completely overcoming whatever had been holding him back. He rutted hard into Yuuri, fucking him like an animal, so hard that Yuuri could see stars with every thrust.

His vision was blacking out. He sucked in a shallow breath, the drool running down his chin. His pleasure was mindless. His body was just a vessel for his own arousal, his aching erection bobbing between his legs with every rough thrust.

It felt almost like he was pissing, except it was just a steady stream of semen dribbling out of him. His body was wrung out, the orgasms blending together. He couldn’t tell where one ended and the next began, or even what was just the overstimulation bringing him crashing over the edge again.

Yuuri howled his pleasure. Victor lifted his hips further and fucked down, using the weight of his body to fuck Yuuri as deep and hard as he could reach. Yuuri clawed at the earth.

Victor’s cock caught on Yuuri’s rim, and Yuuri realized in a moment of startling clarity that Victor’s knot was starting to swell. “Yes,” he cried. “Aah, please, please!”

Victor growled into his neck. The teeth in his nape sank deeper, and Yuuri felt the skin break.

“Knot me,” he breathed. He cried out when the thickest part of the knot pulled out of his body and pushed back inside, before finally it was at its fullest thickness, locking them together. Victor whined as he came.

His release spilled into Yuuri, and he rolled his hips, dragging the thick line of his cock so sweetly against Yuuri’s prostate until Yuuri was sobbing beneath him. Victor’s jaw prised open. A short trickle of blood ran down Yuuri’s skin, and Victor’s frenzied kiss brought his lips right over Yuuri’s scent gland.

Yuuri’s breath caught. The reedy, needy little noise slipped out of him before he could stop it. Victor bit down hard.

Yuuri dropped. Everything went black, his mind lost to the void, his instincts completely overwhelming every last trace of rational thought in his mind. He’d been running all morning, fucked harder than he ever could have imagined, harder than he ever could have accomplished with any of his toys.

His mind went dark, and he fell.

Yuuri came to in slow waves, like waking up from a long dream. Victor had never stopped.

Victor was busy at work, collaring Yuuri in dark bruises, sucking a line of hickeys around his throat like a necklace. He was still buried balls deep, the knot only just beginning to deflate.

Yuuri’s stomach felt round and full, heavy with come. Victor’s hands slid worshipfully over Yuuri’s middle. The slow rocking of his hips dragged Yuuri back to full consciousness.

“Victor,” he moaned. He clenched his hand, dragging his fingers through the dirt.

“My sweet, my beautiful Yuuri,” Victor panted. His kisses trailed down Yuuri’s spine. The knot shrank enough to slip free, and Victor pulled it out completely.

Yuuri groaned at the loss. “Nooo, in me, in me,” he gasped, squirming on the ground. Victor turned him over. Yuuri’s mouth was covered by another.

They were kissing. Yuuri’s eyes closed. His spine arched and he fell into the kiss. His arms encircled Victor’s neck, embracing him. “Now,” he ordered between kisses. “Fuck me now.”

Victor’s lips lingered, but he drew back, leaving a swift line of kisses down Yuuri’s torso and along the line of his groin. Victor slid his hands down Yuuri’s hips and along his thighs, the touch slow, almost reverent now that the claiming had begun, now that his prey was pretty and pliant beneath him.

Yuuri’s breath shuddered when Victor’s kisses turned hard, sucking and biting at the meat of his thighs. Victor’s come had started to leak from Yuuri’s body, but Victor pushed it all back into that puffy, pink, well-fucked hole. Victor lined up and slid back in.

The knot returned with another flood of come. Yuuri groaned. His stomach hurt from it, stretched too full between Victor’s fat alpha cock and the flood of come Victor had left inside him.

Victor scented him as they rocked together. The desperation had lessened now, and the soft, sweet sex had replaced the animal need. Yuuri weakly pulled up his wrists, rubbing the scent glands over Victor’s skin.

His head was whirling. Dizzy and sore, he scented Victor back as they fucked themselves silly. Victor pulled out at last. He let his hands slide gently over the full curve of Yuuri’s stomach, fucked full of his seed, and purred.

Victor pressed a soft kiss to Yuuri’s forehead. “Let’s go back,” he said.

Yuuri purred a soft agreement but didn’t move for a long moment. He was quite comfortable on his back, legs splayed open still, and his body spilling Victor’s release. He shifted and groaned. Contentment was a heavy thing, weighing him down. Victor huffed a quiet little laugh and nuzzled his neck.

At last, Yuuri sat up. His body ached, and the gauzy shift fell in scraps from his body. It had been ripped open. His mind hummed blissfully. He tried to stand, but his legs trembled and gave out beneath him.

Even with Victor bracing him, Yuuri’s legs barely supported any of his weight. Victor scooped him up and carried him back toward the cave and toward the way out. Yuuri snuggled into his grip, looping his arms around Victor’s neck and nuzzling in.

The gates were already standing open when Victor came to the exit. The steady rocking of Victor’s gait had nearly lulled Yuuri to sleep. Victor growled when someone tried to step up to him, and Yuuri snuggled deeper into his grip. He felt safe there.

There were rooms with baths just within the lodge, already drawn and full, steaming lightly and arrayed with soaps along the edges.

Bathing together often satisfied a primal caretaking instinct after a claiming, and Yuuri melted into Victor’s touch as the dirt was washed from his hair and scrubbed from under his fingernails.

Their kisses were lazy and slow.

A low rage built in the pit of Yuuri’s stomach. His jaw set. Victor had gotten him. Victor had played the smarter game. He had succeeded where Yuuri failed, outsmarted Yuuri at his own game.

The fury of it burned. He had to force his muscles to unclench. He sank deeper into the bath and blew bubbles with his nose, letting it stew quietly in his head.

“Enjoying yourself?” Victor asked lightly. His touch on Yuuri’s shoulder was featherlight, a reminder, not of possession, but of presence. “You ran a good hunt. Next time won’t be so easy.”

Yuuri closed his eyes and rose from the water a little, enough for him to take a long, slow breath. Next time. Something in Yuuri’s chest seemed to clench and unwind. He let out a breathless laugh. “Next time, I'm getting away for sure,” he promised.