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Ashlyn hastily threw his meager belongings in his sack, running around his rented room above the bar he was staying in.
He needed to get the hell out of town before Vandal Dingle found him. The man had become a pain in his arse in a matter of days when they bumped into each other accidentally. It grated on his every last nerve how the man kept following him around town, like a stray dog begging for scraps.
Vandal Dingle wasn't good looking to say the least. But even if he was, Ashlyn was not interested in the man. Vandal was tall, with a large stomach that took up every part of his frame. He was bald with a scar on the left side of his face that went from his ear to his lips, down to his chin. He was missing a few of his teeth and he had the worst body odor known to man.
For goodness’ sake that’s why the bloody sea exists for a reason. He cannot be an alpha like he claims.
He froze when he heard the loud pounding on his door.
“Fuck,” he cursed and pressed his back against the wall and held his breath praying to the sea god the alpha would leave him alone.
I can’t believe the man fancies himself a pirate. He gets seasick at the sound of a bucket being filled.
“Come on out, little love, I can smell you hiding in there. I just want to make you mine.”
How can you smell anything over your own body odor?
“Not on your bleeding life,” he whispered, knowing the man on the other side of the door couldn’t hear him.
Slowly he reached into his pocket and pulled out his potion, downing the entire thing. He had just returned back from the local town’s witch, Talia, or that’s what they called her. Yet, she was the one they went to when they have an ailment. Talia fancied herself a doctor of witchcraft but makes an elixir that seemed to slow down his omega heat.
I hate I was born an omega. I wish I was born an alpha instead and didn’t have to deal with all this heat shite.
Ashlyn was a loner and had no place to call home. As an omega, he felt he was cursed in life by the deities. Each month his body went into an omega heat and he would need to find an alpha to calm his raging hormones. He was born into a lower-class, large family and was the third oldest out of a brood of twelve.
Both of his parents were born in Britain but traveled to the islands when Ashlyn was but a newborn. His family was poor, and it seemed they had more kids than food. When he was thirteen, he left with only the clothes on his back and never looked back. He doubted his parents even realized that he was gone.
It didn’t help that one reason they were poor was because his sire, Keaton, kept incurring gambling debts. They kept getting kicked out of every hovel they found to live in. Ashlyn hated that Abel, his bearer, never argued about being moved from one home to another, or never having food on their table. But always seemed to turn up pregnant and was happy about it.
Ashlyn despised the loyalty his bearer showed. He saw Able Tuesday as a doormat, making a vow to himself that he’d never be like his bearer. He wanted much more out of life. He didn’t want to struggle for his next meal. As much as he hated being an omega, he realized there were both advantages to his status and disadvantages. He was told often that his exotic beauty was unlike any other omega’s. His bright blue eyes, light brown skin, and dark twisted locks made most men and women weak in their knees.
After leaving home and realizing that men wanted him for being an omega and his beauty, he used it to his advantage. It didn’t happen right away. It took time for him to understand what his scent, beauty, and body did to not only alphas, but betas and maybe some gammas. Before that he would hide away and prayed no one would find him. After leaving, he stole, and in some cases begged, for food; depending on the kindness of strangers to feed him.
Ashlyn made it a point not to stay in one place too long. When he was eighteen he had gone through his first heat phase. He had no clue what was wrong with his body, when all he wanted was to rip his clothes off and jump in the sea just to cool off. He was thankful that no alpha was around when it’d happened. When it happened every month, he knew something was wrong, but he wasn’t sure who to ask.
He’d never seen his sire go through a heat cycle. It also didn’t help he and Able never talked about the facts of life. He never seemed to have the time with all the babies he kept having. Then one day Calista came into his life. She was an omega like him and explained that each month on or around the same time his body went through a heat cycle. Even knowing what to expect Ashlyn hated that his inside hurt so badly he wanted to die. He did not know what was happening.
According to Calista being an omega was a passage through life that distinguished alphas, betas, gammas, and omegas. Omegas were the beautiful humans in the world and pirates considered them to be sea sirens who beguiled them with their beauty. Betas were everyday people who did not have to worry about finding a mate or heats.
Gammas were one level below betas in status, they could also mate with and get pregnant by betas. Calista told him that omegas were given a gift thanks to the deities to bear children. Then how would the gods explain gammas? To Ashlyn, gammas were lucky with the fact that they did not go through a heat cycle as omegas did.
However, society dwelled little on the beta and gamma dynamics the way they did with alphas and omegas. Gammas also bear one child every five years whereas an omega could get pregnant each heat cycle.
A gamma and beta pairing or mating was not as structured, or loyalty based as an alpha and omega. If they so choose, a gamma could have more than one beta mate. Alphas and omegas are mated for life. Society believes that an omega is fragile and needed the protection of a strong alpha to take care of them.
Who comes up with this shit?
Ashlyn had been taking care of himself since he was thirteen and needed an alpha to rescue him. He knew well that Calista was looking for a mate. No one liked being lonely, and admittedly he got lonely sometimes. But each time he thought of finding a mate, he broke out in a cold sweat, and got nauseated. To Ashlyn having a mate sounded like a life sentence. The desire to be loved by an alpha mate sounded great, but the part about bearing the alpha’s child did not sound all that great for him.
He wanted to choose his own path in life. I need no man or child to hold me back from my goals. And why would I want to ruin my beautiful figure?
Since discovering that he was an omega he stayed away from people out of fear that an alpha would pick up his scent. During the other times, he pretended that he was a gamma most days. And since he loved women’s clothing no one questioned Ashlyn on his beauty or his true status in society.
With Vandal still beating down his room door, he was glad at that moment that he’d changed into leather trousers when he went to visit Talia for his one-year supply of elixirs. The bottles were small enough he could shove most in his pockets and wouldn’t weigh him down while he traveled.
He’d traveled a lot since he left home. Mostly by horse and carriages. But no matter wherever he went, he always seemed to come back to the town of Duns Fall. It was because Talia lived there, but, it used to be a quiet little town he saw himself one day settling down in. That was until pirates found his sweet little haven. The pirates were loud and brash, who believed that everything they touched belonged to them on land and sea.
Ashlyn made it a point not to get close to anyone, especially pirates. He also never stayed in one place too long even his beloved little town of Duns Fall. Talia and Calista were the exception, they pushed their way into his life even when he kept pushing them back. If an alpha or anyone else suspected that he was an omega he would leave town before they could catch up to him. Except for Vandal “The Stubborn” Dingle who didn’t know how to take no for an answer.
If Vandal was really a pirate, he was definitely a crappy one who seemed to have given up chasing booty for Ashlyn’s arse. The banging on his door became insistent. What the bloody hell is this fucker’s problem? There were many other beautiful men on the island, but it seemed he had only eyes for Ashlyn.
He didn’t understand the other man’s fascination when they’d bumped into each other at the local market. Ashlyn was looking at a white silk scarf that would have looked charming with his midnight blue gown he’d bought the previous day. After saying their apologies, Ashlyn went on about his business, apparently, Vandal took a liking to him.
They’d run into each other the entire week. Vandal tried buying him drinks and dinner for the past few nights and each time he declined the man’s offer. It was his way of courting the omega into his arms, Ashlyn heard him tell another pirate who told him it wouldn’t work. Ashlyn had gone so far as to tell Vandal he was already mated and was simply waiting for his mate to join him in two days. Rightfully so, the other man didn’t believe him.
He’d have left Duns Fall days ago, but he had to wait for his elixir to be finished. If only Talia was really a witch.
“Come on, pretty, open the door and let me in so that we can talk,” Vandal said on the other side of the door.
“Fuck no,” Ashlyn whispered.
Stuffing the small bottle into his pocket he picked up his sack from the bed and walked over to the open window. He froze when the floorboards squeaked and held his breath, wondering if Vandal had gotten smart and left. The pounding on the door stopped, and he prayed he was right about Vandal leaving. The man was large enough he could break the door down without breaking a sweat if he wanted to. When nothing happened, Ashlyn snuck over to the window and was about to open it when he saw Vandal standing on the terrace looking in the window.
How the fuck did he get out there so fast?
Turning, Ashlyn ran out of the room and down the stairs into the bar. It was packed with patrons, mostly pirates drinking their fill of grog. Some stopped to look at him as if he had lost his head for a few seconds before going back to what they were doing. Others paid him no attention. His heart was thundering in his chest, it was only a matter of time before Vandal burst in the room. Ashlyn scanned the room quickly, hoping someone could be a patsy for him in a pinch.
He spotted a group of pirates sitting in the back of the room. They were loud and rowdy, knowing it should be easy to spot the captain among them. He would be the only one with a large tanker of grog. Other than that, all the men sitting at the table with him would be vying for his attention. He looked out the window and saw Vandal about to push the pub doors open. Thinking quickly, he ran over to the group of pirates and sat in the man’s lap and smashed their lips together before the man could object. He ignored the pleasurable shiver that coursed down his back.
“Oi, get your hands off my mate. That’s my man,” Ashlyn heard Vandal roar.
Both Ashlyn and the pirate, he assumed was the captain, stopped kissing and turned to look at Vandal. Their cheeks lovingly pressed against each other.
“Your man?” the sexy man asked. The man’s voice was a deep whisper that close to his ear.
“Aye,” Vandal responded.
The stranger laughed along with the other men at the table as if they were all in on the joke. Ashlyn’s body however, was responding in ways it never had before to anyone since their kiss. He prayed that the man whose lap he was sitting on didn’t notice. A finger touched his chin then lightly turned his head to meet light gray eyes connecting with his blue. He also didn’t miss the devilish smile causing his cock to respond even more in his trousers.
Fuck, I need to get away from this man, now.
“Are you his?” Ashlyn shook his head no. But I can be yours if you want me to. What the fuck? His eyes widened at his thoughts. Where the hell did that thought come from?
“Lies,” Vandal said loudly.
“Are you calling my beauty a liar?” He never took his eyes away from Ashlyn.
“You bet your bloody arse, I am,” Vandal roared.
“I told him I was waiting for you,” Ashlyn offered up.
“Always, my loyal beauty,” he said as the tips of his fingers brushed against Ashlyn’s lower lip that still burned from their kiss.
Ashlyn turned and looked at Vandal, he was boiling mad. His face was red, and it was as if he could see steam coming out of his ears. Vandal went to lunge forward but was stopped when the captain stood up instantly, putting Ashlyn behind him with one hand and a cutlass in the other.
“We don’t want any trouble now do we?” the other pirate asked.
“This is a proper establishment. So be a good gentilhomme and be on your way now.”
Ashlyn looked over the stranger’s shoulder and looked at Vandal, the tip of the sword was at his throat ready to strike if need be.
“This isn’t over, Ashlyn,” Vandal vowed.
He stepped in front of the other man to address Vandal. “Just give up. Just please stop following me. I’ve told you before that I’m not yours. I belong to someone else.”
He turned and looked at the handsome pirate whose arms circled his waist and pulled him tighter against him. He wasn’t looking at Ashlyn but at Vandal, but the smirk on his sexy lips made Ashlyn’s heart thump faster in his chest.
Vandal tsked then looked at Ashlyn’s savior. “Watch yourself, I never forget a face.”
“And I never back down from a challenge.”
Vandal nodded and backed away before Ashlyn released the breath he was holding. His body was finally under control and he wasn’t emitting any pheromones thanks to the potion. He wasn’t sure how it worked or what was in it, but Talia was a lifesaver.
“Now, my beauty, mind telling me what all that was about?”
“Not really,” Ashlyn said bending down to pick up his sack. “But I must thank you ever so much for your gracious help.”
He went to step by the man but was stopped with a hand around his waist. He gasped when a muscular chest was pressed against his back. His body was reacting in ways it shouldn’t have, especially since he’d drunk the entire bottle of potion.
“Now, petit, where do you think you’re running off to? I can take you back to my ship for a bit of fun.” The pirate’s deep voice whispered in his ear. His warm breath ghosting over his ear, and the scent of rum on his breath made him hold back his whimper.
When the man’s hand slowly drifted down the front of his trousers Ashlyn stepped away, his hand held out, touching the other man’s chest.
Fuck, I shouldn’t have done this.
The man’s skin was warm even through his shirt, and Ashlyn could feel the muscles under the tips of his fingertips. He might be an omega, but he wasn’t interested in sleeping with just anyone. Hell, he’d never slept with anyone but his hands on a lonely night.
“Look, I appreciate your help, but I cannot stay.”
“No need to rush off after I just helped you.”
He stepped closer to Ashlyn and was about to wrap an arm around him, but he stepped much further back. He could hear snickers coming from the men with the captain.
“I would love to stay, but I have things I must attend to.” He wasn’t lying. He was running low on funds and he knew the perfect patsy to con a few coins from to hold him off for a few days. Talia might be his friend, but she still charged him an arm and a leg for the elixirs.
“You are a proper little thing. I like you already. So, what do you say, petit, be a member of my ship?”
“Sorry, the pirate’s life isn’t for me,” Ashlyn said and was off before his savior could say another word.
Ashlyn was running out of the pub, hoping his body would calm down the further he got away from the pirate. He prayed never to run into the man again but knowing his bad luck, it was bound to happen.
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