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– Rosa Swann, author of Mated to the Alpha
Chapter 1 - My Alpha's Secret, an omegaverse non-shifter mpreg romance
I hadn’t seen Logan in over a decade, not since he left me stranded in the middle of nowhere, in the dark of the night. I can’t believe it’s been that long, that so much time has passed, but the aching in my chest never went away. And then, yesterday, a phone call from my sister—did I know that Logan had passed away? That he left behind an Omega, and a child?—I didn’t, but I could have known. I should have known that he would move on. But still, it hurt, knowing that your mate, the one that you loved, is no longer there. It hit me right in the chest.
I haven’t slept since the phone call. The pain is too raw, too much taking away each breath that I take. To know that he moved on, and then passed away… A car crash, supposedly. I don’t know any details, but that is what she told me.
How? It all comes down to that one question. How could he move on? We were mated, I’m sure of it, even now, no matter what he told me. The questions and doubts keep going through my mind. If we were mated, really mated, then he couldn’t have conceived a child with someone else, an Omega… But then why, why do I still carry his mark?
Stepping into a coffee shop, I try to pull myself together. I can’t show up at the funeral like some distraught mate. He already has a mate, and it’s not me. Even for the few people who did know about him and me, it’s no use showing up looking like a mess, there is no reason to pull all the attention from his family, his Omega, his kid.
“Coffee, please. Black. Med—” I stop. “Make that a large.” I don’t look up, pay for the coffee and as soon as my hand curls around the hot carton outside of a cup, I’m back out the door. The cemetery is only a few minutes down the road. I start walking, but as soon as I see the signs for the cemetery, I stop. I can’t do this. I step away from the middle of the path, not wanting to be in the way for anyone, then I lean against the wall, taking deep breaths.
My mind keeps going in circles. How does Logan’s Omega do this? How can they show up to the funeral and keep it all together? I can’t even do it, and I haven’t seen or heard from Logan in a long time. They? The morning of the accident they woke up in a bed with Logan and by the evening, they were alone, and, unlike me, they knew that he would never come back again. That he would never hold them in his arms again.
Fuck. I push back the tears. Was this ever a good idea? Should I not have gone?
The bells of the church start ringing, jolting me back into action. I start moving towards the sound, following the cars, following the other people. Further up the road I see a car—I stop, holding my breath, but it’s just a car that looks like the one Logan and I used to have, the model is just off, probably a couple of years newer than ours was. I let out my breath.
People start filing into a small church, I’m about to follow them as I see a glimpse of a tall man with jet black hair, now with streaks of silver. Logan’s father.
I stop too suddenly, the coffee spilling over my fingers and I curse under my breath. I quickly make my way out of the stream of people, moving the cup from hand to hand as I try to find something to dry my hand with. I’m getting all worked up now, of course this would happen.
“Here.” A woman’s voice catches my attention and she holds out a tissue. I take it gratefully, drying off my hand.
As I look up to thank the woman, I recognise her. “Sarah,” my voice is breathless, I’m too stunned. Logan’s sister. I hadn’t recognised her voice, but her face, even after all those years, she still looks like the girl that always came around to our house to play with my sister. Back when Logan and I didn’t even realise what it meant that we were always so close, that the jokes about us being joined at the hip would soon turn to whispered words and suspicious looks.
“Wilder.” She looks me over, but I can’t read the look in her eyes. “Did Lilly tell you?” Lilly, my older sister.
I nod, not able to say anything. We all used to be such good friends and then everything went wrong. But this time, the emotion is unmistakable, relief.
“Good,” her voice is soft. “I didn’t feel like it would be fair to you not to know about this. You deserve to be here. You probably more than anyone else. You knew him best, the true him.” She looks up, her eyes now guarded. “Don’t let my parents see you.” She steps away, looking back at me one last time before she joins her family inside.
What? What was that about? It’s not like I was planning on talking to anyone anyway. I’m here just to say goodbye to Logan, that is all. I wince when the coffee burns down my throat as I quickly finish the cup, because I can’t take it inside with me, that wouldn’t be proper. I breathe deeply a few times before I make my way into the church. I stay at the back, as far away from his family as I can, but, even as I do that, I can’t get around Logan’s face. It’s printed on two huge banners that hang at the front of the church. I keep my eyes on the first couple of rows, both trying to make out who is who and also to make sure nobody sees me, at least, nobody but Sarah. It’s too busy at the front to see much of anything, there are constantly people walking to and from the first couple of rows, obscuring anyone I may try to get a glimpse of
The church quiets down as someone walks to the front, a pastor or something, even though neither Logan nor his family is religious. But, as I look around and see the serious faces, I guess it makes an impression on the people that were invited. I’m not sure what I expected, who I expected to show up. But even after all these years, I recognise some of the faces, business partners of Logan’s father, some people from either side of the family, I just hope they don’t recognise me. What I’m missing though is friends, I guess I expected Logan to have at least made some friends in those ten years.
The service is about to begin, but a young girl slips past me, she can’t be more than seven or eight years old, her face streaked with tears, her sobs getting louder and louder, even as she moves away. I quickly go after her, on instinct. A little girl can get lost around here, and nobody needs a lost kid at a funeral. I follow her, and a little away from the doors, not quite out of view of them, she stops and starts to sob uncontrollably. Oh, poor girl.
I walk up to her, kneeling in front of her so I’m not towering over her. “Hey.” I hold out the tissue with the coffee stains, but it’s all I have right now and I don’t want her to ruin her beautiful dress. “Here, dry your tears with this.”
She looks up and for a moment I’m captivated by her, she is beautiful, in a should-be-a-model-for-a-fashion-magazine kind of beautiful. “Thank you, sir.” Her voice is quiet, and polite, but she seems genuine.
“It’s bad, eh? All those crying old people.” I try to smile a little, give her some courage, even though it’s mostly me I’m talking about.
She nods solemnly, her face twisted in pain.
“There you are.” A man approaches us. “You can’t just run off, Maddy.”
I look up, and the moment our eyes meet, a jolt goes through me. I don’t need to be introduced. Little Maddy is a perfect mix of Logan and this man in front of me. He must be Logan’s Omega, right here. Somewhere, I’d hoped never to meet him, to not have reality clash with my imagination, maybe even ignoring the last ten years of my life even happened. But seeing him here, it feels like a knife is being jabbed into my chest, all the feelings intensifying and at the same time making me feel numb. The second thing I realise is how exhausted he looks, how broken, and that hurts even more.
I turn around, about to walk away as his hand falls on my arm. “Thank you for going after her. She’s taking it hard.” I can hear the restraint in his voice. It’s not just her, but he’s the adult, the parent, so his first priority is Maddy, not himself.
“I can’t imagine what it feels like to lose her father like that.” What I can imagine is losing a mate, but I don’t say anything, instead putting my hand over his, a reflex, but neither of us pulls away.
He nods, his eyes averted. “How did you know L—” he starts Logan’s name, but can’t seem to finish it, “him?”
Who am I to Logan? In comparison to his Omega, his mate? Nobody. He can never know, I can’t break these memories he has of his mate. He can never know that his mate used to date another Alpha. “We used to be good friends when we were young. But I hadn’t seen him in ages.”
The man mulls his over for a moment. Then he looks at Maddy, who is quietly leaning against him, her eyes far away as she sometimes lets out a little sniffle. “How did you know who she was? Who I am?”
“She looks like him and you together. I heard he—” My voice breaks, words no longer coming out of my mouth.
He looks at me and I realise I’m a little taller than he is, so when he meets my eyes, he has to look up.
I clear my throat, swallowing down the heartache that is constricting my throat. “I heard he left behind an Omega and a kid. I just assumed. I guess.”
Tears well up in his eyes and I want to wrap my arms around him. Instead I squeeze his hand a little.
“I’m sorry, that was stupid of me to say.” Why do I make him cry? I’m not the right person for this.
“No.” He shakes his head. “You’re… You’re right. I just…” He takes a deep breath. “I can’t believe he’s gone.”
“Me neither.” The words slip from me and Logan’s Omega looks up at me with a strange look in his eyes. I have to remind myself that I’m not here to make trouble, I’m here to say goodbye to Logan myself. I’m here as ‘just a friend’, nothing more. I let go of Logan’s mate’s hand, stepping away a little. “I think it’s better if you go back inside. They’ll be wondering where you are.”
A look goes over his face, frustration, that and the way that we’ve been out here for a while but nobody is looking for them… It makes me suspect Logan’s family is still the same as ever, and I don’t expect his Omega to be treated the best of ways. He lets out a sigh. “I guess. It’s just so much. Too big.” He eyes the church.
“He would have wanted a small cremation, just a few people, no hassle.” As I say the words, I kick myself mentally. That was totally out of line for ‘just a friend’.
His eyes shoot to my face, then he nods. “Yeah.” He’s about to ask me something, but I’m saved by the kid as Maddy starts to pull on his arm, obviously a little bored now. “Again, thank you for going after her.”
“It was no problem. I’m sorry for your loss.” I step back, giving him more space to move away.
He steps past me, before he meets my eyes one last time. “You too.” Then he takes Maddy’s hand and walks back towards the church.
I gasp for breath, feelings overwhelming me and I’m sure I won’t be able to go back into the church in this state. I guess it’s time for me to go, there is no reason to stay around any longer. I won’t be able to see Logan one last time, and the one person I was dreading to see, the one person I actually had no interest in meeting, ever, I saw. I didn’t want to meet Logan’s Omega, but I guess I had to.
It’s over now. Logan is gone. And before he passed away, he’d stopped being mine a long time ago. I can see that now. I guess I was so wrapped up in my own world, in my own past, that I never considered the possibility that there may be someone out there for me. Someone just for me, like Logan found in this man.
Then why am I not leaving? Why am I staying here, waiting for everyone to come outside? Why am I taking that chance? Why am I taking the chance that his family will see me and make a fuss?
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Chapter 2 - My Alpha's Secret, an omegaverse non-shifter mpreg romance
If I hold onto Maddy any tighter I’ll crush her little hand. This was not how things were supposed to turn out, a widower in my early thirties, with a child, with a business now depending on me. I need to stay strong, I can’t show any signs of breaking down, not now, not now all the eyes are on me.
Everything has been so overwhelming the last few days. Logan’s family swooped in, took all the control over everything from the moment they heard the news until now, the only thing I was allowed to do was to not cry in front of them. They chose every detail, down to the dress that Maddy has to wear today. This isn’t us, this isn’t me, this isn’t Logan. But I have no way to control what’s going on. I’m only an Omega, I’m lucky that they even care about me enough to not push me to the back, instead they parade me around as the grieving widower when they need me to. Losing Logan without having produced an Alpha heir, they’re panicking… Logan was their only Alpha child. And now, now they have no-one to take over the company, I’d feel sorry for them, if Logan hadn’t hated his family’s plans as much as I do.
I know that they’re frustrated, that they don’t know what to do now that they lost such an important part of their future plans. But why do they have to involve me in all of this? I don’t want it. I don’t want their family. I just want to return home, I want to grief for my mate in my own way. I want for people to stop looking at Maddy and me with that look in their eyes… Pity. Not just the sadness of losing a loved one, but pity. Pity that I didn’t give Logan’s family an Alpha heir.
“Daddy…” Maddy’s quiet voice reaches me and I look down at her. Her bottom lip wobbles and I let go of her hand, scared I hurt her, but she raises up both her arms, she wants to be held, even though she’s getting way too big for that.
I reach down and lift her up anyway, hiding my face against her, letting a few tears slide that just won’t stay in.
“Daddy, I miss Dad.” Her soft words are for my ears only.
“Me too, baby. Me too.” I pull her tighter, hiding from the whole event a little, hiding with our little girl, the only part of Logan I’ve got left.
Sarah’s voice startles me. “Pull yourself together, Sterling, just a little longer. We’re nearly at the end. A little longer and they won’t be bothering you for a couple of days at least.” Then she carefully pries Maddy from my arms. “Hey, little girl, let’s go and leave the adults alone for a while. Yeah?”
I quickly dry my eyes and try to put on my most neutral face as I see people start to move, the whole ceremony just went straight by me as I was too focused on myself instead of the things around me. Logan’s dad steps next to me, his eyes stern, blue eyes, like ice, so cold that I feel like I’m freezing every time I look into them. How did Logan, the sweetest and kindest man that I know, come from parents like these?
People start filing by as they leave, mumbling words I’m in no state to understand as they shake my hand or put their hand on my shoulder, like any of this is going to help. It only helps them to feel good about themselves. I just want to return home and get back to daily life, get back to some resemblance of normalcy. It will never be the same, but at least it’ll be on my own terms. At least I won’t be surrounded by people who have no idea how to act towards me.
As the last people have gone, Logan’s parents turn to me. His father speaks up first. “Well, we’ll be dropping by the house this weekend, see if you’re doing well. I assume that Sarah will be dropping you off at home.”
I nod, suddenly very aware that being alone at home also means being alone at home, nobody but me, Maddy and the daily chores.
Logan’s father inclines his head towards me, his mother, also an Omega like me, does the same, and with that, they’re off. I can’t believe it. They swooped in and took over my life, and just as quickly, they’re gone again, leaving me to rebuild from the ruins. They’ll only put up with me as long as they have to, and not a second longer. It’s always been like that, but I guess, since I won’t be giving them an Alpha heir, it doesn’t matter anyway, they’ll lose interest in me soon enough.
Out of the corner of my eyes, I see someone leaning against a tree, when I look up, I realise that it’s the same man as I saw earlier. I don’t know why, but I kept looking for him during the ceremony and the lowering of the coffin, but he wasn’t anywhere. I guess he felt out of place in this strictly organised thing. But there he is again.
“Daddy!” Maddy wraps her little arms around my legs. “I wanna go home.”
I reach out to her, putting my hand on her beautiful curls. “We will, soon. I just need…” I just need some quiet time here, saying goodbye. This is the first time since the accident that I’m relatively alone with Logan, the first time his family isn’t glaring at me for having emotions at all. My breath gets cut off and I stumble for a moment.
Arms surround me and I hold on for dear life. “Shh. Shh.” Sarah’s voice is calm, but I can also hear the pain in it.
It hurts, it hurts so much. To lose Logan like this, there was no reason to, there was no fucking reason for him to be gone. How will I keep going? How will I keep living?
I don’t know how, but I know that I will have to, I have to do it for Maddy, for our girl, because there isn’t anything else in the world anymore.
I take deep breaths, standing up straight, and Maddy is looking at me, her eyes big. I wish I could take this view away from her, her useless father, who can’t keep it together long enough to function properly until they’re back home. Her father who breaks down while he should be caring for her.
My eyes are drawn up again, and the man is still standing in the same place, like he wants to be here, but doesn’t know if he should be.
Sarah turns her head, realising I’m staring at something. And right then, something interesting happens, the look on her face, the pain, the horror, the deep sadness. “Oh, god, Wilder.” She looks at me, tears filling her eyes, opening her mouth a few times before she shakes her head. “I’ll be right back. I need to speak to him for a bit.” Her voice is hoarse, on the verge of breaking.
My eyes follow her, and as soon as she comes close, he pulls her tight, their arms locked around each other. I don’t know why, but it breaks my heart even harder to see them cling to each other like that. Like they are the only people in the world who understand each other, their only hope.
When they pull apart, Sarah is saying something and the other man, Wilder, is shaking his head. But she doesn’t seem to listen to him and pulls on his arm to bring him over. The way they act with each other, so familiar, it’s odd, in the eight or so years that I’ve known Sarah, I’ve never seen her act like that with anyone, not even Logan.
“Sterling, this is Wilder, he is…” She trails off as she looks at him.
“An old friend of Logan’s. He knows this, we’ve met earlier when your niece ran off during the ceremony.” His voice is gruff and his whole posture is a little awkward.
The look that goes between the two is unmistakable though, Sarah is not convinced and Wilder doesn’t seem willing to explain more, but Sarah seems to overcome it easily enough. “Well, Wilder, then you know that Sterling is Logan’s mate and this is their daughter, Madeline.”
“Maddy.” Wilder kneels next to her, using the name I used earlier, and I don’t know how, but she smiles at him. “I’m glad you were a really good girl today. Your daddy is going to need you to be strong. Can you do that?”
Maddy nods, then she hugs him. “Thank you for talking to Daddy.” Her light voice is heard by all of us, and I feel my face heat up as Sarah looks at me.
Well, yes, we talked for a moment and I’m not exactly sure why that makes me blush. At least he treated me somewhat normally.
Then Sarah’s eyes go serious. “Sterling, do you have any friends or neighbours who can check in on you in the next couple of days? I know this won’t be easy. And getting Maddy to school and everything…” She trails off and swallows hard. “Fuck. Sorry. I wish my family wasn’t so messed up.”
“They want you back at work tomorrow?” Wilder asks as he reaches out to her. “You just lost your brother, they’re being totally unreasonable.”
“You know how they are.” She leans against him and he holds her again.
His eyes darken as he looks at Maddy and me, sadness flashing over his face. “I do. I do know what they’re like.” He lets out a sigh. “I’ll do it. I’ve taken the week off anyway, and… I think it would be good for both of us not to be alone right now.”
Both of us? What? A stranger in my house? Now? “I can’t make you do that.”
“Yeah.” Sarah frowns too. “I’m not sure it’s a good idea.”
“Lo— Logan was my…” his jaw sets, pushing the next word out, “friend. This is the least I can do for him.”
“Are you sure?” Sarah doesn’t seem convinced. And I get that Wilder and Logan used to be friends, but this is a little extreme, staying over with someone’s mate just because you used to be friends.
“Yeah. If Sterling and Maddy are okay with it. I’m not much of a bother, I can cook, I can clean, I can… I don’t know, change light bulbs? Anything that you need right now.” He looks so sincere, and I guess that the idea of not returning to an empty house is tempting. While being away from all this mess, this charade set up by my family-in-law, feels like the one thing I really need to do, at the same time, being actually alone? Not having anyone around? That scares the hell out of me.
“Okay, I guess. It’s a big enough house and you can have the guest room.” I shrug. I’m done with being out in public for a day, I’m done being a sensible adult, and I’m ready to go home, and the way that Maddy is hanging on me, I suspect she is too. “But I would like to go home now.”
“Daddy… carry me.” Maddy’s voice is hard to resist and I nearly pick her up before Wilder kneels down next to her.
“I think Daddy is tired, is it okay if I carry you?” He looks at her so seriously, like he’s honestly waiting for her answer instead of just doing whatever he wants.
Maddy looks at him for a moment and then nods as she wraps her arms around his neck. He pulls her close and stands up again, holding her at his side.
“I guess we’ll need to fit all four of us in my car?” Sarah starts walking towards the parking lot.
“Yeah, I didn’t think coming by car would be a good idea.” Wilder walks besides me, and I guess it’s this weird Alpha thing that some guys have, but having him at my side, it’s calming me down somewhat. Knowing that there is someone who cares enough to be there for me.
But it doesn’t take away any of the pain, or the regrets of all the things Logan and I still wanted to do.
You've been reading Second Chance Mates 1 – My Alpha's Secret
Ten years ago, Logan left me. He told me that two Alphas cannot be together, he told me that our mating wasn’t real.
Yesterday, my sister called me and told me that Logan passed away, leaving behind an Omega and a child.
Today, I’m at Logan’s funeral. Why am I offering to look after his little family?
Logan and I had everything we wanted: a house, a beautiful daughter and lots of big dreams. Then he was ripped away from us in a car crash.
His family is too busy to help me out after the funeral, so one of Logan’s old friends steps in.
Only, in all the commotion, I didn’t keep an eye on the calendar, and my heat starts at the most inconvenient of times.
And why is Logan’s friend reacting to my heat? Only true mates are supposed to react to a mated Omega…