What do you expect to find in front of your door? Definitely not a very very angry Sterling!
– Rosa Swann, author of Mated to the Alpha
Chapter 1 - My Lover’s Will, an omegaverse non-shifter mpreg romance
Going back to my own life after leaving Sterling and Maddy at the cottage wasn’t easy, I never expected it to be, but after a month, I’ve finally found a rhythm. I still have trouble sleeping at night. My life is just too messed up, even though I lost Logan over a decade ago, losing him for good this time has done weird things to my mind. But there is finally some resemblance of normalcy these days. I’ve been working from home more, not really feeling like leaving the house most days. But with my work, website design and maintenance, I only need to talk to people when I run into issues or during our weekly updates. Luckily most of the work can be done on my own. There’s just something about working from home that makes it all a little more bearable.
I move the stack of boxes from the table to the floor to make space for my lunch. I’ve been ordering a lot of things in lately, not really feeling like going out and be surrounded by people. Though, some of the things I’ve ordered… I open a box and take out a book about homesteading. Yeah, they may be more than lightly inspired by a certain man I’ve met a few weeks back…
I haven’t talked to Sterling since Sarah picked me up. Nothing. Radio silence. Even trying to find an employee for him I’ve done through Sarah, she was the one who talked to Sterling and potential employees.
Although it’s not like I’ve got his number anyway, I gave him mine, but I never got his. So, the ball’s in his court. Not that I wouldn’t be able to find him on social media, but I don’t feel like that’s my right, not now. Not after I made him promise me to move on with his life and not come see me. What happens next is up to him.
The stack of boxes on the table almost looms over me, and I consider, not for the first time, that retail therapy may not be the healthiest fix for me, especially not in the long run. But for the first time in years I’m lonely, I’ve been alone for so long and was able to deal with that for all this time, but living with Sterling for a week… I can’t seem to get used to being alone all the time again. I get restless.
Sighing, I get up, putting away my plate, and make my way back to my office. There isn’t much else to do anyway. It’s back to work and little else. As I enter my office, the bell rings, a loud and obnoxious sound that always sets me on edge. I grumble as I walk over to the front door. I thought I already got all my deliveries in for today, but maybe I forgot about something, wouldn’t be the first time.
I open the door and stumble back as I’m faced with Sterling. A very angry and glaring Sterling, even. Before I can say anything, he’s already speaking. “Who are you?” His voice is rough.
Eh? “You know who I am. I’m Wilder.” Did he hit his head and lose his memory or something?
“No! Who are you?” His breath hitches. “Why are you in Logan’s will?”
“What?” That came out of nowhere. I’m in Logan’s will? Why would that happen? Why would Logan do that?
“You’re in it. He leaves half of everything to you.” Sterling barges into the house, pushing a stack of paper into my hands.
I’m stunned for a moment, still trying to wrap my head around the idea of Logan leaving anything to me, let alone half of everything he owns.
“Have you read it?”
I blink, finally closing the door and walking after Sterling into the living room. “N—No. You just gave it to me.”
“You should have your own copy.” That seems to slow Sterling down. “You should have had your own copy delivered this morning.”
“I had… ehh… a lot of deliveries this morning.” Ten, to be precise.
“You had to sign for it.”
“That too. I sign for a lot.” I try to rack my brain, trying to come up with what part of this morning’s stack of deliveries could have been Logan’s will. Logan’s will… I never even considered I could be in it.
Sterling gapes at me, which finally seems to get me back to action. I hand him his stack of papers back and walk into the kitchen, looking at the piles of unopened boxes on and around the table. Yeah… This isn’t going to be the easiest task.
“Oh.” Sterling has apparently followed me, now obviously seeing the same thing. “I see what you mean. A small, flat, white and rectangle box probably wouldn’t tell you anything.”
“No.” I sigh. “A name?”
“I… I don’t recall.” He seems to have finally calmed down some, which I guess is a good thing, I don’t like seeing him upset.
“Okay.” I open the top box. A cookbook on how to use seasonal fruits and vegetables. I eye Sterling, who just looks puzzled. The next box I open has a gardening book, and the next one another cookbook. I stack them next to the pile of boxes, one stack shrinking and the other one growing.
I open a few more boxes before Sterling speaks up. “Wilder?” His voice is uncertain. “What is all…”
“Reading material?” I can’t face him because I’m sure it’s pretty obvious what I’ve been doing. I open one box, and quickly close it again, putting it aside. Porn, a lovely extra gift after subscribing to an online service… I hesitate as I open the next box, looking up at Sterling.
His eyes on me are heavy, a combination of confusion and sadness. I know that I told him to forget about me, but I may not have kept to the same rules… I may not have been able to just forget about him.
“Sorry.” I finally open the box fully and inside is an envelope.
“That’s it.” Sterling’s voice is soft.
I nod, pulling the envelope out and opening it. Inside is indeed a stack of paper, and a heavy feeling settles in my stomach. In some corner of my mind, I hoped Sterling was wrong, but the fact that I’ve received Logan’s will makes this all the more a reality by the moment. “What— What does it say?” I don’t want to read it, I don’t want to face this.
“He leaves half of the company to you and part of the house, also some money.” His voice is flat, and even though I asked, I don’t really want to hear it. I don’t want to hear about what Logan left me, because, if he did, that means that he still thought of me. That means that he didn’t fully cut ties with me either…
“This has to be a mistake. When was this updated?” It can’t be true, it cannot be true.
“Two years ago. The date is on the front.”
“Right.” Two years. That means that it’s recent. At least recent enough. “Fuck.” I cover my mouth with my hand, trying to keep the gasp inside, trying to keep the sadness inside. Two years. I slide to the floor, my legs giving out under me, my brain running in circles. Logan wrote me into his will, even after all these years… I’ve been alone for ten years, and he… he did this. He did still think of me, even though I was alone. He had his whole new family and I… I had nothing.
“Who are you to Logan?” Sterling also sits down, far enough that I can’t touch him, but close enough that he is near.
I can’t answer that, not after having hidden our past from Sterling for so long. I don’t even know where to begin, don’t even know how to say any of this. I squeeze my hands, I don’t want to answer.
“Answer me.” Sterling reaches out, gripping my arm, his fingers strong.
“I can’t.” I shake my head, my voice breaking. This isn’t just about me, telling Sterling will change everything he knew about Logan, about Logan’s past. Can I risk that?
“Why not? What happened between you two that he will leave half of everything he owns to you? You’re not just an old friend, you don’t do that for just anyone.” Sterling pulls on my arm, trying to get me to face him. “Wild?”
I flinch. Hearing him say that name, now. A slow whine starts in my chest, so painful. This is all too painful. I thought I’d lost him forever, but maybe I never had. It’s confusing. Like everything that happened that first day I walked into the cottage. So many things were exactly as they were at home, so many other things were exactly as we had dreamed them to be in the future. It was like he’d never moved on, it was like he just moved someone else in my place. Like Sterling was my replacement, or worse, that I was just a stand-in for when he found his real mate.
And now, is this his final “fuck you” to me? To leave me part of a house that we dreamed about together? To leave me a company he knew I’d be able to run, a company not in his area of expertise, but mine? To leave… I look up at Sterling, realisation setting in, to leave things to me that he knew would lead me to his Omega, to his little family? Fuck.
I stand up as I see a smaller envelope slide from between the pages of the will. A small envelope with my name on it in Logan’s awful scrawl. I take it, looking at Sterling, who shakes his head, so no help there.
With shaking fingers, I open the envelope, inside there is a note, undated.
My sweet Wild,
I know I left you, and by the time you read this, you’ll probably have at least heard about my death.
I’d like to think that when this happens, you’ll grant me my wish and take care of Sterling and Maddy (and maybe other children by then).
I know I hurt you and that was wrong. I’ve been egoistic by hiding from you for so long.
Please care for them like you cared for me.
I love you.
Past, present and future, forever yours.
Oh, crap. Someone could have… warned me. I drop everything, stumbling to my bedroom and let myself fall on the bed. Sadness, tears I didn’t even know I still had, anger, frustration, it all comes out as I scream into my covers.
This is not fair. He can’t do this to me. To us. To Sterling. He can’t just hand Sterling over to someone, to me, no matter how well Logan and I knew each other, no matter how much he trusts me. But there is something missing from the letter. Something that has been nagging at me ever since I met Sterling at the funeral.
If Logan mated me and then mated Sterling, did he know that if I met Sterling, I would mate him too? Or at least would be able to? Did he know? Did he plan for this?
I can’t think clearly anymore, the letter not making things better, only worse. Because if Logan knew, or at least suspected that I could or would also mate Sterling, then he’s been hiding his family from me… No, rephrase. If he knew this, he’s been hiding our family from me. Or was it the other way around, was he hiding me from our family?
My brain hurts. When he left me, I was in pain and confused… Now? That confusion has only gotten worse.
Next to me, the bed dips. “Wilder?” Sterling touches my back softly. “What’s going on?”
I open my mouth, shaking my head. Then I turn to Sterling, looking up at him, reaching out but not touching him.
He reaches for my hand, putting it on his cheek and holding it there. “You’re so quiet. It worries me.”
I run my finger over his lower lip, and he follows it shortly after with the tip of his tongue. “I don’t know.” My breath hitches.
“You weren’t expecting this.” It’s not a question but a statement, I still answer him as I shake my head. Then his face changes a little. “Were you ever expecting to see me again?”
I shake my head again. “No.” My voice is hoarse, broken.
“Then why did you buy the books?”
“I don’t know. I guess I wanted to know about your life.” About the life he had with Logan…
“Without me?” There is hurt in his voice, and I don’t blame him. Doing this, I’m as messed up as Logan was.
That doesn’t seem to be the right answer, but I guess he knows that he won’t get more from me, at least for now. “Wild…” I flinch again, this time his eyes focus on me, and his frown deepens. “I wish you’d talk to me. I want to help you, but you don’t seem to let me.”
“I don’t need help.” I sit up. “I need to be alone.”
Sterling shakes his head. “Tough luck. There is no going back to how you were before. Not anymore, not after what happened when I went into heat.”
I twist around, not sure I understand exactly what he is saying, but the resolute look in his eyes tell me more than his words do. “What?” My heart sinks. No. No, no, no.
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Chapter 2 - My Lover’s Will, an omegaverse non-shifter mpreg romance
I wasn’t planning on saying anything. I wasn’t going to be doing anything about all of this, at least not yet, it’s too soon. But when I read the will this morning, I knew I had to talk to Wilder. I knew I had to go see him. Somewhere inside, I was hoping that I could maybe pretend that I’d gone into heat right before Logan passed away, that the baby inside me was Logan’s. That I didn’t get mated by some stranger just days after I buried Logan. That I finally gave Logan another heir.
But then the will came in, and I saw how Logan had left half of everything to Wilder. I exploded. I couldn’t believe the nerve of them! First I was angry at Logan for never telling me anything about this, or even telling me he had a will in the first place, and then I was angry at Wilder for never even mentioning that maybe he and Logan had some deal I didn’t know about. Was that why he offered to take care of me? Because of some deal?
I came over here angry, upset, furious. But seeing Wilder break down… That anger faded. This was as much a surprise to him as it was to me. And the books, the cooking and homesteading books… I knew I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t lie about what happened. I couldn’t do that to myself or the baby, or Wilder. I also knew that Wilder’s mate would never have been able to have his kids, he told me as much himself, but I saw him with Maddy. He’s great with kids, and no matter how much he tries to pretend otherwise, he was hurting inside knowing he would never have his own. Since I know that he lost his mate like I lost Logan, I had to tell him. Even if the timing was crap, even just to stop him from kicking me out.
But the look on his face, devastation… I can still go back on this. I can say that I meant the mating, the mark he left behind on my shoulder.
“You’re pregnant?” There is no conviction behind his words.
I nod. “Yeah.”
“Wow.” Logan closes his eyes for a moment, but not before I can see a darkness pass over them. “Congratulations?” He scrunches up his face. “Fuck. I…” He opens his mouth and closes it. “Can you give me a moment?” He stands up, leaving me behind on the bed.
I’d hoped for some response, but this was definitely not the one I was expecting. I wish I knew what was going on in his head, I wish I could see inside there. I know I’ve had some time to get used to the idea of being pregnant again, even if it isn’t Logan’s baby. But I guess that everything together may be a bit much for Wilder. I haven’t actually told anyone else about this, about being pregnant, I’ve been keeping it a secret, even if Maddy has been worried about her Daddy being sick every day.
“Sterling?” Wilder stands in the doorway, apparently having calmed down a little, his eyes not as panicked and his voice softer. “I’m sorry for reacting like this.” He comes over, holding both hands out to me.
I step into his embrace and pull him close, his steady breathing and strong arms calming me down a little too.
“Of course everything won’t be the same. I’ll be there for you. I…” He stops, taking a breath. “You’re my…”
And now he’s getting shy about that? I hide my smile against his shirt.
“You’re my mate. This is our baby.” He holds on tighter. “You and Maddy are now my family.” I’m not sure if I hear it correctly, but there seems to be a degree of awe in his voice. Like it’s something he never expected, some dream he never thought he’d fulfil.
“Yes. We are.” I look up at him, and he gives me a quick kiss. There is still so much that he’s hiding behind those beautiful eyes of his, but at least he’s here with me, he’s not hiding in his head right now.
“I can’t give you anything. I’m not like Logan.”
“But you’re here. Out of all the things, you’re here, and that’s all that matters.” I reach up, trying to make him see that it really doesn’t matter if he thinks he’s not as good as Logan. Seeing him here, his determination, he’s way ahead of where Logan and I started out at. I don’t know what he thinks happened in the past, but Logan and I definitely didn’t start out smooth sailing. It was a long time before we really understood each other and were able to work together properly.
“Damn. I…” He shakes his head. “What do you want me to do? I can move in with you if you want me to. I can—”
I put my finger to his lips. “Shh. I’m not changing anything right now. In the future, the near future even, I’d like you to move in with us, for real this time.” I grin, and there is a small smile playing on Wilder’s lips. “But there is so much else that we need to take care of. Like Logan’s will. How will you be able to take over half the company when you have your own work?”
He shrugs, letting go of me, his hand lingers on my hip as he thinks. He seems to have really calmed down now and his breathing is easier. “We’ll figure something out. How’s the guy that they send over to you?”
“He’s fine, seems to know his way around the system. But he’s only temporary.” Which is the annoying part of this situation.
“They want him on another project at the end of the month. They said that they’ll send me another programmer by then.”
“Ah. That doesn’t sound like a good long-term solution.” Wilder frowns.
“There’s a lot we’ll need to talk about if we’re going to make this all work and the job is only part of it.” I hold his hands. “But we’ll make it work. No worries.”
“I’m… Yeah, it’ll work out.” There is stuff going on in his head, and I just want to make him answer me, but I know that there is no way he’s going to answer me now. He’s quiet, like Logan was, but in a way that lets me know that there is a lot going on in his head instead.
My phone rings, jolting us both and I grab for it, only as I’m picking up realising it’s Sarah who’s calling. “Yeah?”
“Did you see the will?” No hello, no nothing, straight to the point. Well, I guess we now know that Logan’s family have been getting their deliveries too.
“Did you know about this? This thing with Wilder?” Her voice is on edge, and I’m not sure why.
“No, but I’m with him now.” No use hiding that, especially if it will stop her from asking annoying questions.
“Oh.” That surprises her, and she’s quiet for a moment. “Can I… Can I talk to him?”
I look at Wilder, who nods. “Yeah, sure, here he is.”
Wilder takes the phone from me but steps away a little, so I can’t hear what is going on on the other end of the line. “Sarah.” He’s quiet, just listening. “I didn’t know. … No. This was a complete surprise. … Yes. I know.” His eyes fall on me, then he squeezes the bridge of his nose, frowning deeply. “No. Your family is not going to get involved. … You know that they can’t do anything about this anyway.”
Wow. Wilder standing up to Logan’s family, I didn’t think anyone did that. Definitely not Logan, at least not actively. He’d been trying to keep our life and his family separate, but he also did what his parents asked of him. It was always this weird mixture of things.
“No. This is between Logan, Sterling and me. Your parents have no rights. You know that as well as they do.” He hangs up the phone and gives it back to me. “Don’t pick up if she calls again.” His jaw is set, his eyes dark and he moves angrily. Wilder grabs a bag and starts putting clothes in it. “I’m coming with you for a few days. I can travel to work from there.”
I get nervous, the way he’s acting, the sudden decision to come live with me. Sarah must have said something that really upset him. And then… ‘This is between Logan, Sterling and me.’ So there was something going on. There was something between Logan and Wilder, something that he just doesn’t want to tell me, even if it’s obvious I should know about it. “Okay.” There isn’t much use trying to fight him now, is there?
Wilder walks out of the bedroom and grabs his copy of the will from the floor, putting the small envelope back between the pages and then stuffs that into his bag too.
I follow him from a short distance. “Wilder?”
He looks up, his eyes dark, but then he seems to force himself to calm down “Yeah. Sorry. I’m just grabbing some stuff, okay?”
“What did she say?”
“Not something you have to worry about right now.” He marches into another room, then comes back out with a bag with a laptop charging cable hanging out of it. “Let’s go.”
“Okay.” I grab my own copy of the will, don’t want to leave that behind, and walk out of the apartment. Wilder follows me closely.
When we’re outside, he stops me for a moment. “I’ll go grab my car and follow yours. It’s impractical if there’s only one car.” Last time it was doable since I couldn’t leave the house anyway, but now… Yeah, we’re gonna need the car.
When he’s about to let go of me, I grab onto him, not ready to let him out of my sight yet. “Are you okay?”
That stops him, he leans over, giving me a quick kiss on my cheek. “I’m good. Let’s do this first, and then we’ll talk, okay? I’m good. Don’t worry.” He flashes me something that should probably resemble a smile, then he walks around the corner of the building, his broad back so lonely in the empty street.
No matter how many times he tells me not to worry, everything he’s been doing today is making me more and more troubled. There is no way I cannot worry about him right now.
A car drives up, and Wilder waves at me from behind the wheel. I quickly get into my car and start it. Driving back home isn’t too hard, as soon as we’re out of the neighbourhood I can easily find my own way. But it feels weird driving in front of someone else. To have Wilder follow me, especially in the mood that he’s in. I don’t really know what to think about it, but I guess he’ll clear that up soon, right?
As we drive on the highway, I check the time. It’s almost time to pick up Maddy from school, but even if I drop Wilder off at home, I’ll have enough time to also pick her up, it’s not really that far. I really wish Wilder would talk to me, because the things he did say and do seemed very serious. I’m not sure what to expect when we do get home though. His insistence that we need to go there kind of makes me worried that Logan’s parents are up to something, something that I really don’t want to think about.
I turn onto our driveway and park to the side, allowing Wilder easy access to park his car too. When I get out, I stay near my car, not opening the door to the house yet.
Wilder steps out of his car, the bags over his shoulder, but when he sees me, he lets out a deep breath.
“What’s going on? You have to tell me.” I don’t mean to sound annoyed, but I still do. I can’t do this silence thing.
He nods as he comes over. “Logan’s parents aren’t that impressed with the contents of his will.”
“They’re not getting anything.” I know, I kind of checked and within all the pages and pages of words, Logan’s basically not leaving anything to them, it’s even done in such a way that I’m sure it’s done on purpose too.
“Yeah. They’re willing to fight us over the will.”
My stomach drops. “They can do that?”
Wilder rubs the back of his neck, looking uncomfortable. “No.”
“Then what?” Because that no didn’t really sound very convincing.
“They’re willing to spend a lot of money and time on the fighting though. Money and time we don’t have.” He looks at the house. “I just don’t want you to be caught alone with them.”
“Why?” That’s new…
“Because they may say things that aren’t true, just to hurt us. And I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want them to hurt you. They’ve hurt enough people.” His jaw sets and his breath comes out harsh. There is so much more going on, so much that he’s definitely not telling me now.
Just thinking about how Logan was with his parents… I can agree with his conclusion. The way he doesn’t get along with his parents is totally different from the way that he and Sarah don’t get along. With his parents, it always seems like he has so much anger towards them, while in the case of Sarah, she seems to be the one with the issue. Which is too bad, because I think she’s pretty cool. It’s obvious something happened between Logan and her to make things go sour. And then… Then there’s Wilder. Sarah’s almost more familiar with him than she was with her own brother. That niggling feeling about Sarah and Wilder starts again, even though I now know Wilder mated an Alpha and Sarah is a Beta, as her parents seem to like to remind her of.
I look up at him.
“If we survive today and after Maddy’s asleep, we’ll talk. Yeah?” There is something about the way that he says it that tells me that I’m not going to like this ‘talk’ thing we’re going to be doing. “I know you’ve got questions. But this is not a good moment to discuss them.”
“Yeah. Thanks.” I nod. Well, I guess at least it’s something. I check my phone. “You want to come along and pick up Maddy? She’d be happy to see you again.”
“Sure. Let me drop off my bags inside the house.” He starts walking but then stops. “I missed her.” Then his eyes catch mine. He doesn’t need to say the words because we both know that Maddy isn’t the only one who he missed. The piles of books in his living room and kitchen kind of gave him away.
You've been reading Second Chance Mates 3 – My Lover's Will
Leaving Sterling was supposed to give us both time to deal with our grief on our own.
So why is he standing in the middle of my living room yelling at me? And what about Logan having written me into his will?
I thought I was done with surprises, but when I got Logan’s will, I knew something was up.
How well did Wilder and Logan really know each other? Why is Wilder suddenly moving back in after getting a call from Logan’s sister? And how will this all affect the new life inside of me?