The morning after…
– Rosa Swann, author of Mated to the Alpha
Chapter 7 - My Alpha's Secret, an omegaverse non-shifter mpreg romance
What the hell just happened? In the hallway, Sterling’s scent still lingers and even though I can appreciate it, it doesn’t drive me crazy anymore. How can I have mated Sterling? How can we have betrayed Logan like this? Like losing him wasn’t bad enough, we had to mess everything up and make it all the more complicated.
I stumble down the stairs, quickly hiding in the guest room. I rip off my clothes, but no matter what I do, Sterling’s scent remains, surrounding me. I’ve never felt as bad as this. I did something stupid and it’s all my own fault.
Staying with Sterling and Maddy should have allowed us all some closure. It wasn’t meant to get messed up like this.
I’m sorry, Logan. I’m sorry, Sterling. I’m sorry, Maddy and Sarah. They are the last thoughts before I hit the bed and pass out from exhaustion.
Morning comes way too soon, the light slipping into the room and enhancing the shadows of the boxes, bookshelves and other things in the room. All things that Logan brought with him when he left me, immediately reminding me of the stupidest mistake of my life. It’s no longer that I let Logan go, no, the stupidest mistake is mating his mate, marking his Omega as mine.
I look at the clothes on the floor, the ones I discarded there last night. Maybe not a good idea to try those on again, I’m pretty sure they smell like Sterling, and sex. So I grab a clean set of clothes, making sure to choose some that are sturdy enough to handle life on this little cottage. The house is quiet, which suits me fine right now, I’m not sure I can face Sterling, or even Maddy, just yet.
I’ve got no idea what time it is, and after the night I had, maybe that is the best thing, being a little lost in time. Only, as I get out of the guest room, my stomach rumbles, so I start breakfast anyway. As I look around the kitchen, I realise I want to make something to apologise to Sterling, or at least do something, anything, that may make this situation less tense. Because our situation hasn’t gotten any better, just worse.
It all started with meeting him at the funeral, then offering to keep an eye on him and staying here. And now… now this. I should never have gone to the funeral. That’s where it all went wrong. I grab milk and other ingredients for pancakes. Pancakes are the only apology food that I know and everyone likes pancakes, right?
Making the batter is no issue, the ingredients coming together easily. The motions come back to me, and I fall into a sort of trance. Scooping up the batter, pouring it in the pan, letting the top of it dry out, flipping it and finally sliding it on a plate. There is nothing as calming as this, making pancakes, making breakfast. Making breakfast for others.
When I’m done, the house is still quiet. But at least it smells good, I guess? I sit down at the table, unsure what to do next. I don’t want to start eating yet, it feels… rude when it’s someone else’s house. I’m about to take a look in the garden when Maddy’s feet sound down the hall. As she steps into the kitchen, her eyes immediately search me out.
“Good morning.” I stand up, ready to get her some breakfast.
“Wilder?” Her voice sounds serious, making me look at her.
“Yes?” I know that when little kids sound this serious, you need to pay attention.
“Why is Daddy still in bed?” She looks as confused about the situation as I am about her question.
“I don’t know. Doesn’t he sleep in late?”
She shakes her head. “Daddy’s always awake first. He gives the animals breakfast before he makes us breakfast.”
Ah, so he’s the one who takes care of the animals. That makes sense. “Let’s go check on Daddy, then.” I hold out my hand and she takes it easily as we make our way to Sterling’s bedroom.
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It occurs to me how easily she has accepted me being here, or, maybe it’s just that she accepts me being here for now. I imagine that there have been people in and out of the house all week since Logan passed away. In front of Sterling’s door, I’m not so sure if I should have come with Maddy, I can already smell Sterling’s heat.
Maddy knocks on the door. “Daddy?”
“Yeah, baby?” Sterling’s voice is a little rough.
“Can I come in?” She waits impatiently for his answer.
I hear some rustling inside, then Sterling speaks again. “Sure, come on in.”
Maddy opens the door and rushes in, crossing the distance of the room in no-time, climbing in bed with her daddy. “Are you sick? Do you feel ill? Are you sleepy?” She keeps asking him questions.
Sterling’s scent is strong, though not strong enough that I can’t resist it right now. It will probably be a lot worse again tonight, as an Omega’s scent and hormones will drop just after sex, only to rise again a couple of hours later, until the point where it drives Alphas, like me, crazy.
Sterling’s eyes are on me as he answers her. “I’m fine. Just feeling a little tired right now.” His face is still flushed, his eyes a little hazy and red-rimmed.
I step into the room, wandering over to the bed and put my hand to his cheek. “You’re a little hot. Maybe you should stay in bed. I’ll have Maddy bring you breakfast.” As I know that I shouldn’t be around Sterling too much right now.
“He made pancakes.” Maddy’s happy again now she knows Sterling is fine.
“So that’s what I’m smelling. I think I could eat some.” He smiles at her, then his eyes fall on me. “Maddy knows how to feed the animals, but she’ll need your help to do it. Could you, please?”
“Sure. You just focus on recovering.” I wince. Apart from me having my way with him last night, there isn’t really much to ‘recover’ from. Being in heat is just part of life for an Omega, though, if he’s been taking pills ever since Maddy was born, I can imagine she’s never seen him like this before.
Sterling raise his eyebrows. “Nothing a couple of days of bed rest wouldn’t fix.” I know he’s trying to get me to shut up, but I just can’t.
I feel weird, this talking around the subject instead of about the subject, about what happened last night, what we did. “Maddy, can you put on work clothes, so we can feed the animals before breakfast?”
She nods and bounces off the bed. “I’ll put on my overalls.” And she’s gone.
Sterling lets out a low laugh, almost sad. “Logan bought her a new pair a couple of months ago, as she outgrew her previous one. And she’s so proud of it, apparently she now has a real ‘big girls’ version.”
I appreciate that he really doesn’t want to talk about all of this, but I need to. “Star…”
His eyes darken and his jaw sets. “Don’t. I don’t—”
But I cut him short. “I’m sorry. I won’t let it happen again. I feel so bad about last night.”
“Let it happen?” His voice sounds… off.
“Not controlling myself. Not protecting you from yourself…”
“You’ve not spent a lot of time with an Omega, have you?” He shakes his head. “There is no way to resist my heat. It happened. I’m confused as to why as I’ve never heard of this before, but it happened.” Tears start to form in his eyes. “You really don’t know much about Omegas, do you? I thought that before, you said you’d lost a mate? Did you not live with them?”
I look away. I can’t tell him that Logan was my mate. But I also can’t lie to him, he’d know. I’m sure of that. “He was an Alpha.” I wait for the judgement. Two Alpha’s together, it’s not right. Alphas mate Omegas, not other Alphas. That’s what Logan told me when he left, and I guess he was right…
“I’m sorry. I’m stupid for assuming…” Sterling touches my arm. “Don’t blame yourself for this. I initiated it and abused your instinct. When you followed me and opened that door… There wasn’t anything you could have done. My fault was not locking both doors to keep you out.”
“I could have stayed sane. You’re Logan’s mate.” I force the words out, I need to remind myself of this. No matter what happened last night, no matter the mark I left on his shoulder. “I’ll leave. It’s not safe if I stay here. Not for you.” Or for me.
“You can’t leave. I’m not in any state to run a household. I can’t even go outside. That wouldn’t be safe.” He sighs. “I know I’m Logan’s mate. Don’t you think I know that? Don’t you think I’m as confused as you are, maybe even more? I hurt. This all hurts so much. But we’re going to have to make it work, at least for the next couple of days.” He curls up in bed, tears now sliding down his cheeks and I realise that Sterling probably hasn’t even slept; his voice, his puffy eyes, he must have been crying all night. “Do you know how painful and scary this is? I miss him.” His voice breaks and he squeezes his eyes shut tightly.
I kneel down next to the bed so I can look at him, putting my fingers to his cheek, wiping away the tears. I’m fighting to keep my own tears in check, my eyes already burning. “I know. I know how you feel.” He has no idea how similar we really are. I stand up again. “I’m going to get Maddy, and I’ll have her bring you up some breakfast later.” My voice sounds weird, hollow.
“Thank you.” His words are quiet.
“It’s what I’m here for.” I close the door behind me and Maddy pokes her head from her room. “Are you ready to feed the animals?”
“Yes!” Her eyes shine, but as she walks past Sterling’s door, she slows down. “Daddy’s in pain.” She looks at me. “He hurts. But not on the outside, on the inside, in his heart.” She touches her chest, pointing at the general direction of her heart with a finger.
I swallow hard, taking her hand and going down the stairs. “Yes, and that’s why we’re going to help him all that we can. So the pain goes away a little.”
She nods with a serious look on her face. “I’ll always help and protect Daddy.” I know she’s small, but if she’s anything like her dad or her aunt, I don’t doubt for one moment that she’d do it.
In the kitchen, Maddy puts on her rain boots and I take a quick look at my totally insufficient shoes. “Maddy, which shoes are your dad’s?” I remember having the same shoe size as Logan, made living together so much easier.
She points to a big black pair, sticking out from all the other more colourful pairs.
“Is it okay if I borrow them?” I don’t want to upset her by just taking them.
She nods. “He isn’t going to use them anymore anyway.” She looks absolutely serious and I feel a jab in my chest. Fuck. How am I going to survive this? Her eyes go up to me, tears forming. “That’s sad, right? It makes me sad.”
I kneel down, taking the little girl in my arms, my own tears no longer able to be pushed away. “Yes. Yes, it is.”
How can I stay and care for Sterling and Maddy? Especially with all the secrets I’m keeping from them?
At the same time… How can I leave them? How can I leave these beautiful people all on their own?
They need me.
I need them. More than they’ll ever know.
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…