By: Layla Heart
Cyra, a rare Omega phoenix shifter, has been hiding from the shifter world for years, but she’s about to be dragged back into it in a big way.
Cyra feels that she’s pretty good at pretending that she’s human, she’s got a job at a cafe and is a princess for hire for birthday parties for kids. Money is always tight, but she likes her freedom and that’s worth a lot to her.
Rare Omegas like her are never truly safe. Either because her parents keep trying to marry her off to some rich Alpha for the money and status it would bring them, or the constant danger of being found out, kidnapped and bred by some random shifter family hoping to gain status from that. Once she’s claimed by an Alpha, she’ll become the Alpha’s property, and she refuses to live like that.
But those situations become real possibilities when Cyra finds herself at the start of the shifter mating season with an old car that constantly breaks down and her stash of medication that she uses to hide her Omega status running dangerously low, and no money to afford to do something about either problem.
Her problems get even worse when two playboy Alphas, a hydra and a griffin, start showing up at the cafe. Their teasing and interest making her feel things and want things she’s sworn to never do with another shifter, for the risk of what could happen is too great for the short enjoyment it would bring.
But the final straw is when she accidentally accepts to play a princess at a shifter kid’s birthday party and her car breaks down right as she’s about to leave. Luckily, or maybe she’s just that unlucky, two kind Alphas, a cerberus and a centaur, are able to give her a ride back home. Their kindness making her feel safe and comforted, even when it’s not safe for her at all.
In a bout of recklessness and a desperate need for the money, she accepts the offer of the cerberus and centaur to be their date to the yearly Night Gala. An exclusive event at the start of the mating season where Alphas, Betas and Omegas can meet, but it’s not uncommon for humans to attend too, as ‘dates’ or staff. One night of looking pretty and eating fancy food and she’d be able to not only fix her car but afford the medication she needs, the offer is too tempting.
What she hadn’t expected was for the hydra and the griffin to show up too.
Or how all four Alphas would react to her Omega scent.
Or how the media would hound them through the city as the five are trying to figure out what’s going on.
Or, worst of all, how her parents would use this opportunity to get the fame they’ve always wanted by claiming that the four Alphas have kidnapped Cyra and that she’s already promised to another Alpha.
Now the five not only have to figure out their feelings, but are also on the run from the media, the police and anyone interested in getting their hands on a rare Omega, no matter the cost…
If you don’t want to buy through any of the international stores, the books in this collection are also available in the Netherlands and Belgium as separate books Omega Phoenix: Claimed, Omega Phoenix: Hunted, Omega Phoenix: Pursued and Omega Phoenix: Provoked. They are available in ebook or paperback.
Stepping behind the counter, I try to pull my skirt down as inconspicuously as possible. Why was this the only clean skirt I had this morning? I should have done laundry last weekend, but instead, I spent it all binging a new series that just came out on Netflix. It was my first weekend off in weeks and I felt like not being too responsible for a few days. Of course, I now pay for that lapse in judgement.
“Two coffee, black, one hot chocolate and three apple pies for table fifteen.” I put the order into the system while Audrey, the other waitress on staff, starts making the drinks. I grab the slices of apple pie, putting them onto plates on my tray.
It’s pretty calm in the cafe, even though it’s a beautiful day. I don’t mind because it means I don’t have to keep running all over the place the whole time, which is good with a misbehaving skirt. But it also means that the manager will get annoyed because we’ll have made less money, she’ll probably come up with some ridiculous idea as to how we should have gotten more customers. Some days just… Some days just won’t be crazy busy, that’s life.
Audrey puts the cups on the tray. “Here you go.” She smiles as she glances around, dropping her voice to a whisper. “Are you even wearing shorts or something under that skirt?”
“Hush.” I nudge her out of the way as I take my tray to the table with the two ladies and the young girl.
They come here every Friday afternoon. I’m pretty sure that they’re three generations of the same family, grandma, daughter and granddaughter, since they all look pretty alike. They all have the same bright eyes and dark brown hair, though both of the older women have some grey hairs in theirs, which makes them look sophisticated for some reason.
I put on my best smile. “Here you go.” I put everything down in front of them, then I stand back slightly. “Anything else I can get you?”
The oldest woman smiles at me, she’s always so kind to us. “No, thank you. We’re good.”
“Okay. Let me know if you need anything.” I turn around and find a table to clear. I quickly load the cups and plates on my tray and make my way back to the counter.
As I’m putting everything away in the dishwasher, Audrey steps close again. “You didn’t answer my question. Are you or aren’t you wearing shorts? Or at least big undies?” Big undies? What the…?
“Aud,” I whisper loudly, trying to not make the sweet ladies look our way or overhear us. “Don’t even dare to check, or whatever you’re coming up with in that brain of yours. No. I’m not wearing shorts. Why do you think I’m trying not to bend down?” I roll my eyes at her. Now she knows, she’s going to use that knowledge against me, purposefully get me in situations where I’ll have to bend down, because she’s mean like that.
“Risky.” Audrey laughs, her eyes shining with glee. “You trying to impress someone?” But before I can answer she walks off to greet a new family who just walked in. Oh! Her! It’s that I like her and she’s a good friend, or I would not have put up with her as long as I have…
I’m not trying to impress anyone. Impressing people is the furthest from my mind as can be. I don’t want anyone to look at me with interest. Though, try to get Audrey to understand that, she loves the attention from the boys… I don’t. I’d prefer to get no attention from any boys, at all, ever.
If I could stay single for the rest of my life, I’d be happy with that. No matter if people think it’s weird, it’s much better than the alternative.
I’m an Omega phoenix shifter, which is not just rare, it’s almost legendary in how few of us exist in the world. But, here I am, phoenix shifter and Omega at the same time. That’s not just one reason but two reasons for people to want to control me.
It doesn’t matter if I’m pretty or ugly, or how smart I am. Just those two things alone are enough to make certain people lose their mind over the thought that I’m still alone, unmated, and not popping out babies every year for the last six years at the age of twenty-five. And my parents are definitely part of that group of people.
It’s only because I’m too stubborn to give up that I’m still free of an Alpha. I graduated high school with really good grades and I was able to persuade my parents that getting mated at eighteen would be a bad idea; too young, much too young, and too inexperienced to make a good mum.
So they let me go to college, which I purposefully chose to be as far away from home as I could manage. Living away from them, living a life I chose for myself, has been such a good experience that I don’t ever want to go back, no matter what. Before I went to college, I had an idea of what freedom could be like, but it has turned out to be even better than I could imagine. If this is what Alphas, Betas and humans get to live like, why would I ever go back to a life where my every second of every day is dictated by an Alpha, just because I’m an Omega?
Of course, it’s not all easy. I have to take medication to make sure that other shifters won’t be able to recognise me as a shifter, and the yearly heat suppressants I have to take during mating season are always hell, but it’s better than the alternative. It’s not easy to hide myself and I always have to be really careful that I don’t get close to people. The medication works both ways, shifters can’t find me, but I can’t sense them either, so I can’t get close to anyone in case they’re an Alpha or a Beta and they might claim me for themselves. If that happens, then all of this is over, and I don’t want it to be over.
I knew an Omega in college, she got abducted right off the campus grounds. She was also using medication to suppress her shifter side, but she’d forgotten to take it one morning. It was late fall, right before the mating season started and she got found out. She was also some rare shifter type, a dragon, I think, and someone took her. Someone found out and they took her, right off the street, in broad daylight.
It was a big deal, the whole campus was in chaos for a couple of days. The Omega’s parents came to the college, trying to find her, and the cops got involved, both shifter and human, but they couldn’t find her. In the end, it turned out that a local shifter family had her and that their Alpha son had already mated her. Just like that.
She was taken from the street and before the end of the day she’d been mated by a total stranger, forever bound to him. Last I heard, she’s had two kids in two years time, and she never leaves the house with either her Alpha or an Alpha or Beta from his family with her.
I’m not letting that happen to me. Never. I want my own life. I don’t want to be some baby machine for some random family. I like my freedom and to be able to keep it, I need to make sure nobody finds out what I am.
Humans are aware that shifters exist, and most shifters try to appear as normal and human as possible when they’re out and about, because lots of humans still fear shifters. Which isn’t unfound, not exactly. Some shifters, especially some of the Alphas… They tend to have a habit of showing off in dangerous ways. Ways which can be deadly to humans who are standing around when they show off. If you thought that human teenage boys were annoying, that they’re always taking risks, you’ve not seen what Alphas get up to… Ugh.
Speaking of Alpha devils…
The door to the cafe opens and two guys saunter inside. They’re tall, broad and pretty handsome. But I also know that they’re shifters, so any appreciation of their body ends right there. They’re not exactly quiet about being shifters and everyone knows about them.
The Alphas walk to one of the tables in the back, which has a view of the whole cafe, and sit down. Their eyes roving over the people here, like they’re sizing up the other guests, before they relax some, probably not spotting any other Alphas, and start talking to each other.
Zack and Spence, two Alphas from local super-rich clans, they’re a few years older than me. Zack’s a hydra shifter, not just a dragon, a hydra. Yes, that’s seven heads instead of just one, and he needs every last of them for his big ego. Spence is a griffin shifter. Part eagle, part lion, all of the danger.
They’re famous, or infamous depending on how you look at it, for being ladies men, picking up and dropping girls left and right. Exclusively human girls, since picking up the wrong Omega shifter girl might get them more ‘responsibilities’ than they want.
I have no idea why, but they’ve been coming to this little cafe every day for the last week, like they’re using this as a new place to pick up girls or something. Tough luck for them, since this is mostly a place for families, not clusters of giggling girls, who they’d probably prefer.
I try to get Audrey’s attention. I don’t want to serve these guys, I really don’t want to, but she either doesn’t notice me, or purposefully ignores me. I don’t know which, but the end result is the same.
Letting out a soft curse, I grab my notepad and go over to the two assholes.
“Welcome to Tea in Wonderland, what can I get you two?” I try to smile kindly, but not too sweetly, in case they take it as an invitation for more.
The taller of the two, Zack, looks me over, hunger in his eyes that even though I try to ignore it, still makes my insides squirm. Fuck, his blue eyes are so dark they’re almost black in the low light of the cafe. “I’d like a piece of you.” He smirks and licks his lips, this eyes travelling down my body.
No matter how much I want to, I cannot squeeze my thighs together, he can’t see how he influences me. Bad body. Bad, bad body! No getting turned on by the Alphahole.
I keep smiling politely. “Sorry, that’s not on the menu. But we have coffee, tea and hot chocolate, if you’d like something warm. We’ve also got water or fizzy drinks, if you’d like something cold. And to eat, we’ve got a range of fruit pies and cakes. Those are your choices.” This is why I hate Alphas, always so full of themselves, always thinking they can just fuck anyone they smile at.
The second guy, Spencer, smiles at me, his eyes intense, almost golden, as he obviously keeps his gaze on my face. “Don’t listen to him, he can’t seem to help hitting on pretty girls. It’s his biggest flaw. We’d like two coffees, black. Thanks.”
I don’t even write it down. It’s easy enough to remember. “If that’s all. I’ll be right back with your order.” I spin around, trying to get away as quickly as possible. And then the worst thing in the world happens as I feel my skirt flare up at the fast movement.
I jam my hand down the back of the skirt to make sure it doesn’t flare up again and briskly walk to the counter.
But it’s too late as I hear the whistle from Zack behind me.
Fucking hell. Why? Why today?
I put my hands on the counter, staring down for a while, trying to come back to myself as my cheeks are aflame.
I can’t let them win. I can’t let them see how uncomfortable they make me.
I’m just human. Just a human girl. I’m just another human girl tired of stupid Alpha shifters. I have no interest in playing along with their stupid games, no matter how much they might try.
Just as I start making their coffee, Audrey comes over, grinning. “What just happened?”
“Assholes happened.” I groan. “Can you bring them their order? I’m so done with them. Really done.”
“Sorry, girl.” She winks. “They’re your responsibility today. They’ve been staring at my boobs all week. Now they get to stare at yours.”
“Not helping.” I groan. I wouldn’t have minded it that much if they’d just stare at my boobs, but they just got an eyeful of my ass and thong, and that’s a whole other level of humiliating.
Can they leave again, please? I want to have a normal life. A normal life, without Alpha assholes all around.