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Banking On You

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When his boss had called Jensen to his office, he had been equally nervous and excited. It either meant getting fired or finally being promoted again.

He always did a more than stellar job at the Morgan Mortgage Bank and knew, that if he continued to not disappoint, then he'd be there until his retirement. But lately, more employees had been laid off or had their hours cut short. The thought didn’t help ease his mind, especially since Morgan paid him well and Jensen would have hated to touch his large savings.

Jensen was hired fresh out of college and never worked anywhere else but for Morgan. Finding a new job with only one reference would have been a pain in the ass. As it was though, he was more than relieved when Jeffrey Morgan himself wanted to see him and smiled like a Cheshire cat as he gave Jensen the next promotion.

Field work.

Not exactly the kind of job Jensen longed for, but the payment was better and on top of it, the keys to one of the company's cars were handed to him. Jensen didn’t particularly need the car, he was perfectly fine with using his own but being stingy by default made it easier to let his car sit in the garage. He thanked Jeffrey Morgan and promised himself to keep going until he would finally make partner.

After a few months, he got used to the work outside his office and away from the constantly ringing of phones. What he never got used to were the pleading eyes of the bank customers he had to visit at home. More often than not did he have to tell single parents and families that they were going to lose their home if the payments weren’t on time or sent in at all.

The Padalecki family was next on his list of customers, his first job this morning. Jensen knew almost everything there was to know, financial-wise, about them. He had read the file a couple of times to prepare himself for the very unpleasant visit. In the early 90's, after over a decade of renting they had bought a house big enough for five and the numbers spoke volumes. According to the records, Sharon and Gerald Padalecki were so far in debt they could barely feed themselves, much less cover the mortgage loan any longer. Throughout the last few months, all their savings were drawn from their joined account and Jensen wondered why they would use all their money for God knows what instead of making sure to keep up with payments for their house. It wasn't his business to know, however, and his personal curiosity had no place being present at his job. He wasn't supposed to question a customer's lifestyle, his job was simple: make sure they pay or send them packing.

Jensen dreaded driving up there and telling the woman to pack her stuff and leave; being that she was three months behind with her payments, Morgan Mortgage had no other choice but taking the house into the bank's possession.

He was aware that he shouldn't care about the family's personal problems and reasons for the missing payments for three months in a row, but he had never been cold hearted enough to not care. Sending someone out on the streets and into an uncertain future made him feel guilty. It wasn't his fault though, he wasn't the one not paying and he had a job to do.

Ringing the doorbell once, Jensen waited patiently for someone to open the door for him. The front yard looked well taken care of, flowers and bushes tended greatly and it gave off a homey feeling. He couldn't understand why someone, who obviously loved their home so much, could neglect their financial responsibilities to the point where it threatened them with being forced to leave and move out.

Jensen smoothed his suit jacket down and tugged on his tie to loosen the knot a little when the door finally swung open. Good thing he did loosen the tie because the young man standing in front of him took not only several of his breaths away but also left him gaping like a dying fish.

"Yeah?" The young man's voice rumbled and it did silly things to Jensen's neither regions. As a full blooded alpha, Jensen wasn't used to losing control of himself like that. What he saw and the way his body reacted, however, had nothing to do with his inner alpha but more to do with the fact that his eyes were drawn to the most stunning young man he'd seen in... forever.

Jensen was beyond confused that he couldn't figure the other man out. There was no distinctive scent that would've told Jensen if he was faced with another alpha or an omega. Considering that there was nothing, no smell at all, he was almost certain that the hazel eyed guy was a beta, or on a high dose of suppressants. Not that it actually mattered, but thoughts like these were unavoidable; nature wanted it that way and as an alpha Jensen liked to sniff out omegas and maybe find that one special omega he could be mated with someday. It’s all instinct, a knee jerk-reaction that he can’t help but submit to. Places deep down inside of him are always working on their own accord to find a compatible mate.

Getting his own voice working, Jensen took a deep breath before introducing himself. "Good afternoon. I'm Mr. Ackles from Morgan Mortgage and I'd like to speak with Mrs. Padalecki, please." Jensen took a firmer grip on his briefcase and blinked several times before speaking up again. "I scheduled an appointment with her. For... uh, today, now."

"Right." The man rolled his eyes in pure annoyance and Jensen knew, long before the giant opened the door, that he wasn't welcomed. "Come on in then. My mother's in the kitchen."

Jensen waited for the young man to step aside and let him in, wary of stepping inside someone else's home when on duty, just as he always was. Especially when it was a home he was short of taking away. He never knew what kind of people he might face during these situations, if they'd rather chop his head off than talk things through.

Making sure to walk behind the customer's son, who lead the way to the kitchen, Jensen caught himself once or twice checking out the guy's well-shaped ass in those ridiculously tight jeans that hung just a little too low on his hips. Who said working the field wasn't a joy to do?

"You must be Mr. Ackles?" A tired and exhausted looking woman greeted Jensen and from the copy of her ID in the bank's records he knew right away it was Mrs. Padalecki. She looked dead on her feet and again Jensen felt guilty over having to do the job he was getting paid for. There was always reason for people to skip payments and he was tired of hearing all the obvious stupid excuses some people dared to come up with. But whatever excuse Mrs. Padalecki was going to throw at him, Jensen was sure it would be true. Jensen had always been a good judge of character.

"Yes, ma'am. If it was under different circumstances I'd probably say it's nice to meet you." Jensen extended his hand in greeting and was relieved to receive a small smile from the woman, who took his hand without a twitch.

"I suppose that's right. Would you like a cup of coffee before we get started?"

Jensen swallowed thickly at the question. He loved coffee, needed it 24/7, and he only had one cup that morning. Nonetheless, one of the first things he learned from Jeffrey Morgan was to never accept any beverages or food from customers. Jeffrey had done so once and ended up in the hospital because the customer was trying to get the bank off his back and Jeffrey out of the way. "Thanks, but no thanks. I'm good."

Mrs. Padalecki nodded at him, her face confused and something like hurt clouded her eyes. It was just a coffee but in Texas a woman would always believe her cooking wasn't good enough if it was rejected. "Okay then. Well, Mr. Ackles. Why don't you have a seat?"

Jensen accepted the offer without questioning it. He was glad to finally be able to sit down, the woman's son hovering just a little too much over him and it made Jensen all kinds of nervous. Jesus Christ, the guy was cute. Too cute and Jensen didn’t like thinking that way at all. If the records were correct, and they always were, then the son was about nineteen years young. Too young for Jensen. What a shame.

Controlling himself and his thoughts, Jensen turned his attention back to the mother. "Mrs. Padalecki, I'm really sorry that Morgan Mortgage has to bother you and your family..." And truth be told, Jensen did feel sorry for her. There was just nothing he could have done to prevent the inevitable.

Jensen placed his briefcase on the table and took out the folder that held all the important numbers that indicated how well and truly the Padaleckis were screwed. "Morgan Mortgage has been patient and respectful for well over three months and we're closing in on the fourth missing payment. Mrs. Padalecki, I have to inform you that, with the amount of money you owe our bank, we can't hold you as a customer any longer."

"What's that mean? You’re going to kick us out of our house?" The woman's son spoke up and the young man didn't seem fazed by his mother's attempt to stop him from interrupting.

"Jared, why don't you go see your dad? I'm sure Mr. Ackles and I will be fine."

Jensen's gaze lingered between the two people in front of him and he wasn't legally allowed to talk to the man, Jared, without the mother's approval. Protection of data privacy and all that.

"No, sorry. This is my home too and I'd like to know what’s exactly going on."

Mrs. Padalecki sighed deeply at her son's determination but nodded at Jensen to keep going.

Jensen licked his lips and scratched the back of his neck before opening the file to present both, mother and son, the numbers. He shoved the file closer so they could read it better. "I'm afraid, that if I won't walk out from this meeting with at least one month worth of the mortgage payment, we have to move you out of this house."

"Isn't there any other way? Mr. Ackles, my mother is working two jobs right now, my dad's... well, he's not able to work for a long time to come and with me being in college there is only so much I can chip in."

***

Jared couldn't believe what he was hearing. His mother had mentioned that all of their savings were drawing to an end since all the money was spent on his father's hospital stay, doctor bills and medication.

After Gerald had suffered a stroke a few months ago, his mother was forced to go back to work. She never really needed to in the past, with his dad being the bread earner. Jared's mom never liked being a stay-at-home mom but his father enjoyed coming home to the smell of homemade meals and his income had been more than enough to cover all their costs. Now though, life was turning upside down and the volunteer community work his mom did wasn't going to get them any cash, so there was no other option but getting herself a job. Of course, Jared would've loved to get himself a couple more paychecks as well, but his parents still refused to let him ditch college. They definitely had a point. If he resigned from college, there was no way of him ever earning enough money to not only pay his student loans back but also support his parents.

They only needed one more week and they'd definitely have enough money to pay the bank at least one month of mortgage, just enough to keep the house for now.

Jared wanted to argue with Ackles, force him to understand, but the last thing he wanted was pity. He wanted to hate the guy for barging in and trying to take his childhood home away but damn those stupid green eyes and vivid freckles for making it almost painful to even look at the guy the wrong way. Ackles was for sure a sight for sore eyes. Jared was trying to figure out if he should jump off the chair and punch the man or hump his damn leg.

If Jared didn’t know for a fact that the needy omega part within him was shut down thanks to all the little pills he took, then he would have definitely blamed his inner bitch on how his nerves were dancing the Macarena and the way his stomach did a summersault.

Jared had a bad habit of being attracted to the wrong men, especially alphas. He was nineteen and he liked it more than anything to have some fun every once in a while. He never let any alphas fuck him, not that he had much to worry about with the amount of suppressants he swallowed down three times a day. It was enough to keep any alpha in a twenty mile radius in the dark. Then again, if an alpha was to be plastered against him, inside him, the suppressants wouldn’t hide his scent.  Jared always preferred betas, they weren't as needy as omegas and not as demanding and self-centered as alphas. For Ackles though, Jared might have been willing to make an exception. Because there was one thing other omegas and betas couldn't give him: rough, hard and just on the edge of too much. Maybe there was a way of using his omega to persuade the banker.

Ackles cleared his throat and Jared snapped himself back into the world of reality and out of his thoughts where Ackles wasn't forcing them into homelessness.

"Mrs. Padalecki, Jared, I'd like to offer you a new monthly deduction. This offer would be acceptable with Morgan Mortgage if, and only if you can pay at least one full month today. Then you'd only be two months behind payment. Three months is too much and considered breach of contract."

In his head, Jared began calculating. If they actually had the money for one month then this still wouldn't work. "Well, that's great and all but you just said so yourself, my parents are closing in on the fourth month. So, in my calculations they would be facing the same problem and you’d visit again in less than three weeks."

Jared took his mother's hand in his own for much needed comfort. He hated to see her like that, especially since it wasn't either of their fault to end up in such a dilemma. He had never seen his mother so quiet and worn out and he was more than glad that she had called for him to come over. There was no way she would have made it through Ackles' visit without breaking down if she had to do it alone. His mother loved their house, it was their home and always would be. Jared had been born in the bedroom upstairs and the place held a sentimental value to his parents. Jared always knew that he'd go above and beyond to keep the house in his parent's possession.

"My... my son is right, Mr. Ackles. How could we possibly avoid sitting here again in a few weeks?" Sharon’s voice was small, sadness layered her every tone.

"I understand your concerns, but you gotta believe me when I say that this is the only part I really hate about my job. There is nothing enjoyable about taking someone's home away from them.” Ackles sounded sincere, as if he really didn’t want to do this. Neither Jared, nor his mother said a word, waiting instead for the banker to keep talking. “Which is why I can offer you the new monthly deduction. If you pay one month of mortgage today, then I'll make sure to send out as many dunning letters I can legally pull, without risking my job and enough to buy you some more time to pay your debts with our bank off. I think I could get this approved with Mr. Morgan and we'll forgo any default charges on the dunning letters."

What Ackles said made perfect sense and it could've actually worked. Jared pulled the file closer to study the numbers again and he felt Ackles' eyes on him the whole time. He tried his best to ignore the intense gaze. "Does it have to be today? The payment, I mean?" Jared wanted to know and mentally calculated how much more money he'd need to cover the amount the bank was asking for. His next paycheck from the library wouldn't be in for another three days and with it he could chip in enough to help his parents out. "Can't you make that three days?"

Jared locked eyes with the banker, staring straight ahead and the light twitch in the man's eyes was indication enough that Jared might have a chance of coaxing the man into changing his mind. To press his question further, Jared closed the folder in front of him and pushed it slowly towards Ackles. When the man didn't pay attention to the file, Jared licked his lips before offering his dimples for dessert, "...please?"

Visibly shaking himself out of a trance-like state, Jared wanted to jump up and scream in frustration when Ackles shot him down. "Sorry. The deadline is today at midnight. I don't make the rules. Either you pay one full month today or the house is gone."

Jared guessed his show of interest wasn’t good enough and he’d have to up his game. Ackles definitely had that strange look in his eyes, a look every alpha wears when around an omega or when they try their hardest to get a good sniff.

As soon as Ackles bid his farewell, Jared excused himself. The lie of heading to the library slipped easily from his lips when his mother asked where he was going. The library was by far the last place he wanted to be. He had to buy his mother time and Ackles was the only one able to sell him just that.

Careful, as to not being too obvious, he followed Ackles' car in his old beat up Ford. He had no idea where the man was going, if he had another appointment to destroy a family's life or back to the bank. It didn't really matter, Jared's car was fully loaded and he would follow the man for as long as it would take until the man stopped.

To Jared's surprise it didn't take long until Ackles took a turn into Austin’s business district. The alpha was obviously driving back to the bank and Jared still didn't let up on his plan. He followed the man into an underground garage and killed the engine of his car a few parking spots over from where Ackles parked his car.

"Mr. Ackles?" Jared called for the alpha when the man stepped out of the car.

"Jared? What are you doing here?" The man was seemingly nervous; even as an omega, Jared could smell the alpha’s fear. Honestly, Jared would've been scared too if someone, who you've been threatening to take his home away, was stalking up behind him in a damn underground garage. Many horror slashers started that way. But Jared wasn’t out to hurt Ackles.

"Just wanna talk to you again, about the mortgage." Jared took hurried steps towards the banker.

"There's nothing left to talk about. We've been through it all and your parents have until midnight." Ackles grabbed blindly for his briefcase from the backseat, his eyes fully focused on Jared’s every move.

"Well, maybe I can change your mind?" He watched the wheels in Ackles’ head turning, trying to figure Jared out. “I need three more days. Midnight is impossible and I’m willing to repay you.” Jared took another step forward, invading the man’s personal space. The banker was an alpha and Jared knew exactly how to play them. In order to show Ackles what he was offering, Jared reached out to wrap his fist around the banker’s silk tie.

“Sorry, kid.” Ackles swatted his hand away and sidestepped him, “you’re barking up the wrong tree.”

It was a lie. Jared looked right through it and the nervous flicker of the man’s intense gaze was proof of just that. Jared was slightly taller than Ackles but he was still only an omega. If he didn’t play this right, Ackles could knock him on his ass in an instant. No matter how much Jared worked out, an alpha would always be able to physically overpower him. There was only one weakness to an alpha: omegas. Unknotted and unmated omegas. Every healthy alpha in their prime years was ready to sell their grandmother to claim a compatible omega as theirs. It was a mental power, something that made any alpha dizzy and a nervous mess. But physically? Not so much.

There was nothing less appealing to Jared than being mated at only nineteen. However, the needy omega within him always longed for a knot. Ackles was too easy on the eyes to have anything but a precious hungry knot. Taking a knot, as far as Jared had heard, could be risky. Some alphas used their power to knot whoever they deemed to be their little bitch. Once an alpha knotted you, the omega was done for. Jared never understood why Mother Nature made it that way; it was ridiculous and took every chance of free will from people like him. Mating, however, was a different matter. Mating was only possible with the right one, the one and only person meant for you. Nothing Jared was ready to face yet.

When Ackles tried to walk away, Jared’s desperation got the better of him. He moved fast and rushed in front of the alpha, “how about a proposition?” Jared leaned in, further, until his mouth brushed against Ackles’ cheek; the full beard soft to the touch. So much so that Jared’s breath hitched.

“Take a sniff and tell me again that I’m barking up the wrong tree.” Jared whispered close to the alpha’s ear as he pulled the lobe between his lips. He knew, that, with being this close, the alpha was able to take in his unique scent. No suppressants in the world were enough to shut his scent out completely. Which was why Jared pressed his whole front against the alpha. And, there it was, Ackles tensed up, breath labored. “Smells good, doesn’t it? Bet you my mouth is worth three more days.”

Ackles’ whole body shivered and shuddered against Jared but no matter how hard the alpha tried, he couldn’t escape the physical need nature blessed him with. Jared could smell the man’s arousal, a sniff of an unmated omega able to drive any alpha insane.

“I… I’m sorry.” Ackles croaked out, his free hand flat on Jared’s chest. “This is not acceptable. You should leave.” The alpha pushed him away.

“Don’t tell me you’ve got morals.” Jared pressed but the banker already turned his back to him.

“Yeah, actually I do.” Ackles called while he all but sprinted into the direction of the elevators. The alpha turned around shortly, “you’ve got ‘til midnight.”

With that, Ackles was gone and Jared cursed under his breath. This couldn’t be happening, he needed to come up with a new plan in order to convince the alpha. It was still early, not even noon yet. He would figure something out.

***

As soon as Jensen stepped into his house, he lost his suit in favor for a quick shower. He was exhausted and the day’s events took their toll on him. There was only so much he could handle and Jared Padalecki was one of the things he definitely could not handle. Jensen had met many customers who gave ridiculous offers to get them out of their troubles, but what the young Padalecki tried was simply out of line. It was a great difficulty to refuse the boy, especially since Jensen smelled that the guy was an omega, but there were rules. Damn it. He wasn’t ready to lose his job only because he couldn’t keep himself in check, no matter how strongly his body reacted to the omega. If Jensen was anything like other alphas, he would have jumped at Jared’s offer in a heartbeat, let the young man drop to his knees and suck him down. But Jensen wasn’t like that, not at all. His friends often pointed out that he was way too soft for an alpha. Jensen, however, believed that opinion to be wrong; he was a decent person. Being an alpha didn’t give anyone the right to be an asshole or take advantage of someone else. That was probably also a reason why, at age thirty-five, he was still unmated. Of course Jensen had tried to find his mate. And he tried good and proper, but not a single omega he ever had underneath him seemed to be the right one. It never clicked. Jensen actually went as far as asking his father, who was an alpha himself, how he could possibly know when his mate entered his life. There wasn’t a right answer, or a helpful answer to it. All Jensen knew now, was, that he would know; he would feel the strong desire to claim. So far that didn’t happen.

Dressed in a pair of sweatpants and his favorite old ACDC shirt, Jensen grabbed himself a bottle of beer and slumped down on his couch. He was sure that it was only a matter of time before his eyes would grow heavy and sleep would drag him down. It was a long fucking day.

The TV buzzed quietly in front of him, Jensen didn’t even pay much attention to it; his brain was still at work and mentally he went through his appointments for the next day. He was well prepared but today only proved that one never knew what to expect.

And how true this really was showed when the doorbell shrilled through the house and forced Jensen out of his comfortable position and off of the couch. He groaned in protest, since he didn’t invite anyone over. All of his friends knew damn well that he didn’t like surprise visits, especially during work days.

Jensen barely opened the door when his nostrils caught the scent of Jared Padalecki. The young man’s scent had been invading his senses since the guy let him take a sniff. He was shell-shocked to see Jared at his doorstep, “the hell you doing here?” Letting go of his self-control, Jensen stared the omega down, his eyes almost furious, “where’d you get my address from?”

Jared licked his lips and Jensen couldn’t look away from the movement. “Internet.”

That wasn’t true, couldn’t be. The first thing Jensen did after getting his promotion into field work was delete all traces of his address from the internet. For good reasons. Reasons like Jared Padalecki.

Something must have shown on his face because without being asked, Jared spoke up again. “Paid two dollars for twenty-four-hour access to your background check, Jensen.”

Now Jensen was livid. He knew those pages existed and he never figured out how to avoid having his information on them. It sucked because there was nothing he could have done about it. “Are you fucking kidding me? What do you want?”

The second the question left his mouth, Jensen regretted it. The answer was too obvious, considering Jared’s earlier attempts of bribery. And the longer the omega stood there, the harder it became for Jensen to ignore the man’s scent. It was stronger than in the morning, more prominent and it already affected Jensen to a point where he was about to snap and bend the guy over.

“See, the thing is, I love my family and I love our home. Three days ain’t nothing for a bank like Morgan.” Jared locked eyes with him, the mixed hues of blue and green torture for Jensen’s sanity. He swallowed hard, his body’s desires rising to immense highs when the young omega stepped closer. “Maybe I didn’t make myself clear enough this morning.” Jensen had no chance of avoiding the man, he was coming closer with every passing second. Eventually, Jared was so close that Jensen was left with no other choice but take a step backwards. It was a damn mistake too, because now Jared was inside his house. “If my mouth isn’t good enough, there are other parts of me practically begging for something only you can give me.”

Gulping and mentally trying to put a stop to this madness, Jensen found himself to be at a complete loss for words. Omegas where the worst, they could play any unmated alpha like a damn fiddle and it wasn’t fucking fair. Instead of throwing the boy out, Jensen went for nonchalant. “Does your mother even know you’re here? I already told you that I can’t help you.”

That was only half true. Jensen could help the Padaleckis. There were always a few loopholes that allowed him to postpone a deadline. Of course it came with a few risks and maybe even a dissuasion, but in some cases it was worth it. He had done it before, when a widow was too caught up in her mourning process that she didn’t have the mental strength to worry about the financial problems the loss of her husband caused.

Zoning out and into his thoughts was yet another mistake because all of a sudden the young Padalecki crashed their lips together, invading Jensen’s personal space as if he had any right to. Jensen gave his best shot at trying to stop Jared, but his body betrayed him as he slammed the door shut and shoved the omega against it. He didn’t know what happened, what hit him, because he had lost all control over his body. All he could focus on was that gorgeous omega offering himself up on a silver platter. Even with their mouths slotted together in a hungry kiss, the distance was still too much and Jensen hoisted Jared up, wrapping the guy’s legs around his waist and pressing himself deeper against Jared. Deep down, he knew this was wrong, he shouldn’t be doing this, but he couldn’t stop as the alpha in him took the reins.

“This’ what you want?” Jensen pried his lips off of the omega, his eyes intensely staring at the boy, “to latch yourself onto some knot? Whoring yourself out for your family?”

Jared tightened his legs around him, mouth desperately trying to get closer to Jensen’s lips again, “as if you don’t want it too. I can fucking smell you, how much you want my ass. Help me and I’ll let you feed me that knot of yours.”

Any other alpha would have the omega pinned down and hanging on their knot before the boy had a chance to open his mouth. It was difficult for Jensen too, but he was raised right and taught to be respectful. If the omega asked to be left alone, Jensen would have still been able to put a stop to this; a painful task if needed but omegas weren’t just a piece of meat, they were something precious, something that needed to be cherished. Without them, the human race would have been extinguished a long time ago, since barely any betas were able to reproduce.

Jensen searched the omega’s face for any sign of repulse or the need to end this, but all Jensen could see was a raw and dark lust, an emotion that mirrored his own craving perfectly. “You’ve got no idea what you’re getting yourself into.” He was unsure of who he was talking to, the omega or himself, because Jensen’s arousal spiked up more and more the longer Jared hung onto him. The scent of the omega was almost too much for Jensen to handle. It was solid, powerful and nothing like Jensen ever smelled before.

Without a warning, Jensen pulled them away from the door and all but carried Jared to his bedroom. Whenever his alpha was out and crawling to the surface he had enough strength to rip a big guy like Jared apart.

He still thought of this to be wrong. It wasn’t right to accept sexual favors. But the omega was too delicious to refuse. Jared was definitely something else. Something Jensen was terribly hungry for. Untangling their bodies, Jensen threw the omega on his bed and watched Jared bounce up and back down. The boy’s chest heaved in surprise, his breath hard but his eyes still demanding. Jensen wanted to enjoy the view of this handsome omega on his bed, it looked so perfect, as if this was where Jared belonged all along. However, Jared came to him for a reason and Jensen was more than willing to oblige and didn’t make a show of affection as he crawled on the bed too, quickly stripping the young man out of his clothes. The omega went willingly, not an ounce of nervousness seemed to burden Jared when he propped his naked self up on his elbows, staring up at Jensen.

“So pretty.” Jensen whispered under his breath and got off the bed to shed his own clothing. Whereas Jared had been composed before, the second he got a look at Jensen’s thick hard length, he lost all his cool. There was no doubt what that look meant, “you’ve never had an alpha before, huh?”

Jared shook his head, his Adam’s apple bobbing in a constricted gulp, “not exactly a huge fan of you knotheads.”

There was an insult in there somewhere, though, Jensen didn’t find it difficult to ignore it. He knew his kind: ruthless bastards with a huge self-esteem and an even bigger lack of sense of justice. Well, he would just have to show Jared that not all alphas were like that.

Joining the omega back on the bed, Jensen couldn’t help but explore every inch of the young man’s soft skin. His fingertips tingled when he roamed over miles of toned flesh and he made sure to let his lips travel over the glorious body underneath him. Jared didn’t only smell like sin on legs, the taste of him was pretty much addictive. So much so that Jensen didn’t have to think twice when he wrapped his lips around Jared’s hard length. It was a surprise for him, how well-proportioned the omega was. Most omegas were rather small, but Jared? Jared was almost as huge as Jensen. Though, that didn’t stop Jensen from going all the way down, swallowing the omega’s cock until he was nestled deep inside Jensen’s throat. Small drops of precome exploded on his tongue, the taste so strong Jensen’s whole body shivered in anticipation and the need for more rose up and gripped him tight.

It only intensified when another scent hit him, taking a hold of him and forced him to bop his head faster on the cock in his mouth. Jared was leaking, his ass full of slick and Jensen pushed two fingers inside, the natural lubricant making it easy to drive right in. He had heard of some omegas producing their own form of lube, but mostly the ones in heat or mated omegas; until now Jensen hadn’t met any of them; always in need for KY to accustom an omega to his knot.

Jared was thrashing underneath him, the omega reduced to quiet yet needy moans; all previous cockiness gone in favor to let his inner omega come to the surface. Jensen knew, that, now he could do whatever and the boy had no chance of escaping. He could use and abuse, make the omega his little bitch and fuck him senseless until he would pass out. However, Jensen wasn’t that person. No matter how difficult it was to keep his beast inside, there was no way Jensen could willingly hurt anyone.

The need to be buried inside Jared grew heavier and when it became too much to control, Jensen all but spun the omega around. Without warning, he spread the boy’s legs and lined his cock up, his free hand pushing on the omega’s back, pressing him into the mattress with no room to fight against him.

“Condom. Use a damn condom!” The omega growled into the pillow and the desperate sound of the younger man’s voice was enough to snap Jensen’s focus back and out of his crazy musings.

The omega was right, lust and desire were no excuse to knot the omega bare, jeopardize their health or, worse, saddling them with a lifetime of responsibility in ten months. Jensen reached for the nightstand and grabbed one of the tin foils. He was close to shooting his load right then and there as he pulled the latex over his cock. That wasn’t how he wanted this to go though, so he calmed his nerves and squeezed the base of his erection, hard.

“You still sure about this?” When the omega nodded and wiggled his ass invitingly, Jensen shoved his hard length all the way inside the velvety smooth heat.

Jensen had a fair amount of omegas in his bed before, all willing and horny, but none of them felt as good as Jared. The young man might have wanted all of this for completely different reasons, but the way his body moved, ass chasing after Jensen’s cock and those delicious needy sounds coming from his mouth, Jensen found himself caught off guard when his hips began to move on their own. He felt as if he wasn’t himself anymore, the alpha in him clawed at his insides, battling against his conscience to break free and take over. Now Jensen was the one who couldn’t escape as his movements sped up, his cock driving in and out of the omega’s tight channel in a rapid pace.

Even as his knot began to grow, Jensen couldn’t slow down. The broken and fucked out moans from the omega only intensified his pure need for more.

“Oh fuck!” Jensen screamed as his knot spread Jared even further. Something deep settled in his nerves. A longing filled his senses, something he never felt before, a raw need of more and right now. Jensen’s brain was all fuzzy, his whole body on fire with too many emotions he couldn’t name. He had no idea what happened with him and what exactly spurred him into action, but without a second thought he pulled all the way out of the omega, yanked the condom off of his cock and slammed right back inside. The force was almost brutal, his hips snapped on their own accord and there was no chance of stopping himself. As his knot grew bigger and locked itself in the depths of Jared’s tight heat, it hit Jensen. His mate. Jared, the cocky omega who bribed him into this, was his mate. Jensen’s heart rate increased to impossible levels, his senses on overload as he pushed the boy down, his front flat on the sheets.

Draping himself flush over the omega’s back, Jensen slowed his hips down, his thrusts becoming gentle and coordinated. Jared’s neck was right there, right in sight and in reaching distance for Jensen’s hungry lips. The need to be closer still overcame him and Jensen nudged Jared’s legs further apart, settling himself in between. Jensen slung his arms underneath Jared’s, gripping the omega’s shoulders from the front and pulling him further down onto his cock.

“This’ gonna hurt, babe.” He gushed against the boy’s ear. Before Jared had time to react, Jensen latched on to the omega’s neck, his rapid pulse beating against Jensen’s lips and he bit down. His teeth sunk into the warm flesh, the breaking of soft skin painful even to Jensen.

Jared tried to fight against him, gave his best to free himself. “What the… NO. What the fuck are you doing!” The omega yelled, his body writhing and shaking. “Don’t. Oh god, please don’t.”

A mix of copper and sweetness dribbled over Jensen’s tongue. In a firm hold, he kept Jared from pushing him off and soothed the mating’s mark with his lips. The first wave of his orgasm hit him, come coating the omega’s insides. Jared still tried to get away, but Jensen held on, made himself heavier on the omega’s back. “Shh, ‘s okay.” He shushed, circling his hips carefully until he came again, his whole body twitching and on fire.

A cry broke from the boy’s throat, “no, it’s not. You had no right! Lemme go…” But Jared’s body betrayed him, as his ass pulled Jensen in further, holding on and moving his hips to feed himself more of the knot.

Jensen felt a tightness in his chest, guilt gripping him at the words. Yes, he had no right, but mating wasn’t about yes or no, it happened when nature wanted it to. Neither of them could have ran from what they are, not for long. It was inevitable. “I can’t let you go.” The words had more meaning than the young omega probably knew; once mated, a couple is bound to each other. A bond only death could break.

The omega was scared, his smaller body trembling and for the first time Jensen got to see the real Jared; a teenager with his whole life ahead of him. And now he was mated to Jensen, a thirty-five year old alpha who didn’t mean for this to happen, not like this. However, they both had no choice, no say in the matter, and it was left to Jensen to take care of Jared, his omega and mate. While many other alphas preferred to use their mates for household chores and as bed bunnies, Jensen always longed for a mate to enjoy life together. He sincerely doubted that Jared wanted any of this, that the cocky teenager had other plans for his life. A life that Jensen envisioned as one where the omega found himself in the professional world. It wasn’t something Jensen was opposed to, in fact he kind of liked the thought of it. Stepping in and scrambling all those plans didn’t feel right. Jensen knew he had to treat the subject carefully.

“It’ll be okay.” Jensen whispered and moved them both into a more comfortable position. The second he spooned up behind Jared, Jensen slowly began rocking his hips again and he didn’t stop until the omega orgasmed on his knot. Jared was almost silent in his arms, a quiet sob the only sound in the room.

More minutes passed, neither of them speaking a word but as soon as Jensen’s knot let go of Jared, the omega jumped away from him and rushed out of the bed. “Jared, we should talk.” Jensen gave his best to sound apologetic and calm.

“I don’t think so.” The omega didn’t look at him, only collected his clothing and got dressed. “Congratulations. You’ve got all I never offered and ruined my fucking life.”

The alpha in Jensen knew that this behavior wasn’t acceptable, that Jared should be grateful for having found his mate. However, Jensen was better than that and after years of waiting for his mate, he was the one being thankful. Even if it meant he was in for a long fight and many hours of convincing Jared that this was something good, for both of them. “Do you think I knew this was going to happen?”

Jared turned, his eyes bloodshot and puffy, “you should’ve fucking stopped!”

“That’s not how this works, you know that, right?” Jensen asked, his voice small compared to the many different emotions rushing through him. The omega looked at him as if Jared had no idea what Jensen was talking about, that maybe the omega really didn’t know how mating happened, how it couldn’t be controlled, much less stopped. “Talk to any alpha you know, we can’t just mate whoever we want.” Every alpha was able to knot whichever omega they pleased, turn them into a junkie for their knot, but mating didn’t work like that. An alpha couldn’t mate just anybody, it had to be their other half, the only person able to complete them; the one meant to be. Jared was going to realize that, sooner or later.

The omega clenched his jaw, anger taking over when he scowled at Jensen again, “we’ve had a deal. You give my family more time and that’s it. We’re done here.” With that being said, Jared stormed out and Jensen was left wondering how he could possibly convince Jared that he wasn’t a bad guy. Either way, he knew that Jared would come back to him on his own. The omega’s body would practically force him to knock at Jensen’s door again. And, with their mating being performed, sooner or later Jared would realize that he wouldn’t want anyone else again. Nobody but Jensen.

Chapter Text

 

For the next few days, Jared was useless to the world. His body was unpredictable at best and no matter how many suppressants he swallowed down, he couldn’t fight his first heat in years. Jared knew, the only way to get through it without the immense pain was by going to Jensen. That, however, was by far the last thing he wanted to do. All Jared ever wanted was to help his family but he didn’t weigh the consequences and now he ruined everything. He screwed up his life, his plans and the future he always dreamed of having. He didn’t want to become some alpha’s bitch, much less be mated. Not yet. He was too young and not ready to settle into a life as a kept boy. Not by a long shot. Because that, that was exactly what any alpha would demand of him: stay put, shut up and spread his legs whenever and wherever the alpha pleased. To his utter surprise, Jensen let him walk out and leave. Maybe the alpha was stunned by Jared’s determination, or, the alpha was still too blissed from orgasming, from taking more from Jared than they had agreed on.

Four days after his bribery fuck with Jensen, Jared couldn’t hide any longer. His mother had long noticed that something was wrong with him, that he wasn’t his usual self anymore. Sharon, a beta who had never experienced a heat in her life, had mistaken Jared’s condition for a flu creeping up. Caring and doting, she tried everything in her capability to make Jared feel better. That was how she ended up walking in on Jared rutting in his sheets like a rabbit on speed. It was the most embarrassing moment of Jared’s life and, for his mother, probably the most traumatizing. The tray with chicken broth and juice tumbled to the floor and she backed out of his room. A part of Jared wanted to apologize, to explain and say that he was sorry that she had to see him like this, but the heat had him so deep under control, that he couldn’t think straight. Much less get out of bed. He knew he would have to talk to her at some point, but he couldn’t do so until his body was done torturing him. His every nerve was on fire, his skin itching from pools of sweat and his insides cramped up so tight that he felt like he was going to die. Jared had no idea how long this would take and after four days it seemed as if it was only getting worse, instead of better. The pain didn’t lessen, it intensified when he did as much as move an inch.

Six days into his heat, his body eventually began to give him a break. So much so that he was capable of moving again, of finally getting out of his bed and trotting down the stairs. He was hungry - starving - because the few bits his mother left for him at his bedside weren’t enough. However, going for more food was not an option while the heat had him shackled.

He was still weak, his legs tired and every bone in his body crippled with exhaustion. Yet, he still managed to make his way downstairs; knew he had to go back into the world of the living and, to be honest, he was going stir crazy in his room. Jared had no idea how much any of that had to do with the heat or the fact that his traitorous body yearned for someone, for Jensen. The thought of the alpha brought more sickness to his stomach than he liked and as soon as his brain wanted to produce hate for the man, Jared felt guilty. There was just no reason for him to feel guilty at all. Zilch. Nada. He should have been furious, seething and ready to murder over having his life choices taken away from him. Though, he couldn’t. No matter how badly he wanted to hate the man, every instinct in his body forbid him to do so.

“Mom?” Jared spoke quietly after he stepped into the kitchen; his mom fussing about at the stove. The smell of fresh cooked chicken dumplings a relief compared to his heat induced stench still lingering on his skin. He should have taken a shower before he walked downstairs, but he was sure that it would only strain him further, his body not yet ready to get through with this task.

“Oh, baby. What are you doing down here?” His mother looked at him, shocked to see him in the kitchen and hurried to his side; her smaller frame guiding him to the nearest chair at the table. “You shouldn’t get out of bed, dear.”

“I’m sorry.” Jared whispered as soon as he was sitting down, his body calming down when the weight was off his feet.

“Don’t be. You should have just called for me. I would’ve brought you the food upstairs.” Sharon patted his shoulder and moved her hand upwards, carding her hand through Jared’s unkempt and most definitely greasy hair.

“Not what I mean, mom.” Jared swallowed thickly. He was unsure of how to approach the subject, how to talk to his mom about what she had seen him doing. They were always close; his mother had been his confidant since he was still a little rugrat and it was she who took Jared to his first screening when puberty hit him and talked to the doctor about suppressants. There were no real secrets between the two of them and he never cared to tell his mother about the changes in his body. But some things were just too private for Jared to share and seeing him rutting the sheets was absolutely one of them. “I’m sorry you had to see… you know.”

“Now don’t be silly with me, boy.” His mother’s voice took an edge of hurt when she stared him down. Before she said anything more, she filled two bowls with chicken and dumplings, shoving one under Jared’s nose. “Eat.”

After a few spoons full of the food, Jared began to feel somewhat human again. Not enough to be a functional adult again, but enough to think straight and strengthen his body to some degree.

“You wanna tell me why you stopped taking your pills?” The air was thick with her question as she avoided looking at Jared, her eyes focused on the food in front of her.

Unable to speak for a long moment, Jared took another spoon of chicken before he dared to answer. “I didn’t. I’m still taking them.” And it was the truth. Even though he was barely able to open his eyes the past week, Jared still made sure to swallow down his suppressants; a desperate try to stop the heat and the pain that came with it.

Sharon finally snapped her head up, worry so deep in her eyes Jared was sure she was going to freak out. “Then we need to get you to Dr. Richings again. Maybe get a different kind of pills for you.” She let the spoon fall into her bowl with a soft clink. “But beforehand, you gotta take a bath.”

Gulping at the thought of making his way back upstairs, the burden of crawling into the tub alone let all the color drain from his face.

Twenty minutes later, humiliation settling deep into his core, Jared found himself in a hot bubble bath with his mother sitting on the edge of the bathtub. He felt like a child and not like the nineteen year old young man he actually was. He had tried to reason with his mother that he could do it alone. His body, however, betrayed him and his mother didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. That was how he found himself in the capable hands of his mother; not only undressing him, but also washing every inch of his body. Humiliation might have been the understatement of the century. Though, his mother wouldn’t have any of it, only shushing him with a ‘nothing I haven’t seen before’. Despite it being embarrassing, Jared let his mother take care of him. He couldn’t have possibly done any of it himself and he damn well knew it.

After a few minutes in the hot water, the tension in his muscles ebbed away and while he sat there, his mother washing his hair, he realized that it had been a week since Jensen’s visit and they were still in their home. “How come…” Jared began to ask but needed to sort through his thoughts first. “Why hasn’t the bank taken the house yet?” Even though Jared knew the answer, or at least hoped he knew, he still had to ask. Jensen was an alpha, a species you shouldn’t trust because they never asked for anything, they only took what they wanted and never cared about anyone but their own needs. The man had proved that to Jared the very hard and cruel way. Jared wouldn’t have been surprised if the banker broke their deal and ripped the house away from underneath them. His body trembled, every nerve under his skin on fire by the sheer memory of what happened.

“Huh…” Sharon chuckled, as if they had nothing to worry about. “You won’t believe it.”

“What?” Was all Jared replied since he wasn’t sure where his mother’s happy tone came from all of a sudden.

“I was about to start packing boxes four days ago when a courier showed up with documents.” Sharon tsked while rinsing the shampoo out of Jared’s hair, only to rub more into it for a second wash. “At first I thought it was an eviction notice. But it wasn’t.”

Jared was sure he hadn’t heard right when his mother started laughing. A full on laugh that rumbled through her whole body. “What was it then?” He asked, still careful with his words and fear in his voice.

“Remember the banker that was here? Mr. Ackles?” His mom wanted to know with a light snort and yes, how could Jared ever forget the man. He shook his head in a clear ‘yes’. “Well, apparently the bank made a mistake. He, Mr. Ackles, sent me a formal apology about the misunderstandings and that something had happened to their computer system. A whole lot of gobbledegook I don’t understand. He included a new account statement. I just don’t get it.”

Jared let out a deep breath, a sigh of relief. “How’s that possible?” He wanted to know because he couldn’t possibly tell his mom that he threw his life away in order to fix the financial mess they were in. She would have never forgiven him for that sacrifice.

“I have no idea. I checked the records twice and we both know that we didn’t pay those past three, almost four months. And yet, in the papers it’s clear that we did pay. I’m sure that soon they will figure out that they have truly screwed up and come knocking for their money again. But I won’t correct them until they figure it out themselves, until I actually have the money for them.”

Jared was speechless, he had no idea what to say other than closing his eyes and being thankful that the alpha obviously didn’t break their deal.

“Oh!” His mother hurried over her lips while turning on the water to rinse his hair once again. “The kicker of it all? They say we actually paid too much in advance, that we are two months ahead with our payments.”

“What?” Jared shrieked and turned his head to look at his mom, both unaware of the movement and Jared ended up with the water blowing right into his face. After coughing the water back out of his windpipe, he looked at his mother, truly stunned. “That would make a total of six months.” Sharon only shrugged at him with a smile on her face; a smile he hadn’t seen his mother wear since before his dad was hospitalized.

They kept quiet for the remainder of the bath and Jared didn’t like it. The quiet aided memories and unwilling thoughts to the forefront of his mind. Even as his mother helped dry him up and helped him into a fresh set of clothing, Jared’s mind was still racing. This time it was not out of embarrassment though, but because he wondered how Jensen had pulled this off. Did the man pay for their mortgage or did he manipulate the account statement? Jared guessed the latter was the case so yes, it was only a matter of time before the bank would be coming for them. As soon as Jensen’s boss found the mistake, they would be on his mother’s heels again. Still, Jared was grateful that the deal he got gave them more than only the three requested days. For a short moment, Jared toyed with the idea of going to Jensen, of thanking him, but he swallowed the thought down quickly and made a mental note to never, no matter the circumstances, go within two miles of the alpha. No matter the pain his body is pushing him through.

It wasn’t long before Jared found himself in front of the hospital with his mother right by his side and her small form pressed against him for much needed support: physically and mentally. He hadn’t been to Dr. Richings’ practice in a while; his suppressants usually lasted him for close to three months and sometimes, when college and work became too much, Jared requested for the prescription to be sent to his home. He never really liked hospitals or doctors’ offices and ever since his dad had that stroke, he avoided doctors even more. Of course, he did visit his dad almost every other day but during those times, his mind was completely focused on his father and not on him. This time, however, the hospital visit was solely about Jared himself and he didn’t like it one bit. With every new step he took, his body grew weaker, his strength leaving him faster second by second. Once inside, Jared slumped down into the nearest chair while his mother handled the necessary paperwork. Guilt tripled within him when he realized that this visit to the hospital would cost them yet another fortune they had to worry about. And this time, Jared couldn’t sell himself to make the bills go away. Then again, he was painfully aware of the fact that no other person would ever touch him again. No alpha, no beta and no omega would ever try to lay a hand on a mated person. Unless they had a death wish, that was. With that knowledge running through his mind, Jared gave over to the satisfied smile on his lips. ‘Screwed yourself over, too, Ackles’, Jared thought. It definitely served the alpha right after what he had done to him. Thinking of Jensen and what it meant being bound, mated ,  to the alpha was enough for his senses to overreact again. His whole body started to shudder and shake, making him nauseous to the point where Jared felt like he was short of passing out.

***

‘You ruined my life. We’re done.’ The words kept ringing in Jensen’s ear on a loop, followed by Jared’s pleas to stop, to let him go. It felt like a nightmare, a nightmare he couldn’t escape no matter how awake he actually was. ‘Don’t tell me you’ve got morals’ Jared’s voice yelled at him, from deep within his memories.

“Damn it.” Jensen cursed under his breath when he poured his fifth cup of coffee and the brown liquid toppled over the edge of the cup. He dumped all of it in the small sink in their office kitchen and cleaned the counter up as good as he could. Jensen needed to distract himself, needed to somehow get Jared off his mind. At least for as long as he was at work. Jeffrey had already yelled at him twice for screwing up in the last week and he didn’t need a repeat of that.

However, it was impossible to not think of Jared, of his mate. Most of his thoughts were clouded with guilt and worry. There was no doubt left in him that, sooner or later, Jared would reach out to him but the wait was short of killing him. Not literally, but it drove him crazy. To the point where he knew that he would have to go to Jared if the young man wouldn’t show up soon. Soon couldn’t come fast enough because Jensen was aware of what struggles a mated omega went through when their alpha wouldn’t be there to care for them. If only he had been able to make Jared understand that all he wanted was to: get to know him, take care of him and love him. There was no such thing as love blooming in his chest yet, but he knew that after being with his young omega, it was only a matter of time before Jensen would be able to fall in love. If nature thought of them to be perfect for one another then Jensen wouldn’t even try to argue over it. For years he had been ready to meet his mate, he craved the feeling of home , of belonging and sharing his life with a person meant for him. If only nature hadn’t been so cruel by sending a young man his way who wasn’t even close to ready to share his life with someone else. The cold fury in Jared’s eyes when he left made it more than clear that the young omega hated Jensen. He would have a long way ahead of him in order to prove that he wasn’t like other alphas.

With ten files on his desk and the numbers on his screen blinding him, Jensen leaned back in his chair and rolled the kinks out of his shoulders. It was then that the phone on his desk rang, the red light on button number one told him Jeff was on the other end. The last thing Jensen needed now was another kick in the ass by his boss but he picked the phone up anyway. If he hadn’t then Jeff would stomp out of his office and scream at him in front of the others. He really didn’t need that.

“Jeff?” Jensen answered, his voice friendly as always when he thought he might have fucked something up.

There was no greeting at the other end of the line, just a simple explanation: “General hospital for you. I’ll put them through.”

Two beeping sounds later and Jensen was ready to jump out of his shoes. He had no idea why a hospital would call him. As of yesterday, his parents were fine, so were his siblings, but he still feared that something might have happened. Fear crawled into his nerves and his voice was shaky. “Ackles. Hello.”

“Mr. Ackles? Jensen Ackles?” The friendly but worried voice of a man hummed through the line. His accent sounded a little off, British.

“Uh… yeah. Yes, that’s me.” Jensen’s worry grew as the seconds ticked by, his breath already stuck somewhere in his throat.

“Good. I’m Dr. Julian Richings with the General Hospital in Austin. My patient, Jared Padalecki, has given me your name and…” There was a short pause in which the doctor seemed to collect his words all while Jensen began to seriously freak out. “I assume you know him?”

Jensen’s heart dropped and didn’t stop falling until he was sure it had been hitting the floor with a shattering crack. He felt the floor underneath him give; as if a higher power tried to pull him in and chew him alive. Jared was in the hospital and every worst case scenarios played inside his head. ‘You ruined my life’ he could hear his mate shout at him again and something inside of him told him that Jared was more devastated about the mating than Jensen could have possibly imagined. The young man didn’t want to be mated, that much was known to Jensen, and maybe… Jensen couldn’t finish that thought, didn’t want to think of the possibility of his mate trying to break their bond. There was only one way this bond could be broken. “Oh God.” Jensen heard himself whimper before he remembered that the doctor had asked him a question. “He’s my mate.” Jensen said and even in his current state of total loss he felt pride crawl over his heart by saying it out loud for the first time. Regaining his senses long enough to focus on the phone call, Jensen took some calming breaths before asking, “what happened?” Even as he asked, he was already standing up. It didn’t matter what happened, it didn’t matter what the doctor was going to tell him. Nothing mattered to Jensen anymore. Nothing but the need to get to the hospital as fast as he could. Whatever the cause for his mate ending up in the hospital, Jensen knew that Jared would need him. What Jensen didn’t dare asking was, if Jared was okay. He simply couldn’t get the question over his lips; the fear of the answer being negative was too great.

“I’d rather we talk about this in person. Will you be able to come in today?” Dr. Richings sounded unsure and Jensen wanted to snap. Of course he would come in today . He would be there in less than thirty minutes. How dare this man even ask such a ridiculous question.

“I’m already on my way.” Jensen hushed out and hung up without another word.

When he gave Jeffrey a call, telling him that there was a family emergency and he had to leave right now, he was, to Jensen’s surprise, absolutely on board with it and promised Jensen to cancel all his appointments for the day.

On his way to the hospital, Jensen broke at least two traffic laws but he couldn’t care less as he was glad to make it to the hospital in under twenty minutes. He would worry about the speeding tickets later.

Practically running through the emergency entry doors like the devil was after him, Jensen didn’t waste any time as he knocked on the counter where a nurse was engrossed in whatever she looked at on her stupid screen. “Dr. Richings, now. Where is he?”

The nurse startled and flinched away and Jensen could only guess that she was aware of an alpha standing right in front of her. He was sure the fury in his eyes was visible and the little omega in her green outfit nodded at him, taking the phone in her shaking hands and called for Dr. Richings.

Jensen turned then, waiting with high impatience for the doctor to arrive at the desk and bring him to Jared. What he saw then, was Jared’s mother. As if on cue, she looked up and locked eyes with him. “Mr. Ackles,” she said with a strained voice, her eyes puffy and red rimmed. If she had been crying then there was enough reason for Jensen to lose it even more. He didn’t feel like facing her, much less apologizing to her if anything that happened to Jared was his fault. He couldn’t face this burden just yet. “Are you here to visit family?” Mrs. Padalecki then lowered her head, shaking it. “I’m sorry. That is none of my business.”

It sounded an awful lot like the woman had no idea about him and Jared. His mate had probably not talked to her yet and probably didn’t intend to either, considering how everything went down. However, it wouldn’t be long before she would learn the truth. Jensen only hoped it wouldn’t have to be him who had to tell her.

“Mr. Ackles?” A scrawny and short doctor approached him then. “Dr. Richings. I’m glad to see you here so fast. Would you please follow me so we can talk?” The doctor turned but Jensen wasn’t having any of that.

Jensen bent forward, holding the man by his wrist, “whoa. Easy. I’m not here to talk. I don’t have time for chit chat with tea and biscuits. You bring me to Jared. Now .” Jensen’s tone was demanding and he made sure to put an extra layer of threat into his voice. He didn’t have any time to lose and needed to see Jared right away.

“Jared?” He heard Mrs. Padalecki’s voice from behind him. “Why?...” She trailed off and Jensen swallowed hard against the uneasiness. “You’re here because of Jared? I don’t understand.”

Before Jensen had a chance to answer anything, even if it hadn’t been the whole truth, Jared’s mother stepped in between him and Dr. Richings, glaring at the doctor. “I’ve been asking to see my son for the past hour. Why are you not telling me what’s going on here? Why do you want to talk to Mr. Ackles about my son? He has no business here.”

“Mrs. Padalecki, I’m afraid he does. Would you please take a seat. We will come to you as soon as we can.”

“Like hell he does!” Mrs. Padalecki rose up on her toes, pointer finger stabbing at the doctor’s chest. “We’re talking about my son and you’re going to tell me what’s wrong with him!”

“Please, ma’am. I understand your concern, but I’m legally unauthorized to discuss your son’s current medical condition with anyone but Mr. Ackles.”

“I’m Jared’s mother!” She shouted at the doctor and the man rubbed the bridge of his nose.

“And Mr. Ackles is his mate. His alpha . By law you’re not to be given any information from me unless Mr. Ackles gives me a written permission.”

The only thing left to do for Jensen, was, to hold the woman up as she toppled backwards, clearly in shock. Mrs. Padalecki didn’t say another word, only shook her head while Jensen guided her back to her chair. As soon as she sat down, Jensen crouched down in front of her. “Mrs. Padalecki, I have to go with Dr. Richings and see after Jared. I’m sorry you had to hear it like this.”

Suddenly and completely unexpected, Sharon Padalecki stared at him, her eyes cold and angry as she slapped him straight across the face. “Alpha or not, I will rip you apart if you think you can take my son away from me.”

Jensen’s first instinct told him to put her in her place and remind her who has a say here and who should better keep their mouth shut. Every other alpha would have probably smacked her around until she was begging for forgiveness. That was not how Jensen’s parents raised him, that wasn’t the kind of alpha he was. Though, Sharon Padalecki didn’t know that so what she just did was not only brave and suicidal, it also showed how deep of a relationship Jared has with his mother. “I guess I deserved that.” Jensen said instead, following his words with a light nod.

Scrambling back on his feet, Jensen put his hand on the woman’s shoulder and when she flinched, he squeezed it in a manner of comfort. “I will let Dr. Richings know to inform you of every minor and major update.” With that, he left Jared’s mother behind and followed the doctor.

The walk to Jared’s room felt like it took an eternity, every step Jensen took seemed harder to take than the last and what bothered him the most, was, that Dr. Richings didn’t tell him anything yet. However, Jensen didn’t want to push the man; maybe the doctor would explain once they were with Jared. Not that this was how this world usually worked. Because, usually , an alpha would be granted access to all information about his mate before the omega knew about anything. But, apparently, the way Jensen treated Jared’s mother was indication for the doctor to wait until Jensen was with Jared. It was, after all, what he requested. Talk later. See Jared first.

Upon opening the door and Jensen taking hasty steps towards Jared’s bed, his heart broke yet again. His young omega looked frail, skin ashen and dark circles underneath Jared’s almond shaped eyes. “Jared”, Jensen whispered and it came out weak, broken and sounded nothing like his own voice. Hearing his name, his young mate turned beautiful, yet sad, eyes at him. The fear was so clearly visible that Jensen didn’t know if he should be offended, run away or walk further towards Jared. In the end, he decided to close to few steps that separated them but when he reached out to take Jared’s hand in his own, his mate pulled away as if he was being burned. Jensen wanted to yell at him to stop the bullshit and talk about everything, instead, he kept quiet and respected the omega’s wish of space.

“What happened?” Jensen asked, for the second time that day and even though his gaze never left Jared, who didn’t even spare him the effort of returning it, the doctor was the one who finally answered his question.

“Jared came to me today for an appointment. Unfortunately, before I had a chance to see him, he fainted in the waiting room. He had been unconscious for several minutes while I made a thorough check up. Jared showed severe signs of mate withdrawal symptoms, which is why I pushed him to give me your name. We have taken blood samples and his vitals. His vitals are back to normal as of now.”

Jensen wasn't surprised about the withdrawal symptoms, he knew something like that would eventually happen. He had just thought that Jared would make it to him before it got too bad. Apparently, he was wrong. There was something Dr. Richings hadn’t yet told Jensen it was absolutely visible in the man’s posture and the way his eyes kept flickering between the papers in his hand and Jared. “What about the blood results?”

“They are what concern me the most.” Dr. Richings spoke in a professional voice, there was barely a hint of sympathy in them and it forced Jensen to clench his jaw because everything regarding Jared was important. “We found a higher dose of SupOmX in his system than prescribed.”

“English please.” Jensen growled at the doctor and threw the man an inquiring glare.

“SupOmX are Jared’s suppressants. He is supposed to take 25mg a day. According to his blood tests, he has been taken almost double that dose over the past week. Considering the similarities of heat and mate withdrawal symptoms, I assume Jared tried to shut down his heat. Which, of course, wasn’t a heat.” Dr. Richings looked at Jared then, as if he was trying to get Jared to talk. However, Jared kept staring at the wall, not willing to participate in this conversation at all.

“Is that… how dangerous is that?” Jensen became more worried about the whole issue now since he didn’t need any second guessing as to why Jared took more of those pills. Though, he is still scared shitless that his mate might have damaged his own body with this recklessness.

“As long as he doesn’t take them anymore, he will be back to normal in a couple of days. But even then, he is not supposed to take them at all in his current condition. We have reason to believe that Jared might be pregnant. His hCG levels show a change, they are higher than they should be for an omega his age. We can’t be sure until we test him again in a week or two. But until then, in order to not put the maybe fetus at risk, I strongly advise against any kind of suppressants.”

Pregnant . That one single word rang in Jensen’s ear and he was ready to do a happy dance. He always wanted children. There was nothing better in this world than finding your mate and starting a family. It was all he ever wanted, what he searched for all his life. And now, this dream seemed to be coming true. When he felt ready to tell exactly that to Jared, his omega turned away, the young man’s legs drawing up to his chest and quiet sobs escaped his lips. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to Jensen that Jared was anything but happy with these news.

“Doctor, give us some privacy.” Jensen ordered without looking at Dr. Richings.

“Of course. If there is anything you need, just push the nurse button.” Dr. Richings walked away from the bed and as he was reaching for the door, he stopped in his tracks. “What about Mrs. Padalecki?”

Right. Jensen thought. He had promised Jared’s mother something and he wasn’t one to break promises. “Tell her what she wants to know, but don’t send her in here. I’d like to be alone with Jared for now.”

“Certainly.” The doctor answered and left the room, a small click indicated that the door was shut again.

Jensen was so far out of his comfort zone that he had zero idea on how to approach Jared, on how to get his mate from sobbing his heart out. Of course, none of this would have been easy for the younger man, but at some point Jared had to understand that neither of them was at fault for what happened, that this was just how their life was going to be. Every step they ever took lead them to exactly this point and neither could have done anything to prevent it.

“Leave me alone.” Jared’s wrecked voice broke the sudden silence and the shudder of the omega’s body tore at Jensen’s heart.

“You know I can’t do that.” He knew it was a stupid idea to pressure Jared in this moment, but he also needed to show his omega that jensen wasn’t like the other alphas; that Jensen wasn’t there to ruin Jared’s life or take away his future. And to start the process of learning more about Jensen, he sat down on the edge of the bed, the side Jared was facing. The younger man tried to turn away, but Jensen didn’t let him, his hand holding on to the small of Jared’s back to keep him from rolling over and away. Jared trembled underneath his hold, tears streaming down his face and still, Jensen didn’t move his hand away - not until Jared was ready to listen to him. “I was fifteen when…” Jensen lowered his head, smiling to himself in something that could only be interpreted as embarrassment before he continued. “You know… when I found out I was an alpha. I remember some classmates who thought they were the second coming when their… uh, knot popped. So, well, I thought it was something special. Something that made an alpha superior to everyone else. And when it happened to me I was bursting with pride, I think my chest rose to new heights.”

Jared scoffed bitterly and another set of tears rolled down his cheeks. He tried to hide them behind his hands, but Jensen saw them; almost felt them himself. “Immediately, I raced through the house to tell my parents. My mother was cooking my favorite meal while my dad helped setting the table for dinner and I was like ‘I’m an alpha!’ . Mom turned around, lid of the pot in her hand and an eyebrow raised up to her hairline and said ‘so?’ then turned around and kept stirring the food. At first I was a little surprised that she didn’t seem to care so I turned to my dad, he gave me the same strange expression and said ‘get down from that high horse and explain to me what it means to be an alpha’ .”

Jensen couldn’t help but chuckle at the memory. He would forever hold it close to his heart, because this moment was reason for who he was today. “I wasn’t exactly sure what my dad wanted to hear but, as an alpha himself, I was certain he wanted to hear the words I kept hearing from my classmates and friends. And that’s when I answered ‘well, I’m gonna get me an omega some time’ and my dad asked me what I needed an omega for and again, I parroted my friends ‘for all the stuff the grown ups do, you know’ . I have never, in my whole life, seen my dad so livid as he was in that moment. ‘You better watch your mouth boy, or you’ll get to face my alpha side, you understand me?’ my dad shouted at me and send me upstairs to my room. I wasn’t allowed to come back downstairs until he gave me permission.” Jensen remembered as if it was only yesterday, the fear and confusion that rushed through him back then. He didn’t know, didn’t understand what he had done wrong; he was just a kid. Stupid kid he thought now.

“After they finished dinner without me, my dad came upstairs to give me a serious talk. He was so mad at me I was afraid he was going to pop a vein. I was so scared that I thought he would hit me, but he never did that. He never raised a hand towards any of us. He is not that kind of a man. ‘Son…’ my dad said ‘I don’t know where you got those ideas from but what you told us down there is not what an omega is for, do you understand me?’ . I didn’t, not really, because at fifteen you listen more to your friends than your parents.” Jared was still not talking, his face still hidden behind his hands but at least he didn’t try to get out of Jensen’s hold on his back anymore. It was a start. A small start but better than nothing, so Jensen kept going. “For a while I was just sitting there, staring at my dad because I had no idea what he was talking about. After a long moment of silence he spoke up again. ‘Your mother is an omega and the best thing that ever happened to me. I’m not going to give you the talk now but let me tell you that I never touched another woman before I met your mom. I waited for the one and only, my mate. My grandfather, your great-grandfather Roman, he was as ruthless as an alpha could possibly be. He beat his wife, his children and thought he was the king of the universe. After my dad moved out he swore to himself that he would never be anything like him and he taught all of his children, including me, that every human is to be cherished; especially omegas. They are the most important species for this world and they should always be the most important person in your life. If you someday find your mate, be it a beta or an omega, you treat them with the same respect that you want to be treated with.’ Jensen smiled at the memory of this heartfelt conversation. He could still hear his dad’s words and see the proud gleam in his father’s eyes when he talked about Jensen’s mother.

“My dad had always been a role model for me and I should’ve seen it sooner that the way my friends talked was the wrong way. I guess I needed that talk more than my fifteen year old self wanted to admit. Jared, it might be a foreign concept to you, it is for most people, but I’m not here to make your life miserable.” Jensen slowly moved his hand away from the small of Jared’s back, letting it wander upwards, stroking the younger man’s back with his thumb.

“Too late,” his omega rasped out and while Jensen didn’t stop moving his hand up and down Jared’s back, the younger man took the chance and turned away from him.

“Jared, I will not apologize for having what I always wanted; for something I had no say in. I am, however, sorry that this is affecting you so badly. You’re pissed and you’re hurt but you need to understand none of this means that your life is ruined. I won’t interfere in your goals and dreams, this isn’t my intention.”

“Good. Then you also won’t interfere when I’m asking for an abortion.”

Jensen’s world crumbled, piece by piece and his heart skipped several beats. He wouldn’t let that happen. Not ever.

***

It had been terribly complicated and required a whole lot of convincing on Jensen’s part to get Jared to agree to come home with him. His omega’s mother was no help at all. Jensen doubted that, as a beta, the woman understood just what kind of struggles her son would have to endure if he had been separated for too long from Jensen. Either she had already forgotten why Jared ended up in the hospital or she ignored it all together. It was with thanks to Dr. Richard that Jared had finally agreed. The doctor had made it crystal clear that he would only release Jared under the stipulation of being under his alpha’s care; to prevent yet another hospital visit. With the note that Dr. Richings would be doing an unscheduled house visit in the near future to look after his patient, neither Jared nor his mother had a chance to disagree. They didn’t need to know that Jensen had a talk with the doctor beforehand.

Now, three days later, Jared was mostly locked up in the guest room he insisted on staying in. The only times he left his room were when he needed to use the bathroom or when hunger forced him to go to the kitchen. Jensen checked his fridge, only to realize that they were slowly running out of food. A trip to the store was more than necessary. It also gave him a chance to start a conversation with Jared. Making his way upstairs, taking two steps at the time, Jensen knocked twice at Jared’s door but was greeted with silence. “Jared?” After a short wait there was no answer; Jared still ignored him. “Listen, I gotta head to the grocery store. You wanna join me?” Again, silence, no answer from his mate. “Or you could just tell me what you would like and I’ll get it for you. Anything?”

Jensen had no idea which foods Jared prefered or if he had any allergies to worry about. He would have to buy half the store only to make sure there was something in there that Jared liked. Jensen shrugged his shoulders, he didn’t mind at all, as long as it meant that his mate was eating enough. It was even more important that the younger man ate regularly in case he really was pregnant. A rueful smile tugged at Jensen’s lips; knowing that he might become a father was, next to Jared, the best thing that could have ever happened to him. The fact that Jared didn't want neither him, nor their child was the worst feeling in the world. Jensen still didn't know how to process Jared’s mention of an abortion because Jensen never thought he would be faced with such a subject. He wasn't ignorant enough to scream ‘ProLife!’ and he had no right to control what Jared did with his body. However, he would do whatever it took to change Jared’s mind. Jensen would have never been ready to give that baby up. And the longer his mind raced with the imagination of becoming a father, the more he wanted it to happen, the more he really wanted Jared to be pregnant.

Ten minutes later, and ready to go, Jensen tried again and knocked at Jared’s door. “I’mma head out now. If you think of something you’d like or if anything’s wrong, you can call me. My cell number is on the fridge.” As expected, there was no answer from Jared.

It was a Friday and Jensen couldn’t have chosen a more inconvenient day to go grocery shopping. After only five minutes on the road he got stuck in traffic with no end in sight. After losing himself in thought his phone went off in his pockets; a text message from a number unknown to him. When he opened the message his smile got so wide he was sure his skin would break. ‘Gummy bears’, the message said and Jensen made sure to purchase half the candy aisle. Apparently, Jared had a sweet tooth - why else would he request nothing but gummy bears.

***

Twenty seconds after he had sent the message to Jensen, his phone alerted him of a new text; an answer. It was short, only two emojis, a yellow smiley with a big fat grin and a thumbs up. Jared felt his own lips tug upwards in response and for a moment he thought about sending a thanks or just… something . Eventually, he decided against it. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to communicate with Jensen, he just couldn’t . It was too much. All of this was too much for Jared. He was painfully aware of the fact that, at some point, he would have to talk to Jensen again, but today was not that day. Jared would have been a liar if he said that Jensen’s company, or at least being in the same house with the other man was bad for him. Quite the opposite, actually. Physically he felt better with each passing day, the omega within him satisfied to be around its alpha and that seemed to be enough to let his body rest and heal from the torturous pain he endured after Jensen mated with him. Jared didn’t feel like himself anymore; this wasn’t his life. Except, it was now and there was absolutely nothing he could have done about it. Other than accept it. However, it was still difficult because now he was depending on someone else, he couldn’t hide behind his pills anymore, couldn’t pretend to not be an omega. At least not without his suppressants. And those were gone. For good. There was nowhere to go and buy any pills to make him feel like himself again, nobody would be selling him suppressants and no doctor in the world would have given him a prescription; not without Jensen’s permission, not with this scent on him. His scent used to be incomprehensible, thanks to the pills, but now, without them and the mating having taken place, his scent became more and more distinctive. Add the child growing inside of him and there was no mistaking that Jared was off limits for anyone other than Jensen. Jared didn’t need a pregnancy test, not now and not in a week. He already knew, even after such a short period of time, that he was carrying Jensen’s child.

When Jared was around ten years old, he remembered that his aunt Mira and her husband Samuel had visited them for a couple of weeks. She told everyone that she and her husband were expecting a child and when Jared’s mother asked how far along she was, Mira said that she didn’t know yet because it was too early to tell. Back then Jared didn’t really understand what they were talking about, he was too young to comprehend such a heavy conversation. As a beta, Sharon didn’t know how Mira could know if nobody could confirm it yet and Mira’s answer was simple: ‘Because it feels like I’m having Samuel with me. I can feel a part of him inside of me that’s never been there before.’ And that was exactly how Jared felt now. He could feel Jensen inside of him, as if a small part of him was Jensen. It had been an alien feeling to know that something inside of him wasn’t himself and yet it was; half him, half Jensen. Jared was scared, frightened at what was happening to him and to his body. He never wanted to be anyone’s responsibility, he never wanted to settle down so soon or, god forbid, become a parent. Jared still didn’t want any of this and he wished he could turn back the time or at least make all of this go away.

During the times when he locked himself in the guestroom, Jared had enough occasions to use his phone for research and to his utter surprise he had to come to the realization that Jensen had been right, that the alpha had no choice in the matter, that nothing that had happened had anything to do with free will. Of course, Jared wasn’t even close to apologizing to Jensen. And he probably never would. There was absolutely nothing he could do now, other than accept the fate and learn to accept his new life. It wasn’t easy, not by a long shot, but there was nothing else left for him to do. He was trapped in a body that didn’t feel like his own and a life he didn’t want. Yet. Maybe someday he was able to come to terms with reality, that the Jared today was the Jared he had always been.

Lost in his thoughts and sadness Jared didn’t realize that he was walking, the kitchen far behind him as he stood next to the TV in the living room, his eyes focused on the many pictures decorating Jensen’s wall. He didn’t know any of these people, the only person he could make out was Jensen. Jared guessed that some of those other people were the alpha’s family members, friends and some pictures looked like they were taken with co-workers, according to the office looking surroundings and everyone wearing suits. After everything, Jared was still willing to admit that Jensen was the most stunning man he had ever laid eyes on. Even on some of the sillier pictures, where Jensen pulled a grimace with an older man next to him. Taking a closer look at that particular picture, Jared came to the conclusion that the man next to Jensen could have been the alpha’s father; their facial features and the crinkles around their eyes were just too similar. Then, a different photograph drew Jared’s attention to it and he didn’t need much guessing that this was most definitely a party or a college picture with four guys lounging on a couch and Jensen wearing a ‘world’s greatest lover’ t-shirt. It was probably just a matter of time before Jared would learn if the saying on the shirt was true.

The only pictures Jared had troubles looking at, were the ones that had shown Jensen with children of different ages. One looked like it was Jensen with siblings or cousins when the alpha himself was still a kid and then there were some of grown up Jensen holding a baby. There was nothing but pure love for the tiny human in Jensen’s eyes. Whoever’s baby that was, Jensen loved it. In fact, every picture of Jensen with children practically screamed of contentment and adoration. So did all the other photographs. None of them pictured an unhappy or sorrowing Jensen, as if his default setting had been happiness throughout his whole life. Someday there was probably going to be a picture of their child on this wall as well. Jared’s heart rate sped up the more he looked at the beautifully framed photographs of a smiling Jensen. He tried to tell himself that it was out of anger and frustration. He failed.

Suddenly the doorbell rang and Jared was immediately pulled out of his musing; he flinched and his first instinct was to run the few stairs and lock himself in the guestroom again. But Jensen wasn’t home and what if the man had forgotten his keys, Jared pondered. He didn’t know anything about Jensen, much less if he was one to forget his keys. The doorbell rang a second time and Jared took slow, careful steps towards the front door; close enough so he could peek through the curtains to see who it was. The guy outside the door had shaggy hair and huge ears but his face seemed friendly. Upon a closer look Jared identified the man as one of Jensen’s friends or co-workers from one of the photos he had just looked at.

Something told Jared to leave the man outside and don’t open the door; it was a weird, unsettling feeling he couldn’t explain. When the man was short of ringing the doorbell for a third time, Jared decided against his gut feeling and opened the door anyway.

The guy was a lot smaller than Jared, but within a couple of seconds it had been sniffed out that he was an alpha and that made Jared nervous on the spot. “Uh… hi.” Jared greeted the stranger with his nerves taking over his voice.

Bewilderment covered the man’s features, “...well, hello. No clue who you are but is Jensen around?”

“He’s at the, uh, no, he’s not home. Can I help you?” Jared swallowed against the lump in his throat because he knew that the stranger in front of him was able to sniff him just as much as Jared could him. And now, without the ability to hide his inner omega Jared was left with nothing but hope that the man in front of him would be smart enough to detect the mated scent lingering on Jared’s every pore of his skin.

“I doubt that you can. I’m here to bring him some files from work and I need to go over them with Jensen.” The man waved a hand full of folders in front of his face and offered Jared a smile that was supposed to be welcoming but was more sleazy.

A co-worker it was then. Still, Jared wasn’t comfortable with letting the man inside since he was alone. He didn’t know what kind of relationship the man and Jensen had or if Jensen was okay with the man being in his house. Then again, according to the pictures Jared had seen, they looked like they were friends and again, Jared went against the rumble in his belly and stepped aside to let the stranger enter.

“Okay. Yeah, sure. If you want you can just make yourself comfortable in the living room. Jensen’s probably gonna be back in a bit”, Jared sputtered out and closed the door. Never before wanted Jared to have Jensen around as bad as in this moment. And there it was: the beginning of his independence flooding away.

“I’m Richard by the way. But my friends call me Dick.” The guy said as he plopped down on the couch, arms spread out over the back of it.

‘Richard’ Jared thought to himself. There was no way in hell he would call this guy Dick. They weren’t friends and by the suspicious look in his eyes they never would become friends either. “I’m Jared. Uh, you want something to drink while you wait?” Jared had barely moved yet, only followed Richard into the living room, feeling lost as he watched the man staring at him. There was so much dark tension in the room that Jared felt like he needed to jump out of his skin. Even though Jared tried to be as hospitable as he could, he already regretted inviting the man into Jensen’s house.

“Sure. Water, beer, coffee… anything you’re willing to share, Jared .” There, the accentuation of his name delivered with a wicked and crooked smile was indication for Jared to be careful. He was almost certain that Richard would just enjoy it if Jared would share anything with him.

Without another word, Jared turned on his heels and hurried into the kitchen to grab a bottle of water from the fridge. Jared had to count to ten and take a couple of deep breaths before he had enough mental strength to face the guy again. By now Jared was already begging for Jensen to come back home as fast as possible. “There you go,” Jared held out the bottle for Richard to take.

“So nice of you. Thanks Jared.” Instead of taking the bottle the man held on to it, wrapping his smaller fingers around and on top of Jared’s. When Jared tried to pull his hand away, Richard’s grip on him became tighter, a predatory smirk on his face. “You're a cute one.”

“I'd like my hand back now.” His voice was hoarse, fear so audible that the stranger caught up on it immediately and tugged on Jared’s hand. However, Jared held against it and ripped his hand out of the guy's hold.

“Feisty. Didn't know this’ how Jensen likes his bitches.” Richard licked his lips, letting his tongue glide back and forth over the flesh and Jared wanted to puke he was that disgusted.

Jared knew he had to get away from the man, right the fuck now because wherever this was going it wasn't anything good. “I better go back to my room. I'm sure Jensen will be back shortly.”

There was something in Richard’s eyes that Jared couldn't read and he didn't want to either, all that went through his head was out, get away. So, Jared did just that. He turned but the man was faster, grabbed Jared’s shoulder and spun him around. “I don't think so, kitty.”

Jared was so shocked that he froze, his blood turned to ice and he couldn't move, couldn't scream. He was suddenly face to face with the guy, his jaw in a bruising hold “why don't we enjoy ourselves until Jensen comes home, mh?”

He knew exactly what this implication meant and never in his life had Jared been so scared of someone, of an alpha. This was the reason why he always took his suppressants, why he never let an alpha close to him in the past. They only saw him and his kind as a piece of meat, weaklings to take advantage of. Jared had a total of two options: run or endure. If he thought about it, there really was only one way because if he would have let that man touch him he might have never forgiven himself for it. And what would Jensen have thought of him if he found out. The thought surprised him, that not only was he dependent on Jensen now but came to the realization that apparently Jensen told him the truth: his mate wasn't like other alphas. Or else Jensen wouldn't have given Jared so much space and respected his privacy. Jensen had done everything to make the last few days as easy as possibly for Jared and never even tried to touch him. But, what would Jensen had done with him if the smell of the other alpha was all over Jared. He couldn't let that happen, he couldn't risk turning Jensen's behavior against him. Jared did what he thought was his only way out - he gathered the little strength he had and slapped Richard as hard as he could.

He had hoped for the action to startle the stronger man but the guy didn't even flinch. “You dirty little bitch!” The alpha spat in his face and knocked him on the floor, the man’s fist hitting him with full force in his left temple.

Everything around Jared started spinning, his vision blurry and his head was thrumming in pain. Jared had barely any control over his extremities but he continued to try and crawl away. He didn't come far as Richard kicked against his legs, bent down and hit Jared again. This time however, Jared didn't feel any pain, his body was numb and the world around him turned pitch black.

He had completely lost track of time when he came to again. Jared's eyes fluttered open, wishing that everything was nothing but a bad dream but then the pain in his head returned and when he tried to move his legs he realized that he was immobilized, Richard straddling him. The alpha had one hand on Jared’s chest, holding him in place while the bastard’s other hand fumbled with the zipper of Jared's jeans. “No…” he croaked out, weak and strained.

“Oh yes.” The man leered down at him, bending over to brush his nose against Jared’s chin, “...and you’re gonna be a good little bitch, won't you sweetheart?”

Jared snapped his head away and up and to the side again, trying to escape the alpha’s mouth; the man’s tongue licking over his cheek and up to his temple. With everything he had in him, Jared fought, legs kicking as as good as he could; anything to get the man’s hand away from his pants. Nonetheless, he wasn't strong enough to fight against an alpha and by the time the other man had worked his hand inside Jared’s jeans, fingers crawling underneath the waistband of his briefs, Jared began to scream and thrash with all his power. This couldn't be happening.

“You fucking piece of shit!” Immediately Jared stopped moving, his mind focused on Jensen's booming yell, every word made him shudder in fear. Jensen was going to kill Jared, he knew it. As his alpha Jensen wouldn't take it lightly if Jared let someone else touch him.

“Get off of him!” Jensen hollered again and within a second the heavy weight of Richard was ripped off of Jared. “I’mma kill you, you damn bastard!”

Jared was perplexed as of what was happening and it took him a few deep breaths until he was able to sit up. His head felt like it was about to fall off, the throbbing pain making him dizzy and his surroundings were practically swimming away in front of his eyes. When he adjusted his sight, his ears began ringing with the loud cracking of bones, furniture scratching over the floor and when he followed Jensen's screams he saw a livid and anger driven Jensen, punching Richard without stopping once. The other alpha’s face was covered in blood, nose bent, eyebrows and lips already split open. As Richard was about to sag down over the heavy assault, Jensen pulled him back up again by the throat, his forearm crushing against the other alpha’s trachea. There was no doubt that Jensen wouldn't stop, wouldn't take his fists off of the man until he was dead. “Jensen, stop!” Jared heard himself beg. It didn't matter how much Jared hated Richard or wanted him to face punishment but he couldn't possibly burden Jensen with such a crime.

“Go upstairs!” Jensen’s furious eyes shouted at him but when Jared asked him again to please just stop, Jensen yelled at him again “I said get to your room! Lock the damn door and call the cops!”

Jared knew he had to do what Jensen asked of him because if the cops showed up maybe then Jensen would stop. Even while he was on the phone with the police, hurrying the address through the receiver he could still hear Jensen beating into Richard, screaming at him. It took the police a total of five minutes to arrive and Jared thought that this had been enough time for Jensen to kill Richard. He seriously hoped that it hadn't come that far.

When he heard the police entering the house, Jared dared to leave his room and go back downstairs. He watched how two officers handcuffed Richard, well, one of them at least. The other officer held the almost unconscious man upright. Another, a third officer, stood by Jensen and gave his best effort to calm him down.

As if Jensen sensed that Jared was back in the living room, the alpha lifted his head to look at Jared. “Oh God. Jared, are you okay?”

If it hadn't been so damn serious then Jared would have started laughing. Jared was hurt, in pain, yes but overall he was going to be okay. Jensen on the other hand had blood splatters dusted all across his face and his hands looked like they were used as a sledgehammer. The look on Jensen's face, the sheer anguish and worry made Jared’s heart flutter in an uncontrollable pattern. This man, his alpha , almost murdered someone in cold blood to protect Jared, to save him from a vicious assault. Nobody should have ever had to go down that path, Jared himself couldn't fathom the idea of not stopping Jensen, but knowing that Jensen was willing to go that far for him made him question his attitude towards Jensen. “I will be.” He finally answered Jensen's question and he was almost certain that he meant it for more than just the assault.

The officer at Jensen’s side faced Jared then, his voice icy and condescending. “We're going to need your statement, boy. Better make sure it's the truth.”

Jared was so perplexed at those words that he opened and closed his mouth like a dying fish; nobody had ever talked to him like this before or dared to accuse him of lying. But he didn't need to say anything because Jensen took over, his eyes filling with anger once again. “His name's Jared, not boy. And you better watch your tone around my mate or you can join Richard, officer .”

“Are you threatening me, Mr. Ackles?” Squinting, the officer tried to stare Jensen down.

Getting up from the couch, Jensen pointed a warning finger at the policeman. “No, I'm warning you. And we both know that you can't do shit when all I'm doing is protecting my mate. The law's on my side here, buddy. So watch it.”

***

As soon as the officers had taken Jared’s statement and left, Jensen tended to Jared's wounds first. He had insisted on bringing Jared to the hospital to have his head scanned but Jared kept telling him that he was fine, that he didn't want to go to the hospital. All Jensen could do then, was hand Jared ice pack after ice pack to prevent this major bruise on his head from swelling up. It had already looked bad, shining in three different colors; from dark purple and blue to bloody red. Jensen's own hands had hurt like hell but it was nothing compared to the immense guilt he was crushed with over leaving Jared alone. Up until now, Jensen surely knew that it wasn't going to be easy for Jared to adapt to this new life and that there were many dangerous alphas out there Jensen had to shield Jared from. He would have never guessed though that one of them was to enter his house, much less being a person he had considered a friend for so many years. Richard used to be one of his friends who constantly told Jensen that he was too kind and way too soft as an alpha but now Richard was probably regretting those words. Yes, Jensen was a big softy, he preferred kindness over ferocity. That, however, didn't mean he wouldn't turn into a barbarian if need be. And today need needed to be. The second his eyes landed on Richard, his filthy hands touching his omega, Jensen saw red. He knew it was wrong to yell at Jared, no matter the circumstances but if he hadn't forced Jared upstairs and call the cops, Jensen wouldn't have been able to stop himself until Richard was dead. He didn't want for Jared to see him like this, able to kill without remorse. There were simply too many things about alphas that Jared probably didn't understand yet and Jensen needed Jared to trust him, to see that Jensen would always ever want only the best for Jared. Killing someone with Jared next to him, it would have destroyed any chance of Jared ever starting to trust him.

Hours passed without another word being spoken between the two of them. Only when it was getting late did Jared excuse himself, retreated to his room and locked himself in. Jensen almost asked Jared not to leave yet but eventually decided against it. He didn't want to get Jared to talk to him or anything really, all he wanted was to have Jared with him, under his watchful eyes where he could protect him. It was a ridiculous thought because as long as Jensen was at home nothing could have happened to Jared anyway, but the scare from earlier was already branded deep into Jensen's brain.

Since Jensen didn't feel like getting his brain started with an onslaught of numerous negative thoughts, he made his way upstairs to his own room and tried to get a few hours of sleep in himself. He should have known that this was nothing but a fruitless attempt. More than two hours went by in which he laid awake, rolling over left and right. Thankfully he didn't have to return to work until Jared was settled in or else Jensen had needed more than his usually java intake to make it through a regular nine hour work day. With how things were going, Jensen had no idea how long it would take until Jared actually settled in but Jeffrey Morgan had been understanding, giving Jensen the option to work from home on urgent cases. And again, Jensen's thoughts circled back to Richard. If Jensen had not agreed on working from home then there was no reason given for Richard to show up at his house and attack Jared. Guilt began to crush him once again and it probably wouldn't leave him for a very long time to come. If the assault had anything positive, then it was that at least now Jared didn't ignore him any longer. Even though it had only been less than a handful of sentence, the young omega spoke with Jensen, it was still better than silence Jensen was treated with the three days prior. However, Jensen had preferred silence over Jared getting attacked like he was.

His alarm clock read 12:09am when he bolted upright in his bed, awoken by a loud scream from Jared. Immediately, Jensen thought of the worst that could have gone down in the guest room and without sparing a second to think Jensen crashed through his door and sprinted to Jared’s room. Fear made the hairs on his neck stand up when Jared didn't stop screaming and Jensen pulled and pushed against the door handle but, of course, the damn door was locked. Without hesitation Jensen jumped against the door with his shoulder but it didn't give in. Two, three more tries later and the wooden frame cracked under the pressure and Jensen managed to break the door in.

The guest room was completely dark, only the soft light of the moon made it possible to see that Jared was trashing on the bed. Nobody else was there, aside from a nightmare plagued Jared and an out of breath Jensen. Unsure of what to do, Jensen kneeled down on the bed, looming over Jared as he tried to wake his mate and pull him out of his torturous dream.

Long seconds, maybe even minutes, passed until he got Jared to finally wake up. The younger man started hitting and kicking, his mind still trapped in the nightmare and Jensen did what he thought might help and wrapped his arms around Jared, holding on and speaking quietly.

“It's me. It's just me. You're okay. You hear me? It's Jensen.” Jensen repeated himself many times until eventually Jared stopped trying to free himself out of Jensen's embrace. “You're safe now. I’m here. Okay? I’m here. Nobody’s gonna get you. I’m here.”

Slowly Jared calmed down, his body still shaking like a leaf and trembling with fear but he stopped fighting against Jensen when the nightmare left his mind.

The position they are in began to get uncomfortable and Jensen pushed himself until his back was flush against the headboard of the bed, Jared didn't put up a fight and went willingly his back nestled against Jensen's chest and head lolling on Jensen shoulder. “I won't let anyone hurt you, Jared. Whatever it takes, I'll always keep you safe.” Jensen silently prayed that he would be able to keep that promise and that he would have gone above and beyond to never let anything bad happen to Jared ever again. The omega was his responsibility now and would be for the rest of their lives. “Try and get some sleep.” Jensen whispered in Jared's hair, letting his nose linger in the soft chestnut brown strands to inhale the sweet scent of his mate.

They remained like this for quite some time and Jensen was sure that Jared was about to fall asleep but suddenly the younger man began shaking again. “The door. Please.”

Jensen needed a moment to grasp what Jared meant. Then it hit him, the younger man wanted the door to be locked. That, however, wasn't exactly possible, not with the lock and half the frame being broken out of its hinges. “It's broken. I'm sorry.”

He had hoped that maybe his presence was enough for Jared but he was wrong. Of course he was, it was way too soon for Jared to put that much trust into Jensen and the omega’s heart sped up, the tension in his shoulders increasing fast.

“Please.” His young mate’s voice changed into a desperate tone and hitched on a sob. “I… I… please.”

The obvious distress forced Jensen into action, if Jared couldn't lock himself in a room then the younger man was never getting any rest that night so Jensen offered Jared a solution. “If you want, we can switch rooms.” Jensen's hands held on to his mate’s forearms, lazily caressing the soft, warm skin. “I can sleep here and you go to my room, get some rest there. The lock works, too.” If it had been up to Jensen, then he had never agreed to an idea like this, but this wasn't about him; only about Jared and making sure the younger man would feel comfortable. He felt the light nod against his shoulder and didn't need to say more as Jared hurried out of his arms and left the room without another word. Jensen listened to the soft click of the lock next door and it wasn't until then that he realized he was tearing up; Jared’s dismissal a stab to the heart. Jensen seriously needed to stop expecting changes to happen any time soon.

***

Leaving his room, and Jensen behind, was more of a struggle than Jared had thought. A week ago Jared would have rather chugged down a gallon of acid than remain close to Jensen. Now, however, he felt empty inside and even more agitated. He didn't know what Jensen did but as soon as Jared realized Jensen was there, giving his all to calm Jared, a huge chunk of his fear had vanished. Jensen’s presence alone was enough to take the edge off and still, something didn't feel right. He wanted to stay and have Jensen with him but he also wanted to get away. Jared thought that maybe, partially he was still his old, mad self, the person who didn't want any of this. Then again, he couldn't deny the fact that the vulnerable part of him, the omega, needed Jensen and made him feel better than ever before in his life.

The line between right and wrong was blurry, up seemed down and down was suddenly up. There was so much to process and every thought, every memory especially from today flip flopped back and forth in his mind. Jared tried to think of something positive, something to hold on to to keep him sane and leveled. But not even thinking about his parents helped in accomplishing that. Whatever he focused on, his brain kept on pushing him back to thoughts of Jensen. Jared couldn't explain how this was possible or why it happened in the first place. Maybe that was what it meant to be mated with someone, to be bound to one another; two halves becoming one. It was a scary thought nonetheless.

After locking himself into Jensen's bedroom, he was sure he would get a few hours of sleep in, leave the day’s events behind. Holed up under Jensen's silky soft blankets made it even more impossible for Jared to find his way into the land of dreams. Every inch of fabric, every corner in the room, Jensen's sharp scent lingered on everything. On the pillow next to him Jensen's scent was even stronger, more prominent than on the pillow Jared rested on. The neglected pillow must have been Jensen’s and he pulled it closer, eyes closed as he took in the essence; a mixture of sandalwood, vanilla and pine. Jared couldn't hold the chuckle that escaped his throat when he realized what exactly Jensen smelled like. The alpha’s scent carried all the notes Jared loved, every single one of his deodorants and aftershaves throughout his life had been in the same exact scents. They have always been his preference and calmed him down while others just made him dizzy and nervous. Now it bagan to make sense why he liked those fragrances; mother nature branded it into his DNA or whatever to enjoy these scents because his mate, the person meant for him was wearing these specific pheromones in every pore of his skin.

‘We can't just mate whoever we want’ Jensen said to him after he mated with Jared and for the longest time Jared called bullshit. But now, he was as close to admitting he was wrong as could be. It was still difficult for him and it would take him some time getting used to this new life but maybe, if he let it happen, it wouldn't be too bad. Maybe Jensen really was that great of a guy he claimed to be. After what he did for Jared today, many of Jared's doubts began to fade away.

What he needed to do now, was to give Jensen the benefit of a doubt and give them the chance of a life together. It was evident that Jared couldn't fight the inevitable. He tried that once and it spiraled his body into painful episodes of cramps and spasms to the point where he ended up in the hospital.

Mind made up, Jared pushed his large frame out of Jensen's bed and tip-toed out of the room, slowly making his way back to Jensen. Reaching the door Jared could barely make out the older man on the bed through the darkness but either Jensen was still awake as well or liked to sleep sitting up.

“Jared? What's wrong? Are you okay?” Jensen threw worried questions Jared’s way and the concern in the alpha’s voice was beyond audible. Yeah, Jared definitely made the right choice by going back to the man.

“Will be.” He whispered in Jensen's direction and climbed back into the bed, taking up his earlier side of the it. “I can't sleep in there either.” Jared confessed but it was only half true. He believed that it was due to the lack of Jensen being there that he couldn't sleep. However, he wasn't ready to go the whole nine yards just yet and therefore didn't tell Jensen his reasons.

“Oh…” There was a surprised stutter coming from Jensen's lips before he cleared his throat. “Okay, yeah. I'll go back to my room then.”

“Don't.”

“What?”

“Stay.”

Jensen shimmied closer, the warmth of his skin already comforting Jared and when the alpha wrapped his arm around Jared’s middle, something like peace washed over him.

“‘not gonna do anything, just want to help you relax and rest.” Jensen’s warm breath fanned over his neck and Jared believed him, believed that Jensen would not do anything until Jared would have given the okay.

Long minutes passed while they stayed quiet, Jensen's hand resting on Jared's chest and when his eyes landed on the broken skin and bruises he broke their sheltered silence. “Does it hurt?” he asked the alpha, circling around the wounds with his fingertip.

“Yeah. But you should see the other guy.” Jensen smiled against the back of his head, but quickly composed himself again. “Sorry, I always wanted to use that line.”

”I’m sorry. I know he’s your friend.” And Jared did feel sorry, even though he didn't know how deep the friendship between the two alphas went he felt guilty over being the reason for their fight.

“No. He was my friend. And you have nothing to be sorry about. The bastard got what he deserved for daring to touch you, to look at you.”

”But you got hurt.”

“So? I’ll be fine and I’d do it again. Jared, I asked you to call the cops because I knew, right away, that I would have killed him if they hadn’t stopped me. I’m not gonna let anything happen to you. If I have to, I’ll protect you with my life - whether you want to or not but you’re priority number one now.”

Jared didn't want to be responsible for Jensen having to resort to physical violence or worse, murder. Though, hearing Jensen so adamant, Jared knew that he could have argued with the man until he was blue in the face and Jensen would still do what he thought to be right. So, instead of turning this into an argument, Jared went back to enjoy the silence between them.

Every single heartbeat of the alpha thumbed through Jared, giving him a peace of mind and filling his heart with peacefulness.

”I’m pregnant,” Jared heard himself whisper.

“Yeah, you could be.” There was a slight break in Jensen's voice.

Jared corrected him. ”No. I am pregnant.”

“How do you know? How can you tell?”

Jared began to share the tale of his aunt Mira while Jensen listened on with intent, not interrupting Jared once. He didn't know for how long he talked and explained, but when sleep finally lulled him in, the last thing Jared felt was the weight of Jensen's hand holding on to his still flat tummy.

***

For the  first time in a very long time Jensen was rewarded with a dream of Jared that didn't include any hurt or pain. Quite the opposite actually. This time, in his dream, Jared didn't ignore him, didn't hide in the guest room. No, this time Jared actually shared his bed with Jensen, the young omega’s lean frame pressed close to Jensen’s side. Soft lips brushed against Jensen’s, tasting and exploring, nibbling until content moans filled the air. Even in his dream Jensen felt his flesh harden under the intensity of the innocent kiss. If dreams were the only way to have Jared that close to him, then Jensen never wanted to wake up again he wanted to dwell in the feeling and stay in this fake reality for the rest of his life. It was too good to be true. However, he knew he was going to wake up soon, he could feel warm rays of sunshine tickling against his closed lids but he forced himself to please not wake up yet. Not yet he kept telling himself. Please, not yet. Jensen didn’t pray often, but in this dream he did, he prayed to everyone and everything that they wouldn’t wake him yet, that he could have his beautiful mate like this for a little while longer.

Nobody listened to his prayers, they were ignored and Jensen felt the shift, the transition from dream into the waking world. He wanted to scream at the unfairness of it all, wanted to protest but he couldn’t speak, couldn’t get the weight off of his lips that was Jared’s mouth in his dream. The morning sun became stronger, casting its beams over his face, penetrating his still closed eyes until he had no choice but give up and give in, leaving this magical dream behind and go back into the real world. Every flutter of his lids felt like a burden, a punishment but when his view adjusted to the brightness in the room the first thing he saw was Jared, his mate’s eyes closed and his lips chasing Jensen’s. Not a dream after all. It was going to be the best day of Jensen’s life.

 

..tbc