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Of Broken Chains and Shattered Lives

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1

Two forms moved quietly through the woods. The man in front was dark haired and on the larger side for a Beta. He didn’t look dressed for a romp through the woods under the cover of darkness. He was in a suit that had clearly been tailored to him; one that refused to snag or tear on the nettles and branches that tore at him.

The other was a woman. She was small, blonde, and carrying a bundle tight to her chest. She kept one hand on the man’s shirt, clutching a small piece of it like a child. She moved with the silent grace of one accustomed to being the unseen and the unheard. Her eyes were a story of their own; they spoke of a woman uncomfortable being so exposed, afraid of her surroundings, and of the implicit trust for the man she followed.

The trees were thinning and he knew they were coming to the road. He stopped, slipped out of the suit jacket, and put it around her shoulders. Even with only moonlight and starlight, he could see the worry in her eyes. He lifted up the medallion she wore and kissed it before saying four quiet, yet confident, words.

“I’ll be right back.”

She pulled the jacket tight around herself, as if she was trying to hide herself and what she was carrying under it. She watched him as he sneaked from tree to tree, looking for sign of anyone else. The car, he’d told her, was a half-kilometre up the road. All they had to do was get to it and they were home free. But when the hand fell over her mouth and she felt the arm clamp around her waist, she knew it was over. The only thing that kept her from crying out was years of training.

“I thought about letting you get farther,” a voice called from the road. “But we’re hungry.”

The others that had been laying in wait for them laughed, high in pitch and cruel in mirth. She was half-carried, half-pushed to the road, thin branches slapping at her face. Their pursuers’ cars roared to life, the glare of the combined headlights blinding. She could see him, gun in hand and surrounded by a half-dozen other Betas. The suit was supposed to be bulletproof, but he only had half of it.

The owner of the voice came into the light. She was large; a huge, ginger Alpha with an equally large belly. She was near birthing, and her hormones were at their peak. The clan-mother was a vicious sadist on the best of days, and the blonde trembled at the thought of being punished by her, personally.

The Beta aimed his gun at her, and then lowered his aim to her engorged belly. The Alpha seemed half-curious, half-amused by the showing. He looked, briefly, to where the woman was and saw she was still being held by one of them.

“Yes, you don’t have the time. Not to shoot me and still get out of here with her alive.”

“I just want what’s mine,” he snarled.

“Well, of course you do. We all want what’s ours, isn’t that so? And I told you that you were free to take what was yours.”

She motioned to where the blonde was being held and they pushed her, step-by-step, over to the Alpha. She stayed huddled under the jacket, shuddering.

“Now, let’s see…” She pulled the suit jacket off of the Omega and looked it over. “This is yours, yes.” She tossed it toward him; it landed on the road between them.

“Hmmm… and this....” She picked up the medallion. It was a pink circle with a sideways K. His name was engraved into the bar of the K. “Well, this says she’s yours.” She tsked. “Kingsman, really? Of all the clans you could leave us for, but oh well.”

She snatched the bundle out of the woman’s arms. The Omega screamed in rage and tore at the Alpha. The others, the ones who’d had to push her over before, grabbed her and pulled her back.

“Well, doesn’t she have spirit? She’s yours, of course.” She sounded almost amused and a little too cheerful. “If she were still mine, I’d beat it out of her. But she isn’t.”

They hauled her over to where the Beta was, and she seemed to almost deflate. He put a hand on her arm to steady her. He’d seen her like that one other time, but never in public. And never toward an Alpha. It was what had made him want her in the beginning.

“This, now…” she mused, unwrapping the bundle. Inside was a baby. A boy with the first hints of his father’s dark hair. “This is mine.”

He raised the gun again. “He’s my son.”

“Children belong to the pack, Lee. He isn’t yours.” She cradled the infant to her chest. “Now, you should probably be a good sport and leave.” All the good humor left her face as if it had never been there. “Before I do something Gary will regret.”

He lowered his gun. Behind him, Michelle whimpered his name. There were too many of them for him to fight through, the clan-mother aside. And if he fought them now and died… Michelle had attacked the Alpha. She’d be in more danger than Gary was.

“Alright, Poppy. We’re going.”

2

Eggsy’s head rocked with the force of the blow, and he could feel blood running down from his lips. He thought about wiping it away as one little fuck you to Dean. Instead, he clenched his jaw and looked at his caretaker. The hate was clear in his eyes, but he did his best - well, almost his best - at keeping it down.

“Lucky I don’ jus’ send you to Mother,” he snarled.

Eggsy’s eyes widened slightly and the fight drained from his face. This wasn’t a threat Dean had trotted out often, maybe a handful of times at most. The first time, he hadn’t really understood was being sent to Poppy meant and he’d pushed Dean farther. He’d learned, and he still had scars from it. It wasn’t something he wanted to experience again.

“Nothin’ to say, huh? No more smart shit in that mouth of yours?”

“No.”

Eggsy could hear the attitude in his own voice. It rose in him to apologize, but that was because it was expected. He knew that was, in part, what Dean wanted, too. An apology. But he wasn’t sorry, not for any of it. And he might have pointed that out to Dean, too, if the threat of Mother wasn’t already on the table. Excuses and complaints from Omegas were not tolerated in the pack. Dean would have taken the excuse as a reason to beat him again; Mother, on the other hand, would take it as an attack on her authority. A beating would be the best he could hope for at that point.

Dean said - and did - nothing for a minute or two. He watched Eggsy impatiently and, when the expected apology for the grand fuck up the brat had caused didn’t come, Dean lost the tenuous control he had on his temper. He wrapped one hand around the boy’s neck and struck him with the other. He didn’t say a word; he just hit him again, and again, and again.

For his part, Eggsy grabbed onto Dean’s wrist. It was less an attempt to stop him - oh, wouldn’t that go over well? - and more an attempt to keep from being strangled. It was never an easy thing, just letting Dean beat on him, but when he was in this kind of mood? That was the best solution. And Dean’s rages wore themselves out after 18 or 20 blows, usually.

He knew he was supposed to feel some… desire? drive? something to submit, but Dean just made him want to fight, to challenge the larger Beta’s authority. The times he’d fought back had never ended well. The last time he’d ended up in hospital and Dean had promised, sworn to fucking God, that if Eggsy didn’t show some proper fucking respect, he’d take the Omega down to Chauncey Clan’s territory and drop him in the middle of it without his medallion. That had kept him in line for a few months after getting out of hospital.

Since he’d come of age, Dean had been trying to find someone to take Eggsy off his hands. Not as a new caretaker, no. The clan-mother had personally handed the boy off to Dean; he couldn’t give the boy away to a caretaker without losing any status. Finding Eggsy a master was the only real solution. But in their clan, the Alpha females and a good portion of the Beta ones were Primary Females; for them, bearing a child was the highest test of strength. They wanted nothing to do with a Secondary Male, a child-bearing male, like Eggsy. Finding a male who both wasn’t vying for the status of being the father of these women’s child and was willing to put up with Eggsy’s attitude was not an easy task.

It hadn’t helped that every person Dean had sent Eggsy off to had brought up this same desire to do anything but submit. He’d fought them every step of the way, sometimes physically. More than once, he’d heard someone comment about his having something inside him broken; that it was good he liked caring for the little ones because that’s all he’d be good for; that it was a shame Mother hadn’t just drowned him in a bath. And sometimes he thought that maybe it was a shame she hadn’t. He’d seen other Omegas submitting to their masters. Some of them did what was required of them with about the same reaction that he had to changing a baby these days. Some of those ones were unclaimed, like he was, but they were capable of giving what was required of them.

Others… Others seemed so blissful when they heard their master’s voice. One cousin would stay in the children’s area when her master was away. Eggsy had been down there a few times when the master had returned. She would all but glow at seeing him. She would very clearly want to go to him immediately, but she would finish up what she was doing while he watched. Her steps would become very lithe and bouncy, almost as if she was dancing. Eggsy couldn’t see where that devotion and joy came from.

A hard shake pulled him out of his thoughts, and he realized he’d missed… something. But given the look Dean was giving him, Eggsy realized he must have seemed more unconscious and less mentally elsewhere.

“You hear me?”

“Not really.”

Dean let go of him, pushing him backward at the same time. Eggsy stumbled and fell back, his head colliding with the wall and bringing a new wave of pain. Rather than get back up - as much as he wanted to, wanted to egg Dean on, wanted to fight - he rubbed his throat, and ran his hand over the number parts of his face and where he’d hit the wall.

“I said, you’re going to go back there and you’re going to do whatever it takes, whatever he wants, to get him to forgive you. He’s one of her favorites, you stupid fuck.”

Eggsy grimaced. “That woulda been good to know a few hours ago, you prick.” He pushed himself up to his knees and got, unsteadily, to his feet. He was surprised Dean didn’t kick him while he was down, but this new information told Eggsy one other new thing: it wasn’t just his arse on the line with this. “Going. I’m going.”

3

Eggsy took his sweet time wandering through the public areas of the Laughing Ladies’ condominium buildings. Everything was done up in ‘retro 50’s’ which, in Eggsy’s opinion, was a bullshit way of saying ‘red, black, and chrome’. He knew the reference had to be something more than just that, but that was another Omega rule of the pack: don’t ask questions. But he wanted to look it all over before he went back up there, because if he did this right like a Good Little Omega and made whichever favorite this was happy, he wouldn’t be seeing it for awhile. No favorite of hers would be able to keep their status with an unruly Omega in their possession. He’d have to stay locked away in the residence until he could behave.

He wasn’t just wasting time, either. He’d stopped by the aid station and let the nurse look him over. She made it very clear that he was taking up her very important time with this nonsense that wouldn’t have happened if he’d just behaved. She cleaned his lip and made a perfunctory examination of his already-forming bruises and where his head had collided with the wall.

After he went down to the communal area where the kids lived, at least until they were five. After that, where they went varied. There were always Omegas down there; some taking care of the kids and some taking care of the pregnant ones. He’d wanted to check on one of his cousins. She was near birthing and it was her first. He’d been helping care for her for the last few weeks, when he was allowed in the communal area anyway. After that, yeah, then it became pure time wasting.

He eventually ended up on one of the floors the favorites shared. Their residences were huge. Other Omegas who ended up on these floors were told they were ‘lucky’. Yeah. Lucky. Sure. Just as lucky as he felt when he rounded the corner and the Alpha was standing outside his own door. He was easily twice Eggsy’s weight and had a good foot or so on him. He tried to keep from wrinkling his nose at the scent of the Alpha. He hated it, and hated thinking about having to smell that every day for the rest of his life.

The Alpha had noticed Eggsy’s arrival but he didn’t bother looking at him until Eggsy was within speaking distance. Smug conceit dripped off of every word that came out in his slow, drawling way of speaking - at least, his way of speaking when he was talking down to someone.

“Back are you? Now, what was it you said when you left? Being a ‘silver spoon sucking sod’ - a passable, if sophomoric, alliteration - has left me a bit hard of hearing.”

He really wanted to challenge him, even if it would be a short, unbalanced fight that led to him being sent off to Mother. Just to wipe that smug condescending look off his face. “I was a bit heated, I s’ppose.”

He laughed that slow, obnoxious laugh of his. “I think ‘a bit heated’ is putting it mildly, Eggy.”

Eggsy twitched visibly, his lips pulling back into a snarl. He hated when the fucker called him that. And the fucker knew it.

“Well, since you’re here, I will allow you to come inside and you can show me just how very sorry you are for getting ‘heated’. And if I’m satisfied, I’ll consider letting Dean know, and then we’ll decide if I think this should be a more permanent arrangement… or if we should just declare you a failure and leave you to whatever Poppy does to failures.”