Deep pink and purples coloured the sky over the Kingdom of Novak, the villages behind the castle walls were lighting their candles and fires as they retreated into their houses for the night. Behind the villages was a surrounding forest; thick and confusing to any wolves that ventured further than the kingdom's walls but everyone knew that there were more kingdoms beyond that, ones of savages and royals alike.
Castiel sighed as he leant against his bedroom balcony; he longed to adventure beyond the kingdom's boundaries, beyond the forest. The wind breezed past him, sending a chill up his body. He was wearing his evening clothes, but they were thin, made for comfort rather than warmth.
"Omega Prince, the Alpha King and Princes have requested your presence for the evening meal." A beta servant informed him after a polite knock. Castiel rolled his eyes at the formal summon. The servant, that Castiel knew was called Isham, lead him through the long corridors and down the grand staircase before opening the door to the family's private dining room. "Omega Prince Castiel." Isham announced as Castiel stepped over the threshold. Castiel quietly thanked Isham and headed straight for his father.
"Good evening, father." Castiel greeted politely with a small smile. Castiel's father, Alpha King Chuck Novak, returned the smile and laid his hand on his youngest son's neck.
"Good evening, Castiel. Please, sit down." Chuck said, gesturing to the seat on his left. Castiel took his seat and greeted his brothers.
All of his 3 older brothers were alphas, but his father had always insisted on equality in their castle even if omegas were belittled and subjugated outside of castle walls. Thus he was sat among his brothers rather than in another room, or worse, on the floor.
"Cassie, you need to come for a run with me," His second oldest brother, Gabriel, insisted, "Being hold up in your room or the library all day isn't good for you." Castiel laughed.
"Gabriel, as much as I would love to simply go for a run, you know what I truly want if not to stay at home all day." He said. Chuck leant back in his chair and sighed.
"I don't know why you insist on wanting to go outside the gates, it's a mess beyond the kingdom's limits." Michael commented, taking his drink from a servant, Ion.
"There's a whole world I don't know about beyond the wall." Castiel replied.
"A world that is much more dangerous than you seem to think, Castiel. You know the views of omegas, even within our kingdom's limits is less than desired, imagine the views of the savages, even other royals with whom we are allied." Chuck interjected firmly. Castiel rolled his eyes having heard the speech before. He had read hundreds of books on the surrounding kingdoms, books from all over the country and, yes, most of them were ruled by knothead alphas who thought of omegas as breeders but they were the kingdoms that equalled Novak in size. The smaller kingdoms such as Winchester and Campbell, the so called savages, had little to no documentation that wasn't biased.
"I am aware of the prejudices I face." Castiel said simply. The family stayed quiet as their dinner was placed in front of them.
"I think that this conversation has long since been over done, don't you?" Balthazar said, focusing on his plate. "We are all well aware of how dangerous the world is, can we eat?"
Michael walked Castiel back to his room after dinner, stopping briefly at the library for Castiel to get some more books. Michael watched Castiel set his new books on the nightstand and sorted through the old pile to find his favourites.
"Maybe you should stop mentioning leaving the kingdom," Michael started when Castiel slid his favourite books into his bookcase. "Dad hates it when you do, and, I'd be lying if I said I didn't too."
"I know, but how do we know for sure that everyone is the same?" Castiel asked. He stepped out onto his balcony again, he could feel his brother following him but he kept his eyes on the lights below; he could faintly see flickering lights further in the distance, further into the forest.
"We don't, but we also don't know that they aren't. It's rare for alphas to have the same view of omegas that we do; and anyone in power, any of the Kings or Queens we're allied with, definitely disagree with us. The savages are worse." Michael said softly. Castiel bit his tongue of the retort he had about the savages and looked down. "I know you want adventure, puppy, but you won't find it out there. All you'll find is pain and possession and that is the last thing I want for you." Castiel sighed and turned to his brother, pressing his face against Michael's neck so he could inhale his brother's comforting scent. "I'm sorry, brother." He wrapped his arms around his youngest sibling, holding him lovingly.
"It's not your fault, Mikey." Castiel whispered. Once again, he cursed his biology, he cursed all alphas. He wished he wasn't an omega, he'd begged Fenrir to be anything but before he'd presented at the ripe young age of 100 but thus, Fenrir hadn't answered his prayers. He was glad that he wasn't forced to submit to his alpha family, at least the gods had blessed him with that much.
"I'm going for a run with Gabriel, I'll see you at breakfast." Michael announced eventually. "I'll get someone to bring you your supper later." Castiel nodded and stepped back, releasing his brother from his hold. Michael gave Castiel a kiss on the forehead then exited Castiel's room, closing the door softly behind him. Castiel leant against the balcony again, leaning his head against his hand, gazing out into the now dark world.
The stars were bright tonight, as was the moon and Cas could easily see thousands upon thousands of them. Seeing them up there, shining above him with no purpose, no worries, the most free things in creation, made him want to run. Not the way Gabriel wanted him to run, rather the way he wanted to run. He wanted to escape. It wasn't that he didn't like his life, his family, or like he wanted to leave forever, he just wanted more. He wanted more than just his books, more than the walls, more than Novak had to offer.
He slipped back into his room, closing the balcony doors, and climbed onto his bed. He longed to have a book that detailed the customs of the different kingdom's from a view that wasn't biased. He wasn't bothered by Novak, MacLeod, Adler or Roman, he knew all about them, he cared about the savages. It was them that his father was the most cautious about and he wanted to know why, from a neutral standpoint. He knew that royals, such as his family, regarded them as violent and uncivilised but it seemed that they were exaggerating when they told their stories.
There was a war, centuries ago- which was nothing compared to the lifespan of wolves- across the country. The wolves had lived for millennia in harmony with each other, their packs co-existing but something changed; the packs divided into their kingdoms and it was every wolf for himself. The royals had armies and strategies while the savages used brute force and surprise attacks. Eventually, a peace treaty was signed by each kingdom's head alpha and allies were formed in case of another war. The historic event was, unimaginatively, called the War of Kingdoms.
Castiel had been told many horror stories about the savages, Winchester more than others as they were considered the worst of the worst. When he was younger, the stories of Winchester had given him nightmares; violent wolves tearing each other apart were enough to scare him for weeks.
Castiel sighed and laid his book down. He turned back to his balcony and gazed out unseeing. He didn't even have to go far from Novak, he just wanted to explore a bit then he would come back.
"Omega Prince, I have your supper." Isham announced, interrupting Castiel's thoughts.
"I'm not hungry, Isham, but thank you. Would you gather maps of the kingdom and bring them here please?" Castiel asked. Isham nodded and started to leave. "If I am sleeping when you return, leave them on my desk please."
"Of course, your highness." Isham closed the door gently. Castiel slid out of his bed to change into his nightwear. He placed his book back on the pile delicately and laid back under his covers. His fantasy escape plan lulling him to sleep.
"Good morning, Omega Prince." Said a soft voice, rousing him from sleep. Castiel whined and pulled himself up. "Alpha Prince Michael is expecting you for breakfast." The omega servant commented. Castiel looked at her through half closed eyes and tilted his head.
"Thank you, Hannah. Tell him I'll be down once I'm presentable." Castiel eventually murmured. Hannah nodded and skipped out of the room. Castiel laid back down with a groan and stared at the ceiling for a moment before he threw back the covers and moved to his bathroom to get dressed. Despite it being winter, Castiel slipped a velvet, black dress over his head; he figured the thick fabric and long sleeves would be enough to protect him from the cold.
"Castiel," Chuck greeted joyously when Castiel entered their dining room. "you look beautiful."
"Thank you, father." Castiel blushed, not used to compliments.
"What do you plan on doing today, Cassie?" Balthazar asked.
"You could go on a run with us, puppy?" Michael suggested softly. Castiel's mind wandered to the maps sat on his desk, he knew his plan was crazy but he just had to see the forest, however, he didn't want to raise any alarms in his family.
"I'd like that. Gabriel, you'll come too?" Castiel asked. Gabriel hadn't said anything but that was to be expected. His older brother nodded groggily and sipped on his coffee.
"Father, will you come?" Michael asked. Chuck frowned and shook his head after a moment of thought.
"I'm sorry, boys, I can't come." Chuck replied sadly. His sons nodded in understanding and took their plates from the servants. "Excuse me, boys, I have a meeting with Zachariah, it seems that the savages are allying with each other and some small nomad packs." Chuck explained as he stood.
"Do you think they're planning something?" Michael asked.
"They have no reason to." Chuck answered certainly. Michael nodded, content with the answer, and pushed back from the table.
"Come on, brothers, let's go for a run."
Castiel folded his dress neatly and placed it on his shelf. His brothers were waiting outside for him but he had insisted on changing and folding his clothes first, his brothers either ripped through their clothes when they shifted or they bundled them into a ball and threw them on their shelves in the shed.
It took him a second to shift but, when he did, a black wolf with bright blue eyes stood in his place. He trotted out to join his older brothers, who had already shifted. They were all about the same size as each other, but Michael was slightly bigger than Gabriel and Gabriel slightly bigger than Balthazar, all three naturally bigger than Castiel due to being alphas. Michael's wolf was black like Castiel's with white tipped ears and light blue eyes, Gabriel's wolf had chocolate fur with light streaks running through it and amber eyes and Balthazar had a mix of brown and blond fur and grey-blue eyes.
Castiel bounced happily over to his brothers, yipping excitedly as he scented them. They rubbed against each other, re-familiarising themselves with the others' wolf forms. Michael let out a quick bark and ran off towards the clearing behind the castle, Gabriel jumped over Castiel and bounded after his brother. Balthazar snorted at the two alphas and butted his head against Castiel's gently, licking the side of his face before trotting after them. Castiel raced after them, leaping on Gabriel to initiate a play fight with the alpha. Soon the four brothers were jumping around, growling and nipping at each other playfully.
"Gabriel, must you follow me?" Castiel asked as he left the shed, smoothing the front of the dress down with his hands.
"I just what to see where you're going, you told Mike that you weren't going back to your room." Gabriel shrugged. Castiel gave a heavy sigh and looked at his brother.
"I'm going to visit Gadreel." Gabriel frowned and pulled Castiel to a stop.
"He's on the other side of the castle walls, Castiel, are you taking a guard?" Gabriel asked hurriedly, his tone laced with concern.
"No, Gadreel lives just beyond the gate, he is aware I'm visiting him." Gabriel frowned.
"It's not safe for you to go into the villages without a guard." Gabriel insisted. Castiel gave him a humourless laugh and looked up at the castle.
"It's not safe for me to do anything, Gabriel. I'm an omega, and I wish, I wish I was an alpha or a beta but I'm not, Fenrir wanted me to be an omega for a reason. And you know I would be the last person to submit or bare my neck to an alpha or whatever omegas are meant to do." Castiel objected angrily. Gabriel stared at him shocked, not expecting the outburst from his brother but a small smile graced his face as Castiel disappeared into the castle. Castiel hurried up to his room and put the kingdom maps into his satchel.
"Omega Prince, Isham is waiting to escort you to the castle gate." The omega servant from earlier said softly. Castiel nodded and pulled his cloak over his shoulders. "What am I to tell the Alpha King and Princes if they ask me of your absence?"
"The truth, that I have gone to visit my friend." Castiel replied.
"Yes, you highness." Castiel slipped past the omega and nodded to her once.
"Thank you, Hannah." The omega servant gave him a small smile then started down the stairs. Castiel made his way quickly through the corridors to a side door of the castle, carefully avoiding any of his family. "Good afternoon, Isham." Castiel greeted politely. Isham simply opened the door and guided Castiel down the small cobblestone path down to the gate. "Thank you."
"Would you like me to escort you to Gadreel's house, your highness?" Isham asked upon seeing Castiel cringe away from a brave alpha's gaze.
"I er, I think that would be best, thank you." Castiel decided. Isham locked the gate behind them and lead the way to Gadreel's house, Castiel followed close behind and wearily eyed the civilians . The few that noticed him bowed politely, greeting him.
"You look beautiful, Omega Prince Castiel." One beta said with a smile as he passed. Castiel nodded politely with a nervous smile. A few stupid alphas tried to whistle and call to him, posturing in an attempted to entice the omega, but Castiel held his head high and ignored them, fighting off any attempts to touch him with threatening growls.
"Omega Prince Castiel." Isham announced opening the door of Gadreel's house.
"Castiel." Gadreel greeted happily with a soft smile. The beta pulled Castiel into a hug which Castiel readily returned. "To what do I owe this visit, brother?" He asked gesturing for Castiel to take a seat. Gadreel dismissed Isham, offering to return Castiel to the castle gate when they were finished. Castiel laid the satchel on the table and pulled the kingdom maps out.
"I need your help."