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Run Cried the Crawling

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Rey stands off to the side, watching idly as Rose chats with a man about the barn raising that had happened earlier that day. She’s found the master engineer - or, at least Rey is pretty sure that’s who he is - and she’s having the most fun she’s had all day talking with him; she can see the joy on her friend’s face.

Good. Maybe that will make up for dragging her out to Amish country.

The sun will start to set soon, and she still hasn’t gotten the quilt she’d promised her advisor, Maz. There are shops all around them - she knows one of them will have quilts, and it doesn’t take her long to find one.

She doesn’t see anyone when she steps through the door; they must be in the back, or taking a break. No worries. It’s not like the plans to steal anything. The shop is warm and cozy, a scent that reminds her of Christmas hanging in the air and the handmade shelves and tables just close enough to make the place seem homey without making her claustrophobic.

No one shows up for a long while - to the point where she’s starting to get worried she won’t be able to buy the quilt, after all. She has a quilt unfolded against her chest so she can peer down at the design when she hears someone at the door.

Expecting it to be Rose, she looks up with a smile.

It isn’t Rose.

One breath is all it takes for her to know him like she shouldn’t: Alpha. It’s all she can think, over and over like a prayer. Alpha Alphaalphaalphalphalpha.

Her smile fades and her lower lip trembles. It shouldn’t be like this; she hasn’t felt this way in years. She’s on suppressants - everyone is. It’s the law.

But he isn’t. Her knees feel weak. His presence is throwing her hormones out of sorts, overwhelming her… he must be nearing his rut.

The man doesn’t move for the longest time. When he does, he tilts his head and smiles. Approval. Rey’s chest swells, despite her best efforts to ignore the pull straining in her heart and in her mind.

“Are you finding everything alright, miss?” His voice is deep - much deeper than she’d expected. Goosebumps raise up on her arms, even beneath her jacket, and as he takes a step forward, the hairs on the back of her neck rise. She isn’t sure if she’s aroused or afraid… a good mix of both seems likely.

She hasn’t even tried to answer his question. She forces a nod and realizes she’s finding it hard to swallow the lump in her throat.

Finding it hard to do anything at all, really.

Rey just blinks dumbly as he closes the gap between the two of them. He’s all long legs and suspenders - no beard, so he isn’t married, she remembers that from the tour - and that straw hat she thinks looks so goofy. He’s not her type. Nature doesn’t really care about that; he reaches out to take the quilt from her and the brush of their fingers shoots lightning down her spine.

“Do you like this one, then?” She watches his hands as he folds it neatly, and nods before he hands it back to her. “Great choice. My mother made this one, actually.”

She doesn’t care - she needs to get out while she can still think half-clearly. It’s nearly too late already, seeing that she can’t even bring herself to meet his eyes, staring at his broad chest instead.

“I think…” her train of thought disappears before she can finish it. Rey stares down at her shoes and furrows her brow, trying to think of something but the spicy scent lingering in the roof of her mouth. He’s too close to her. “I need to get going. Long ride home.”

But neither of them move. He won’t and she can’t.

Waiting for him to say something, or do something, she can feel her heart thundering in her chest. Can he feel it? Hear it?

His fingers find the ends of her hair, twisting a strand between his fingertips. She whimpers, but still can’t look him in the eye. She wants to, though: every part of her is screaming to look at him.

“Such short hair.” The man’s voice rumbles dangerously close to a purr as he tucks the strand behind her ear. Rey squeezes her eyes shut and wishes for an interruption, a distraction, an excuse to escape. An interruption doesn’t come, and he brushes his thumb along her neck.

Fuck.

His thumb presses gently against the gland in her neck and he hums soothingly, leaving her slack-jawed and oddly complacent. Deep down, a part of her wants to cry… but she can’t. Shouldn’t. Won’t.

With a few confident steps, his hand still resting on the slope where her neck meets her shoulder, he backs her up until he can’t anymore, the backs of her thighs hitting a table holding more quilts and some knitted goods.

“Look at me.” His voice is soft, nearly a whisper, but he’s close enough that it would be impossible not to hear it. Hesitantly, shyly, her hazel eyes flutter up to meet his - and immediately, she’s captivated. His warm brown eyes soften right before her, his smile widening.

He’s happy. He approves. She fights the urge to preen, but she can feel the pride and satisfaction in her eyes. He has to see it.

“What’s your name, little one?” He brushes his thumb back and forth, keeping her calm. She’d let him do anything to her if he kept doing that, which would be upsetting if she could think straight with him in her mind like this.

“Rey.” Her voice is soft, too; the moment is deceptively intimate, considering they’re in the middle of a public shop. Anyone could walk in at any moment - if she’s lucky, and she isn’t, usually.

He leans in and places his free hand on the table behind her. Her heart hammers so hard she can feel it in her ears. It doesn’t matter what she’s thinking, because her body reacts of its own volition: her head tilts ever so slightly to the side.

By the time common sense kicks in, it’s too late. A sharp, nervous sound escapes her lips and he hears it right away, grabbing her by the waist and the arm before she can push him away. Instead, she falls backwards, dragging him with her onto the table; he claps a hand over her mouth as he takes her gland between his teeth.

Even that isn’t enough to calm her, though; her flailing knocks sweaters and scarves and quilts to the ground, sneakers squealing against the hardwood floor as she scrabbles for leverage.

He bites.

Pain and a bond deeper than marriage bloom at the same time. His happiness melds with her anger and fear, forming an ugly mess in her mind.

“Hey! What the fuck are you doing?” A familiar voice fills Rey with hope, which swells when she sees familiar hands, adorned with rings and tattoos, prying at his shoulder.”Get off of her, asshole!”

He turns away to snarl at Rose, and Rey takes the moment to scurry away from the table, one hand clapped against the wound as she runs from the shop. The two of them are still arguing, and she can feel his bristling even as she runs toward the car. It’s there, in the back of her mind: his need to protect her, to keep her close.

Her hands shake as she unlocks the car, slamming and locking the door behind her and trying to catch her breath in the passenger seat. A knock on the window has her jumping out of her skin - but it’s just Rose. She leans across the center console to unlock the door and swipes tears from her eyes.

“Are you alright?” Her friend’s eyes flicker nervously between her face and her neck; Rey claps a hand over the bite again, sitting back in her chair. She knows Rose is concerned, but she’s also a Beta… she wouldn’t get it.

She can still feel him, angry and frantic. Turning over her shoulder, she sees a man blocking him from leaving the shop. They make eye contact and his anger swells, so she turns to face forward in the car again.

“Just get me the hell out of here, please.”

Chapter Text

“Rey, I’m sorry. Please look at me?”

Rose sits in the hospital room with her, though Rey wishes she weren’t. Desperately. She settles back into her pillows and stares into the hallway through the floor-to-ceiling glass wall that separates her room from the rest of the hospital, counting every time a curious nurse tries not to look on their way past.

When she doesn’t respond, or even look at her friend - if Rose could be called that anymore - the room falls back into that heavy near-silence. It would have been less awkward, she thinks, if they didn’t have to sit and listen to the beeping of the machines.

“The doctor says you would have died if I hadn’t brought you in. Dehydration.” Trying to excuse her actions? Rey rolls her eyes. They’d prepared for this for weeks after realizing being mated would induce heat. Together, they’d researched, pilfered blankets and pillows, bought flat upon flat of bottled water and fruit… and Rose had panicked within the first twenty-four hours.

“Did you hear me, Rey? The doctor says this would have killed you, going through heat without your mate.”

She knows what the doctor said: they’d been talking over her bed like she wasn’t even there. Written her off as delirious and hysterical, decided she’d be unable to make decisions for herself until the emergency suppressants had kicked in.

Rose told them everything. She’d heard that, too. What had happened (to her knowledge), where to find her mate, what he looked like.

Traitor.

Her friend sighs, defeated, but she still doesn’t look. He’ll be here soon, she’s sure - and once she’s carted off to live with him, she isn’t sure she’ll ever be able to forgive Rose. Sure, maybe that man dug her grave… but Rose drove the nails into her coffin. The end of the life she knows is approaching. Quickly.

Actively ignoring her friend passes the time quick enough. Before she knows it, a voice crackles to life over the intercom system. “All patients to their rooms, please. All patients to their rooms.” There’s a few security officers in the hall; some of the nurses and doctors raise their hands, and one of the officers escorts them to an elevator, taking them to another floor.

Rey doesn’t understand what’s going on until the other elevator opens. There he is, almost exactly as she remembers him: same black suspenders over a plain shirt, hat in his hands. Everything is the same except for the dark hair growing along his jaw.

All those people escorted out, or quarantined to their rooms… they must be trying to prevent his scent from sending any other Omegas into a stupor.

Even from across the floor, his eyes find hers almost instantly. Something twists in her stomach, and she can’t quite place it.

He starts walking toward her room. She scrambles for the button that controls the drip of emergency suppressants, her skin already starting to prickle nervously, and mashes the button as fast as she can. It’ll alert the doctors, but she doesn’t care. Could they blame her?

The man that the doctors call her mate and she calls her assailant stands directly in front of her room, now, only a thin sheet of glass separating them. One of the security officers asks him something and he nods once, not tearing his eyes away from her for even a second.

“Rey?” She hears the scrape of a chair on the floor as Rose stands up, just barely louder than the heart rate monitor’s beeping as it rises to a crescendo. She can feel it in her throat; she doesn’t need a monitor to tell her she’s panicking. “Are you alright?” She wants to turn her head and snap - does she look alright? - but she can’t tear her eyes away from his, and any sort of retort withers and dies in her chest long before it can reach her tongue.

Doctor Holdo arrives and they chat for a few moments; she wishes that she could hear what they’re saying, but that thought fades as she watches her doctor reach for the door handle.

She hits the button of her suppressant drip as many times as she can manage before they’re in the room.

The drugs did something, but not quite enough. The door slides shut behind them, the room deathly silent, and she feels like she’s torn in half; her body is confused and warring with itself. It feels like the Omega voice inside of her is trapped under a thick layer of honey, or tar: it moves, but slowly. It’s dampened, but still there, drowning.

Nobody speaks. Rose squirms uncomfortably. Doctor Holdo fiddles with the equipment, doing Rey’s-not-sure-what… she can’t look away from him long enough to check.

“Rey?” her doctor says, finally. Her tone of voice, sticky-sugary sweet and sympathetic, makes Rey want to vomit. “This is your mate, Ben Solo.”

Mate. The place where he’d bitten her hums happily, and if she focuses real hard, she can feel that he’s happy, too. Her eyes well up with tears and she shakes her head.

No one seems to notice or care.

“What’s wrong with her?” She’d nearly forgotten the sound of his voice, nearly managed to force it from her memory except in nightmares - but it’s deep and warm sounding, sending a shiver through her body. “Why does she smell like that?”

“We give Omegas in heat emergency suppressants to prevent them from triggering any nearby Alphas into rut. For everyone’s safety, of course.” They’re talking about her like she isn’t here again, and she wants to scream at them to stop, but his eyes are holding her captive and her throat feels impossibly dry. He ruined my life, she thinks. He ruined my life forever. “It seems that your mate has been rather liberal with the drip.”

“I want her off them.” His voice is rough and cracked.

“As soon as she’s discharged into your care, of course.”

Rey’s eyes widen - discharged into your care. It’s the shock she needs to rip her eyes away from him, a single hot tear slipping down onto her cheek as she looks from Rose to Doctor Holdo.

“No,” she croaks, forcing the sound through and shaking her head. “No. Not with him.”

Doctor Holdo frowns, and Rey thinks she sees something like genuine sympathy in her eyes - not like before, not like she’s something fragile to be crooned at, but real regret and understanding.

“If you don’t go with him, you’ll be charged with abandoning your mate.” She sits on the edge of her bed; Ben growls and she stands back right back up.

“But…” Rey’s brows furrow; this can’t be right. This can’t be allowed. “He… he did this to me without -”

“I know.” Her stomach drops as her doctor cuts her off mid-sentence with a heavy finality in her voice, like there’s nothing else that can be done. “But we can’t risk having an Alpha separated from his mate. There’ve been studies on this sort of thing.”

Her lower lip trembles. She knows - when she’d been trying to prepare for heat, she’d read articles on the sort of horrible things that Alphas do in rut when separated from their mate. She knew about the hysteria.

She knew how dangerous it was to be an Omega in heat alone, too, with no mate to protect her.

It had been worth the risk. Still was, but now that he’s here, she doesn’t have a choice in the matter. A sob wracks her chest, and then another.

“May I take my mate home now, doctor?” The woman nods and escorts him from the room. Through her cries, she can hear them talking about paperwork and something else; the door shuts and she cries even harder, doubling over in her bed and pressing the button for more suppressants.

A nurse comes almost immediately to remove the IV. Rey thrashes until the nurse threatens to sedate her. She takes the monitor from her finger, too, and places the clothes she’d been wearing when she was admitted on the foot of the bed. She doesn’t reach for them.

And then the room is nearly empty again, just her and Rose, like it had been not even an hour before. It feels heavier now, somehow, like the sealing of her fate has pressed the ceiling down just far enough to make her feel claustrophobic. Crushed.

“I’m so sorry, Rey.” Her friend’s voice is anything but soothing; she glares daggers down at her knees. If she looks at her, she might kill her. “If I had known…”

She knows that she’s looking for forgiveness, or at least understanding. She wants Rey to say that it’s alright, that she couldn’t blame her for being worried by all the feral wailing and howling and the way she guzzled water like an animal. She wants her to thank her for saving her life, or to say that she would have done the same thing if their roles had been reversed.

But she wouldn’t have. She would never subject her friend to a fate like this. She doesn’t say anything at all.

The next time she sees Ben, he isn’t escorted by a doctor - instead, he has a police officer with him. She hates how confidently he walks. The walk of a winner.

“Rey.” The sound of her name on his lips raises goosebumps up and down her arms; she doesn’t want to look at him, but something deep inside of her makes her. “It’s time to come home. Officer Finn here is going to give us a ride.”

Finn looks incredibly uncomfortable. She can work with this. The Omega in her could make her look, but she’s been weakened by the suppressants; try as she might, she can’t force Rey out of bed.

“You’ll have to drag me.”

She sees his eyes darken and wants to curl into herself, but instead raises her chin. She doesn’t know how much longer she has until the suppressants wear off, so she’ll ride this strength for as long as she possibly can before biology kicks in and his presence sends her into heat again.

“Please,” he says through gritted teeth, “put your clothes on so we can go home.”

She doesn’t move and doesn’t plan to, either. She can feel something ugly - anger? - pulsing through their bond. She can feel discomfort radiating from Rose and the officer. She can feel her own pride glowing like a beacon.

“Officer, would you please grab her clothes for me?” She watches, the pride fading quickly as he places his hat on his head. His long legs cross the room in no time, one large hand circling her tiny wrist. He’s strong; in one fluid motion, he yanks her from the bed and scoops her into his arms.

His scent nearly makes her dizzy, warm and earthy and much nicer than the too-clean smell of the hospital. She fights to keep her wits about her, and it takes an enormous amount of concentration to screech and lash out as he carries her from the room. She begs for help and scratches at his face; over his shoulder, she can see Rose still sitting in the chair, shoulders shaking and her face cradled in her hands.

She should be sorry, she thinks, with equal parts satisfaction and self-pity.

Ben grunts, trying to crane his neck out of reach; she looks around to see all the doctors and nurses and even some patients in their rooms watching, slack-jawed and alarmed. While she’s distracted, she feels his lips close around the gland in her neck, rolling it gently between his teeth.

Even suppressants couldn’t keep that from working. One of the doctors wrinkles her nose in disgust and looks away. He keeps her gland between his teeth, unbothered by the looks they get for it, the entire walk out to the police car.

So that’s how he got here so quickly, she thinks. They went and got him.

Officer Finn opens the back door for them and Ben carefully folds himself into the car. He doesn’t stop pressing her to his chest or let go of her gland, even after the door shuts.

Chapter Text

They ride the whole way back in silence. She knows the drive takes a couple of hours, but this feels like days. Ben eventually lets off her gland, and she settles her head against her chest, glassy-eyed with stubborn tears that won’t fall.

Just once, she stirs and whines too much. He bites down again for what felt like ever. After that, she tries to be still.

Her emergency suppressants are wearing off quicker than she’d hoped. All the Omega in her needed was to be just a little stronger, just enough to increase her body temperature by just a few degrees; it speeds up exponentially after that, metabolizing the drugs faster and faster. His presence makes things worse, like hearing his heartbeat makes her stronger.

By the time the cruiser’s wheels squeak to a stop in front of what must be Ben’s house, she’s starting to sweat. She doesn’t want to get out of the car. She doesn’t want to be alone with him. She knows what will happen once she is.

Surely he can feel the uneasy tension through their bond, starting in her heart and branching out through the tips of her fingers and toes. All she feels from him is a consistent, soothing rumble. A calm much different from the frantic feeling that had been there the whole time they were separated.

He’s happy she’s here, she realizes.

“Thank you for your assistance today, Officer.” She can feel how careful Ben is as he shifts her off of his lap. Delicate. His thumb brushes along her arm and she shivers. “If you’d like to stop by my mother’s house, I’m sure she can set you up with something for your trouble.”

He climbs from the car as he speaks, the offer punctuated by the thud of the car door closing. While he stretches, Officer Finn turns around in his seat: his eyes are warm and kind and they make her feel safe.

“Are you alright?” He speaks just as the car door nearest her opens, and her lower lip trembles.

Ben reaches in to scoop her from the car. “She’s fine,” he says over her head. “And see to it that you make it to my mother’s house; she always does her baking on Thursdays, so you’re in for a real treat.”

He lifts her up and shuts the car door; she can see Finn watching her from the driver’s seat and a part of her crumples. No one will help her now, she’s sure of it. No one here will care to. He was her last chance, and he’s driving away.

A whimper builds. Ben shushes her absentmindedly and strokes her hair, like a good Alpha should. It helps and it doesn’t. She wants this and she doesn’t. She feels confused; she feels fragile. She’s right on the edge of sobbing.

They watch the police car disappear down the road before he turns. The house before them is small and quaint, just like all the other houses they’d driven past; his is brick and yellow siding with red shutters, and it’s surrounded by hills covered in rolling green grass. It looks like something you’d see on a calendar you bought in a country store.

“Welcome home, sweet pea.” It makes her heart drop into her stomach. Rey looks up to find him staring at her, eyes searching for… approval? She makes her face stony and refuses to give it to him. He clears his throat and starts up the walkway. “I’ll give you a tour.”

She always thought that one day, a man would carry her across the threshold of their home… but she never thought it’d be like this.

The house is silent. At home, she’d been used to the television in the background, or the hum of the refrigerator, or maybe even the occasional rush of water through the pipes in the walls. That white noise would have been comforting.

All she has is the sound of his heartbeat and the chimes on the porch, those somewhat distant as the door swings shut behind them. She expects him to put her down, but he doesn’t.

“Kitchen and dining room.” Her eyes dart around the rooms, trying to take everything in, but he’s turning to show her the living room before she has a chance to focus on anything in particular. There’s a sofa, she sees - but he’s turning her again, heading down a hallway. No pictures hang on the walls. He uses the hand beneath her knees to open a door.

“Our bedroom.”

The scent of him hits her all at once, stronger than she’s used to. Stronger than the rest of the house. Blinding, she thinks, because she doesn’t even really see the room, even though her eyes are open. The suppressants she pumped herself full of have worn off just enough to make something in her cramp and tingle; Rey tilts her head back and parts her lips, letting the scent hit the roof of her mouth and spill down her throat.

He reaches out tenderly, nervously across their bond, and she’s too distracted and dizzied by the smell of him to push back. Wide-eyed, her gaze drifts to him and he’s smiling.

“One last thing to show you.” A pause as he locks his gaze with hers once more, his eyes impossibly warm. Soft. She hates him but she’s frozen; her body and her mind disconnect completely. “A surprise for you.”

They cross the room. Slowly. He’s looked away, but she can’t quit staring up at him, somewhat slack-jawed. She swears she can feel every muscle in her body starting to scream - quietly - and she can feel every movement he makes, even through both of their clothes.

A door swings open. He stares ahead with a smile, but then must realize she isn’t paying attention; he juts forward with his chin. Rey tears her eyes away to see it: a room, much smaller, covered with every soft thing imaginable.

“A nesting room” he explains, his voice low and rumbling in her ear. The Omega in her squeals; something inside of her relaxes and she feels slick starting to gather. Ben sets her down carefully and it starts to trickle down her thigh. He’d dressed her in the back of the police car, but left off her shoes; she curls her toes against the thick, plushy blanket beneath them.

It’s perfect. Safe, warm, cozy and not a light in sight. Rey isn’t sure why that matters; she’s never been through a full heat before, only the start of one when she presented, before the doctors could get her on her meds. She doesn’t need to know. Her body is running on instinct alone.

“Every Alpha in town has one.” She’s only half-listening, but nods anyway as she collapses to her knees. All the blankets are soft, thick and fluffy. Cramps are building just beneath her belly; she tries not to focus on them, taking another blanket in her hands and pressing it to her cheek. “I knew that being mated would induce heat, so I got it ready for you. Ready as I could, anyway.”

Deep down within, her thoughts race: she needs to shower off the hospital smell, this is wrong, she hates him, she wants to go home. Without enough suppressants in her system, though, the Omega in her tamps them down.

She whines and he coos right away, stepping forward to stroke her hair; tears fill her eyes and she finds herself leaning against his leg.

Comfort: that’s what she needs. Respite from this fucked up situation. A sense of agency. Some relief from these fucking cramps, which seem to crop up tenfold for each one she tries to ignore. Another whine escapes as she realizes that she has no one to comfort her but him.

At least he’s good at it, kneeling down beside her. Could be worse. Her Alpha cares about her, she thinks. She’s doing well.

“I know, my little one. Those suppressants your English doctors had you on will mean that the first heat is the worst one.” Little one. The trickle of slick turns to a stream. Ben clicks his tongue, hand sliding down to cup her jaw, and she wonders if he can smell her. She nuzzles into his palm. Warm. “But they’ll be easier after this.”

She wants it to be easier now; she wants to be pain-free. Sweat starts to bead on her skin and she screws her eyes shut, trying to fight it off.

“You know you need my help, don’t you?”

Rey tries to shake her head no, but instead shakes her head yes. He smiles. “Good girl.”

It’s like an out of body experience. She’s read about those before, where people felt they were floating above the operating table during surgery. Only she’s still in her body - and she has no way of controlling it. Every cell screams for him, practically buzzing at his praise.

When he pulls his hand away from her cheek, her jaw follows pitifully; she watches, feeling powerless as ever, as he starts to work through the buttons on his shirt. The tears that had been blurring her vision ever since he’d set her down start to spill.

“I know, sweet one.” He shrugs out of his shirt and suspenders as he steps out of his shoes; she cries harder. “I know it’s hard. But this will help. You’ll see.”

She tries to argue, to tell him that it isn’t the heat that’s making her cry - but with hardly any control over herself anymore, a high-pitched wail comes out instead. Ben murmurs softly, his heart reaching out to hers with a soothing touch across their bond. It doesn’t help. She feels smothered.

Long fingers hook carefully under the hem of her shirt, pulling it over her head with a tenderness that surprises her, coming from an Alpha. Her body leans into his touch as he reaches around her back to fumble with her bra, but her eye are locked on the hard length she can see bulging beneath the thin fabric of his trousers already. For a moment, she thinks there’s no way it will fit comfortably, but a new wave of slick gathers between her legs at the sight of it.

Feebly, she pushes against his bare chest, and it might be the hardest thing she’s ever done. Rey has never been especially strong, but she’s never been this weak before; she marvels at the feel of his skin beneath her fingers before catching herself and shaking the thoughts loose.

Ben bats her arms away like they’re nothing. “The knot is nothing to be afraid of.” She screams inside that it isn’t the knot she’s fighting, that she doesn’t want this, but the thinking part of her is still far too muffled by animal instinct to make a difference.

Trying for her bra once again, he gets it right away this time. She covers her small chest with her hands, but he’s already going for her jeans. Rey grits her teeth and tries to squirm away, but ends up wriggling in place.

She can’t run from her Alpha. She won’t. Her cheeks burn when he feels how she’s soaked through her pants.

“See?” He holds up one hand, using the other to peel her jeans down from the ankle. His fingers catch the light just right and shine with her slick. “You’re ready for me. You’ll be alright.”

She won’t - she won’t, and she knows it. A cry lets loose, half whine and half sob, as he yanks her panties down her thighs and rolls her onto her stomach, one hand under her hip propping her up onto her knees. Another cry follows, and then another, the line blurred between need and despair. She can feel him fretting, nervous - something is wrong with his mate.

Despite her obvious distress, and despite the fact that he must know, at least in part, that she’s not upset about the knot, he pushes into her slowly - inch by inch, stretching her walls until he can’t push forward any further and he drags back in the most delicious way.

Her body shivers happily as her back arches for him, and Rey chokes on a sob.

“It’s alright. It’s alright.” With his chest pressed to her back, the rumble of his voice against her spine is almost comforting in the most infuriating way - she tries to fight the sleepy calm that the feeling casts over her, but her cries are reduced to whimpers.

Whimpers, and the occasional gasp as the stroke of his cock hits a sweet spot. His thrusts are shallow and gentle, and she thinks it might not be so awful.

And then he bottoms out inside of her, biting her shoulder blade as he does. Hard, with a grunt. Rey screws her eyes shut as he pulls back before snapping his hips forward, trying not to think of the first time they’d met.

This is not a considerate lover, she reminds herself. This is not her boyfriend. This is the man that had taken everything from her due to his own selfishness. Another strangled sob bubbles to the surface as she tries to focus on anything besides the feel, sound or smell of him: the blanket beneath her cheek, rubbing with each thrust; the bite of her fingernails into her palm.

“You’re doing such a good job. You’re doing great.” His words are punctuated with panting, his breath hot as it huffs against her skin. She tries to ignore it.

Rey cries again, and he sighs, reaching down to place one hand on the side of her head, long fingers splayed so that his index finger brushes her lips. She wrinkles her nose.

“Suck on it. It’ll make you feel better.” She huffs through her nose and tries to turn her head away, but he grips her chin hard enough to keep her there. The next time he speaks, his voice is darker, heavier: “Suck.”

Her mouth opens all on its own, lips closing around his finger and cheeks hollowing out as she obeys.

It does make her feel better. Each time he groans a little too loud, or the pressure building in her cunt gets a little too much to bear, she sucks harder.

For the first time in ages, she realizes, the Omega in her is completely silent. Happy. Content. She likes her better that way.

“Gonna give you my pups,” he groans, his free hand gripping the soft flesh of her hip like a vice as his pace picks up. She whines, then blushes. Ben doesn’t seem to notice. “Gonna fill this house with kids. Gonna make you my wife and-”

The last few words are squeezed out, and she feels him start to swell inside of her; her eyes widen, and she tries to get off him, crawling forward, but it’s too late for that now that his knot has started to pop. If anything, it just tugs, making him groan louder.

Ben leans forward as she’s fully tied down, latching onto her mating mark before he starts to empty himself inside of her. A loud, embarrassing whine spills from her lips: she’s had ex-boyfriends cum inside of her before, but never like this, and never this much of it.

His teeth break the just-barely-healed skin over her gland and she comes undone, walls fluttering around him and knees shaking as she wails inconsolably.

It takes him ages to catch his breath and settle them onto their side, clutching her to his chest like she might disappear. She’s still too sensitive as he pulls the blanket over them, each tug of the knot shooting lightning up her spine.

“Mine,” he murmurs sleepily, pressing a kiss to the back of her head. “My mate. Such a good mate.”

He starts to fall asleep as reality settles back in over her, suffocating as ever. Rey waits until she’s sure he’s asleep before she starts to cry.

Chapter Text

“Rey.”

She thinks she’s dreaming, at first; it would make the dream more of a nightmare, really, if he were in it. But his voice is foggy and distant. She quickly realizes that he’s waking her up in the real world - ripping her from the safety of her dreamscape.

Bastard.

“Wake up, my love.” He’s clearer this time, and she can feel herself stirring. It doesn’t matter how hard she tries to cling to sleep; it slips through her fingers.

One eye cracks to see him standing in the door frame, relaxed as ever. Makes sense that he would be, she figures. This is his home and all. Squeezing her eyes back shut, she rolls away from him and grumbles. She expects him to walk away, but he doesn’t.

“You need to get up and get dressed.” Ben’s voice is quiet as ever, and far from threatening, but it still makes her skin crawl. “My parents are here and they’d like to meet you.”

An ugly, cynical laugh bubbles up and out from her lips. Meet his parents? It makes their situation sound so sweet and normal and domestic. Like she’s not his victim. His captive. How many people meet the parents of the one who destroyed their lives? How many parents are excited to meet the young woman that their loving son has claimed by force?

“I could smell that your heat had ended,” he explains evenly, each word clipped. He’s annoyed with her. Good. “So I invited them over. Get dressed or stay locked in the nest.”

The threat is sobering: the nest smells like nothing but her slick, and she’ll go crazy if she has to stay in here surrounded with reminders of what he’d just done to her for four days straight. With a great deal of effort, she hoists herself into a sitting position and looks over his shoulder.

He’s pleased. Pleased with her obedience, even though she knows he can feel how begrudgingly she gives it. Rey scowls and wishes she could wipe the smug look off his face.

When she stands without further threats, he looks like he might just about burst with joy; instead, he turns and heads into the bedroom. She doesn’t know what else to do, so she follows to find the clothes he’d selected for her laid out on the bed.

Not her clothes. Not clothes she’d ever thought she would wear. A plain, modestly-cut blue dress that she’s never seen before in her life and a white apron to go with it.

“Where are my jeans, Ben?” This must be some sort of test he’s giving her; she never agreed to this lifestyle, and surely he wasn’t planning on forcing her into it? Surely he could realize that he’d put her through enough? “You need to ease me into this. You can’t just…”

“I am,” he promises, gesturing toward the dress again. A man laughs somewhere else in the house; his parents are here. They’re here. Maybe this is good, she thinks. Maybe they can talk some reason into him, and maybe they’ll be on her side.

“I could have made you wear the bonnet, too.” Ben’s voice snaps her back to the reality, and her eyes focus on him once again, his face earnest. “But I knew it would be too much.”

It sure as hell would have been.

Slowly, and against her will, she pulls herself into the dress he’d picked out. It fits surprisingly well; she wouldn’t have known he would guess sizes so perfectly. She lets him help her with the ties, even though she doesn’t need it.

Once he’s through fussing over her, he cups her face, eyes filled with excitement and some emotion she’s not stupid enough to call love. Infatuation, maybe, or pride.

“Are you ready to meet them?”

“No,” she answers honestly.

He just smiles, like it’s an inside joke between them, and takes her hand to guide her into the living room.

Ben introduces them, and he looks more like his father, she decides almost right away. It’s a weird thing to focus on, but after being haunted by his face for days, it’s the first thought that comes to mind. He has a bit of his mother in him, too, with the soulful eyes.

Mostly his father, though. They both have that intense look about them.

“For goodness’ sake, Ben, what did you do to the girl?” His father speaks first, breaking the tense silence of the room and replacing it with a crackling electricity she hadn’t expected. Rey can feel her mate bristling beside her with an anger that might be a bit too over the top.

“Well I’m sorry, Father, but Omegas aren’t exactly growing on trees these days!” His shout makes her flinch, but he hardly notices; he and his father go back and forth, their voices overlapping. Even though her heat is over, the Omega in her panics: something is wrong with her mate! He isn’t happy! Her breathing hitches in her chest, and she’s well on her way to hyperventilating -

A soft hand wraps around hers and gives it a squeeze, drawing out of her head just enough to realize it’s Ben’s mother. The older woman tugs on her arm, gently - more gentle than anyone’s been with her since she got to the hospital; gentle like she has a choice.

She chooses to follow her into the kitchen.

“Have a seat,” she says, bustling around the cabinets like she knows them well. “I’ll make you some tea. And don’t mind them.” She shoots a gaze over Rey’s shoulder, through walls into the living room. “Like cats and dogs, those two.”

She can still hear them, but Leia is right: it’s better to be away.

The woman hums while she works, heating the water to just-right and pouring it over the leaves before coming to join Rey at the table. As she reaches over to hand her a ceramic mug, her sleeve raises just enough to reveal a very un-Amish tattoo on the side of her wrist.

Rey’s eyes widen; Leia quickly pushes her sleeve back down. Her too?

She’s not alone?

Relief floods in, and happiness; she’s understood here.

“I know you’re going through a lot right now.” She nods as though to confirm yes, I am, thank you for noticing, and leans in; she’s hanging on the woman’s every word like her life depends on it. “But it’s really not so bad here. You might even be happy one day.”

She feels the smile fade quicker than she’d thought possible.

“This is the life God intended for Omegas,” she continues with a smile, taking a sip of her tea.

Rey is searching for the right words, but none come before Leia speaks again: “It’s better this way.”