“You’re sure?” said Dr. Chilton, sitting at his desk, talking to the man sitting across from him.
Will nodded. “Yes, I‘m finally going to do it. I’ve finally saved up enough money.” Ever since he was five, he had known that he was a Beta, not an Omega. When he was twelve, he had asked his father for an operation to get rid of all the parts that made him an Omega only to be told that it was ridiculously expensive. “There’s only one problem.”
“I need a psychiatrist to approve of the surgery in writing. Can you do that for me?”
“Have you told Hannibal?” Chilton said, referring to Will’s boyfriend.
“Not yet but he doesn’t get to veto this.”
“You know that once they’re taken out, they can’t be replaced. I’m sorry, I have to say these things . . .”
“Yes, I know you have to cover your ass. I’ve researched it thoroughly. I know it’s major surgery. I‘m taking a sabbatical to give myself time to heal and get used to being without them.”
“I was also thinking that this may affect your empathy. You might not be able to profile anymore.”
Will paused. “I’ve already thought of that. It might be better for me. I’ve pushed myself over the edge a couples times already. I don’t think I’ll survive the next time.”
Chilton nodded. “If you allow me to do a few tests, I’m willing to write an evaluation approving it.”
Will felt surprised. “Everybody else has said no, right off the bat.”
“I understand how important it’s to you.”
“And how would you know that?”
Chilton stood up and lifted his shirt to show a long scar. “I’ve had it done myself. I had it done outside the country. The results have been most satisfactory.”
“I’m against this,” said Hannibal, leaving his dinner untouched on his table. Upon hearing what Will intended to do, he had lost his appetite.
“You don’t get to have a say,” said Will.
“Your decision affects me too.”
“It’s my body. Can’t you love me as a Beta?”
“I’ve . . . I’ve always had my heart set on bonding with an Omega,” said Hannibal, sounding both wistful and heart broken.
Will knew that for most Alphas and Omegas, most came to prize and desire the roller-coaster ride of hormonal bonding. However, it was something that made him feel too out of control and horribly vulnerable, someone not himself. It was unbearable. “You know how much I loathe heats.”
“I thought you wanted children,” said Hannibal.
“I do. I could still father children like a Beta,” said Will.
“Can I do anything to change your mind?” said Hannibal.
“If I was going to give up my dream for anybody, it would’ve been you. But I can‘t.”
“Even a reputable overseas clinic needs a psychiatric evaluation before they consider operating. Who did you get it from?”
Will didn‘t want Hannibal to confront Chilton or guess why Chilton sympathized with Will on this. “I got one. That’s all you need to know. You don’t know what it’s like to hate your own body, to be weary of being something that doesn’t fit who you think you are, who you want to be.”
“Being a Beta doesn’t mean your life will be perfect. My practice is full of Betas who wish they were someone other than who they are now.”
“I‘m not naïve. I know I‘ll still have problems. It‘ll just get rid of my biggest one.”
“I just don’t understand. I can‘t wish you well.”
Will stood up. There was nothing more he could say and it had been too much to expect Hannibal to be supportive. “I better go. I’ll show myself out.”
“Will . . .”
“I know you’ll find someone who fits you better than I ever could.”
“But I don’t want that someone.”
“Sure, I’ll take the dogs while you’re gone,” said Alana.
“Thanks. I could put them in a kennel but they like you . . .”
“I hope that it’s everything you hope for.”
“I hope so, too.”
“I’m guessing Hannibal didn’t take it too well.”
“No, but I’m sure he’ll find someone else who can make him happier than I could.”
“You got the plane tickets, passport, the documentation.”
Will nodded. “I’m ready. I’ve been ready since forever.”