This was it. The Skai people had come to Heda’s throne room to make a deal. After months of skirmishes and misunderstandings, Lexa had finally broken them. It took only thirty-seven days but the blockade had worked. Their leader had sent the message two days ago. A request to stop the siege of Arkadia and the promise of sharing technology and weaponry with the only request being that they be left to their own devices.
Lexa was hoping for a more conciliatory tone in the letter that relayed their request. But she knew from her warrior and former Skaikru Oktavia, that their leader Jaha was obstinate and difficult. She was expecting the negotiations with the Skai people to run in a similar manner.
“Titus, how are the preparations coming along?” Lexa asked as she walked through the doorway to the throne room.
“Excellent Heda. We are prepared for their arrival.” Her advisor responded with confidence.
Lexa moved over to the table that held all the maps of Arkadia and its surrounding territory. She had a plan, a thorough plan to work around Arkadia, to erect physical borders so that the people of the coalition knew where they could and could not pass. If this deal with Skaikru was legitimate, she would only lose a very small parcel of land in Trikru territory. She would compensate her people with the knowledge and tek that Skaikru would provide.
“Heda.” She looked up and found her most trusted advisor lurking in the doorway. Anya was decked out in full battle gear and paint, as was Lexa herself. This was a show of force. Arkadia needed to see the strength of Heda and Heda’s warriors. She had been easy handed with Skaikru, using diplomacy and tact with them when others called for their blood. But now, they needed to bear witness to her full might.
She had observed the newcomers to her lands closely. They behaved like spoiled and untamed children, even the adults. They were ruled by their egos and the fear of losing whatever meager power they possessed. But even with their advanced firepower, they were basically harmless. They didn’t know how to build, how to hunt properly, how to sow fields, how to gather what the land had provided. It was why her blockade was so effective. They quickly burned though any stores of supplies they had and hunted the area clean of game. They desperately needed a steady hand to guide them, that was what Lexa had hoped to provide.
“Anya, are your warriors ready?”
“Sha Heda,” Anya replied.
“Then do not darken my doorstep Anya, come in.” Lexa replied without picking up her head from the maps she was looking over.
“Heda.” She heard the frustration in her former fos’s voice.
“Speak true Anya.”
“Are you sure this is the best course of action?” Lexa could feel the sting of Anya’s anger tickling at her nose. The alpha always had a hard time controlling her pheromones when she was angry.
Lexa looked up at her general, Anya refused to look directly at her. “This is the best way Anya, you know this.”
Anya huffed as she crossed her arms. “We should destroy them for what they’ve done, for what they have the potential to do.”
Lexa’s fingers gripped the edge of the table she was leaning over. “Anya.” Lexa unlike Anya could control her anger and frustration. Her training as Heda instilled as much at a very young age. She could make Anya submit, bend her to Heda’s will through pure alpha strength. But Lexa didn’t want to do that. She wanted Anya to come to this conclusion naturally, as she had. But she did not have the time nor patience to move Anya to where she needed her to be.
“You will obey your Heda.” Lexa spoke, her voice full of her authority and power. She needed Anya’s presence now, her support would have to come later.
“Sha.” Anya unfurled her arms, her right hand naturally coming to he hilt of her sword. Her back straight, her shoulders rigid and proud. She cut an intimidating figure. This was what Lexa wanted the Skaikru to see. This was what she wanted Skaikru to fear.
For the next half hour, her attendants finished preparing the room. Braziers were lit, chairs were strategically placed, guards assumed their places. Lexa climbed her dais, eyes sweeping the room, she gave a nod of approval before taking her rightful seat on her throne.
Titus opened the door to the throne room. “Heda, Skaikru is here.” Lexa nodded to her advisor and Titus directed the Skaikru to enter the room.
At the head of their delegation was the dark skinned one they called Jaha. He was an alpha, Lexa could smell his pheromones the second he came though the door. He was trying to push out as much dominating pheromones as he could. It was an attempt to exert his authority over the sea of wolves in the room. But Lexa could pick up on the nuances hiding within his scent. The anxiety, the fear.
He was exactly where she wanted him.
With Jaha came a woman, another alpha. This woman, another Skaikru elder Lexa knew to be Abby Griffin, was more controlled with her pheromones, more in control of her wolf. She didn’t need to exert her power or dominance. Lexa could not pick up any fear or distress in this alpha’s scent. She would be the one Lexa needed to watch.
Behind the woman was a boy of maybe eighteen summers. Lexa knew him to be Bellamy Blake, Oktavia’s older brother. He held himself in a cocky and arrogant manner, but his scent, like Jaha’s betrayed him. His fear nearly completely clouded his alpha scent. His eyes scanned the room nervously, his frame coiled tightly, like he was ready to strike out at any moment. Lexa looked over quickly at Anya, her general nodded. Lexa knew that Anya would keep a keen eye on the boy.
“Heda.” Jaha spoke. He showed no reverence for her position, he did not bow his head as he should. Lexa bristled at the man’s lack of respect, knowing full well that Skaikru had been briefed by Titus on the proper decorum in the throne room.
“Chancellor.” Lexa replied. Her voice not belaying her annoyance at these alphas.
“We of Arkadia have come here to ask you for a parley.” Lexa remained stone-faced on her throne, waiting to see how Skaikru would make their attempt for peace, this was an… interesting approach. Jaha mistook her silence for misunderstanding. “A parley is-”
“I know what a parley is Chancellor. You however are not in the position to to make requests.” Anya tightened their grip on her sword as the rest of Heda’s guards mimicked her action. Jaha’s scent flared again with his fear. Exactly as Lexa had hoped, she would strong arm Skaikru into giving her what she wanted. And what she really wanted was their tek, this was her window to establish the parameters of this negotiation.
“If you wish for a negotiation, I need to know what you plan to bring to the table. What do you offer Chancellor?”
Lexa knew what she wanted out of this deal, she wanted the skaikru fayagons, not for herself or her people, but to disarm Skaikru, to remove the one very dangerous obstacle that would ensure peace and safety for all of her people. She also didn’t want this tek to fall into the wrong hands. She knew she would have to leave them with some, even Jaha wouldn’t be foolish enough to deal away his only source of power.
She also wanted access to Skaikru communication devices. Radios is what Oktavia called them. Tek that gave Skaikru the ability to speak over long distances. It was a huge tactical advantage, something that she was sure none of her enemies could even dream of having.
She also knew Skaikru had advanced healers. The alpha standing before her, Abby Griffin, was their lead healer. Oktavia had regaled the throne room of tales that spoke of this woman healing wounds that should be fatal. Lexa was impressed. She wanted this knowledge and these skills for her own people.
Jaha stepped forward. Anya matched his step. Jaha realized his mistake and stepped back to his original spot, Anya didn’t.
“We offer many things, Heda.” Jaha offered and then deferred to Abby.
“We offer medicine. Antibiotics, antivirals, vaccines.” Abby continued. “They can stop infections, sickness, keep your cubs from contracting diseases. We can give you a short term supply and show you how to make your own.”
Lexa looked to her personal healer Nyko. “Sha , what the alpha speaks is true. I have seen the results myself.” Nyko had spent that last few weeks examining Oktavia’s pregnancy suppression medicine. It was an injection she had to give herself every six months, she stole a few other medicines from the Ark when she last visited that she promptly handed over to Nyko upon her return.
“What do you wish in return for this offer?” Lexa asked Abby.
“We ask for the blockade to cease. To give us the ability to hunt.” The woman asked.
“The ability to hunt on my lands? To steal food from my people’s mouths?”
Abby and Jaha looked to each other in panic. “No Heda, we just wish to feed our own.”
“At the expense of my own.” Lexa added disapprovingly. “There is a village that hunts that same land, what of their people?” Lexa shook her head. “Now they must go farther, trade more with other villages to feed their own. You must offer more than medicine, fisa.”
Jaha looked to Abby and she sighed before giving an approving nod. “We can offer weapons, ammunition.”
“Fayagons?” Lexa added, knowing full well what they were offering. She knew how many they had. Oktavia was kind enough to provide an exact number, three thousand and four.
“We can give you fifty.” Jaha responded.
“Fifty?” Lexa smirked. “You realize I can take as many as I want? That my armies outnumber yours 500 to 1? That I can obliterate your entire people if I so chose?”
Jaha finally looked humble. “We are aware Heda.”
“Yet you insult me with his offer?” Lexa pulled her dagger from her thigh sheath and began twirling it in her hands. It’s sharpened blade gleaming in the firelight.
“Heda.” Jaha attempted to backtrack. “We mean no disrespect.”
“A thousand.” Abby spoke up, sensing that the negotiations were slipping away from Skaikru’s favor.
“What?” Jaha exclaimed. Clearly, this was not the strategy they had discussed beforehand. Lexa’s lips curled up into a small smirk in spite of herself. The Skaikru delegation was unraveling, much to her delight. She basked in the satisfaction for merely a second before she quickly schooled her features.
“Thelonious.” Abby replied in a hushed whisper, “Let me handle this, please.”
Lexa raised a perfectly sculpted eyebrow, sensing her opportunity to strike. “Two.” She countered.
“Fifteen hundred.” Abby countered.
“Eighteen hundred.” Lexa countered back.
Abby looked to Jaha, her pheromones flared something that was almost akin to a protective, parental scent even. Lexa was perplexed by this scent, until she caught a whiff of something else, something heavenly.
“Fifteen hundred.” Jaha spoke up once again, re-taking control of Skaikru’s negotiations. “And this.”
He nodded to the boy that had accompanied them. Bellamy opened the door to the throne room. Anya drew her sword out of its sheath, prepared for any threat. Lexa remained sat on her throne, curious as to the unorthodox move Skaikru was making.
Bellamy reappeared seconds later with a woman. The heavenly scent that Lexa caught a whiff of before now hit her full force.
Never in her twenty-five summers had Lexa smelled anything as sweet and as alluring as this omega’s scent. Lilac, and honeyed fruit. Apples maybe? Peaches? Lexa wasn’t sure. What she was sure of is that this omega’s scent was calling directly to her alpha.
“We offer fifteen hundred weapons, medicine and this omega.” Jaha continued, he could see the effect the omega had on the commander. He folded his arms, feeling smug that he had finally taken the upper hand.
Bellamy shoved the omega forward and Lexa had to dig her fingernails into the arms of her throne to stop from tearing the boy’s throat clean open.
The omega shirked off Bellamy’s grip and gave him a glare before she ran her hand over her clothes, smoothing out any perceived wrinkles. Lexa’s alpha internally howled in pride at the omega’s show of strength.
“I am Clarke of the Sky People.” The straw haired woman spoke with her head held high. Her chin jutted out with pride, her eyes blazing. “I offer myself as a gift.”
Anya sheathed her sword and gave the air a quick sniff. She looked back at her Heda, smelling the arousal seeping through her pheromones. She moved to Lexa’s side and pumped out her own dominating pheromones in order to mask Lexa’s arousal.
“A gift?” Lexa stood and stepped down from her dais slowly. She stood in front of Clarke, her hands crossed behind her back.
“I know that omegas are very rare amongst your people. I give myself freely…for my people.” Clarke emphasized.
Lexa looked to Abby and Jaha. “You are not coerced?”
“She is not!” Jaha protested adamantly. “She volunteered for this. She is pure, untouched and will perform her duties completely for whatever alpha you see fit to give her to.”
Clarke looked down at her feet and Lexa wondered just how exactly Jaha knew she was pure. Her alpha was screaming at her to take this omega and hide her away from this world, to protect her with her very life.
No, Lexa fought back her alpha. No. This was not her place, this omega was her own wolf, not to be anyone’s property. Lexa stepped the three steps back up to her throne and reclaimed her seat. “Omegas are prized among my people. They will not be bought and sold, or traded away as common goods.”
“There will be no parley.”
“No!” Jaha and Abby shouted out simultaneously. “Heda please.” Jaha pleaded, “We must have this parley. We will die without your help!”
Lexa looked sharply at the man who was now reduced to begging. “Then you should not have offered an omega as a bargaining tool.”
“Anya.” Lexa waved her hand and her general and her general’s warriors moved onto place around the Skaikru contingent. Anya gave a high pitched whistle and on her signal her warriors made the move to escort them out of her throne room.
“Wait! Wait.” The omega pushed to the front of the crowd. Lexa gave Anya a nod and allowed the omega to speak.
“You!” Clarke shouted over the ruckus. “I give myself to you!”
Lexa’s alpha snarled at the proclamation. She wishes to be yours, take her. The heavenly scent tickled dangerously at her nose once again. The sweet smell enticing her inner wolf, bringing her to the forefront. “You wish to be mine?” She asked as the room fell silent.
“As your omega, my clan would be safe? Would it not?” This omega knew the rules of her coalition. She was as intelligent, and as devious, as she was beautiful. Lexa also knew that Clarke could only have gotten that information from Oktavia. Smart one that little omega was, Lexa was going to have to have a chat with Lincoln’s mate after this meeting.
Lexa sat back, the wooden branches that made up her throne smooth against her spine. “Yes, Heda’s mate would have their clan granted the protection of Heda’s army. But only if the clan was part of Heda’s coalition. Which Skaikru is not.”
Make her yours. Her alpha called to her. She belongs to you and no one else. Take her!
Her fingers gripped into the arms of her throne again, she would not be ruled by her wolf.
“Surely there must be some way,” Clarke approached the dais slowly, “Some way for my people to be safe.” Her omega scent did not betray her demeanor, it was calm, soothing even. Attempting to beguile Lexa’s alpha, not in a primal sexual way, but in a manner that appealed to her intellect, not her wolf.
Lexa eyed the omega curiously, she had to know what she was asking of Lexa, what she was asking on behalf of her people. Lexa’s eyes traveled back to Abby and Jaha, as they struggled behind Anya’s elite soldiers. The looks on their faces made it clear, they didn’t know. They had no idea what this omega was asking of her.
Lexa let the thought develop in her mind. The idea taking root as the omega before her knew it would. If this played out as Lexa had expected it to, there could be many benefits to this arrangement. Trade, accessibility to more omegas that could breed with her people, medicine, tek, free flow of information and knowledge. All of this that could come at very little cost to Lexa. She would have to get the other ambassadors on board but that wouldn’t be too hard, a little extra could be pushed in one direction or another to get what she wanted. But was this what she wanted?
Yes. She wanted this omega, more than she had wanted anything in her entire life.
But was that enough to justify the changes she would have to make?
The redesign of her coalition?
She looked at Clarke again, eyeing her up and down. She had the luscious curves of an omega, flared hips and ample breasts, they were curves that were very pleasing to Lexa as she knew they would provide the room to grow and nurture many cubs.
The omega was physically pleasing to be sure, but she also admired her fortitude. She was willing to give herself to an alpha she didn’t know in order to secure a safe a prosperous future for her people. For all Clarke knew, she could be tying herself to a barbarian who would breed her without care. She did not know Lexa’s demeanor, yet she was a willing to commit to Lexa for the rest of her life to save the people of Arkadia.
Lexa only hoped these fools knew the sacrifice this omega was willing to make for them.
Lexa looked to Anya and gave her a nod. She knew that her general would understand the gesture completely.
“Clear the room.” Anya bellowed and her guards ushered the Skaikru contingent towards the exit. “Not you omega,” Anya ordered Clarke and the girl remained firmly rooted to the floor of the throne room.
Lexa didn’t miss the nervous look that the Skaikru fisa, Abbi threw at the girl before leaving the room.
“Clarke.” Lexa spoke softly, her scent soothing and calm. “I need you to speak true.”
Clarke nodded at the alpha’s request.
“How do they treat you?” Lexa corrected herself, “How do they treat omegas?”
Lexa felt the omega’s anger prickle her skin. “They…” Lexa watched as the omega took a moment to find the right words to express her thoughts to the alpha. Clarke sighed, clearly resigned to the fact that her scent had already betrayed her thoughts. “They don’t treat us well.” The omega left the statement ambiguous and let the alpha arrive at her own conclusions.
Lexa’s couldn’t help the growl that escaped from deep within her chest. Omegas were to be worshipped, to be honored as the giver of life that they were. The were to be protected, cherished, loved. Lexa swallowed back her anger and rose to her feet again. She stepped down the steps from her throne until she was at eye level with Clarke. The omega’s sweet, sweet scent filled her nostrils, causing a stirring low in her loins.
“And you are not forced into this arrangement?” Lexa was certain the omega was not, but she needed to hear it from Clarke’s own lips.
“No.” Clarke held her head high, “I give myself freely.” Clarke paused, her voice dropping an octave lower. “I know what I am committing to, what is expected of me.”
Lexa sniffed at the air. The omega spoke the truth. She ran her eyes up and down over the omega’s form again, watching as the omega’s shifted from foot to foot under the weight of her gaze. Her alpha was demanding she take this omega as her mate. That she lay her down and mount her, filling her with pleasure before filling her with her potent seed. She knew by her scent that this omega would give her strong and healthy cubs. That Heda’s line, her line, would continue.
“And does your kru know what you are committing them to?” Lexa asked with a quirked eyebrow. “What will happen to them if I take you as my mate?”
Clarke’s shoulders dropped. “No.”
“Yet you make this decision for them?” Lexa asked, genuinely curious. “Will they not disagree?”
“They don’t know how much they are at a disadvantage, the won’t listen to an omega, not Octavia, not me.” Clarke paused. “They need to be led in the right direction, even if they don’t know what that direction is. We won’t… they won’t survive without this. Without your help.” She stepped closer to Lexa, it was clear that the alpha’s scent was affected the omega as well. “That is why I’m willing to do this. I need you.”
The double meaning was not lost on the alpha as she could smell the faintest hint of the omega’s arousal. Her alpha made up her mind for her.
Lexa stepped forward, watching as the omega gulped as she moved within inches of her body. “Then you shall have me Klark of the Skai people.”
Lexa extended her hand in the traditional Trikru manner to seal the agreement.
“Tell your people we have a deal.”