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The Secrets We Keep

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Lena is wearing a skin tight leather dress with two golden chokers when she first meets Kara: she gives her an intense stare as they pass each other, noticing the heavy scents in the air that reveal a strong mutual attraction.

 

For her own sake, Lena dresses more conservatively after that. She tries to dodge Kara between classes and sticks to her very regimented schedule.

 

It becomes harder when they actually begin speaking to one another, when Kara’s face lights up in Lena’s presence and she can feel those innocent blue eyes undressing her.

 

At night, Lena sits at her desk with a lamp on, poring over her textbooks to keep her mind from wandering to Kara.

 

It’s not appropriate to fantasize, not when she’s supposed to be saving herself for someone — an alpha from a powerful family, whose birthright practically guarantees a connection with a rare omega like her rather than a standard beta.

 

As an omega, Lena is bound to certain unspoken rules of courtship: the alpha must be deemed a suitable match by the highest-ranking member of her own household.

 

It’s especially important that Lena partners with the right alpha, because the Luthor family’s reputation has suffered in the past and her choices will affect their public standing.

 

It would be considered disgraceful if anyone knew how Lena lusted after Kara Danvers, an alpha from a middle class background — an alpha who is seen as kind and humble, rather than forceful and confident like most others.

 

But Lena prides on herself on avoiding alphas with attitudes — on putting on her stern and strong airs that make her seem superior and so very unlike other, submissive omegas.

 

It’s a turn off when an alpha invades her personal space, except that Lena likes when Kara does it.

 

It’s easy to get cozy in the library with Kara, or to sit next to her at lunch just to feel their thighs touch.

 

Lena always finds herself a little less composed in Kara’s presence—much less able to concentrate when they even bump into each other on campus — and yet for the most part, she’s able to keep her act up and pretend otherwise.

 

It isn’t until her first heat of the year that Lena knows she’s truly damned.

 

The Dean of residency tries to enforce the rule that Lena take a leave of absence, and wait out the heat at home, but Lena refuses to jeopardize her academic standing or her role as sorority president.

 

She’s determined not to retreat into isolation and tells everyone, including all of the school administration, that she can handle this herself. They have her sign two waivers, but in the end she wins her fight and she’s given freedom to remain at the university during her heat.

 

Lena puts on the bravest face possible and struts around her classrooms, enters the dining hall with her chin held high, and even turns up to dance practice with her usual energy.

 

She ignores the way alphas react to her, how they flock around her, or make remarks and dark threats. With cold eyes and a tight smile on her lips, Lena overlooks it when her dancing partner attempts to grope her.

 

Lena thinks she’s been victorious when she’s made it halfway through her heat. She’s walking back to her sorority house late one night after studying at the library.

 

Kara had been there, and although Lena’s arousal had drenched her panties, she had still managed to finish reading a chapter of her history text, even with her knees locked and shaking beneath her desk.

 

But as she’s about to cross the quad to her building, Lena hears a man snicker behind her.

 

“You think you’re so much better than everyone else, don’t you?” comes a gruff voice, and John Corben strides purposefully towards her. He’s sandy haired and fair eyed, with a strong jaw and cheeks that hollow when he smiles at Lena.

 

They are in some of the same classes, and John has spent time at her sorority house with some of her housemates, but he’s never been friendly towards her.

 

“I think you’re asking for attention by refusing to go into isolation,” John remarks. “The question is, whose attention do you want? Is this some kind of political statement aimed at the school, or are you doing all of this for a specific alpha who you’re hoping will knot with you?”

 

Lena swallows and tears her eyes away from John, not willing to engage with him. She begins to turn away, and yet he steps in front of her path to give her a challenging nudge backwards.

 

“I don’t want attention,” Lena asserts in a firm, but mild tone of voice. “I want to graduate at the top of my class, and as the semester has only just begun, it would be foolish to leave now. This is my final year and all of my upper level courses are much more demanding. I plan to be a leader someday—perhaps even a senator.”

 

John snorts as if he doesn’t believe her and places a hand on her shoulder. He bends to her height, addressing her the same condescending way her older brother might. “Lena, Lena,” he chuckles, without even a trace of a smile. “Isn’t that a political history book in your hand? Name a single omega with a seat on the senate. Hell, name a single omega who has graduated from this university at the top of the class. And you’re a Luthor, besides.” He’s smug now and his smile appears again, cruel and mocking as he brushes a strand of hair from her face.

 

Lena flinches away from the touch and backs out of his personal space, going in a wide circle around him. “They’ll just have to print a new edition of this book to add my name then,” she brags. “Have a good night, John. I need to get back to my house. I have an early class tomorrow morning.”

 

“Not so fast,” John complains, trailing after her and glancing up sharply from her ass when she swings around to face him. “You didn’t answer my question about the alpha you’ve been trying to attract,” he clarifies. “It’s Kara Danvers, isn’t it?”

 

Lena pales as she hears Kara’s name on his lips and she clutches her book tighter. “Why would you think that?” she replies, though she’s soft of speech, too startled to cover up her distress.

 

John howls out a laugh, instantly recognizing her panic for what it is, and then he’s leaning in to caress her face. “Danvers!” he declares. “I just knew it was Danvers. You’re always half-dressed when she’s around, aren’t you?” His eyes sweep down to her low neckline, then to the end of her skirt and he whistles. “You’d better cover yourself up from now on, or that pathetic excuse of an alpha might get the wrong idea about you. I’d hate to tell your brother about all of this—how you’ve stayed here at school just so you can parade around Danvers like you’re asking for it—”

 

Lena’s breath catches in her throat and she jabs John in the chest. “I am not asking for anything,“ she fumes. “And why would you bring my brother into this? You don’t even know him!”

 

“I do,” John calmly reports, leaning in to her touch until she’s uncomfortable. “I do know your brother. He’s friends with my aunt and he has a professional relationship with my father. Speaking of my father, your brother contacted him recently to discuss the possibility of a match between us. It seems he’s also been in touch with other prominent families. There are three other alphas I know who are under consideration as potential partners for you, Lena.”

 

Lena drops her book and then dives to get it, all to prevent John from seeing how this news completely shatters her. “You must be mistaken,” she argues. “My brother would never do that. We live in a modern world and he’d never make a choice like that for me. He isn’t old fashioned, and he doesn’t believe in the courtship rules. Now, please, I need to get inside. It’s late and I shouldn’t be seen with you. It’s your reputation on the line, just as much as it is mine.”

 

She’s lying and they both know it, but she handles herself gracefully enough that John doesn’t push the issue. He stands back, bows low and then slinks off across the green quad.

 

Lena rushes back to her house and collapses into a heap on her bed, not even bothering with pajamas or to remove her make-up. She hugs her pillow and sniffles back the urge to cry.

 

It’s an impulsive decision to text Kara and her hand trembles as she awaits a reply to her question:

 

Can you meet me?

 

Kara’s response is fast: Now? I don’t mind that it’s late, but wouldn’t that start rumors, especially because of. . . you know?

 

Lena types an even quicker answer: No one has to know you’re here. How are you at climbing trees?

 

Kara writes: My mom used to joke that I could fly because I climbed the oak by our house all of the time when I was growing up. Then I’d get onto the roof and practice jumping down onto a trampoline. I did stunts just for fun.

 

Lena texts: There’s a tree outside of my bedroom. It’s also an oak. I’ll open the window for you. Fly up to me.

 

Lena hurries around her bedroom, gathering up the few items that might be out of place or embarrassing. She places the cover over her hamper, where her wet panties have piled up over the last week.

 

After a brief debate with herself, Lena leaves her stuffed tiger on her bed right where it is, and then cracks open the window.

 

Kara’s already perched in the tree and transfers her weight easily to the sill. She swings her leg into Lena’s bedroom and takes a quick glance around. “Pretty sure there are some twigs in my hair,” Kara smirks, tugging a leaf out of her wavy blonde hair, and doing her best to stand up straight.

 

In ragged jeans and a sweater, Kara looks endearingly studious and dorky, but tonight she’s not wearing her black-rimmed glasses. She gets a whiff of Lena’s scent and her bottom lip falls open as she takes a deep inhale. “So, what’s going on?” Kara asks. “Please don’t tell me you want to continue studying—”

 

Lena’s pussy aches and clenches around nothing, reminding her of its emptiness and need. She gestures towards the bed and at the flat screen television on her wall. “I want to watch a movie,” she quietly explains. “And the truth is, I really just wanted your company. I consider you a friend, Kara. I know I tend to be aloof, but I need a friend tonight.”

 

Kara smiles at that, blushing along the bridge of her nose and over her high cheek bones. “I’m happy you chose me,” she admits and settles on the edge of the bed where Lena points for her to sit.

 

Lena bends to untie the straps on her designer heels and Kara watches, too mesmerized to realize she should be removing her own shoes.

 

Kara eventually gets the hint and pulls off her canvas sneakers. They both climb onto the bed together and it feels normal when they gravitate close, and Lena’s head ends up on Kara’s shoulder.

 

There’s a palpable heat and tension between them, which neither one mentions, but it keeps rising towards a breaking point. Lena turns on a movie and it becomes a drone in the background to their foreplay.

 

“I’ve never invited anyone to my bedroom,” Lena confesses, feeling out of her depth but driven by a sexuality so natural to her. She plays with her skirt, moving it further up her thigh as if it’s been bothering her. “Not even my sorority sisters, who are all betas.”

 

Kara gulps, and the outline of her erection is visible in her pants, thick and unmistakable to Lena. “I guess I should be honored,” Kara considers. “What did I do to earn this privilege?”

 

“You’re always respectful,” Lena points out, raising an eyebrow as she remembers one time when Kara had been less than that. “Except for that time when one of my thongs fell out of my gym bag. I saw you bend to pick it up, Kara, but you never gave it back.”

 

Kara freezes at that and she shakes her head, eyes wide as she explains herself. “I didn’t—I didn’t want anyone to see me handing your underwear back to you, and it was covered in your personal scent, Lena. What if someone else picked it up? I did the first thing I could think to do, which was to get rid of it.”

 

“I have no doubt that your intentions were ultimately honorable,” Lena insists with soft laughter, dragging her eyes down Kara’s well-toned arms and to the obvious crest in her pants. “You could have kept the thong,” she whispers. “I wish that you had kept it.”

 

Kara makes a quiet choking noise and her tongue seems momentarily stuck.

 

It’s unbearable for them both to sit this close together with the electricity of their attraction delivering the occasional shock to their system.

 

Lena moans, no longer the picture of self-control as Kara’s hand falls instinctively on her thigh and pushes her skirt up further. “Is this okay?” Kara asks, more bold with her than ever before. “Is this why you invited me here tonight?”

 

Kara keeps her hand there, rubbing her without drifting any higher.

 

Lena’s wetness sops through the thin fabric covering her pussy. The light panty is such softly spun silk she can hardly feel it anymore.

 

“Maybe,” Lena noncommittally replies and frowns when Kara immediately removes her hand. “I mean—yes. I have to tell you the truth, even if it’s an indecent one. I know you’re intrigued by me, Kara. It’s not something you can hide well. Do you want to spend the night with me?”

 

Kara frowns deeply, and Lena knows that Kara’s not thinking of herself. They are both focusing on the consequences, on the risk that this presents to Lena’s future.

 

“You can’t do this, Lena,” Kara determines and stands up in a flash, ready to pull on her shoes again. “You shouldn’t just make a huge decision like this on the spur of the moment, even if your body is screaming at you to do this right now. Is something wrong?”

 

Lena hates how easily Kara sees right through her, how her own eagerness is met outwardly with the disappointment she should be feeling towards herself right now.

 

“My older brother is already looking for a suitable alpha for me,” Lena abruptly admits, her breath hitching and emotion flooding over her face all at once. “He apparently has a few possibilities in mind.”

 

“What? He can’t make that choice for you. No one can. That’s not even legal.“ Kara rants, her eyebrows furrowing and her chest puffing out in a defensive stance.

 

“It might not be legal, but it happens, Kara. It’s just never discussed. There are courtship rules that many households still observe,” Lena sighs, frustrated with her own situation and how much she’s managed to upset Kara. “Please just focus on the fact that I want to be with you. We can share a night together—“

 

“We can’t. I didn’t bring any protection because this was the last thing I expected to happen. Not only could this completely ruin your future, but what is your plan?” Kara counters, pacing across the carpet in her socks as she ponders the best way to talk Lena out of this, no doubt. “Do you plan to do this, and then accept whoever your brother chooses for you?”

 

“I don’t know,” Lena breathes. She’s honest to a fault whenever it involves Kara, honest because she has genuine feelings for her that she’s too frightened to articulate just yet. “It’s rare that I say this, but I hadn’t thought it through,” she continues. “I’m just asking for one night with you—“

 

“I want it to be special,” Kara replies, shrinking and losing some of her indignant energy. “You deserve something special, Lena. A night out, some romance—something real.”

 

“You are real with me, aren’t you?” Lena asks, unsure of why that question makes Kara restless.

 

“Always. I’m more myself with you than I am with anyone,” Kara promises, and Lena takes the reassurance seriously, enough to stand up and lead Kara back to the bed.

 

Kara remains antsy, even as she sinks back into the place she recently vacated. “Are you sure you want this?” she frowns.

 

Lena’s head finds its way back to Kara’s shoulder and she affectionately nuzzles into her neck. Her mouth leaves behind a trail of lipstick marks and Kara’s hands fist in her skirt.

 

“I’ve wanted you for a long time. Probably ever since I saw you,” Lena discloses. “You are my choice.”

 

Kara bunches the fabric and then finds the zipper at the back of the skirt. The quiet noise of it sends shivers of anticipation up Lena’s spine.

 

Then Kara kisses her with softness that becomes harder and insistent enough to smear her bold red lipstick everywhere. Lena pants from it, hot against Kara’s neck as she peels herself away, wondering whether this is right or not, wondering one last time if she’s ready.

 

She chooses not to second guess it when Kara’s fingers tangle in her sheer panty and push underneath them.

 

“I can tell this heat has been rough on you,” Kara acknowledges as she touches Lena’s slippery pussy lips, parting them with a stroke of her thumb. “I’m going to take care of you. You’re so wet, but if this is your first time, I’m going to take it slow.” She plays with Lena’s pussy, finding her sensitive clit and stimulating it in a circular pattern.

 

Lena groans and follows her urges to move her pelvis, pressing into Kara’s palm. “Is this your first time?” she whispers.

 

Kara’s face drops and she shakes her head, a bit sheepish as she shares a secret. “No, this isn’t my first time,” she reveals. “I don’t think I’d make it through my ruts without relief, but I’m careful and I use protection. I also get tested and choose partners carefully so no one’s feelings get hurt. For them, it’s never about more than a release—”

 

Lena is so shocked she can’t respond and a tinge of sadness grips her heart. “I just assumed—” she chokes.

 

“You assumed what most people would assume about me,” Kara concludes, her features softening as she holds Lena close and massages her pussy more thoroughly. “I’m more complex than I seem.” Her hand ventures away from Lena’s clit and lower to spread her open. They glance down at Lena’s body at the same time, at the peek of her vagina that they can both see when Kara’s fingers are placed on her lips to keep them apart.

 

If nothing else, Kara’s experience shows in the delicate way she moves her hands.

 

Lena’s at peace with this impulsive choice, and how her body reacts to Kara admiring her nakedness.

 

“Have you ever thought about having sex with me?” Lena boldly asks.

 

“More than once,” Kara confesses with humility, ducking her blushing face against Lena’s cheek. “When we met, I’d never seen someone so beautiful, and the way you looked at me, how could I stop myself from fantasizing about you? I think I’ve always wanted you. I just never thought you’d want me back.”

 

Kara positions Lena with her legs draped over her own. Like this, Lena’s easier to hold and touch, fully on display to them both, with her hips opened up.

 

“Can I put my fingers inside of you?” Kara murmurs against Lena’s earlobe, then drags her nose against the side of her neck and places a kiss over her pulse point. “Being with an alpha for the first time can hurt for an omega. I don’t want it to hurt.”

 

“Have you hurt someone in the past?” Lena whispers nervously, and she’s more conscious of the girth and length of Kara’s cock against her lower back. It’s larger than she ever imagined and she wonders how her body will handle being entered when Kara at last slides into her.

 

“Never,” Kara states with vehemence and rubs at Lena’s opening, which tightens timidly at even the barest attention from a single fingertip. “I’m going to prepare you for this, Lena. There are some alphas who might not care how betas or omegas feel, but I’m not one of them. Your pleasure is all that matters to me.”

 

“Your fingers first,” Lena agrees and then strains to open her legs even further, to the point that the tendons along the inside of her hips are visible.

 

Kara’s hand never leaves her smooth sex, which is darkening with arousal in the place where her lips meet. It’s tender when Kara slips a finger into her pussy and crooks it against a spot that makes Lena groan.

 

“What are you doing,” Lena husks, her voice like thick syrup to the ear. “Oh, Kara, what are you doing to me?” Her eyes roll towards the ceiling and she instinctively rocks herself to take Kara’s finger. “Please, don’t stop."

 

Another joins it, and Lena can hear the noise of them pumping into her wetness.

 

“You’re starting to relax for me, Lena,” Kara softly observes in delight. “This is just how it’s supposed to be. You’re doing so good, and you’re so sensitive inside.”

 

Lena has never experienced anything so invigorating and calming at the same time. It satisfies her deeply when Kara stretches her out with two fingers.

 

Kara separates the fingers inside and then sinks them in fully. There’s a slight twinge, and although Lena’s almost too distracted to notice, she believes Kara’s claimed her virginity.

 

“Let me undress you now,” Kara requests and she helps Lena up, lifts her top off over her head and finishes taking off her skirt and panties.

 

Lena stands and waits while Kara yanks down her own jeans, peels off her socks and throws off her sweater.

 

Kara then backs Lena down against the bed and Lena’s smile broadens for a moment before she takes in the sight of Kara’s huge erection.

 

There’s a risk of pregnancy without using protection and Lena can only hope her heat will come to an early end, or else she’s sure that she’s going to breed with Kara.

 

Lena’s nipples are sore and stiff and they hurt in a pleasurable way when Kara cups her breasts.

 

Kara bites her bottom lip as she stares down at Lena’s chest.

 

“What’s wrong?” Lena asks, noticing Kara’s hesitation and how worried she seems.

 

“It’s just your heat,” Kara replies and nuzzles into Lena’s neck, brushing her lips over her jaw. “You’re especially fertile right now, Lena. It’s easy to tell that just by looking at you.”

 

Lena pouts her bottom lip subtly because she doesn’t want this to stop, not when she’s aching all over with need. “Are you afraid of what might happen?” she whispers. “I can take something to avoid getting pregnant. I don’t take anything regularly for that, but I have some pills on hand. I honestly never thought I’d use them, but one of my sorority sisters gave them to me as a precaution after I insisted on staying on campus.”

 

Kara’s hands glide up her thighs and their magnetism is impossible to deny. She merely nods in approval of Lena’s back-up plan.

 

“I can’t help but want it,” Lena gustily admits when Kara kneels between her legs.

 

“To breed?” Kara murmurs against her lips, with a soulful gleam in her eyes that sends a tiny spasm of need through Lena. “Pretend we are. Pretend it’s your time for it—”

 

It’s far easier than it should be for Lena to dream up a scenario, in which they’ve graduated, found a home and chosen each other as mates. She’s so wrapped up in the fantasy that she forgets how forbidden this is—how this will be viewed as wrong if anyone finds out about it.

 

Kara groans as their bodies meld together, her cock pushing in gradually until their pelvises meet.

 

It’s a sweet relief and Lena feels herself stretch deliciously inside, her slick pussy full for the first time. Kara rocks with her and through her at a languid pace, and Lena's back arches.

 

Lena’s surprised by how her slim, lower abdomen bulges every time Kara’s cock sticks in deep. If not for Kara’s preparations, Lena might not be able to stand the extreme size of it.

 

As it stands, Lena’s pussy reddens as they quicken their movements, but it’s too good to stop even for a second. The fast, fluid motions of Kara’s cock leave Lena moaning and so aroused that she has no trouble taking it harder.

 

“I haven’t ever been with an omega, and this is my first time doing this without a condom,” Kara confesses breathlessly with the heat of embarrassment in her face. “You feel amazing and I’m slightly delirious from it.”

 

It’s sex with Lena that sets off a sudden rut, and it has such a fast onset for Kara that they are both overwhelmed and quiet. Kara seems ashamed at first, steadying herself as her hormones make her pulse hammer in her throat.

 

Kara only grows bolder when Lena elegantly raises her legs and offers herself up. She holds Lena’s ankles and begins to roll her hips, jolting the bed frame with harder thrusts.

 

“You should have come to me when this happened in the past,” Lena softly grunts, almost too softly to be heard over the slapping sounds of Kara rutting her.

 

It makes her legs quake to know that this has occurred because of her—that Kara desires her so much that their vigorous mating resulted in this extreme response.

 

It’s undeniable that they are being driven by their instincts now, and Kara’s possessed by an urge to empty seed into Lena’s womb.

 

“Lena, if I came to you like this, then we never would have made it through last year,” Kara pants, her upper quads forcefully slamming into Lena as she admires her clenching pussy from above. “I want to breed you. I want that honor more than I can explain—“

 

Lena’s mesmerized by the concentration behind Kara’s relentless motions, the perfect rhythm that sends pleasure into her. It sinks inside, like a thousand silver coins that tingle and plink and find their way down to the deepest part of her that wants to fulfill every one of Kara’s wishes. “What if you do,” Lena suggests. “What if I let you?”

 

Kara’s not one to slow over this sudden proposition and she’s tireless, her cock ready to knot in Lena, but not before Lena’s totally spent. “Your future depends on us not exploring those hypotheticals,” Kara reasons. “But I selfishly want it anyway.”

 

“Take it, take me,” Lena presses and then she’s gripped by a spasm internally that makes a sweat break across her forehead. She bucks her hips from the orgasm, the unexpected sensation both confusing her and stealing her breath. “You could take me away in a few months,” she points out. “When we finish our education, we can go anywhere.”

 

Kara’s nodding, promising Lena with her big baby blue eyes, and Lena comes again around her cock until satisfaction spreads through her pussy and all through her belly.

 

It’s difficult for Lena, enduring the emotions that surge through her when Kara pumps hot seed into her body and at last knots. The thick spurts would overflow from her pussy, if not for the base of Kara’s cock, which expands so much that it lodges against the most sensitive spot inside of Lena.

 

Lena’s pussy quivers, drawing out Kara’s pleasure and keeping the swelling strong.

 

“I won’t be able to slip out,” Kara mutters. “Not for quite a while. Could be longer than usual.”

 

Knotting has a primal exhilaration to it, and Kara holds her for as long as it lasts, well into the night and morning.

 

“This is the longest it’s ever taken,” Kara whispers, an hour later when she’s still burrowed inside of Lena. “I’m sorry. If I had known it was going to be like this, I would have given you more warning.”

 

“You don’t have to apologize,” Lena insists and finds comfort in Kara’s prolonged presence. She drifts off to sleep while Kara plays with her dark hair, and awakens only when she’s aware their bodies are no longer united.

 

Drowsily opening her eyes, Lena watches Kara pull on her jeans and shoes. “You’re leaving without saying goodbye?” she pouts, with such heartbreak in her voice that Kara turns and nearly falls over herself to get to Lena.

 

“Oh no, I wasn’t leaving,” Kara whispers and slips her hand over Lena’s as she bends by the bed. “We—had sex last night, Lena. My scent will be all over you. I need to go back to my room. I have a cologne to cover up what we did.”

 

“I don’t want you to go,” Lena sighs, and yet reluctantly waves her off. “Be quick about it, okay?” She’s unprepared for the feelings of loneliness and fear she experiences when Kara scurries out the window.

 

Kara doesn’t stay away long, and returns with a bowl of fresh fruit, containers of porridge and the promised cologne. “You need to eat,” Kara explains and lays the food out on Lena’s desk.

 

Lena’s scents have changed after sex, but the cologne covers it when she sprays herself experimentally. She sinks into the chair at the desk and picks at the fruit, only because Kara is adamant.

 

“We should talk about all of this,” Kara nervously tells her and wipes sweaty hands down the front of her jeans. “Are you going to take your pill this morning?”

 

Lena has almost forgotten about it and yet she pulls back her desk drawer, finds the pills, and takes one with a gulp of water.

 

Kara goes quiet, her brows knitted together in what looks like dismay. “You’re still mine,” she asserts suddenly.

 

Lena’s stunned by this level of possessiveness and then Kara bends in front of her on one knee.

 

“Be mine?” Kara asks with a scrunch of her nose and Lena knows with any other alpha she might not get this courtesy.

 

Mating was enough to give an alpha a future claim whenever ruts should heighten their need.

 

“I am yours,” Lena says with a full smile, flashing white teeth at Kara. “Even if we have to keep what we’ve done a secret. It won’t be easy, but if we succeed, we can elope together after we finish our education.”

 

It’s not the easiest path they could take in life, and yet if her brother Lex dictates her future, Lena expects it will be much harder.

 

Kara’s hands rest against Lena’s bare thighs and she nods in agreement. “I’ll protect you, Lena,” she states. “I’ll come back here tonight after my classes, if you’re alright with that. I’ve heard that omegas feel better when their alphas are at their sides--”

 

“It would make me feel better, especially because my heat isn’t over yet, and your rut has only just begun,” Lena clarifies. “Can you—“

 

“I’ll come prepared to take care of you, Lena, with condoms this time,” Kara says with a smile curving her lips and a squeeze of Lena’s hand.

 

They both shower in Lena’s private bathroom, separately because they have class soon, and then they leave the sorority house together. Kara exits through the window and Lena hurries down to meet up with her, to walk together until they reach their different classrooms.

 

“I’ll wait for you after our morning classes,” Kara offers and they both want to touch. It’s clear from how they crane towards one another.

 

“Please, I would like that,” Lena replies and inconspicuously passes off a piece of fabric she’s been holding onto that morning. It’s a scarf she wears, sprayed with a light mist of Kara’s cover-up perfume, but it’s still possible to smell Lena on it.

 

Lena departs with her books cradled against her, oblivious to how she draws the heated stares of alphas.

 

Kara notices their strange energy and reacts to it, straightening up and watching Lena all the way to the door of her classroom.

 

It’s unusual for alphas to be aggressive after an omega’s been mated, but for as long as Lena can recall, she’s never been a typical omega. Her sex appeal is powerful and the tight black dress she’s worn for Kara grabs everyone’s attention, including the instructor’s, much to her concern.

 

This instructor has always liked to her, though his mood has shifted during Lena’s protest of institutional rules. She still participates in the class as usual, despite how her classmates leer at her.

 

After the class, Lena makes a rushed exit and emerges from the building to spot Kara sitting on a towel in the grass with Alex, her sister.

 

Alex opens her mouth to speak and she’s so forceful about it that her auburn hair moves, shaken out along with several accusations. “You seem totally different today and that’s Lena’s scarf you have in your pocket. I’m not blind,” she hisses at Kara before Lena’s within earshot.

 

All Lena overhears is Alex’s stunned question: “-- you slept with Lena Luthor?”

 

Lena pauses in her tracks and her smile drops away in an instant, as she feels someone nudge into her. James stares at her and a frown forms on his lips that reveals he’s overheard Alex too.

 

He’s a friend of Lena’s, an alpha who she’s certain will be on her brother’s list, not because Lex likes James, but because James has influence through his family and their connection to the newspapers.

 

It’s too late to deny it and yet Lena laughs anyway in the most mocking pitch she can muster. “Kara is just a friend,” she insists loudly and turns her glare on Kara.

 

It hurts that their secret has been spoken aloud, that Kara hadn’t been more careful with the scarf, and Lena spins around to run away.

 

She’s been an idiot to be seen doe-eyed with Kara in public, and once she admits that to herself, she lets so many more self-criticisms in.

 

The flood of shame is too much to bear and Lena begins to cry as soon as she’s far enough away. She cries into her hand and stands with her back to a tree, sniffling and unable to get ahold of herself.

 

It’s an opportune moment for James to follow her and then John notices her too.

 

The two of them don’t like each other and it’s just Lena’s vulnerability that draws them closer together.

 

“She alright?” John asks, accusing James with his eyes as he stands over Lena, giving her only a cursory glance in case she speaks up first.

 

“I think she’s upset because of the rumors being spread about her,” James responds, hooking his thumb into his jeans as he casually gives his opinion of the situation.

 

Lena’s struck by how James has said rumors, plural—and how John shrugs, then peers down at her without compassion.

 

“She brought it on herself,” John argues with a teasing smirk on his lips. “She shouldn’t be here right now, you know? Whoever ends up with her is going to have a lot to do to defend her honor. Lex is right to find her an alpha now before she ruins her own reputation, right along with the Luthor family name, once and for all. I’ve heard plenty of people calling her a slut these past few weeks—“

 

Lena breaks away from both of the young men and runs, dropping a book somewhere on the gravel path and not even stopping to grab it.

 

She shuts herself back in her bedroom and locks the window, refusing to open it when she hears tiny rocks and twigs hitting the glass.

 

Kara must be out there, but Lena’s chest heaves from the pain of being viewed as a slut, as someone who can only do wrong, when she’s done nothing but strive to be better in everyone’s eyes.

 

It’s Kara’s reputation on the line too and that’s ultimately why Lena doesn’t open the window.

 

She curls up and cries, and finally the tears dry down her neck as she falls asleep, still exhausted from the night before.

 

And when she awakens, it’s to a terrible surprise she least expects...