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In the Midnight Hour

Chapter Text

As an Alpha, the last career most people would expect him to take was a nurse. Evita, his childhood friend, never stopped being annoyed that patients often assumed that Tyrone – the male Alpha – was the doctor, and Evita – the female beta – was the nurse.


Tyrone didn’t think it was strange at all, despite people telling him so his entire career. To him, it seemed natural.


It was often forgotten, but Alphas were not aggression and dominance all the time. Nobody could sustain that and be a healthy person. To be an Alpha was to be in charge of your pack, and if you were going to lead effectively, you must provide. Provide shelter, provide food, provide care, provide comfort. For children, provide discipline and guidance. For a spouse, provide companionship and support.


That ideal was abandoned by an alarming number of his sub-gender, and to many people, aggression and relentless dominance was all they had ever gotten from the Alphas in their lives, be it from a boss, parent, sibling, or spouse.


As a result, many patients were initially sort of uneasy about having him as a nurse – he was black, male, and Alpha. They balked because they were racist, because they were afraid of him, or because they didn’t think him being in charge of their care was socially acceptable.


He didn’t generally expect to be caring for patients outside the hospital. Just his luck that he hadn’t even wanted to go to this party – Evita had dragged him along. She thought he stayed in too much. Next time, he wouldn’t go wearing his work badge around his neck.


Firstly, from the stumbling, he assumed the man was drunk – he was a short kind of stacked white Alpha male. “Ya gotta help me,” he slurred, bourbon wafting from his pores and making Ty wrinkle his nose. “She’s gone crazy…”


“I’m sorry, but I’m going to need more than that to go on, pal,” Ty drawled, shifting away from the dancing couple making out closer than he’d like.


“She wanted me to help her with her heat.” There was an irritating note to the man’s voice, a grating whine that wasn’t helped by his state of intoxication. “But then ssssssssshe attacked me!”


This was common for couples who were not well established – they made the mistake of assuming that they would be compatible instead of getting their hormone levels tested. Some people’s biology was more picky than others and might not react well to those they deemed ‘incompatible’, in the heat of the moment, an Omega who thought their Alpha was not the correct selection might reject his or her suitor.


Looking more closely at the man now, Ty can see scratch marks on his face, faint but present. Narrowing his eyes, Tyrone asked “So where is your lady friend, pal?”


“Wh-what? No! You’re-you’re supposed to help ME!” he whined.


“You don’t seem that injured. But if your friend is in heat and she’s very high-strung, I don’t want her getting hurt or seriously injuring someone else.”


“Ffffforget about that bitch, I left her in the parking lot.”


WHAT?!” He bolted down the hallway at a run, snagging Evita on his way. “Keep an eye on the drunk douche, he abandoned his friend out in the parking lot – she’s an Omega in heat and it sounds like she might be scared and aggressive.”


“It’s all you, pal, I’ll make sure there’s no more shenanigans.”


Normally, it would be frowned upon for an Alpha to retrieve an Omega – even the medical-grade scent blockers used by healthcare staff would not be enough to stop the hormone levels that accompany a heat.


But…Ty wasn’t really just any Alpha.


In a small percentage of the Alpha population the scent they exuded did not register as ‘active’ for potential mates, and the hormone receptors in their brains didn’t quite work as they should. It was a little more common in female Alphas, but it usually happened when a couple had two or more children of the same sub-gender – nature’s way of ensuring that the infighting in the household was kept down, they said. Having two Alpha or two Omega children was pretty uncommon anyway, but Ty’s older brother Billy was a male Alpha, just like him. Two children of the same gender and sub-gender was very uncommon and every doctor the two of them went to were fascinated by it.


But beyond medical fascination, these particular Alphas were viewed as something of a pariah in the majority of the world. Some other Alphas derisively referred to them as ‘neutered’, since even an Omega in full heat probably wouldn’t get them to knot as they should, and their scents didn’t entice them more than any other partner would.


Tyrone Johnson was one of these ‘neutered’ Alphas.


For the most part, he didn’t really mind his supposedly malfunctioning designation. Medical science might say that his body didn’t work as it should, but nothing felt incorrect to him. Nothing was odd or out of place in his world. This, to him, was the way things had always been.


He pretty much stuck with dating Betas because when Omegas found out that he wouldn’t be knotting them and would never be crazy-attracted to their scent, they inevitably grew discontented with their relationship, but if there was something missing, Ty didn’t notice it.


The real hilarity ensued when other Alphas assumed that because they went around crowing that people like him were neutered, it didn’t make them ‘real’ Alphas, that they that were essentially just like Betas. Weaker, even.


“Hello?” He expected to see someone holed up in a car somewhere – he can’t rely on his sense of smell, because even in heat, his ability to smell her wouldn’t do him any good. Instead, he tried to use his sense of sight, peering through windshields. “Miss? I’m Tyrone, your friend said you were in heat and I just want to help you. Are you safe? Hello?”


Ty noticed the purse spilled onto the blacktop just a moment before a gravelly little voice said, “He’s not my fucking friend.”


Freezing, he turned back to the shadows near where the parking lot started to become a small stand of trees and said “Miss? Are you alright?”


“The asshole who talked to you,” the Omega said, alarmingly close to a growl. “He isn’t my friend – he offered to give me a ride home. The dude was just supposed to drop me off and instead, he tried to pull my pants down in the car, even when I told him not to.”


Quickly texting Evita to tell her that their ‘victim’ was actually the offender, as he suspected, Ty asked “Are you injured, ma’am?”






“It’s not ‘ma’am’. My name is Tandy, Tandy Bowen and no, I’m not hurt.”


“Okay, Tandy,” he said slowly. “My name is Tyrone Johnson, and I’d like to help you. Do you know how far you are into your heat?”


“Don’t you know?” Tandy said, snorting. Stepping out from the shadows, the dim streetlamps shines down on her cropped blonde hair with a glaring force. The collar of her shirt is askew, like someone tried to pull it aside. “I reek, dude.”


“No, I’m sorry I-” Ty’s voice dies in his throat, his whole mouth suddenly dry.


She’s really pretty, his mind noted distantly, as his body tried to cope with the excessive feedback it was suddenly receiving. Short, blonde, white, early twenties – about his own age.


He’s had friends describe what it’s like, to smell an Omega in heat, how intense and erotic the experience is – until that moment, he’d always assumed they must have been exaggerating. If anything, they may have been downplaying.


Tandy Bowen smelled like dark chocolate mixed with red chili peppers – hot, sweet, and bitter.


“You…how are you doing that?” Ty asked hoarsely, resisting the urge to push her against the tree and lick at her neck.


She stepped closer – not a good idea, he thought frantically – and said, “You do know how basic biology works, don’t you, pal?” Tandy breathed in, her brown eyes widening. “Oh. Oh, wow.”


“I’m a neutral Alpha,” he managed to choke out, using the more polite term for his type of designation. “I shouldn’t-shouldn’t be able to…”


“Then you aren’t anymore,” she breathed, her chest heaving as she inhaled in a very distracting way. “God, you smell amazing. You don’t seem neutral to me.”


“I…” Whatever he had intended to say fell right out of his brain. All he could see were her breasts straining so invitingly against her t-shirt. Somewhere, his rational mind demanded his attention again. “…should take you…home…”


Her hips swayed side to side, almost as though Tandy was dancing to music only she could hear. Licking her lower lip, she said “Or we could not do that.”


“You’re-you’re in heat,” Ty said, almost in a pleading tone, though it was honestly killing his erection to reject her. “You can’t be…can’t be thinking straight, Tandy. I’m a total stranger.”


“Yeah, and so was he,” she said, jerking in chin in the direction of the crowded house. “But I was thinking straight enough to know I didn’t want that bourbon-soaked jackass to put even a finger in me, never mind his knot.”


A dormant and oft-ignored part of Ty snarled fiercely at the thought of another Alpha mounting and knotting her. He swallowed dryly, palms sweating. “Are you sure, Tandy?”


Tandy smiled. “I’m sure you smell like the good kind of vanilla ice cream and I wanna sit on your lap. Is that good enough for you, Ty?”


Well, holy shit.


He thinks of himself as a generally nice guy, the kind who doesn’t stare at Omegas a touch longer than he should or cat-call and wolf-whistle. But he wasn’t an idiot and she already spelled this out for him – actually, she was a lot more forceful and decisive than most Alphas would tell you an Omega is.


Tyrone was insanely into it, to be honest.


“Yours or mine?”


Despite Tandy being in actual fucking heat right now, they had to take a cab because if Tyrone was forced to drive, they both would’ve died – maybe for another Alpha, this was routine, but this was his first time experiencing this and his nervous system was having a hard time with the constant flood of hormones he was experiencing.


The cabby stared at Tandy, opened mouth, for the first three minutes of the ride, drivers behind them honking as a light at the intersection turned and the taxi didn’t move. Ty growled savagely at the challenge implicit in his refusal to look away from her, allowing his Alpha Voice to trickle into the sound and baring his teeth.


The man’s head snapped around to face forward so quickly it gave them both a neck ache just to watch him. Before he could beat himself up too much for his slightly inappropriate display of temper, Tandy murmured “That was extremely hot, in case you were wondering.”


“I wasn’t,” he whispered back. “And it was rude.”


She gave an unladylike snort that still somehow managed to be oddly charming. “Well, so was he.”

Chapter Text

Other than their designation, Tandy and her mom were nothing alike – she was loud, stubborn, opinionated, reckless. A risk-taker. Everything her mom wasn’t. Everything people always said an Omega shouldn’t be. Melissa always said she knew very early that Tandy would present as an Omega, said that Tandy was very like herself as a little girl. Before she was married and mated to an Alpha – something Melissa warned her very early on not to do. She warned her that they were not like other Omegas.


It took her years to work out what she meant. Mom hadn’t wanted to scare her, hadn’t wanted to explain herself too graphically.  


In heat, a proper Omega was supposed to submit themselves to the Alpha, supposed to become wanton, needy creatures whose Alphas would provide everything for them – a knot to fill the aching space within them, food and water to prevent them from becoming too weak or ill, a safe secure place to mate.


They weren’t supposed to bite and kick and scratch, to bare their teeth and snarl when it was time to be pleading for a knot. They weren’t supposed to find the smell of an Alpha revolting or prefer a rubber cock to a real person.


Tandy wasn’t a proper Omega.


They used to call them ‘fey Omega’. When she became an adult, she understood why Mom didn’t want to tell her more.


In society’s eyes, there was a cost to subverting expectations. Her mother tried to tell her, tried to warn her. After all, Melissa had paid it dearly. Nathan Bowen had her bitten and bonded when she was barely old enough for it to be legal, in a time before mating without prior consent was a crime.


Mom didn’t want Tandy to end up in a situation like hers, at first too repulsed to stay and too terrified to leave. Then Nathan had made certain she got pregnant, and she couldn’t just leave her child, something that became even more critical when she realized her daughter would be just like her.


But that wouldn’t happen to her, because Tandy was careful and Tandy was mean. She fought the few Alphas who tried to force her into the same position as her mother. She made sure she had enough money to cover the cost of medication to cut down her heats from every other month to only twice a year. She was always aware that in certain people’s eyes, her freedom was a thing that should come with a time limit and it was up the minute she turned eighteen.


In older, darker times, going into heat and refusing an Alpha would’ve gotten Tandy dragged into the center of town and tied to a post, to be serviced by any Alpha who cared to have her.


The dumbass whose name she couldn’t remember certainly tried that method in his fucking car – before Tandy clawed up his face and kicked him in the nuts. It wasn’t even that she thought he was safe. She just thought he was safe enough. He attended training with her and she wasn’t trusting him to pay her rent or father her pups, just control his dick long enough for her to stop at the grocery store and leave. When she got back, she was so tattling on that shit to May-to Brigid.


Maybe one day she would be okay with an Alpha enough to let them mate and bond her, but it would be on her fucking terms, not because other people expected her to.


But then…




Tandy never smelled an Alpha like him before, not at all.


He smelled like cream and sugar and heady vanilla. Like vanilla ice cream, the real kind, snow white with the tiny black flecks of the vanilla bean inside. Buttery, sweet, and rich. She wanted to climb onto his lap and get him inside her – maybe that wasn’t the way Omegas were supposed to want an Alpha, maybe she should’ve been longing to present on her hands and knees, but it was more than she could ever recall wanting before.


He was beautiful, too. Achingly so, with full lips and long, long lashes and big gorgeous dark eyes. He had a build uncommon for an Alpha, slim but muscular, with long fingers and square palms. And those broad shoulders were exactly the right height for her rest her hands upon.


She’s heard of neutral Alphas before – ‘neutered’, the other Alphas would say with a sneer. Tandy was beginning to think everything she’s heard – about fey Omega and neutral Alphas – wasn’t true. She was told neutrals were naturally sterile and usually impotent, but he doesn’t smell sterile to her and he definitely doesn’t react like someone who’s impotent. Fey Omegas were supposed to fight and kick, and real Omegas were supposed to present and wait for the Alpha. But all she wanted to do was push him down and make him give Tandy his knot.


She was a bit surprised when he tried to refuse her – she thought Alphas were hard-wired to fall all over themselves for any Omega in heat. She was even more amazed when he asked if she wanted to go to his place or hers. Usually Alphas were far too territorial to bed down anywhere but their own home or a rough equivalent, and the one hand, she really would prefer to go to a place that was her own, but on the other…


Tandy didn’t have a home, and part of her didn’t want to lead him back to the old church, especially if this didn’t work out well. She couldn’t lose her only sanctuary, not when it would be another year before she could finish her training and gather up enough money to leave.


He seemed to think she’d find his sudden aggression in the taxi…off putting? He was embarrassed by his behavior and Tandy wasn’t sure why. Actually, she was surprised that all Tyrone did was give him a very emphatic warning. Alphas did not like to be challenged for the favor of an Omega and there was an implied challenge in staring at her like a prize hog at the market.


Tyrone’s growl – deep and rumbling, like a Bengal tiger – held a strain of his Alpha Voice in it and sent Tandy’s stomach shivering. There was no doubt in her mind about it. He might be ‘neutral’ to others, but Tandy’s Omega sensed that Tyrone was a powerful Alpha. Even that small, contained Command was extremely captivating and it only made her want him more.


He couldn’t seem to make himself stop touching her, which Tandy was only too happy to allow. They weren’t even always sexual – holding her hand as she got into the taxi like an old world gentleman handing a lady into a carriage, which gave her heart this odd fluttering sensation, and stroking her short blond hair away from her neck. She wondered if he realized he kept glancing at her neck.


Tandy decided then and there that she would get to use his Voice again, this time only for her. To her.


He paid for the cab – even gave the driver a tip, though not a nice one, and let her go ahead of him, pointing to one of the houses on the street.


“That’s me,” Ty said, gesturing to a shotgun-style duplex with two doors that Tandy would’ve enjoyed making fun of if she weren’t so immediately charmed.


Tyrone’s house looked like a fancy cake in a bakery or like an artist had created it for a gingerbread display at Christmastime. If the artist was a stark-raving lunatic high on magic mushrooms.


The siding was painted in lavender, the trim and railings were a rich cream color, the awnings were a candy-stripe of pink and a paler purple. On side A, the door was a deep and cheery magenta, and the door on side B was a slightly more sedate, though still bold, sage green. Tandy stared at it, open-mouthed. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to live there or reach out and try to take a bite of the siding.


At her expression, Ty chuckled. “Yeah, I know. I live on side B, my brother Billy lives on side A. Fancies himself a great designer. Sometimes just looking at the place makes my teeth hurt.”


“It’s beautiful,” she said honestly. “It’s really-I’ve never seen anything quite like it, and I’ve lived in the city my whole life.”

She can smell his brother in the house – another Alpha, like him, and not just because he lives right next door. He has a male Beta partner and they must come and visit frequently. Tandy sniffed the air, curious if this delicious smell was a family trait or something unique to Ty, and immediately wrinkled her nose slightly.


Billy also had the heady vanilla aroma, but his scent was layered with bourbon, browned butter, and brown sugar. Slightly nutty and very sweet – like butter pecan ice cream instead of high-quality vanilla bean. It was okay, but too cloying for Tandy. She preferred the clean simplicity of Tyrone’s smell.


“Hey,” he murmured next to her ear, closing the door behind them. “Do you want to relax a little? Watch a movie?”


“I’d love to relax,” she purred, and pushed him against the front door. He didn’t resist her at all and it was driving her Omega crazy, telling her to just climb him like a tree and take what she wanted. She had the feeling Tyrone would let her and that just made it so much more tempting. “But I don’t wanna watch a movie.”


Tyrone smiled at her, sweet and slow - gooooood vanilla ice cream. "Condoms are in the bedroom," he said, just as sweet as his smile, and his fingertips touch down lightly upon her hips. The tiniest brush of his skin there on her bare hips and belly make her body quiver. He can smell it, they both can, and it only makes his smile grow wider. Gently rubbing the skin just beneath the waistband of her jeans, he said "But we don't need those to relax you." 

Chapter Text

Duane murmured “Your brother must’ve gotten lucky at that party. Either that or Evita set him up.”


Billy looked up from his tablet and blinked with surprised. “Tyrone?”


“You have another brother?” he said dryly.


Billy swatted at him playfully. “He doesn’t, ah, he isn’t usually into one night stands…”


“Everybody wants a bit of human touch,” Duane replied, shrugging. “She’s a little thing, too. An Omega, I think. White, blonde. She’s got a sweet face.”


“Maybe we’ll get to meet her,” said Billy, ever the optimist.


Duane turned the handle of his mug toward himself before lifting it to his lips. “Maybe.”


Neither of them needed to say it out loud, but both of them were thinking it. The Omega wouldn’t stay, wouldn’t last. It didn’t matter that Tyrone was everything an Alpha should be – courteous, smart, hard-working, affectionate, patient, and kind. Without a knot or a rut to signal his desire and fitness, her biology would tell her he was unsuitable.


It wasn’t fair, but a lot of things about biology weren’t.


Tandy didn’t quite add two and two together even as she helped him unzip her pants and push her underwear down – accompanied by a rush of warm slick from her pussy, her Omega happily shrieking over the Alpha in front of them. It wasn’t until Tyrone got to his knees right there in the hallway that her dumb sex-hazed brain got it. He drew her thighs a bit wider apart, one large hot palm lifting and spreading her leg.


The position, combined with the first touch of his mouth, soft and warm against her bare sex, made a low “Oh fuck” escape her. She tore her own shirt and bra off, panting and flushed with the unbearable warmth her heats brought on, sighing in pleasure at the sensation of the cool wall at her back.


He purred, low and serene, his lips gently traced her sex as he inhaled, letting her scent imprint on him, the smoky-hot burn of chilis and the bittersweet-ness of very dark chocolate, almost coffee-like in its rich complexity.


She was pale and smooth everywhere, except a patch of dark blonde curls, neat but soaked with her liquid. She was ready, so ready – he wouldn’t have to worry about that when the time came. There was no question of hurting her, but he was very aware that some Omega had conditions that made producing the proper amount of slick difficult or even impossible.


The flicker of tongue over her clit made Tandy, tiny and fierce, buck her hips and hiss his name. It seemed cruel to tease her (and he was so greedy for her pleasure), that Ty gave into his urge to drink her down, like lemonade on a hot day.


It was actually one of the more unfortunate myths that Omegas need a knot to get through their heat. With enough orgasms – and patience – it was very possible to get them through it without penetrative intercourse. And Tandy was delicious, so he would’ve been more than happy never getting farther than this. He nibbled delicately, licked at her wet folds, and sucked with a varying press at her clit, purring happily all the while.


Tandy’s fingernails made long gouge marks in the wall behind her that she was going to feel kinda bad about as soon as her brain came back online. Feverishly, she scratched at the wallpaper and whimpered. Tandy’s hips twitched and she frantically tried to ride his tongue, but she had nearly no leverage in that position. The Alpha made a continuous rumbling purr of contentment with his face between her thighs, and the vibration shook her nerves, her voice catching high and tight in her throat. When Tandy orgasmed, her body jerked like a live wire and her hand reflexively dug into his shoulder, legs going weak until Tyrone was the only thing holding her up.


She jumped again with surprise as Tyrone lifted her with a grip on the back of her thighs and coaxed her legs around his waist.


“Feel better now?” he said with a quiet chuckle, looking at her dazed expression.


“Tandy can’t come to the phone right now,” she said faintly, landing on his black cotton sheets. “Please leave a message after the – oh my god.” She stopped mid-sentence to stare at Tyrone taking off his own clothes. “Can I get that in slow motion, please?”


Ty had the cutest smile as he slowed down his motions, stripping off his shirt as she playfully fanned herself, all shy, long eyelashes fanned over his cheek. A girl could just break her heart for that smile. Not Tandy, though. She had to crush that thing years ago.


But he…he made her forget that, a little, pressing her down into the clean sheets and kissing her until she lost her breath, condom secured. Tyrone’s fingers, gently circling her entrance, lazily fingering her and she wanted to let him to keep going, there was just…


…just something…like an itch up her lower back, some part of her broken Omega instincts that snapped at her, that told her not to be forced down on her back. It was bad, it was dangerous, get up-


Tyrone didn’t even fight to keep her down, which was amazing in hindsight, but he readily let her push him down and straddle him, though he did swear a blue streak when Tandy shoved herself down on his cock without any warning or lead-up. “Easy,” he said, groaning. “I’m not disappearing, you can take your time.”


“It’s-I’m- god, you feel so good,” Tandy gasped and instinctively clenched down on her inner muscles. She’s had sex with an Alpha, when she was desperate to scratch the sexual itch, but never while she was actually in heat – her Omega instincts never allowed it before.


Getting off her back felt better, more natural, even if it took more work for her.


“Alright, lemme rephrase that,” Ty choked out. “Please slow down or this will be over too fast.”


She smiled at him and Tyrone had a sudden premonition that his life was never going to be the same after this night. “You can take it,” Tandy purred, rolling her hips just right. “You’re Tyrone freakin’ Johnson.”


He wouldn’t survive her and he wasn’t even worried about it, not with that sexy little smile and her sparkling brown eyes aimed at him. “Yeah, okay,” he croaked, shifting his knees so that she would sit at an easier angle for her thighs and knees. “Go to town, crazy white girl.”


It took eighteen hours for Tandy’s body to be convinced that her heat was over. He’d never had to get an Omega through one before, but he knew it was medically necessary to make sure that between sex, she ate, drank, and rested and it was…a little strange honestly, but good.


She was wild, adorable, vulnerable, demanding, and encouraging. She had a little habit growling when she was really turned on, something most Omega were trained out of doing before they finished puberty. Tyrone didn’t mind – he actually thought it was really cute.


They drank sweet tea, ate grapes and goldfish, and watched Zorro on his laptop in bed. Tandy curled up on his lap and teased him about being the man in the mask. Neither of them noticed that she literally ate her food directly from Ty’s hand. She slept with her arms wrapped around his chest, cheek pressed against his heart. (Like she was really his, like he was her Alpha and his Omega wanted to listen to his heartbeat.)


Ty could sense when it was nearly over and even with the periods of rest, he knew Tandy didn’t have enough energy left to ride him again. She also had some kind of aversion to being put on her back, so tried turning her on her hands and knees, literally the most traditional out there.


And there’s a reason it’s traditional, they were both thinking at the same time.


He stared at the beautiful line of her back, her flushed neck, where her bonding gland was producing that enticing smell, her fluffy blond halo of hair, and the sweet curve of her little heart-shaped ass. Biting her neck would be tempting, but was a terrible idea and could get him literally arrested.


Tandy stared at the black cotton beneath her and gasped, open-mouthed. She felt Ty’s breath over her back, rushes of hot damp air. She growled at him, an ill-bred habit, she was told, but one Tandy couldn’t shake. In this position, he was entering her body so deeply it almost felt like pain, it was such a deep pleasurable ache, one the spread throughout her lower belly. His large hand splayed over her there, strangely intimate and possessive, right over where she would carry a child, and kissed her between the shoulder blades.


Her body quivered fiercely with orgasm, muscles trying to coax his cock into giving her that child, despite the condom. The knot was going to hurt this time, she was so sore now-


Tyrone knew she had to be aching, her muscles long past over-exerted and pulled out of her before the knot locked him in, instead pressing his fingers into her body to give her the pressure Tandy’s craving without putting the strain over her body. Medically, it’s a good idea, but there’s nothing but animal instinct to explain why Ty yanks the condom off and lets himself come all over her ass and lower back, marking her with the scent of Alpha, with his scent.


He didn’t know why he was surprised when he woke the next morning to find his bed empty.


If he’s really honest with himself, it’s not the only thing that feels empty.