Jimin had become accustomed to not being wanted, but he hadn’t become accustomed to being so blatantly unwanted.
When Jimin had first arrived, he’d been treated poorly. Every member of his old pack had been treated poorly at first. They’d soon been integrated into this new pack, though, and given roles based on their skills and passions. The pack spinster, Ahro, that had always called Jimin cute growing up had even gotten herself a job as a cook. Jimin was happy for her, for she’d always dreamed of cooking professionally.
Jimin sighed as he continued making his quilt. His mother had taught him how to quilt before she’d died, and he enjoyed doing it, but it still wasn’t enough to free him of his intense sadness. His eyes stung with tears as he continued. He was making a quilt just to prove that he wasn’t completely useless, that he wasn’t a total abomination, but he honestly didn’t even believe it, himself, anymore. If he was worth something, then someone would’ve been kind to him at this point.
Of course, this pack’s Head Alpha had been welcoming, and he seemed to generally like Jimin. His name was Deoksu, and he was so different from Jimin’s former Head Alpha. Deoksu was kind, gentle, and fair. He’d only attacked out of defense. Jimin didn’t even blame them for going after his pack. Their Head Alpha had been awful.
Jimin was startled by the sound of laughter outside the window. It was a group of alphas, and they were drunkenly meandering. Their presence reminded Jimin of just how alone he was. Taehyung wasn’t going to be home for another day, and Jimin had no friends to keep him company. He was truly alone.
Taehyung was Jimin’s alpha mate. Jimin was supposed to feel lucky; Taehyung was a catch. He was tall and handsome with beautiful skin and a skinny body that still held an absurd amount of strength. Taehyung was also kind and funny. He was an alpha that Jimin’s mother would’ve approved of immediately.
But Taehyung and Jimin weren’t in love.
Jimin had been confused but immensely flattered when Taehyung had approached him one morning with a bouquet of his favorite flowers in his hand and a request for courtship on his lips, but he’d accepted. Taehyung had merely used Jimin to get a leg up on the other alphas in the pack, though. Mated alphas were more respected than unmated alphas, and Jimin? He hadn’t exactly had alphas lining up to court him.
But Taehyung was a good mate. When they’d mated, he’d been attentive and had praised his new mate repeatedly. The two hadn’t had sex since, but sometimes Jimin liked to recall those special, little affirmations when he felt especially ostracized. Taehyung had attempted to help on that front as well. He’d gotten Jimin a job making clothes, blankets, and other cloth items for the pack. It didn’t matter that Taehyung didn’t love him. Ahro had been the only one to love him since his mother, so he was used to the rejection.
He’d never admit to anyone that he actually did long for a mate that loved him, that kissed him when he came home, that spent time with him and held him at night. It was a selfish desire anyways.
When Taehyung came home, he was smiling. He smelled like molasses, as per usual, but also like happiness…and strawberries…Jungkook smelled like strawberries. He’d been spending time with Jungkook again.
Jungkook was another omega in the pack, Taehyung’s best friend since childhood. He’d been a late bloomer and only presented after Jimin and Taehyung had already mated. Jimin often wondered if Taehyung was in love with Jungkook and regretted not waiting to mate the younger omega instead of someone as useless as himself. The fact that Taehyung always seemed to smell like strawberries seemed to support this theory. Jimin wondered if Taehyung would leave him to mate with Jungkook. Omegas could only mate once, but alphas could mate however many times they wanted to. Jimin’s former Head Alpha had had fifteen mates at a time, on average. He had executed the mates who’d become unappealing. Taehyung was too kind to kill Jimin, though. Jimin would just go back to being completely alone again.
“Hey,” Taehyung greeted as he walked into the living room. Jimin was quilting.
Taehyung lingered for a moment, but then he sat on the couch where Jimin was, on the opposite end, of course. He looked stiff, pained. Jimin assumed that the hunt must have been hard on him. All of the activity really took a toll on a person’s body.
“Are you okay?”
Taehyung startled slightly. “Oh, uh, yeah, I’m good. A little sore, but Jungkook promised he’d give me a massage after the fire tonight, so it’s all good.”
Jimin felt a sting in his chest at that. Jimin had given Taehyung massages before, but the alpha’s first choice had always been Jungkook. Taehyung’s favor when it came to Jungkook made Jimin feel even more insecure. He really wasn’t needed. Taehyung would have been better off with Jungkook.
At some point, while Jimin was lost inside his head, Taehyung scooted a little closer. Jimin hated how he instinctively leaned towards the familiar scent and presence.
“Did you get pretty far on the quilt when I was gone?”
Jimin gulped and nodded. “Yeah, it’s almost done.”
“This one’s gonna be for us, right?”
Taehyung looked happy when he asked, and that wasn’t quite a rare sight, but it was when he was around only Jimin. Taehyung had always seemed so troubled around Jimin.
“Yeah, just for us,” Jimin nodded. “Just for us.”