The little town of Conques is a quiet village in southern France. Where every day was like the day before. A little town full of little people, mostly populated by meek betas going about their daily routines. Nothing too exciting here ever happens. Even the only baker in town never dared to create anything but the usual baguettes and rolls for all the dinner tables.
The people of Conques love to gossip, particularly about the family who moved into the old mill just a few strides from town. They came from the metropolis Paris, France just over a year ago. First, there was Hiroshi Sato, an older beta with a curious obsession with invention. Everyone sought him to be absolutely mad with the way he would talk about mechanical subjects. Though the subject that really sparked everyone’s gobble was his extremely beautiful omega daughter.
As beautiful as she was strange, she shared and encouraged her father's unpopular ambitions to tinker with tools. However the most peculiar thing about her is her aloofness. Never walking with any particular crowd, never really socializing at all. Her nose was always kept in a book even as she walked to and from the small library in town. Never minding the many compliments about her fair skin, silky black braided hair and her ever so occupied eyes which held a brilliant hue of jade. Because of her beauty, Asami was rumored to be the highest prized omega in the village. A beautiful omega will certainly bare the most beautiful pups.
There was one particular alpha who was just as renowned. Kuvira a retired war hero and beloved by all the omegas of Conques.
All except one.
And that lone omega was the only omega she held interest in. Asami Sato, the inventor’s daughter from Paris, France. Certainly the most beautiful omega in town would pair so well with the most beautiful alpha of the pack. Kuvira always held herself with such confidence, reeking with both feminine and masculine gorgeous features. Her black hair secured with a tight braid perfectly contracted with her tan skin. The beauty mark under her left eye was always a beloved topic among swooning fancies. But no matter how attractive and pleasant smelling she was, Hiroshi’s daughter’s interest was never peaked, not even a smidge.
Asami was currently admiring the penmarks of one of her favorite writers in aristocratic philosophy until the book in her hands was suddenly torn from her soft fingers. The thief exceeded in gaining her immediate attention. Bright green eyes snapped up to the towering alpha in her presence, expelling her scent of distaste immediately.
“Bonjour, Asami,” Kuvira greeted with a smug smirk, dangling the book in the air. “I’ve finally got your attention. Did you not hear me calling after you?”
Oh, I heard you. Is what she wanted to say but Asami was more inclined to keep her relationships in this small town friendly. Rumors were already flying in the air about her lack of interest in socializing, yet alone mating. And that was really odd indeed, especially for such a young and fertile omega.
“Bonjour, Kuvira…” She summoned up a wry smile as best as she could, darting her eyes to stolen property that continued to dangle like a piece of meat in front of a wolf. “Merci, I was lost in the words of Aristotle… is there something you need?”
“Aristotle? You mean, the fool that rejected Plato’s theory of aesthetics?” Now this was surprising… perhaps Asami could actually converse with this woman after all. But she didn’t want to. Kuvira was egotistical and boastful about her ‘impressive’ achievements, in her opinion. Having to spend but a mere minute with this alpha of a woman made her internally cringe.
“Surely you can attest that beauty is an abstract entity…” Asami’s voice trailed off as she attempted to reach for the book, only for it to be pulled out of her reach. “Plato’s theory of it having a form is simply… preposterous.”
“Beauty is a form within itself. It drives our means to create beautiful things.” The alpha argued playfully. “Like you, for example, are very beautiful and take up quite a form of it.”
“Some may disagree with you…” Asami wasn’t moved by the compliment as she found that Kuvira’s pressings to be nothing but a ruse to impress her. She could bet that Kuvira never even read anything by Aristotle. She probably just eavesdropped on some aristocratic conversation with her foster family’s gatherings in Prague. “May I please have my book back?”
“Perhaps…” Kuvira steel green eyes pretended to wander in thought while her fingers rubbed on her pointy chin. “If you come to dinner with me… tonight.”
“Maybe some other time,” Asami rejected without a breath of hesitation. “My father needs my help in the shop.”
“Ah, yes…” Kuvira quirked her head to the side slightly. “Isn’t he going out of town for the fair soon? Leaving his omega daughter alone and unprotected seems to be rather foolish in my opinion.” The lump that swelled in Asami’s throat nearly left her speechless. How Kuvira knew her father’s travel plans was beyond her, but the inquiry was slipped with a slithering taste of a warning.
“I’ll fair well on my own.” Asami’s words seethed out between her clenching teeth. Though, the omega has some speculation about the dangers of being alone on the farmstead, she was confident that she could keep well. With her father being a beta, Asami had to learn quickly to handle alphas who came sniffing about when her heat took place while he was away to science gatherings.
With a quick swipe of her book and a short adeu, the omega left in a hurry to return home and prepare for her father’s absence. Half way in the journey, she turned to make sure the alpha wasn't tailing her. Heaving a relieved sigh to see that she was alone, Asami was able to leisurely stroll along the gravel path and appreciate the drifting orange and red leaves in the wind.
Hiroshi was a kind, brilliant man. Always with his hands in oil and cogs to bring about the next revolutionary idea for the world. His success was just on the horizon with a fully automated firewood chopping machine. He got the idea when he surrendered to the idea that his old bones just couldn’t keep up with the demand for his own hearth. Now he had to suffer to see his own omega daughter taking up the chore herself.
Asami was always there to help him. Cooking, cleaning and doing much of the keep up for their homestead while he pursues his dreams to bring her a better way of life. He prayed that this particular invention would take hold and would be able to hire servants to free up Asami’s time to pursue her own interests.
Sprawled out on the stone floor of the small workshed, the inventor wiped his brow and grunted with strain to tighten a nut underneath his new creation. When it was done, Hiroshi crawled to his feet and beheld the machine before him, taking it all in. The Sato Lumberjack was complete. Now all he needed to do was test it.
Just in time, Asami strolled through the open door with a bright smile. “I know that face,” she chidded, setting her bounty of borrowed books on his work bench. Hiroshi gazed upon her with pride and happiness. Out of all of his creations, his daughter was always the greatest.
“I think she’s ready,” he took one of her soft hands inside his own weathered fingers with a smile. “Will you do the honors?”
A crank of a handle and a pull of a lever, the machine sputtered to life, thundering and smoking out of the exhaust chimney. Parts moved in scenronization, turning the main mechanism to throw the axehead in a powerful strike that perfectly split a medium sized log.
Asami turned to him, eyes sparkling with wonderment before she embraced him with a tight squeeze. “I knew you could do it! Oh, Father… This is wonderful!” Her grin was as bright as the afternoon sun, warming Hiroshi’s heart like the thaw in spring. He couldn’t help but gaze and stroke at her face lovelingly.
“I couldn’t have done it without you,” he told her with such devotion in his orange eyes. “I sure hope it does well in the fair.”
“Without a doubt,” she sighed with a warm smile to him. She knew her father was nervous about it so she clutched his shoulders in a tight hug to soothe him with her calming scent. He always found comfort in it, stating that she smelled similar to her mother, who died when she was very young.
The next day, Asami helped her father pack up the machine in a pull cart, tightly secured with leather tarping and twine. With the horse yolked and ready for the journey, all was left to say farewell. The two of them sighed together and held each other in an embrace for several moments until Asami broke it with a watery smile. Hiroshi kissed her face and mounted the cart, looking back with worry.
“Go on, father!” Asami waved him off with her best smile. “I’ll be just fine! I’ll take care of things here!” With a nod, the inventor finally turned and rode off down the dirt road to the west, away from the village and his only daughter. As soon as he was out of sight, the omega went straight to work on the farm, feeding the animals supper and freshwater.
By dusk, she went inside her home, turning a few levers on a mechanism which locked all the exits like a fortress. If anyone tried to break in, they’d need an army to do it. She had a simple dinner of stew with a slice of bread and a wedge of cheese at the simple dining table. Afterwards, she cuddled up by the hearth with her book until her eyes could no longer stay open.
A few days go by as normal. Asami tended to her chores and spent her free time drawing up diagrams and reading. Kuvira showed up only once while she was hauling hay, inviting her to dinner again. She was half-tempted to say yes, just so she had someone to talk to. But she didn’t want to give the alpha the wrong idea, so she declined politely with a tight grasp on a pitchfork.
When she was gone, the omega sighed out in relief and took a moment to steady her nerves. Being alone on the farm made her nervous, vulnerable to anyone that could come sniffing about down wind. Asami had always kept a dagger under her dress for that very reason.
Another week rolled by with no word from her father. Asami thought he would at least send a post by now but there was nothing. The more time had passed, the more worried she became. The thought of something happening to him made her sick with agony. If he didn’t show up soon, she didn’t know what she would do. Her heat is due in a couple of weeks, and she was counting on his return so he could tend to the farm while she rode it out in her chambers.
One afternoon, her suspicions were confirmed to her dismay. Philepe, the horse that Hiroshi left with, returned to the farm on his own. He kicked and whinied in stress when she took his reigns. The omega’s heart sank when she found open wounds on Philepe’s hindquarters. Wolves -most likely.
Asami’s pulse slammed into her ears. Her father could be out there, hurt in the woods or worse… She had to do something, the farm will have to manage itself. The omega ran into her home for a brief moment to throw a dark cloak over her shoulders and collect a map.
“Take me to him, Philepe,” she pleaded the loyal steed before hopping onto his back. She rode into the growing darkness of the forest, following the cart tracks along the road. An hour in the journey, she meets a fork in the road where her father’s cart was abandoned. One path was more traveled, the path her father should have taken. There were fresh wolf tracks and hoof marks running to the path on the right, leading to a smaller road into thicker vegetation. That was the road Philepe took her down.
It got colder in the night. Cold, like a winter’s chill. Which was really strange, since it was the middle of summer. Asami’s skin pricked into bumps to a gust of wind, tightening her cloak a bit tighter. Howling rose in the distance, filling her with more fear at what might have happened to her dear father.
When Philepe stopped, Asami looked ahead, seeing an iron gate blocking the path. She dismounted and approached, eyes wide while scanning the courtyard on the other side to the dark shadows of pillars behind that. “A castle?” There was no mention of one here, it wasn’t even on the map. An object on the ground just on the other side of the gate caught her attention.
She gasped and pulled the iron door open, rushing to scoop up the sunhat her father was wearing when he left. It was a relief of sorts, a clue that her father was still alive and not eaten by the beasts of the forest. Asami darted across the grounds to the front doors of the castle. One was ajar, slightly. Her shaking hands pushed it open further.
The corridor was dark and eerie.
“Hello?!” She called out with a cracked voice, overwhelmed by the height of the ceilings and arches. There were large paintings and suites of armor decorating the space. “Anyone here?”
It’s a girl! You don’t think…
Shh, maybe she’ll go away.
A pair of voices whispered, making her turn sharply. “I-I’m looking for my father.” Silence followed, leading her to believe that maybe she only imagined the voices. Then her eyes caught a glow coming from the top of a split staircase. “I think he got lost and he may have stumbled here. Please, will you help me?”
But what if she’s the one? The one to break the spell.
“ Shut up, Bolin! ”
Asami gasped, that was definitely a voice. She’s sure of it. She ran up the stars to the source, where the light was coming from. But there was no one. Not a soul…
“Hello?” She called out again, perplexed until she saw the light ascending up a spiraling staircase. Someone has to be there… “Please! Just tell me if he’s here!” she hollered while chasing the unknown person up the tower. At the top, there was no one again, but the light was there, a candlestick sitting on a small table next to a little wooden clock.
“Asami? Is that you?!”
“Father!” Asami hurried around the bend of the wall to a door. There was a barred window in which her father’s outstretched arms were poking through. “Oh thank GOD!” She grabbed his icy hands and started to cry. “You’re okay! I was so worried.”
“Asami! You shouldn’t be here!” His eyes were filled with terror.
“How did you get here?!” The omega frantically examined the door’s lock and looked around to find something to pick it with. The clock on the table, she can take it apart to get a pin. “I’m getting you out of there!” She rose to get it, but her father’s grip on her arm stopped her.
“ No! Asami, listen to me. I’m done for. You need to get out of here! It’ll come for you too!”
“What do you mean, father? I’m not leaving you!” Asami stilled to a rolling growl from behind her. The verberations froze her blood, sending chills down her spine. With a shaky inhale, she scented it. An alpha, she thinks, but none like she’s smelled before. Slowly, she turned to a dark shadow standing in the corner, spotting a pair of blue, glowing eyes.
“Who’s there?” she asked, raising her chin to display strength. As scared as she was, she found courage in anger. “Are you the one who did this to him?!”
“He was trespassing,” the shadow said. “ And so are you… ” The feminine tone surprised Asami, along with the dominance which dripped from their throat. It made her tremble in place. Her fists clenched in more anger that someone would do this to her father.
“He got lost! He’s not a trespasser, he was looking for help!” She argued, despite her inner omega screaming at her for challenging this person. She was too furious to care what the consequences were.
“He helped himself to my dinner and tracked mud all over the place. He must stay here as my prisoner to atone for his crimes.”
“He won’t last in a place like this!” she swallowed nervously, twisting her own fingers in worry. “He’ll die of the cold. Please, I’ll do anything!”
“There is nothing you can do. He’s my prisoner.” they said, shifting to another shadow corner, hiding from the light. Asami sniffed at the figure, solidifying her suspicion that this person was certainly an alpha, a strong one at that.
“Don’t worry about me, Asami!” Hiroshi cried out. “I’m old, I’ve lived my life!”
“Please, let my father go,” she pleaded, resisting the urge to keep her eyes from closing in humiliation. Her hands trembled as she unhooded herself and forced a step forward into the moonlight to display face. “Take me instead.”
“You’d… do that for him?” the master of the castle asked, sounding surprised.
“NO!” Hiroshi cried out. “You don’t know what you are doing!”
“If I did, would you let him go free?” she asked, keeping her eyes on them as the lurked back and forth, then they paused.
“Yes…” the master captor answered. “But you have to stay forever.”
Forever. Asami let that word hover in the air, to deepen its meaning further. She hasn’t even seen who her would be warden looks like yet. “Come into the light,” she commanded, hating how scared she sounded.
There was a hesitant pause before her request was granted. Slowly, a two legged beast came into view, towering with dominance, a female, as Asami had suspected. Brown fur was everywhere, save for her face which was shaped almost like a cat. She had a black deer-like nose, her canines were too long to stay in her mouth when closed. What was the most shocking to Asami was her eyes. They were big and blue with slitted pupils. And they looked right through her.
The reveal was too much. Overcome with emotion, tears spilled over the omega’s face when she closed her eyes. “You have my word… I will stay,” she choked out in defeat. Her father’s well-being was the only thing that mattered to her.
“Deal.” the beast snarled and rushed passed the omega, leaving her to fall to her knees to sob into her hands. The prison door was opened and Hiroshi grabbed his daughter by the shoulder.
“Listen, Asami! Don’t do this!” The beast grabbed the inventor by his collar, dragging him down the stairs.
“Wait!” Asami reached out with tear stained cheeks, heart breaking in her chest. “L-let me say goodbye!”
“Asami!” her father called out to her as his frail body scraped down the stairs. Asami ran after them, but the door at the bottom of the staircase closed on her with a deafening click of a lock. Her hands pounded on the door helplessly until her grief overcame her.
She sank to the floor and cried.