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The Scent of Birmingham

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Thomas Shelby never dreamt there'd be another Omega for him after the death of his Grace… how could there be. Grace was HIS Omega, his mate. There could never be someone that he could ever love the way he loved her. He dallied with Betas like Lizzie Stark and others, but he'd never feel for them what he'd felt for Grace. Never feel the amazing feeling of his Omega clenching around his knot again. Never feel the calm of her touch soothe the Alpha within him again.

And least that's what he thought…. Until he smelled…. Her.

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Miriam Solomons' heels click clacked on the cobblestone sidewalk as she walked. She didn't have a lot of time and a lot of errands to get done. Stop at the dress shop to pick up a few things she'd ordered, the Bakery for cookies to take to the orphanage, drop off a letter for her uncle with one of his business associates, stop at the pharmacy for suppressants and soap, then get back to her uncle's house before dark. Always be home before dark and always take someone with her. Those were the stipulations for whenever she left the house.

Ever since her parents' death when she was a small child, Miriam had lived with her uncle a prominent Baker and businessman named Alfie Solomans. Alfie was almost like a father to her, protective and doting. Strict with his rules while also spoiling her rotten. Which was why she was able to do her own errands, but that her constant companion, Daniel was always a few steps behind her. She'd never really questioned the security, having heard numerous stories about unaccompanied Omegas. Why else would he require a bodyguard? Besides, it gave her someone to help her carry things.

The dress shop did not, in fact, have the items ready for pick up. "Next week!? Can you believe that, Daniel?" She exclaimed as she stormed out of the store front.

"No, ma'am." He responded in his normal droll tone. He wasn't a very expressive man though he was extremely intimidating for a beta. Miriam had long ago taken to talking to him as if he was an avid conversationalist despite his penchant for sentences that barely consisted of more than 3 words. But every once in a while, she was certain she saw the edge of his lips twitch like he wanted to smile before setting his face into a mask of the emotionless bodyguard.

"Well let's hope that the Bakery doesn't let me down!"

The bakery was a busy and bustling place that smelled like heaven on Earth. That smell was all that kept Miriam calm as she waited in line to reach the counter. It seemed to take forever before she finally walked out with a large treats and sweets for the orphans. "C'mon, Daniel. We're officially running late now."

 

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Miriam was beyond agitated at this point. None of her errands were going as planned and all of them were taking nearly twice the time she had allotted for them. It was well into the afternoon when she finally arrived at the offices of her Uncle’s associate to deliver the letter and she still had to get to the pharmacy before they closed for the evening. Her heat was due to start any day and she had to have those suppressants or be faced with numerous days of agony and some of the worst humiliation a woman of standing could ever experience.

“Just wait here, Daniel.” She said as she entered the building. “This should just be a quick drop off and I’ll be right back down.”

The Beta started to argue but Miriam held up a hand. “I need like 5 minutes to myself without you hovering over me or I’m going to loose my mind. If i’m not back down in 15 minutes feel free to return to your normal hovering.”

She didn’t wait for an answer, instead turning on her heel and heading into the building and up the stairs. Her feet were killing her after all the walking in her heels on the clunky cobblestones and the stairs did not do anything to relieve that pain but it was nice to have a few moments to herself to collect her frayed wits.

She took a deep breath as she reached the top of the stairs and carefully blotted the few drops of sweat from her brow with a handkerchief. Stuffing the embroidered scrap of fabric into her pocket, she pushed open the door for Shelby Company LTD.

--

The first thing that hit Miriam was the smell of cigarettes and whiskey over the normal scents of paper and ink. But there was something else… a lingering scent that both seemed to assault her senses while also feeling perfectly at home with the others in the room. The room that was oddly empty. She’d expected to greet a secretary or accountant, hand over the letter and then leave. But there was no one in sight.

Frowning, she took a few more steps into the room. “Hello? Is anyone here?” She called out.

A tall man in an impeccable suit appeared in the doorway at the other end of the room. “Who’s askin’?” The man asked as he took another couple steps forward, holstering a gun with one hand before taking a long drag off his cigarette with the other.

Miriam watched him wide eyed. She’d never seen Thomas Shelby in person though she’d heard Uncle Alfie talk about him often. He was certainly a specimen of maleness and it took her breath away. There was a flip flop in her stomach that made her want to curse. Fucking hormones. C’mon Midge. Deliver the letter then get the hell out of here and get your suppressants before something horrible happens. She chastised herself.

“My Uncle wanted me to deliver this letter to you, Mr. Shelby.” She said, gathering her courage and pulling the letter from her pocket. Forcing her feet to move, she took several steps towards him and held the envelope out to him.

He eyed the paper for several moments before reaching to take it. His fingers brushing hers in a way that made her shiver and her knees weak. He glanced at the name on the envelope before returning his eyes to hers. “Alfie Solomons is your uncle?”

Miriam bristled a little. “What of it?”

“You’re little Midge?” He asked, looking her up and down and she suddenly felt very uncomfortable.

“My name is Miriam. Only friends and family call me Midge.” She answered, breathing through her nose to contain her frustration. That was a bad idea. She was close enough to him now to smell him. Alpha.

Fuck. She thought. Of course he was an Alpha. Gangsters were always Alphas. But why did he have to smell so damn good.

His eyes sparkled a little and she swore she almost saw a smile tug at the corner of his lips. “The way Alfie always talked about his niece, I assumed you were a small child.”

“I’m twenty. Thank you very much.” She countered. “It doesn’t matter, I’ve delivered the letter and now I have other things to do.” She needed to get out of the office as soon as she could. Being near him, an Alpha, was obviously messing with her head and hormones. “Goodbye Mr Shelby.” Miriam turned on her heel and headed towards the door.

She didn’t make it far before a cramp ripped through her abdomen, making her knees go weak and she had to grab onto a desk to keep from falling to the ground. Strong hands caught her and helped her to her feet. When she opened her eyes, she found herself way too close to very man she needed to get away from. But damn if he didn’t smell amazing. Everything in her wanted nothing more than to rub herself all over him, until she was covered in his scent. She wanted to bury her face in his neck and just breath him in. She wondered what his skin would feel like against hers… How it’d it feel too….

She shook her head violently, trying to clear away the thoughts.

“You’re an Omega.” It wasn’t a question, just a fact from his lips.

“I… I need to go.” She pushed herself away from him and rushed out the door. She nearly collided with Daniel on the stairs.

“Miss Solomons…” He started.

“C’mon Daniel. I need to get home. Now!”

Back in his office, Thomas Shelby watched the young Omega flee his office. It took all of his self control not to follow after her. His hands itched and ached with a need to touch her. Feel her. Smell her. Take her. Knot her. He hadn’t felt this way since… since Grace. A part of his heart twinged at that thought and he closed his eyes trying to push all the thoughts running through his head aside. He was too busy for this.

He turned to walk back to his office with a scrap of fabric on the floor caught his attention. The delicate fabric was embroidered with a decorative M.S. He had it lifted to his nose before his logical mind to stop him. Fuck she smelled so good. Her heat was obviously starting and his pants suddenly felt incredibly tight at that thought. As he sat back down at his desk he forced back the idea of searching her out and forced his focus back to his plans and strategies.

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