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Predestined

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Rey wiped her brow, exhausted after a 12-hour shift in the E.R.

“Dr. Johnson,” a nurse said, peaking their head through the door. “One last patient for you in 211.”

Rey bit back a groan. “Can you get someone else on it? I’m about to clock out.”

The nurse shrugged. “Sorry, Dr. Erso asked me to get you, specifically.”

Rey plastered a fake smile on her face. “Okay, thanks. I’ll head there now.” She grabbed the clipboard from the nurse and walked to the room, looking over the chart. An Alpha, great, was in with a suspected sprained wrist and lacerations along the cheek bone. Probably a bar fight with another Alpha. Neanderthals.

She opened the door, eyes on the papers on the clip board. “Hello, I’m Dr. Johnson. How can I help you, Mister—” She gasped, hand frozen on the door as his scent attacked her. “Solo,” she choked out. Her eyes flicked to the tall gorgeous Alpha lounging comfortably in the hospital bed. She glared. “Ben. What are you doing here?”

He was completely at ease. Amused even. “I’m here to see a doctor,” he said, mocking.

His scent completely surrounded her, and she clapped a hand over her mouth and nose, anything to keep that scent from rendering her useless, like it usually did.

“I can’t… I-I’m going to find you a different doctor,” she choked, walking out of the room.  And ran straight into her boss.

“Rey,” Dr. Erso said. “You’re finished with your patient?”

“Well, no,” she sputtered. “That’s actually what I wanted to talk to you about. I can’t treat him.”

Erso frowned. “You can’t treat your patient?” Rey shook her head. “Then I have no need for you at this hospital.”

Rey’s jaw nearly hit the floor. “No, you don’t understand—”

“Dr. Johnson, I’ve had a long day. Treat your patient or find another job.” Rey stared, mouth agape as her boss walked away. Reluctantly, she walked back into Ben’s room, slamming the door a little too hard to be professional.

Ben smirked at her.

She sighed. “What do you want from me?”

He gave her a comically innocent look that contradicted everything about him, then held up his ‘injured’ arm.

Rey rolled her eyes. “And you just happened to end up at my hospital, during my shift when no other doctors could treat you?”

He pursed his lips. “Rey, how very conceited of you to think I’d do something like that.”

“You’ve done worse.”

He didn’t deny it. “Are you going to help me or not?”

“Why should I?”

“Um, it’s your job. I could get an infection and die.” Dramatic as always.

“You say that like it’s a bad thing,” she huffed. He ignored the jab, much too used to them already.

He gave her a knowing look. “We both know that wouldn’t be good for you.”

She crossed her arms over her chest. He was right, of course, but it didn’t mean she didn’t fantasize about it.

“You could have gone to any hospital.”

“But I’m here. We may as well make the best of it.” She ignored his implications. Acknowledging them would make her unable to treat him. She hated him.

Trying her best to hold her breath, she approached his bedside, which he was much too big for. “May I?” He nodded, giving her his hand. When her fingertips brushed his skin, they both sucked in a breath.

Which was a bad idea.

Because Ben Solo smelled even better than she remembered. It was the best thing she’d ever scented, and it made her whole body tense up.

She shook her head, banishing any degenerate thoughts before they could form. Medically only, of course, she let her hands roam over his wrist.

“What happened?” She hated that she cared.

He shrugged. “Bar fight.”

She huffed. Of course. Typical Alpha. “Glad to know you’re still as impulsive as you were when we were kids,” she said darkly. He didn’t miss the disgust in her voice. It hurt, even if it was deserved.

She turned his hand over, running her thumbs over his knuckles.

“Does this feel okay?” she asked. When she made eye contact, he was already staring at her, eyes dark.

“Feels great.”

And for a moment, nothing in the world mattered except him and his smell and they way he was looking at her that made her want to straddle him on the hospital bed. His scent was driving her wild. And based on his look, she had the same effect on him.

She pulled back, nodding and writing something on the clipboard. “Okay, good. Not broken.” He heard her say something under her breath that sounded like ‘pity’.

“What about my cheek?”

Reluctantly, she looked at his face. As much as she hated him, he was the most attractive person she’d ever seen—even dirty and bloody. And it wasn’t just because he was an Alpha and she was a lonely Omega. It had been about a year since she’d seen him, and somehow, she always forgets how hot he is. And every time she sees him, it takes her breath away.

She reached out. They both tensed in anticipation, and when her thumb brushed his cheek, they both shivered.

“Looks good,” she barely breathed out. The room was charged with electricity.

He stared up at her. “I’ve missed you.”

“I hate you,” she reminded him, pulling her hand back. But he snatched her wrist before she got far. He tugged the inside of her wrist to his nose and inhaled deeply. She gasped at his crude gesture. She could smell his scent spike into something excited. And aroused.

She tugged again, but he didn’t let her budge. He just ran his nose over her scent gland, and she fought the urge to moan. His tongue peeked out, lapping the gland lightly, and this time she did moan, eyes rolling back. He tensed, watching her every move with lust clear in his eyes.

This time when she pulled her hand back, he let it go. “Don’t do that,” she snapped, scratching the scarred mating gland in the crook of her neck, which was now red and inflamed, like it only was when he was around.

His nostrils flared, eyes fixed on that gland. “You’re starting your heat.” It didn’t take him smelling her for him to know she was starting her heat. His rut and her heat have been synchronized down to the hour for years.

“That’s none of your business.”

“Yes, it is. I’m your mate.”

She glared. “You are not my fucking mate! A stupid bite mark doesn't mean anything.” And maybe it was Ben’s pheromones flooding her senses, or just the fact that she hated him for ruining her life, or the fact that he used that word, but her hand pulled back and—

His hand caught hers an inch before it could make contact with his good cheek. His fingers gripped her wrist with bruising strength. He growled, face pinched as he tried to control his anger.

“Aren’t we passed physical assault at this point?” His voice was shaking with rage.

She stared up at him, unafraid. “You started it!” she retorted. “Years ago,” she added more quietly. Almost sad. “You ruined my life, Ben Solo.”

His face softened, and his grip on her wrist loosened slightly. “I’m sorry, Rey. I’m trying to make it better.”

She wanted so badly to give into those gorgeous, honey tinted eyes. Why was she fighting against him?

Oh. Right. Remembering what happened and why she hated him, she pushed away from him, glaring. His jaw clenched. He was not surprised, but it didn’t make him any less mad about it.

“What, by fucking me?” she scoffed, but her voice was too breathy to be intimidating. He stood up, and she took a scared step back, needing to escape his all-encompassing scent.

“Rey, come on, don’t be like that. We should be together this week.”

“I can’t imagine anything worse.”

His fists clenched, but his face was perfectly calm. “We both know you want me.”

“I-I don’t.”

He cocked his head. “The smell of slick dripping down your thighs says differently.”

She gasped, offended. “How dare you!”

He rolled his eyes. “You can play the righteous, pure saint later. But this week, your body’s going to want one thing.” His eyes darkened. She was shaking. “My knot.”

Her inner Omega preened at the thought, but Rey couldn’t have felt any more disgust if she tried.

Gritting her teeth, she glared at him with an intensity no other Omegas could manage. “Need I remind you; I’m great with a scalpel now, and if your knot comes anywhere near me, I’m slicing it off and letting you bleed out!”

She stormed through the door, slamming it in his face.

~~~

Rey Johnson hated that she was an Omega. Hated how people looked at her like she was weak. Hated how she had to work twice as hard as any Alphas or Betas. Hated how people expected her to eventually be barefoot and pregnant with some Alpha. But mostly, she hated the fact that any chance of having her happy every after with an Alpha she loved was taken from her when she was six years old.

Well, not taken. Bitten out of her neck.

Every day after that day had been misery. The scar on her neck was a reminder that she would never belong to herself. She never even had the choice.

Since she was technically mated already, when her heats would come around, the thought of any Alpha besides hers made her cringe. But the thought of her own Alpha made her absolutely sick. It disgusted her enough that spending every single heat of her life alone was the best-case scenario. She would spend the whole week writhing in lonely agony, feeling sorry for herself. But mostly, she usually spent the whole week cursing Ben Solo.

Chapter Text

Twenty Years Ago

 

It was the first day of second grade, and Rey was already having a bad day. She’d just been relocated to a new foster parent, and now she was in a new city, at a new school, with no friends. She sweat on the two mile walk to school—Unkar, her crap foster parent, couldn’t be bothered to give her a ride—and she’d missed breakfast. By the time she got to school, she was a nervous, sweaty wreck. She pulled her hair back into three little buns.

She made quick friends with a girl named Rose, which made being at this new place worth it. When time for recess came, they giggled, running out to the swings. Their mood soured when two boys beat them there. The two boys, one with bright red hair, the other with shaggy brown hair and ears that poked out, saw the girls, and they quickly handed over the swings. They were a couple years older than Rey and Rose.

“You can use these if you want,” the red head said, holding it out to Rose who accepted and sat on the swing.

“Thanks, Armitage,” she said, blushing furiously.

“Do you want me to push you?” he asked, equally as flustered. She nodded, and was soon giggling as the boy pushed her as high as he could into the air.

Rey looked at the other boy, unsure of what to do. He was shyer than Armitage, but still wanted to be included. He shifted foot to foot as Rey sat in the swing, staring at her. He was awkward, but kind of cute.

“Hi,” Rey said quietly.

The boy motioned vaguely towards Rose and Armitage. “Want me to push you too?”

Her cheeks flushed red, but she nodded. He awkwardly staggered up behind her. When he put his hands on her back to push, they both flinched, something going through them like electricity.

He didn’t pull back his hands. “You smell good,” he said in a dreamy tone that sounded like he wasn’t even talking to her.

Growing up, Rey hadn’t had much time hanging out with many kids her age, so she didn’t learn some social cues, but she was sure that wasn’t normal.

Before she could decide how to respond, a sharp searing pain tore through her neck, and she blacked out.

~~~

“What do you mean you’re not expelling him?” Ms. Maz Kanata, Rey’s social worker, demanded, jumping up from her seat.

The principal, Ms. Holdo, clasps her hands together on her desk. “Ms. Kanata, I understand that what happened to Rey was not ideal-”

“Not ideal?” She was screaming now. “Their beast child,” she pointed a shaking finger at the two parents also in the principal’s office, “mated her! Against her will! She’s six years old! He’s ruined her life!”

“Ruined her life is quite an exaggeration,” Leia, the boy’s mother interjected. “She might not even be an Omega. If that’s the case, the bite won’t hold.”

Maz glared down at her. “Rey is in the hospital now, being treated for a premature mating bite and forced designation presentation! Because you never taught your spoiled kid manners.”

Maz was a Beta, so she didn’t understand everything about Alpha and Omega dynamics, but after working with the children at her job, she knows how it can affect them, and how it can enslave them.

She turned back to Holdo. “I want him expelled. Or arrested!”

Han, his father, chuckled. “Arrested? He’s eight.”

“She’s six!” Maz yelled, fired up. “And now she’s bonded to your son for the rest of her life! I’ll be suing!”

Leia reached into her purse. She scribbled a large number on a check and held it out for Maz. “Hopefully we can work something out between us and the girl, no lawyers.”

Maz’s cheeks reddened in anger. “If you think I’ll take any money for her in exchange for my silence, you’re sorely mistaken.”

~~~

In the end, Maz did accept the money for Rey. It wasn’t because she didn’t want to help, it was just that Maz was busy with so many other foster kids that she couldn’t put much time into pressing charges against an eight-year-old. And the Organa-Solos basically owned the whole City of Chandrila. No lawyer or police officer would ever dare side against them.

The Solos left Rey a large—very, very large—sum of money for Rey which she would be able to access when she turned eighteen. It wasn’t much in terms of reparations to Rey, but it was the best Maz could do to make Rey’s life a little better, and to make it so that Plutt couldn’t take her money.

Her school was the only one in Chandrila, so unless Rey wanted to be homeschooled, she was stuck in the same school as the boy who ruined her life.

That’s what she called him. Never his name. She hadn’t even known his name until she woke up that day in the hospital, with the imprint of his teeth scarred into the skin between her neck and her shoulder forever.

Since they were two grades apart, she didn’t have to see him often at school, but those few times that she saw him between classes, or after school, hanging out with his buddies, her blood boiled.

In those unfortunate times, she did her deep breathing exercises that her anger management therapist had showed her to avoid punching him.

It didn’t always work though. Sometimes she would pounce on him, punching him until someone pulled her off.

In those instances, she’d be sent to the principal’s office, but she never got in trouble from Holdo—she knew better than that. And it always ended with another check from the Solos.

She hated those checks. It was a reminder of how poor she had grown up. It was a reminder that people with money could treat people however they want and how poorly Alphas can treat Omegas. But she put the money in the bank anyway.

The people at school thought Rey was a freak for presenting as an Omega so early. Her only friends were Rose and Finn, both Betas. Both Ben’s parents were Alphas, so when he presented at age sixteen, he got congratulated. As always, the woman—the Omega—got treated like shit, and there was nothing she could do about it.

Except for her peers treating her like a pariah,  things weren’t too bad until Ben presented as an Alpha. Both Ben’s parents were Alphas, so when he presented at age sixteen, no one was surprised, and he got congratulated. As always, the woman—the Omega—got treated like shit, and there was nothing she could do about it.

No one knew for sure that he would be an Alpha, but Rey always knew that he would. Just like how she always knew if he was near her, or if he was having a bad day, but worst of all, she knew exactly when his first rut was coming.

It was after soccer practice when she smelled it—smelled him. He’d joined the soccer team because that’s what Alpha’s with bodies like his did. She joined to work out her frustrations. It took a lot for Omegas to be allowed to play at all, but one call to the school board from Leia Organa got Rey a spot on the team. Rey still hated the whole family, but their guilt making them her personal secretary was nice sometimes.

After practice, she walked out of the bathroom and was assaulted by the strongest smell she’d ever experienced in her life, hitting her as if she ran into a brick wall. She had to stop and take a deep breath—no, deep breaths were a bad idea.

A few yards away, leaning on the fence was a group of Alphas. When she came out, one pair of eyes flicked toward her.

Ben stopped mid-sentence, his whole attention on her. His nostrils flared, and he took a deep breath.

Her legs shook under his gaze, and every Alpha turned to see what Ben was looking at. When they saw Rey, they whooped and hollered. Poe smirked at her terror.

“Hey, Rey,” Poe sneered. “You here to pick up your Alpha?”

“He’s not-” she stuttered, trying not to breathe.

Hux clapped Ben on the shoulder, then turned to Rey. “It’s time for you to finally be useful to your Alpha.”

Her fists clenched until her fingers were white. “He’s not my Alpha,” she finally got out.

He smirked. “Your body smells like it disagrees,” he said with a predatory smile.

That snapped her out of whatever haze she was in. “Fuck you, Hux.”

“Hm. Actually, you should be fucking Ben.”

She saw red and stormed off before she could do something stupid, like punch someone again. She knew Ben was following before he called her name.

“Rey, wait up!” he called, jogging after her. With his long legs, it only took him seconds to catch up. “Rey.” He gripped her arm to get her attention. She turned and hissed, literally hissed at him, and he let go of her as if she’d burned him.

“What do you want, Solo?” she asked, even though, based on the way he was looking at her, she knew exactly what he wanted.

It looked like it pained him, but he took a step back. He jerked his thumb back at his friends who were watching them and yelling varying levels of inappropriate comments.

“I wanted to apologize for my friends,” he said, shifting foot to foot.

Rey wasn’t amused. “Great friends you’ve got.” Her tone was ice cold.

He shrugged, but it was tense. “They’re idiots.” She tried not to notice how broad his shoulders were. She tried really hard not to watch the drop of sweat fall down his cheek and down his neck.

“Guess you’ve got that in common then,” she snapped. She pulled the key to her bike lock out of her bag and turned to unlock it.

With her turned around, Ben had an unobstructed view of her gland, and the outline of his teeth peeking out from her tee shirt. The scar had turned white, but it was there, on her gland. The mark that tied them together. It brought out something primal.

His blood pooled between his legs, taking it away from his brain.

Which was the only excuse for what he did next.

One second, he was watching her fumble with her keys, and the next he was on her, one hand on her stomach, pulling her into his chest, his other hand on the fence, supporting them both as he ran his lips over that scar, right there in the crook of her neck. The scar of his teeth.

She smelled so good—had she always smelled that good?—and he was in heaven. It was like he’d been waiting for something his whole life and he just found it.

Rey tried to push him off at first, but the second his lips touched her skin, she was putty. It’s a good thing he was holding her up, or she would have collapsed. He worked that little bit of skin with his teeth and tongue until they were both a mess of pheromones.

She was pulled back to reality when she felt his hardening erection rub on her lower back.

“Get the fuck off of me!” She turned, pushing him with every ounce of strength she had. It was only because he was surprised that he budged, otherwise, she couldn’t have moved him an inch.

His eyes were black when he looked down at her, and he was breathing hard, like it took everything in him not to pounce on her. To throw her in the backseat of his car and fuck her into the cushions.

She was breathing hard too, and if it was from anger or arousal, he wasn’t sure. Probably both.

She stuck out her finger, wagging it at him. She was on the brink of tears. Yelling would hold them back.

“That is the second time you’ve touched me there without permission, Ben Solo,” she yelled, no doubt yelling loudly enough for his friends to hear. “If it happens again, I’ll stick a knife in your knot!”

Something in her words made him believe it. But he couldn’t fight the fact that every cell in his body was being pulled towards her. Even her yelling at him turned him on. Fuck, he needed this girl. And the hardness hanging between his legs was proof.

He took a step towards her, but she held out a hand, halting him instantly. He let out a low growl, clearly not used to being turned down.

Deep down—well, actually not that deep down—something in Rey screamed at her as she rejected him. But her anger won out over that dumb Omega voice.

In a tone so soft she could believe it was coming from Ben Solo, he said “Rey, please. I’m starting my rut.”

And that just stoked the fire. “If you wanted an Omega to help you through your rut, you should have bit another girl against her will!”

Ben could take the hint. He was going to leave her alone—he really was—but the wind blew towards him, and her scent made its way back to him. In a flash of what could only be described as pure animal instincts, he took a step towards her.

And she kicked him in the dick.

Years of soccer had apparently come in handy for her, because he fell to the ground, screeching. Part of her wanted to stay and help him, but the other part, the smarter and stronger part of her, got on her bike and rode off, screaming as she pulled out, “Enjoy your rut, asshole!”

~~~

When Rey got home, she broke down crying. It felt like every cell in her body was being torn apart. She was so confused, and so angry, and so ashamed. Ashamed because for a moment, no matter how fleeting, she had wanted Ben Solo. The man who ruined her life before it even started. The man who took her future from her and never suffered a single consequence from it.

She cursed him a hundred times. But she also wondered who he’d spend his rut with. The thought of him with someone else made her nauseous.

Rut? Alpha is in a rut? You should be with him.

“What the fuck?” she whispered to the voice in her head. She had to be going crazy.

Not crazy. Just going into heat. Should be with Alpha.

The primitive part of her brain was taking over. The part of the brain that, for a second, made her forget that she fucking hated Ben Solo’s guts.

“I’m not fucking going into heat,” she hissed, turning off the lights and forcing herself to sleep.

~~~

When she woke, she was dripping with sweat, and her whole body was shaking. She was burning up, and the fabric on her skin was itching. She was hot everywhere, but especially between her legs. When she checked, she found herself soaked, and not just with sweat. Had she peed herself? Or started her period? She knew girls started their period around her age, but wasn’t there supposed to be blood?

A cramp ripped through her lower belly, making her double over in pain, clutching her stomach. Appendicitis? Rose had to get hers removed a couple of years ago, and she’d had cramps before.

Convinced her internal organs were going to rupture, she ran out to the garage and grabbed her bike. She went as fast as she could to the hospital, but she had to stop a few times when the cramps became too much to bear.

She barged into the E.R.—luckily mostly empty since it was four in the morning—her pajamas drenched in sweat and wetness pooling between her legs.

“Help,” she croaked to the very surprised receptionist. Everything after that was a blur. Doctors and nurses asked questions she couldn’t answer, and could barely hear. She was convinced she was going to die.

When she was coherent again, her fever had subsided and the cramps were barely noticeable. The nurse at her bedside smiled sweetly.

“How are you feeling, honey?” she asked.

Groaning, Rey pushed herself up into a sitting position. “Not great,” she croaked.

“Let me get the doctor for you.” She left without another word, and Rey surveyed the room. She was definitely in a hospital, and a nice one. The sun was starting to peak through the windows, so it must have been morning. She lifted her hospital gown, surprised not to see an incision mark. They hadn’t taken out her appendix?

The doctor coming through the door got her attention, and she pulled the gown down.

“Hi, Rey. I’m Doctor Tano. I was one of the people who helped you when you came in.” Rey tried to smile, but it fell flat. “Do you know what you’re here for?” Dr. Tano asked gently.

Rey shook her head. “I don’t know. I woke up with my stomach hurting really bad and came here.”

Tano gave her a sad smile and took a seat at the end of the bed. “Rey, you’re starting your first heat.”

She shook her head harshly, and the room spun. “No, I can’t be. I’m only 14.” Usually, Omegas started at sixteen or seventeen.

“We ran some tests, and you are. It’s uncommon, but possible to start at your age.” She pointed to the scar on Rey’s neck, visible in the hospital gown. “Especially for a mated Omega.” Rey cringed. “Where is your mate?”

“I don’t have a mate.”

Dr. Tano looked at her with pity. “He’s dead?”

“No. But he’s not my mate. All he did was bite me when I was 6.”

Her eyebrows knit in confusion. “That would explain the early heat. You don’t see him?”

“Not unless I have to.”

Dr. Tano nodded slowly, processing the information. She took Rey’s hand in hers. “Rey, you may not like your mate, and you may not acknowledge him as your mate, but your body doesn’t know any better. Has he started his rut?”

Rey nodded weakly. “Yes. Yesterday, I think. I think it was his first.”

She nodded again. “Your Alpha—sorry, the boy who bit you—starting his rut would likely be enough to trigger your first heat. You saw him yesterday?” Rey nodded, thinking in shame about how her body had reacted to him. “And you don’t want to spend your heat with him?”

“No!” Rey screamed, too defensive. She blushed at her outburst. “No,” she said, more quietly.

“Rey, I hate to tell you this, but the suppressants we put you on won’t stop your heat. They’ll make it a bit more bearable, but without your Alpha, it won’t be pleasant.” Rey blinked back tears. “I’m not inclined to recommend sexual activity to a 14-year-old, especially because your body would likely reject any other Alpha besides the one who bit you anyways. Do you have a safe place to go through your heat?”

Rey shook her head. “My foster dad is an Alpha. I don’t want to be home.”

Tano nodded knowingly. “We have rooms here for Omegas to see out their heats in a safe place, if you’d like. Do you know what to expect?”

Again, Rey shook her head.

One hour, and one very awkward conversation later, Rey had a box of suppressant, protein bars, a change of clothes, and… vibrators. Her cheeks flamed when Tano explained how even without an Alpha, her body would hurt until she orgasmed. Repeatedly. But at least she now knew what to expect.

Tano took Rey to the wing of the hospital where she would have her own room, sound proof walls, pillows and blankets to nest with, and unlimited food and water. Honestly, it was nicer that her tiny room at Plutt’s.

As Rey started to settle in, Dr. Tano asked, “Is there anything else you need, Rey?”

Moody, and angry about her situation, she shook her head. “No, just Ben Solo’s head on a platter.”

Tano blanched, and Rey gave her a confused look. “Did you say Ben Solo?”

One phone call and 15 minutes later, Leia Organa showed up at Rey’s hospital room.

“Hi, Rey. I’m Leia. Ben’s mother.”

Rey glared. “I know who you are.” Apparently, Dr. Tano was good friends with the Solos (like every single person in this town apparently), and she thought it necessary to tell Leia about her very embarrassing predicament.

Leia gave her a tense smile. “So you know why I’m here?”

“To give me more money,” she guessed bitterly, “as if that erases what your son did to me?”

Leia sighed. “I know that it won’t un-mate you to him. But I hoped they would make your life a little better. I know you’ve been cashing them.”

At that, Rey flushed, embarrassed. “I don’t need any more of your charity.”

“Well, I’m here to offer it anyway. And I think you’d be wise to accept.”

Hesitantly, Rey stared at her. “And what’s your offer? Money won’t make my heat any better either.”

“It could.”

Rey’s jaw dropped. “You want to pay me to spend my heat with your son?”

“No,” Leia said. “Although it would be much easier for both of you if you did.”

“… You’re his mom. Shouldn’t you not be encouraging him to have sex.”

Leia shrugged her shoulders indifferently. “I was a young unmated Alpha once who had to spend my heats alone. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.”

But Rey was still suspicious. And disgusted with her offer. “I’m not having sex with your asshole son.”

Leia didn’t bat an eye. “That’s fair, honey. I’m not going to encourage anything you don’t want to do.”

“… You won’t?”

“No, sweetheart. What my son did to you was awful. I want to help you.”

Rey lifted an eyebrow. “Help me how exactly?”

An hour later, Leia was walking Rey into the Solos’ guest house. Rey was skeptical at first, but the Solos’ property was vast, and the guest house was a mile away from the house where Ben was staying.

The thought of it sent a shudder through her.

Leia walked around, turning on lights, grabbing pillows and blankets. She turned to Rey. “Will this be okay? The fridge and pantry are stocked, there’s plenty of room for you, and I’m just a phone call away if you need anything.”

Rey could only nod, still skeptical. Why would this woman bring her here unless she wanted her to spend it with Ben? What did she have to gain?

The older woman smiled. “Okay. I’ve already called the school and gotten you excused from all your assignments for the week. And I’ve arranged for some changes of clothes to be delivered to you.” Rey was impressed. When had Leia even had time to do that? Maybe having her on her side was a good thing.

~~~

The next week were the worst days of Rey’s life. She spent the whole time sweating and cramping in the Solos’ guest house. It hurt so badly that she almost considered walking the distance to the main house. Almost.

But she would rather spend every heat alone for the rest of her life than give Ben Solo what he wanted. She hated him, even if her Omega brain was telling her to go to him.

After a few showers and throwing every blanket she touched into the washer, Rey left the guest house. She had an hour to get to school, and she really wanted to avoid Ben and Leia.

But the universe had other plans.

A shiny black BMW pulled up beside her while she was walking the long gravel road to civilization. The back window rolled down, revealing Leia. Somehow, she knew Ben was in the backseat. The second the window came down, his smell slammed into her. She had to cover her mouth.

“Rey, honey, hop in. Let us give you a ride to school,” Leia hollered.

Rey stiffened. “Oh, uh… No thank you, Mrs. Solo.”

Leia gave her a stern look. “Rey, we’re ten miles from the school. Get in the car so you’re not late.”

She couldn’t get in that car; she’d rather walk a hundred miles, but Leia was apparently a hard woman to say ‘no’ to. She reluctantly slid into the backseat. If his scent before was distracting before, now it was downright paralyzing. He smelled so good—had he always smelled so good? She knew it was remnants from his rut. It was so potent. Could Leia smell it? Rey couldn’t imagine Leia being able to smell the delicious scent of sex of this Alpha post-rut?

You should have been with him.

‘Shut up’, she thought to her inner Omega.

She rolled down the window, practically hanging out of it to get away from his scent. He smirked at her, knowingly.

“Good morning, Rey,” he said so politely that she could almost pretend he wasn’t a monster. But then she remembered the terrible heat he’d caused her. “How was your week?” Asshole.

“It was great,” she sneered.

“Really?” He raised a brow.

“Yeah,” she said stubbornly.

He leaned over the seat, and she tensed as his scent assaulted her. “I could have made it better,” he whispered seductively.

She was paralyzed. Luckily, he backed away when Leia slapped him in the head. “Benjamin Organa Solo! Don’t be crude.” She pointed a finger at him, and he flinched. “You better be treating your mate with more respect than that.”

At the word ‘mate’ both their eyes flickered towards each other. Her cheeks burned.

“He’s not my-”

“Okay, mom,” he said overtop of her. Rey didn’t try to correct her again.

For the rest of the car ride, Leia talked about the weather, upcoming council meetings, and the soccer games scheduled for next week. Rey didn’t hear a word of it. She was too busy fighting the urge to murder Ben in the same car his mother was in. Or maybe straddle him. The urges overlapped sometimes.

She felt like crap. She was tired and sore and embarrassed and mad. And it was all his fault.

When they got to school, Rey muttered a weak thank you to Leia, but she called her name before she could get very far. Rey walked up to her window while Ben met up with his stupid Alpha friends near the door of the school.

“Yeah?” Rey asked.

Leia’s eyes flicked over her head and back. “Rey, I’m very sorry about what my son did to you. I know nothing can take it back, but I want you to know I’m here for you. For anything you need. You understand?”

Rey just nodded.

“Anything, Rey. I mean it.” Leia was looking at her with such intensity that she even believed it.

She smiled softly. “Okay. Thank you, Mrs. Solo.”

Leia laid a hand on the young girl’s shoulder. “I think we’re past that, honey. Call me Leia.”

And with that, the car pulled away, leaving Rey feeling utterly alone.

She held her head down when she walked up the stairs to the school and past the group of Alphas. Her hand was on the door when she heard, “Hey, Omega.” She tensed, blood boiling as she turned around to face them.

“Don’t call me that,” she said through gritted teeth to Hux.

He laughed and put his hands up in mock surrender. The rest of the group was grinning stupidly at her. “I heard you and Solo had a fun week together,” he taunted. “And look, she’s even got the bite mark to prove it.”

Her hands were shaking with rage. “Shut up, Hux.” She pulled her shirt up to hide the mark that they knew she’d had for years.

“I bet he fucked you from behind—”

He was cut off by a growl. “Don’t,” Ben snarled, “talk to my mate like that.”

Hux turned even paler than usual. “Sorry, Ben, I—”

Rey didn’t stick around to hear the rest of it. “You’re not my mate!” she screamed at him, slamming the door in his shocked face.

Chapter Text

PRESENT; a week after Rey’s heat and Ben’s rut after seeing each other at the hospital

 

Rey wiped her brow, pulling on her sweatshirt while leaving the gym.

“Thanks for another great class, Dr. Johnson! I learned a lot this week,” a teenage girl told her, taking a pull from her water bottle.

Since Rey had moved to Coruscant, she’d been teaching self-defense classes, pro bono, for anyone who wanted to join. It was a great way to give back to the community, and a great way to let out some of her frustrations.

“Glad you enjoyed it! See you next week?” The girl nodded and they said their goodbyes.

Rose jumped up behind her, ponytail swinging. “Great class, Rey!” Rey smiled at her. “You ready to go?”

Rey nodded. “Hell yes, I could really use a drink.” She cringed thinking about her recently ended heat, like always, alone and miserable.

“Wanna try out that new cantina? The fancy one by the high rises?” Rose had just gotten a promotion at her travel agency, so she was itching to upgrade from their usual watering hole that always smelled just a little off.

“Sure, Jannah said it was nice.”

There was a decent line outside the bar, but Rose insisted on staying. Rey tried not to notice that everyone else in line was wearing suits and fancy button downs—a stark contrast to her and Rose’s sweaty gym attire.

“What time do you work tomorrow?” Rose asked, checking her watch.

“Seven.”

Rose’s eyebrows shot up. “And you’re here, going to drink?”

“I had a shitty week.”

She gave her a pitying look. “How was your heat?”

Rey gave her a quick glare, but it didn’t hold any malice. “Not great.”

“Because you were alone?”

Rey nodded.

“Rey…” Her voice softened. “If it’s so miserable without him, why don’t you—"

“No!” Rey’s fists tightened by her side. “Now you sound like him.”

Rose took a step back, eyes wide. “I’m sorry, I—”

“No. I’m sorry,” Rey sighed, running a hand over her neck. “I’m sorry, I’m just still a little on edge since my heat. Especially after running into him last week.”

Rose smiled apologetically. “I get it. Well, no, I don’t get it, but it sucks you have to deal with…” Her smile faded as her eyes flicked over Rey’s shoulder.

Rey spun, then glared when she saw what caught Rose’s eye.

“Ben,” she all but snarled. If Ben was surprised to see her, he didn’t show it. He was wearing a navy suit, bright white shirt unbuttoned slightly—she tried not to notice. “Are you following me?”

“As much as I’d like to flatter you,” he snorted, then nodded toward the sky scraper right across the street, “no. I work there in the penthouse.”

She rolled her eyes. Of course he did.

“Rose,” he smiled politely. “Lovely to see you. I hope you’ve been well.”

She tried to glare at him, but unlike Rey, Rose was not immune to Ben Solo’s charm. When she saw Rey’s grimace, she dropped the smile she hadn’t realized was forming. “I can’t say the same.”

His smile didn’t falter as he looked back at Rey. It actually deepened when he took in her attire. “Cute outfit.”

She couldn’t help her cheeks burning. She must look ridiculous in her leggings and ratty tee shirt next to this man in a suit that could likely pay her rent for the year.

“We came from the gym,” Rey told him blankly. “I teach self-defense classes there.”

“Oh?”

“For women and Omegas. You know, so no one has to go through what I did.”

His face remained unchanged, but the tendons in his neck tensed slightly. Before he could make an inappropriate comment, no doubt about her ‘showing him some moves’, a large hand clapped down on his shoulder.

Ben turned. “Hux,” he greeted the red head, who was dressed just as nicely as him.

“Sorry it took so long. Boss was all over my ass about our new project.” He seemed to just notice the girls. Stepping out behind Ben, he took Rose’s hand in his. “Rose, what a very pleasant surprise.”

Her blush did not go unnoticed by Rey.

Hux’s face tightened when he saw Rey. “Rey,” he said dully.

Ben shook his head, biting back a chuckle. “Would you ladies like to join us?”

“Yes,” Rose said.

“I’d rather die,” Rey said simultaneously.

He just shrugged his shoulders. “Suit yourself. Have a lovely night, ladies.” Hux protested, wanting to bring Rose with, but Ben pulled him away.

As Ben turned to walk toward the door, Rey called after him. “You can’t just skip the line!”

He gave Rey a look mixed with amusement and cockiness that seemed to say, ‘Can’t I?’ She realized with a grimace that Ben Solo could quite literally get away with anything. The mark on her neck twinged with awareness.

He didn’t look to see if they were following after them. Rey’s arms tightened over her chest, unmoving. Rose slapped her shoulder. “Let’s go!”

Rey just frowned at her. “It’s what he wants.”

“It’s what we want too! The bouncer said the line would be an hour!”

Rey was about to say no when Rose gave her a pleading look. She groaned. “Fine! But I’m not going to be nice to him.”

Rose rolled her eyes, tugging Rey with her towards the entrance. “Trust me, none of us were expecting it.”

When they reached the bouncer, he gave the girls a once over. He snorted and opened his mouth, no doubt to turn them away, but Ben stood between them.

“They’re with me, Pryde.”

That was all it took for them to be let in.

Ben placed his hand on the small of Rey’s back, so lightly she barely felt it through her tank top, as he led her through the crowd and to a table in the back of the room. She was sure he could smell the spike in her scent at his touch, but she still didn’t push him off.

When they reach the table, Ben drawls “I trust you had a pleasant week, Rey?” in that cocky tone he uses so well and she hates so much. He leaned in, inhaling deeply. “You smell delicious.”

Although the proximity made her knees weak and every inch of her body yearned for him, she whirled around and took a step back. His post-rut pheromones made her dizzy, and her mouth turned to cotton.

“You have a tab open?” she asked bluntly.

Her change in subject took him aback. “Um… yes, of course—”

“Great. Rose and I will be at the bar.” She grabbed her friend and yanked her away from conversation with Hux to drag her to the bar. Ben and Hux didn’t follow. Flopping into an empty seat, she ordered two shots on Ben’s tab, then turned to Rose. “God, I hate him!”

Rose was a little annoyed with Rey for interrupting her, but Rey was oblivious. And Rose felt bad, so she didn’t press the issue.

“I know.”

The bartender slid them their shots, and Rey took hers without a second thought. “He’s such an ass!” Then ordered another round.

“I know.”

“Fuck!” she said to know one, scratching her gland. “He bites me as a kid and thinks I belong to him!” She shook her hair out, covering her gland in the hopes that Ben wouldn’t be able to scent her every emotion, like he usually could. It was always worse before and after her heat. “I probably wasn’t even going to be an Omega.”

She took her next shot while Rose watched her with worry.

“Rey, it’s been a long time… twenty years. Maybe you should just talk to him.”

“Maybe he should have talked to me before biting me and enslaving me to him!”

Rose opened her mouth to respond, but a man on the other side of Rey cut her off.

“Excuse me for interrupting, but I couldn’t help overhear,” the man interjected. He was older, probably around sixty, and he had scars marring half his cheek, but he wasn’t unattractive. He was clearly an Alpha, unmated, but his age had dulled his pheromones. “You were mated against your will?”

Usually, Rey would be pissed at his forwardness, but all her anger was reserved for Ben Solo after the shitty heat she’d just been through because of him.

“Yes.”

The man gave her a sympathetic look. “I’m overseeing research about forced mating bites and forced designations. Excuse me for my bluntness, but would you mind if I asked you a few questions?”

Rey turned to Rose. “Would you mind if I talked to him for a minute?”

Rose tried not to act relieved. “Of course not! I’ll go keep Armie-uh-Hux company!” She slid away before Rey could get another word in.

She turned to the man. “I’m going to need a drink, or five, for this,” she said, then snatched a bottle of tequila from behind the bar. When the bartender frowned at her, she said, “Put it on Ben Solo’s tab.” She turned to the man. “Do you want anything?”  She smirked. “My treat.”

He gave her an amused look. “A generous offer, but no thank you. I’d like to hear about you and your… mate.”

Her face soured, and she took a shot. A few minutes, a few shots, and way too much information later, Rey had told this man in detail how Ben Solo had ruined her life.

His whisky sat between his hands, ignored. “So,” he started, voice heavy with curiosity. “This bite happened before you presented as an Omega, yet it remained after?”

She nodded.

“How?”

She shrugged. Her words were getting sloppy, but he stayed entranced in the conversation. “No clue. The doctors had no idea either. They’d never seen a mating bite at someone that young before me.” She took another drink from the bottle. “It should have just been a regular scar, I mean, I wasn’t the first person to get bit there by another kid. We just happened to be the first that stayed mated.”

“Peculiar,” he hummed. “How did he know to bite you there?”

She cringed at the memory. “No clue. He just said I smelled good then bit me.”

“He shouldn’t have been able to scent you at all at that age.”

“That’s what I said! I didn’t even have a gland back then!”

“Right. And he was certainly going to be an Alpha?”

“His parents both were.”

“And you were going to be an Omega?”

“No clue. I don’t know my parents.”

He didn’t give her a pitying look at that, and for that, she was grateful. “So, do you think, without the bite, you would have remained a Beta?”

Her face scrunched up in thought. “Look, I know I’m a doctor, so I should know how ridiculous this sounds, but I really, truly believe that if he wouldn’t have bit me, I wouldn’t have presented.”

“And you have no interest in any other Alphas?”

“None at all.”

“So basically… No one has any idea why what happened to you happened?”

“Basically.”

The man remained silent for a moment. “Rey,” he placed a hand on hers, and for some reason, it didn’t make her sick. “If there were a way to release you from your bond to him, would you?”

“Without a doubt.” She didn’t hesitate.

He smiled. “I think I’d like you to find a way.” When she gave him a confused look, he continued. “Come work at my lab. I have a significant grant in place for Alpha and Omega research, and I think you might be the scientist I was looking for to head it.”

Her jaw dropped. “You want me to come work in your research lab?”

“No. I want you to be in charge of the lab. Any equipment needed will be provided. I have multiple labs, operating rooms, anything you could possibly need for any type of medical research. Money would be no issue. Just do whatever you need to figure out this bond with you and your mate. Find out about forced designations and how they work. See if it is even possible for anyone else besides you. Find out what it would take to turn a Beta into an Omega. And find out if it can be reversed. If you can find a cure, use it, and see if it frees you.”

She just stared at him, frozen in shock. “You’re serious?”

“Of course.”

Sighing, she shook her head. “I have a job.”

“I’ll triple your pay.”

Now she was truly shocked. “I get paid a lot.”

“I’ll quadruple it.”

She considered it. “And I get to do whatever Alpha/Omega research I want?”

“Anything.”

Finally, she shrugged. “Okay, I’m in.”

He returned her smile. “I’m very happy to hear that, Dr. Johnson.” He shook her hand as she took another drink.

She was much too drunk to realize that she hadn’t told him her last name.

After watching in agony as Rey and the old man talked for half an hour at the bar, Ben couldn’t stand it. If he didn’t interject, his Alpha was going to explode.

When Ben approached the bar and saw Rey with an entire bottle of tequila in her hand, his jaw clenched, but he plastered on a smile.

“Rey, don’t you think that’s a little much?”

Her smile fell as soon as she felt his presence.

“No, I don’t think so.” She gave an apologetic look to the old man. “My mate,” she explained with disgust in her tone.

Ben’s eye twitched. He gripped her arm gently. “Let’s go, Rey.”

“No,” she spat. “I’m enjoying a drink with my new boss.”

His grip tightened. “Your what?”

She gave him a smug look. “My new boss. I’m going to find a way to unmate us.”

Now his grip was bruising. His tone dropped an octave and rage simmered in his eyes. “You’re. What?”

She glared up at him. “You heard me. I’m working for…” She turned to the man.

“Snoke,” he offered.

“Snoke,” she told Ben. His entire body was vibrating with nearly controlled rage. “And you can’t do anything to stop me.”

“The Hell I can’t!”

Snoke chuckled. “I can see why you want to get away from him.”

Ben shot him a glare that would send most Alphas running with their tails tucked, but Snoke was unfazed.

“We’ll talk about this later, Rey. Let’s. Go.”

Something in his voice made her want to listen. It wasn’t an Alpha command, but the unmasked desperation in his voice made it seem that way.

“Fine, fine, calm down, Solo.” She gave the bartender a sweet, lopsided smile. “Put the drinks on his tab. And tip yourself nicely!” she said before sliding off the chair and past Ben. With a sigh, he dropped a few hundred-dollar bills on the table and followed her out.

Once they were a few yards from the door, he stepped in front of her, and she knocked into him, nearly sending them both sprawling. His hand on her shoulders steadied her, physically, but emotionally, they left her more off balance than ever.

“Get off,” she said, barely above a whisper. But he did, and he took a step back.

“You can’t work for him, Rey.”

She took a deep breath before looking up at him. “Look, Ben. I’m drunk, and I’m tired, and I really don’t want to fight with you right now.”

“Then don’t.”

“Then don’t try to tell me what to do.”

“It’s for your own good.”

She snorted. “You know what. I’m sure you believe that.” She pushed past him, heading towards her apartment.

“Rey,” he called, following after her. “Where are you going?”

“Home.” She shot him a deathly look. “Alone.”

He raised his hands in surrender. “Fine. Let me walk you home though.”

She rolled her eyes. “No funny business.”

“I swear.”

After scanning his expression, she nodded, then started walking again. He kept his promise. He didn’t talk or try anything, which her Omega was actually upset about. It wanted her to pull him into the nearest alley and do with him what she should have done during her heat.

She pushed the thought away.

When they reached her apartment building, he stopped her in the lobby.

“Rey, you can’t work for Snoke. He’s a corrupt bastard.”

“Corrupt? How would you know?”

He gave her a look that was half guilty and all confessing. She sighed. Right. He had to make his millions somehow.

She rolled her eyes. “Why would he be in healthcare research if he was corrupt?”

Ben gave her a look to ask ‘are you dumb?’. “Hello. This is America. Healthcare is the worst of the worst.” Rey shrugged. He wasn’t wrong. “Plus, how convenient for him to have a place where he can bring all his men in to get stitched up, no questions asked? And to have an easy way to distribute his drugs?”

“Drugs? You mean medications.” She took a moment, eyes scanning the floor. Then she glared up at him. “You have some nerve, Ben Solo, coming in here, telling me who I can and can’t work for, making up lies about my new boss. You’re unbelievable! You’re getting desperate now that I’m going to get rid of you.” She hit him in the chest, rage barely contained. “You’d really do anything to get in my pants, huh?”

“Well… yeah.”

She wiped a tear that she hated herself for shedding. “Anything but be a decent guy.”

Something inside him shattered alongside the tear as it fell to the ground, splattering on the concrete.

“Rey, please. He’s dangerous!”

She pointed a finger in his face. “You don’t get to worry about my safety. You made it clear you don’t care about me when you bit me twenty years ago.”

“Why won’t you just trust me?” He was shouting mad now.

“Because I hate you! You’ve never done anything to make me trust you.”

“Because you won’t let me.”

“And I never will!”

His fist was through the wall before either of them knew what was happening. She didn’t flinch as he pulled his hand back, revealing a hole in the plaster just a foot from her face.

Her face hardened. “You don’t scare me, Solo.”

“I’m not—” he took a breath. “I’m not trying to scare you. I’m begging you, Rey. Please don’t work for that man.”

They look in his eyes and his dizzying scent made her almost give in, but Ben Solo had taken too much for her. She wouldn’t allow him to keep doing it.

“I wasn’t kidding in there,” she told him, straightening up and looking him dead in the eye to make sure he comprehended her every word. “I’m taking the job. And I’m finding away to get rid of our bond.”

Chapter Text

TWENTY YEARS AGO; after Rey’s first heat

 

The next six months went by too slowly and too quickly. She only used the calendar to count the days until her next dreaded heat. Leia had gotten her the best suppressants money could buy, but she’d still have two per year. And they weren’t going to get any better.

She tried to keep her head down and avoid the Alpha bullies. She focused on school, needing good grades so she could get out of Chandrila the day she graduated. She’d leave this town behind. And she’d leave Ben Solo.

Easier said than done though, because when she had her heats, Ben had his ruts. And she dreaded it.

She smelled him before she saw him. And as much as she hated it, her body reacted to his smell. He was about to start another rut, and the smell of him made her eyes roll back. She dug her nails into her palm to distract herself.

“Hey, Rey,” he called, a few feet away from her in the empty hallway after school.

She turned to face him. “Solo.”

“Haven’t seen you in a while.”

She snorted. “We should keep it that way.”

He clicked his tongue. “Oh, come on, don’t be like that.” He took a step forward, and she took a step back. “We should catch up.” He gave her a wicked smirk. “Got any plans this week?”

She wanted to slap that look off his face. It took all her effort not to. He was starting his rut, so he knew she’d be starting her heat.

No doubt he’d been expecting her to give into him. Expecting her Omega hindbrain to overtake her undying hatred for him. Sometimes, she’d even thought about it. But it wasn’t going to happen. Not now, or ever.

“Maybe,” she gritted.

“Yeah?” he asked, taking another step forward. She stepped back, and was stopped by a row of lockers.

“Yeah.”

He took another step forward, just a foot away from her now. His scent was dizzying. “Anything in particular that you need an Alpha for?”

He placed one hand on the wall beside her head, caging her in. Every muscle in her body tensed. One part of her wanted to punch him in the neck and the other part wanted to bury her nose in it.

“You’re no Alpha to me,” she said. His stupid smirk disappeared. She slipped under his arm and away from him, the fresh air helping clear her mind. He was mad, but it was nothing compared to the anger he felt at her next words. “Besides, I already have an Alpha for my heat.”

And then she ran, but not before seeing the look of pure fury flash across his face. She bolted from the hallway, running from the sounds of him punching a locker.

She had no other Alpha, of course, but the look on his face would be enough to get her through her coming heat.

~~~

Leia promised not to tell Ben that she was spending the week in the guest house again, for which Rey was grateful. But she wondered if Ben could feel her like she could feel him, just a mile away. She was sure that she could close her eyes and find him just by instincts.

The miserable week went by, and she cursed Ben Solo the entire time. She should have had years before having to deal with this. And now, she had to spend it Alpha-less. She could find another, of course, but the thought was enough to make her gag.

When the week was over, she was somehow even more exhausted than the last time.

She was annoyed with her recently ended heat, she was annoyed with the fact it was pouring rain. So when a fancy black sports car pulled up beside her on the way to school, she was beyond pissed. This time when the window rolled down, it showed Ben, alone, in the driver’s seat. With one hand on the wheel, he slid his sunglasses down the bridge of his nose to look at her. Sunglasses? In this cloudy weather? His rut must have been as miserable as her heat.

That’s why you should spend it together! Shut up.

“Want a ride?” he asked.

“No thanks,” she grumbled, still walking down the road.

“Rey,” he sighed. “Don’t be stubborn. It’s pouring rain, and it’s freezing.”

“I’m fine.” She shivered. Perfect timing.

He rolled his eyes, keeping the car at a steady 3 miles an hour to keep up with her. The thought of his Omega—no matter how much she hated him—in the rain made him physically hurt.

“You’re being stubborn,” he insisted.

“You’re being annoying.”

His grip tightened on the wheel, but he gritted out a smile. “Get in the car, Rey.”

“No.”

He clenched his jaw. “Get in the car, Rey,” he said again. She stopped mid-step. She had no control over her body as she pulled the door open and slid into the passenger seat. She slammed the door so hard he flinched, surprised the window didn’t crack.

She turned to face him, spitting mad. “Ben Solo,” she snapped. “If you ever use an Alpha command on me again, it’ll be the last words that ever come out of your mouth.”

He turned a little paler at her words, as frozen as she was. Her chest was heaving. Finally, he pushed up his glasses and turned to the road, pressing the gas.

“It’s raining. I didn’t want you to get cold,” he said too casually.

“How very chivalrous of you.”

After a few awkward minutes of silence, he spoke. “Rey, I’m sorry—” he sucked in a deep breath, mouth watering as her scent filled his car. His entire mood changed. And he smirked. “So what you said about having an Alpha was a lie,” he said, not a question.

“Why would you think that?”

He leaned over the console, sniffing her hair with one eye on the road. “Because you smell unsatisfied,” he drawled. “Like you want me.”

She shoved him back to his side of the car. “Well, your nose is dysfunctional then.”

He just laughed. “Sure, Rey.”

She hated herself for what came out of her mouth, but the words were out before she could stop herself.

“What about you?” she whispered, voice cracking. “Did you have an Omega?”

He took a deep breath and was silent for so long she thought he’d ignore her. Even the possibility of him having another Omega made her stomach churn.

“No,” he said finally, and she let out a weak breath of relief, which was short lived. He gave her a sideways glance. “But if you won’t spend the week with me, I might next time.”

Her heart clenched.

She crossed her arms over her chest. “Fine,” she snapped with too much ferocity for someone indifferent.

He just sighed, pulling into his parking spot. He turned to her. “You look like crap, Rey.”

Her nostrils flared. “Yeah, that’s a great thing to say to me.”

“That’s not what I—” he took a deep breath, pupils dilating as he took in her scent. “I meant… it looks like your week was as miserable as mine.” She opened her mouth to protest, but he raised a hand, cutting her off. “Don’t deny it. I can feel it. I’m just saying, things would be better for the both of us if we did this together.”

She was speechless. He took her lack of words as contemplation. But he was wrong.

“I would rather die than spend my heat with you,” she said calmly before sliding out of the car, leaving him with an awful expression of rejection. It felt good.

She hated every second of the car ride, but at least he never used an Alpha command on her again.

~~~

The next time her heat was about to start, she was in the library. The door opened, revealing Ben. It was truly something incredible to watch, how everyone’s attention gravitated towards him. Omegas. Alphas. Even Betas. And it wasn’t just because he was an Alpha. Rey hated to admit it, but he’d grown into his features. He was huge and tall and… Attractive. Something about Ben Solo demanded attention and respect. But not from Rey.

Her eyes snapped back down to her book, intent on ignoring him. But that became impossible once he got within twenty feet of her. His scent alone had her thighs clenching.

“Rey,” he said when he reached her table.

She glanced up at him with a look of pure hatred. “What do you want, Ben?”

He looked down at her, annoyed and condescending simultaneously. “I think you know.” A light sheen of sweat covered his forehead.

She hummed, reveling in his discomfort, even though it meant hers would soon follow. “Hmm. No, I don’t think I do.”

His fingers clenched into fists. “Rey, please, you know I’m starting my rut.”

“So?”

“And you’re starting your heat.” Not a question.

“Yes. And?”

He threw his hands up in frustration. “You’re impossible!” Heads turned in their direction, but he didn’t care. He was too close to his rut to think of anything except fucking Rey into a mattress. “We’ll both be miserable this week, and there’s an easy solution. Why won’t you give in?”

She stood, pulling her books into one arm as she stepped towards him. His eyes darkened. She ran a finger lightly over his chest, and he had to hold back a groan. Finally, she looked up at him.

“I don’t know how many times I have to say this, Solo,” she said in a seductive voice, completely contradictory to her words. All Ben could think about was the fact that she was touching him. He looked at her expectantly. Even hopefully. “I hate your fucking guts.”

And with that, she walked out of the library, leaving him alone. She had to fight her every instinct, but she made it out to her bike without turning around and going back to him.

She hurried to the Solos’ guest home on her bike, desperate to get to her vibrator. She was halfway naked by the time she shut the door behind her. She ran up to her room….

And froze, terrified.

She took a hesitant step further into the room. And sniffed.

“I’m gonna fucking kill him,” she gritted. She looked around the room. “Ben! Get over here!”

The asshole walked out of the bathroom connected to the bedroom, smirking. “I knew you’d be calling for me one day.”

He looked her up and down and she was suddenly aware of the fact that she just had on a tee shirt. His eyes darkened when he saw her bare, slick cunt, both their scents spiking.

She grabbed the remote off the dresser next to her and hurled it at his head. “Turn around!”

He dodged the throw with ridiculous speed, laughing as she scrambled to find pants to pull on.

When she was covered, she realized that he was wearing nothing but a pair of white boxer briefs. And they covered nothing. She tried to not look, but she was only human. He smiled when he saw her gaze and took a step toward her.

“Rey, come on. I know you want this.”

She glared. “Get out, Ben.” Even saying his name made her inner Omega purr. And she hated it.

“Don’t be like that. We both want this.” His voice was a mix of cocky and pleading, and it did things to her.

She gulped, putting all her effort into making eye contact with his eyes and not his chest, which was way too sculpted to be on someone his age. “I don’t.” But it was a question.

He cocked his head. “Now you’re lying.”

“And you’re a fucking prick!” she said, mind too clouded by his scent to formulate a better response.

“Rey,” he said, almost a groan. “Aren’t you tired of fighting this?”

“Yes!” she yelled, and for a moment, he looked content. Until she continued. “I’m tired of fighting this. I’m tired of having to avoid you because I hate you. I’m tired of living with the knowledge that we’re bonded!” He looked like a kicked puppy, but she didn’t care. “And I’m fucking tired of knowing you’re alive!”

She was breathless when she finished, face red. Ben stared at her, eyes wide. They didn’t know who was more surprised by her outburst.

And when she saw his expression, she almost felt bad. Almost.

She shook her head, staring at the floor. “Please just leave, Ben.”

He didn’t move for a second, just breathing her in. And then he sighed.

“Look, Rey.” Something in his voice made her look up at him. He looked vulnerable. Sincere. Someone she could see herself not hating. “I’m so, so sorry about biting you that day. I regret it so much.” It was what she wanted to hear, but him saying he regretted it made her want to cry. “But I can’t take it back.” He pinched the bridge of his nose. “I would if I could.” She ignored the pang of hurt that tore through her. “But we’re stuck with this. Can’t we at least make the best of it?”

Maybe it was her heat, maybe she just hated him, but she snapped. “Well, if you feel so stuck with me, maybe you should leave!”

He stared at her, eyes wide, hands up. “Rey, no, that’s not what I—"

“Leave,” she growled. His scent was making her wild.

He took a step towards her, and she took one back.

“Come on, Rey—”

“Don’t touch me.”

Another step.

“Rey, please—”

“If you take another step, I’m going to murder you.”

Another step. “Rey—”

She opened the top drawer of the dresser and flicked something towards him.

Ben gave her a look of disbelief. “A knife? Are you serious?”

“Deadly.” She hoped he couldn’t see how her hands were shaking.

He held out a hand, reaching for her, but she held the knife up towards his throat. He didn’t break eye contact with her. “Why do you have that?”

“I have it so if one day, if an entitled Alpha asshole gets on my nerves, I can slit his throat!” The tip of the knife kissed his Adam’s apple. He barely breathed.

She took a breath. Big mistake. His scent encompassed her, and all the tension left her body. Every cell in her body wanted her to fall into the arms of the strong Alpha right in front of her.

He saw the conflict in her eyes, and smirked. The nerve. “You know I can take whatever I want.” His voice made her press her thighs together to avoid a wave of slick. If he didn’t get out of there soon, she was going to give in.

The knife was now in his face, and he stared down the blade.

“You can sure try,” she growled.

He glanced between her and the knife, mind rolling a million miles and hour, and still not working as hard at the Alpha inside him convincing him to turn Rey around and shove her face first into the mattress.

“Rey…” he said, voice softer than she’d ever heard.

She shook her head, her Omega wanting to kill her. “Get out, Ben.” And as much as it pained then both, he did.

~~~

As much as she wanted to kill Ben Solo, that was nothing compared to what happened during her next heat. It would be her last one before Ben graduated and would leave Chandrila for college. And then she’d never see him again.

So she was surprised when she didn’t see Ben the whole week leading up to his rut.

It was nice not to have to fight him off, but a part of her—a very deep part—mourned the loss of him, even if she would reject him anyway.

She stripped as soon as she closed the door to the guest house that she’d become so comfortable in. The second she stepped in, her whole body relaxed. Which was weird, because usually by this time, she was cramping and sweating and miserable.

As if on instinct only, she made her way to her bed, falling face first into the mattress. She nuzzled into the pillows, which smelled so good. Not bothering to reach across the bed to her nightstand for her vibrator, she slipped her hand between her folds, which were unsurprisingly already soaked.

The scent swirling through her room had her dizzy, and it only took a few strokes to her clit before she was tensing up, orgasm building impossibly fast and she breathed in the scent of the pillow. Her other hand fisted in the blankets, and she buried her nose in it. She couldn’t get enough.

With one hand grinding her core, the other pinching her gland, she came, shuddering. “Oh, Ben,” she choked out as waves of pleasure ripped through her.

When she calmed, she rolled over, panting.

Ben? Why the fuck had she said that?

She brought a pillow to her face and sniffed, hesitantly.

Jumping out of bed, she screamed, “Oh, he is so fucking dead.” In seconds, she was in a robe, not even bothering with shoes as she stormed down to the main house. “I should have killed him years ago,” she grumbled.

It must have been quite the sight to see, Rey, clothed in only a robe, barefoot, red in the face as she slammed open the door to the house, but if Leia was surprised, she didn’t show it.

“Rey,” Leia, sitting on a couch with her husband in the huge living room, said. “Are you okay, honey? Shouldn’t you be in the guest house?”

She looked feral when her head whipped around to the older lady. Any other time, she would have been mortified for Han and Leia to see her like this, but then, she could only focus on one thing.

“Where’s Ben?” she growled. The couple both sniffed the air, very aware that Rey was in heat.

“He’s up—” Leia started.

“Never mind. I can smell him,” Rey cut her off.

“Rey,” she called after her, but Rey was already at the bottom of the stairs.

Han pulled Leia back into the couch, stopping her from going after the wild girl. “It’s about fucking time,” was all Rey heard from Han before running up the stairs.

Like an animal, she followed her nose up two more flights of stairs. She didn’t have time to take in Ben’s loft, bigger than many houses she’d seen, equipped with a bedroom, game room, living room, and kitchen, and… was that a hot tub?

“Rich, selfish prick,” she grumbled. When she got to the end of the hall, she threw open the door without knocking.

Ben made eye contact with her. “Rey!” he screamed, voice high with embarrassment because—

Ben was naked, hand wrapped around his cock. Rey didn’t look away, and Ben made no move to cover himself.

“What are you doing here?” he asked, breathy. He was so hard, he must’ve been close to finishing. She was about to answer, but he caught a whiff of her slick and recent orgasm, and his pupils blew. He groaned at the scent, head rolling back into the pillow. “Fuck, you smell so—” It only took one stroke before his cum was spewing all over his hand and stomach.

Rey realized with a gasp that she was now at the foot of his bed, transfixed with what was going on in front of her. She was breathing hard, eyes focused on his cum. She wanted to lean over him and lick—

“Rey?” he tried again, more relaxed this time. He had no shame in his nakedness, but with a body like that, he shouldn’t. “What are you doing here?”

That snapped her out of her trance. The smell of his cum in the room was dizzying. She crawled onto the bed. He watched her, jaw dropped in disbelief as she made her way to him, looking like a lioness. Once she was seated beside him, robe falling open, she ran her hands up his chest. They both moaned as her hands travelled up…

And wrapped around his neck.

His eyes bugged open when she started to squeeze. “Rey,” he choked out, but she didn’t let up. “Rey!”

“I’m gonna kill you, Ben.”

He blanched, and when she started to squeeze harder, he gasped. It took him a moment to realize that his fantasy that he thought was finally playing out was just a ruse. Now Rey was choking him and she smelled so good that he wouldn’t even be mad if she murdered him. But he was getting dizzy, fast, and it was due to lack of oxygen and not her delicious aroma.

With strength only an Alpha could have, he slapped her hands away. A second later, Rey was on her back looking up at him. He was straddling her, her hands pinned on either side of her head.

During the commotion, her robe fell completely open. He looked down at her naked body, and he growled—he actually growled.

Rey looked down at his heavy, wet cock that was now settled on her stomach. She took a deep inhale, and slick poured out of her onto his bed. His nostrils flared, and he looked down. He was so close to where he wanted to be. Inches away from burying himself in her and having the best minute of his life, because, to be honest, there was no way he’d last more than a few seconds inside of her.

She bit her lip, and he could tell she was thinking it too. The cocktail of pheromones threatened to make them both braindead if he didn’t enter her in five seconds.

So when she punched him in the face, he was so surprised that he rolled of the bed.

She would have laughed at the sight of this naked Alpha falling off the bed if she didn’t hate him so much.

Cupping his jaw, he pushed to his feet, still wearing nothing. “What the fuck, Rey!” For such a small person, she could really pack a punch.

She sat up, pulling her robe tightly around her. Half of her smiled at the way Ben looked like he was in serious pain; the other half wanted to hold him and kiss it away.

She pointed a finger at him aggressively. “You’re a dick, Ben Solo.”

Her inner Omega wanted her to roll over and present herself to him, but that wasn’t the part of her that won.

“I’m a dick? You punched me!”

She crossed her arms over her chest. He pulled his hand down, showing his already swollen cheek. Good.

She glared, angry enough to ignore the fact that his cum was on her skin and she wanted to roll around in it.

“If you think rolling around in my bed and scenting my stuff is going to get me to sleep with you, you’re even dumber than I thought!”

He had the audacity to look confused. “What—”

“Don’t play fucking stupid. I know you scented my bed!”

He clenched his jaw. “Rey, I—”

“Shut up,” she said. He did. “I’m so sick and tired of you acting like you have some claim over me because you bit me a decade ago. My heats are miserable enough without having to spend it alone with your smell all over my room while I jack off.” His eyes darkened at that image. “Ben, you ruined my life. I’m begging you to stop making it even harder.”

He finally had the decency to cover himself with the quilt at the end of the bed.

“Is the thought of spending a heat with your mate so unappealing to you?” he asked, eyes pleading.

“Yes.”

His fists clenched. He took a step toward her, and she tensed. “You’re already here. We may as well spend the week together. I want to fuck you, and obviously you want to—”

He was cut off by the sound of shattering glass. He had barely managed to duck out of the way from the lamp Rey had just chucked at his head.

She was fuming, chest heaving as she glared.

His Alpha was impressed. My Omega is strong. But he was pissed.

“Did you just throw a lamp at me?” he screamed.

“Yes,” she spat, sliding out of bed and past him. “Next time I won’t miss.” Her hand was on the doorknob when his hand wrapped around her arm.

“Rey, please.” He was pleading.

She took a deep breath, and when she exhaled, she smiled up at him. He started to smile back when she said, “Get your filthy hand off of me, before I punch you again.”

The whiplash gave him a headache, and he dropped her arm. She was down the first flight of stairs before he had the sense to follow her.

“Rey, come back,” he said, following her out.

“Leave me alone, Ben.”

He was walking as fast as he could wearing nothing but a blanket.

“Please, can we talk about this?”

“Fat chance.”

They were running down the last flight of stairs now.

“Rey, are you serious? You’re leaving right now?”

She tore open the front door, only looking back when she was at the end of the porch. She took a deep breath, fists shaking. “I suggest you get this through your head. I hate you.” He flinched, even though he’d heard it one million times. “I don’t care that you bit me. We are not mates.” He growled. “And I will never, ever sleep with you!”

He was frozen, watching her run, his heart dropping with each step she took away from him.

When she was out of eye sight, he slammed the door. “Fuck!” He ran a hand through his hair and he slid his back down the door, sighing once he was sitting, defeated.

Laughing across the room pulled him out of his wallowing. “Dad!” Ben groaned, covering his face. His mother was staring at him, wide eyed.

Han was doubled over laughing, only calming when Leia slapped his shoulder. “Sorry, sorry,” he said, biting his knuckle. “That was just the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Ben cringed. He couldn’t believe his parents saw that debacle.

“Han!” Leia chastised. “Don’t be rude. Ben’s going through a hard time.”

It was definitely a hard time. Mortified, Ben pushed to his feet, covering as much as he could with the small blanket as he walked away from them. He stormed up the stairs, back to his room, wasting no time before taking himself in his hands, burying his face in the bed where she’d been, and jacking off until he fell asleep with her scent around him.

Little did he know, in the guest house, Rey was doing the same thing.

Chapter Text

The day Ben left their small city to go to college was the best day of Rey’s life. Well, it started out that way. Now that he was going to be gone, Rey was moving into the Solos’ guest house. She watched as his car drove off the property from the porch of her new house. His eyes lingered on her.

She gave him the middle finger.

That night, when she was out partying with her friends—the last party before the first day of school for the year—they were at Rose’s house, sipping cheap beer from red plastic cups.

Finn raised an eyebrow at her after she finished her entire drink in one swig.

“Rey, are you sure you’re okay?”

She cocked her head, refilling her cup. “Of course. Never better! Ben Solo is gone, and I couldn’t be happier.”

He gave her a pitying smile, trying to share her enthusiasm. “I know you hate him, we do too, but no matter what, it’s hard when a mate leaves.”

“He’s not my mate,” she snapped so fiercely he cringed. “Besides,” she added, calming, “Alpha and Omega mates can typically travel about 300 miles away from each other before they start to get separation sickness. Coruscant University is only 100 miles away.”

He nodded slowly. “Okay. Okay, that’s good,” he said, feeling better about the situation.

“Hey guys,” a voice said, snapping them from their conversation.

“Hey, Poe,” Finn greeted, much in contrast to the glare Rey sent the brown-haired Alpha. Poe took a seat next to Finn.

“Rey,” he smirked. “How are you feeling without your other half?”

She held back a growl. Finn slapped him lightly on the shoulder.

“How’s it feel to be the creep that goes to high school parties after graduation?” she snapped.

Poe just smirked. “I don’t leave until next week. Plus, I wanted to say bye to some people.” His eyes flicked towards Finn, but Rey thought she imagined it.

“Whatever,” she grumbled, standing up. “Asshole.” She left Finn with Poe. A few hours, and many drinks later, she was positively drunk, but at least she got Ben out of her head.

When she came to, she was hunched over a toilet, strong hands holding her hair back. “Rose, we need to get her to a hospital.”

“Finn, you’re over reacting. She just drank too much.”

He sighed, patting Rey on the back as she spit out bile. “Rey always drinks too much. This is different. We need to get her help.”

She missed the rest of the conversation when another wave of nausea hit, but minutes later, she was being strapped into the front seat of a car.

Doors slammed as people filed into the back. She couldn’t open her eyes.

“Poe, thanks for taking us,” Finn said from behind her.

The car shifted, and she choked back vomit.

“No problem,” the voice replied. “Ben would kill me if I left her like this.”

Rey groaned miserably. “I hate Ben.”

Rose laughed, patting her shoulder comfortingly. “I know, hun. He’s an ass.”

“Yeah,” she nodded, which was a bad idea. “I’m gonna be sick.”

“She better not—”

Poe was cut off when Rey leaned over the console and hurled her guts up into his lap.

“Fuck, Rey!” he screamed, disgusted, but to his credit, he didn’t swerve the car. There was snickering from the back seat. “You think this is funny?” He snapped at Finn and Rose.

“A little,” Finn said quietly. Rey heard something that sounded like a kiss, and ‘I’ll make it up to you later,’ before blacking out again.

When she woke again, she was in a hospital bed, I.V. in her arm. She groaned when she opened her eyes, blinking under the harsh fluorescent lights.

“What—” she croaked. Rose sprung to her feet, handing Rey a cup of water with a straw. She drank, and it was a nice contrast from the beer she’d been chugging all night.

Rose smiled, but it was tense. “Thank god!” I was so worried about you.”

“Finn?”

“He’s here. He’s helping Poe clean off your vomit,” she said, amused.

Rey laughed. Which brought on a fit of choking. Bad idea. “How’d I get this drunk?” Rose pressed her lips into a line, eyes flicking somewhere else.

“Rey,” someone said near the foot of her bed. Dr. Tano. “How are you feeling?”

She groaned. “Like shit. And embarrassed.”

Dr. Tano gave her a sympathetic smile. “You shouldn’t be embarrassed. Even though you clearly drank too much, that’s not why you’re here.”

“It’s not?” she and Rose asked in tandem.

She shook her head. “No. What you’re experiencing is mate separation sickness.”

Rey pushed into a seated position. “No, that’s not possible. Ben’s less than a hundred miles away.”

Tano let out a sigh. “I know. I thought maybe he’d travelled further, and that’s why you were experiencing this, but both he and his mother confirmed that he’s on campus.” She wanted to ask if he was okay, but couldn’t bring herself to. Luckily, as if Tano could read her mind, she added, “Ben is experiencing similar symptoms.”

Rey nodded. She hoped he was miserable, even if part of her wanted to jump in a car and go straight to him. “So then why is this happening?”

“Since we’ve never seen the sickness kick in this close, we don’t have a great answer for you,” she explained. Great. Just her luck to be the freak pairing of the Alpha/Omega world. “Our best guess is that your extremely early mating bond, plus the fact that you haven’t coupled…” The doctor phrased it as a question. Cheeks red, Rey confirmed. “… Could be the reason that you seem to be unable to be as far from each other as other couples.”

Rey gulped. “So if… If I slept with Ben, would we be able to go the full distance? Like other pairings?”

“That would be my guess—” Rey fought the urge to vomit again. Could she do that? Could she sleep with him if it meant she could go further away from him? “—but it could, just as likely, have the opposite effect,” she told the young Omega.

“What can I do to feel better?”

She nodded towards the I.V. bag attached to Rey’s arm. “We’ve given you an extra strong suppressant dosage, which should kick in shortly, but it’s a temporary solution.”

Rey fought back tears. “So what? I have to stay this close to him for the rest of my life?”

Tano pinched her lips together. “I’m sorry, honey. We just don’t have an answer for you.” This time, Rey couldn’t hold back her tears from falling.

~~~

The rest of the week sucked. Rey spent the whole week dizzy and generally just feeling like shit. She had to sit the week out from soccer practice, and she had to take her extra suppressants every day, but besides constant fatigue, she could still function semi-normally.

She spent her nights sleeping in Ben’s room. Leia and Han knew she snuck in every night, and she knew they knew, but she was grateful they never brought it up. It was fucked up, and embarrassing, but rolling in his scent was the only way she could calm down enough to sleep. But even encased in his smell, nothing could scratch the constant itch under her skin from Ben being gone.

“Rey, are you sure it’s worth it?” Leia asked one night at dinner, a few days after the semester started.

Rey sent the lady a cold look. “You think I should move to Coruscant to be near Ben?”

Leia pursed her lips. “I’m not saying you’d have to live with him, just in the city so that the two of you can function.”

Han added, “We’d pay for you to get an apartment anywhere you wanted, of course.”

Rey appreciated the offer, even if it was solely for Ben’s benefit. But “I can’t leave here. I don’t even have a diploma yet!”

“They have great high schools in the city.”

“My friends are here.”

“We’ll pay for them too,” Han offered.

Rey’s jaw dropped. “You both really want me to move there?”

They nodded hesitantly. “Kid, it kills us to see you and Ben so miserable. If the only thing that can help is you moving out there, I think you should.”

“Plus, the city is huge!” Leia added. “You’d never run into Ben unless you wanted to.”

It took Rey about ten seconds to consider the offer. She’d always wanted to move from Chandrila. But she wanted to finish school here. And she wasn’t going to uproot her life just to make things easier for Ben Fucking Solo.

She shook her head, gaze fixed on the plate in front of her. “I can’t. I’m sorry.”

They gave each other a sad look, but nodded. “I understand, Rey,” Leia said, dejected.

~~~

A few days later, Rey was lounging by the Solos’ pool. It was cloudy, but since she had to quit the soccer team due to her stupid mate sickness, she had nothing else to do.

She tensed when the back door opened, knowing who was approaching without looking.

“Rey,” Ben greeted her, sunglasses on, even though it wasn’t sunny.

“You look like shit,” was all she said, barely looking up from her book. She was surprised to see him there so soon after his semester started, but she wouldn’t let him know that.

He sighed, taking the seat next to her. As much as she hated to admit it, just a whiff of his scent made all the muscles in her body relax. Her headache went away, and she felt like she could finally breathe again. The cure to mate separation disease was truly that simple.  

“Please, Rey, I’m not in the mood to fight with you.”

“Well, I’m not in the mood to—” she started, but the way he pathetically hung his head in his hands made her stop short. A temporary truce. She was happy to see that he’d been as physically miserable as him for the past week.

The corner of his mouth twitched. “Thank you,” he said miserably. She couldn’t look at him without her stupid inner Omega wanting to comfort him, so she turned back to her book. After a minute of silence, Ben cleared his throat. She gave him an annoyed look, as if he interrupted her, even though she’d been rereading the same line over and over. “How have you been?”

She gave him a look. “About as well as you, I’d guess.”

He nodded, thoughtful. “I’m sorry to hear that.” Despite herself, she took a deep inhale, letting herself enjoy his scent. She was pleased that she didn’t smell any other Omegas on him. Not that she would care, (maybe) but the thought had crossed her mind. And filled her with dread.

She put the book down. “Did you come here to ask me to move to the city?”

“No,” he said. Then raised an eyebrow. “Would you?”

“No.”

His face fell. “Didn’t think so,” he muttered under his breath. He pushed his sunglasses on top of his head. He had blue circles around his eyes and looked positively exhausted.

“So what are you doing here?” she couldn’t help but ask.

“Moving back.” She couldn’t help the look of pure terror that crossed her face. He rolled his eyes. “Don’t get too excited. I’m transferring to Takodana University. It’s about thirty minutes from here, so we should be okay.”

She let out a breath of relief. “Okay. Good.” Her eyes flicked back to his. Her voice got quiet. “What… What if…” She couldn’t even finish the question.

His shoulders shrugged. “Then I’ll move back here.”

“You’d do that?” she asked, surprised.

“Not like I have much of a choice, Rey,” he snapped. She flinched at his tone, and he pinched the bridge of his nose, closing his eyes. “Sorry.” His eyes found hers. They were desperate. And apologetic. “Sorry. I’m just frustrated.

“I know the feeling,” she grumbled, but her tone wasn’t as harsh as she expected. A few more minutes passed. Neither of them wanted to admit that being in each other’s presence was like coming up for air when you didn’t know you were drowning.

She didn’t want it to end. But finally, she sighed. “So what now?”

He stared at her, longing in his eyes. “I guess I move to Takodana, and you call me if you ever change your mind about… things.”

She bit back a ‘never gonna happen’ and gave him a tense smile as he stood. “I’m sorry, Ben.” They both sucked in a breath. It was the first time she’d ever said those words to him.

“It’s no problem,” he said, a look of surprise still plastered on his face. He turned, walking back into the house. It wasn’t until his hand was on the handle when he looked over his shoulder and added, “I didn’t like it at Coruscant University anyways.”

“Is that true?” she asked, the door halfway open.

“No.”

He left her staring after him, her heart heavy with conflicting feelings.

~~~

Rey settled into her bed for the night, trying desperately to forget about her conversation with Ben. Because despite everything he’d done to her, part of her still felt bad that he had to move back for her.

She huffed. “Well, he shouldn’t have bitten me then.”

But she couldn’t forget the way he’d accepted that he had to come back, for both their sakes, and he never tried to get her to come with him. It was the first decent thing she’d seen him do.

She flicked off the light, rolling around to get comfortable because the guest house bed was not as soft as Ben’s bed that she’d been sleeping in.

Her eyes flew open with a gasp as she shot up in bed. “Oh, fuck.” She hadn’t changed the sheets on his bed, so the second he walked in to his room, he’d be able to smell that she’d been there. She pulled on a robe, not having a plan, just knowing that he couldn’t find out how desperate she was for his scent.

She tugged open her front door, ready to run to the main house when she ran into a wall. No, not a wall. Ben Solo. A very angry Ben Solo.

Instinctively, she shriveled back. She tried to shut the door, but a large, meaty hand caught it. He stepped into the house, arms crossed over his chest as he glared down at her.

“Rey,” he snapped, voice dark. She fought the urge to whimper. Guilt was plastered on her face. “What the fuck have you been doing?”

Eyes wide, she stuttered, “I-I don’t—”

“Don’t play dumb. I know you’ve been sleeping in my bed.” His glare was almost enough to paralyze her. “I want to know why.”

“I don’t know what you’re—”

Apparently fed up with her crap, his hand flew out, wrapping around her neck. She gasped. He wasn’t squeezing, but it was enough to know that he could end her. And it was enough to keep her frozen in place.

“Shut up!” It wasn’t an Alpha command, but the way it affected her, it may as well have been. His eyes were black as he stared down at her, his chest heaving. “Why were you in my room?”

Even in her fear, his angry, powerful smell was dizzying. His bicep was bulging through his white short sleeved tee. She pressed her thighs together to relieve tension, but it just forced slick out.

“It made me feel better,” she admitted, voice barely above a whisper.

Her throat bobbed against his fingers. His eyes stared at it, transfixed by how his fingers almost touched around her neck. His pinkie skimmed her mating gland, and she saw stars. She was powerless under his touch. His breathing slowed, and when his eyes met hers again, they were slightly calmer. He pushed her back, giving them a few feet of distance.

“If you’re as miserable as I am, why won’t you just give in?” he gritted, fists clenched at his side.

“You know why!”

“No, I don’t!” he screamed. “I know our bond wasn’t conventional, but if you stopped being so fucking stubborn, we could be happy.”

She held her chin high. “I could never be happy with a monster like you.”

“So you’d rather us both suffer for what? Your pride?” he asked, running his hands through his hair. “Both of us lose when you act like this!”

She could smell each of his emotions, and honestly, she was feeling most of them. Anger. Confusion. Exhaustion. Arousal.

Loneliness.

He looked at her, eyes now pleading. “Rey, come back to bed with me. Please.”

And even though her Alpha—the answer to her problems, the person her body yearned for every night—was right there, she took a step back, hands shaking.

She shook her head. “I think you should go.”

And even though it pained them both, he did.

When she tucked herself back into bed, her fingers traced her neck where his had been. She gripped it tightly with one hand, and rubbed her clit with the other, imagining it was Ben until she came. Over and over.

~~~

The weekend came and went, and spent the whole thing locked in the guest house. She didn’t trust herself to turn Ben down if she saw him again. Luckily, he was supposed to be leaving for his new school at 7am.

So when her doorbell rang at 8am, and Ben was on her porch, she was surprised.

“Ben?” she asked, her voice more hopeful than it should have been. He was in dark blue jeans, a plain white tee, and a leather jacket that made her inner Omega drool.

He gave her a shy smile, which was absolutely comedic on this giant of a man. But… adorable too. He had a nice smile. She wondered why she hadn’t seen it, then cringed when she remembered that they spent most of their time yelling at each other. “I’m leaving,” he told her.

She just stared. When it was obvious that he expected a response, she cleared her throat. “Um. Safe travels,” she said lamely.

He raised an eyebrow. Then shook his head. “Thanks.”

“Is that all?”

“I, uh, wanted to apologize for the other night,” he said.

Confusion crossed her face. Why was he apologizing? He never apologizes for their daily fighting and death threats.

“For, you know…” to clarify, he held a hand up to his neck and imitated a choking noise.

“It’s okay,” she whispered. Her cheeks flamed, remembering the feel of his fingers wrapped around her neck. “I—” And she really tried to stop the flood of arousal that went through her, remembering how she’d touched herself afterwards, pretending it was him, but her scent couldn’t hide it.

His nostrils flared as he smelled her spike of arousal. His eyes darkened as understanding hit him. He smirked, and she wanted to punch that stupid look off his face. “You liked it.”

Shoulders tense, she ignored it. “Is that all?” she asked, words short.

Luckily, his smirk disappeared. He pulled something from behind his back and held it out to her.

She knew what it was before she touched it. A hoodie of his. That he’d scented. Thoroughly.

He gave her a shy shrug. “I thought this could help if… you know… separation sickness.”

Her body moved without her permission, snatching the fabric from him and pressing it to her face. She buried her nose in it, eyes rolling back in her head as she inhaled. He didn’t even blink, not wanting to miss a second.

His groan pulled her out of her spell. She turned, walked a couple of steps to her kitchen, made eye contact with him, then threw the hoodie in the trash.

His shocked, hurt expression when she slammed the door in his face would keep her warm at night for weeks. But it didn’t stop her from fishing the clothing from the trash the second she heard his car pull out.