The wind was sweeping the leaves from the ground, as she dug her face to the scarf tied around her neck, Lena looked around one final time.
It was so silent. As always.
Luthor Mansion could be one of those modern day-haunted houses, it was so old yet so historic and well-cared; the three-story stone building was one of the very few well-preserved houses from colonial America.
And it was Lena’s home. Used to be her home.
Maybe it was never hers, she was brought here by Lionel Luthor 15 years ago, it was a time she could vaguely remember. Everything was the same as 15 years ago, the scenery, the lack of any sound signaling a life, or anything that pointed out that humans were inhabiting the place. Well, according to Lillian, Luthors were above normal humans as once she said: ‘Luthors are never just humans, we are the epitome of our society and we are born to lead’. She was right, all those times Lena had barely seen humanity from any of the Luthors.
The inhabitants of the mansion were almost stone-like as the building, she had 15 years of first-hand experience of what was it like to be a Luthor. Or more accurately, she desperately tried to be a Luthor, but she was only half-Luthor -thanks to late Lionel Luthor who couldn’t keep it in his pants and that’s why she was doomed to fail in the path to be a real Luthor.
As a child, it was so hard to face the burden of being a stranger to her supposed family; but as the time had passed, Lena was quick to understand she was better off alone, all those ignorance and indifference towards her were actually the ultimate blessing bestowed upon her. She wasn’t actually failing as they criticized her harshly, by not being a real Luthor she was proving that her life meant something to her. It was a common occurrence that she used to cry herself to sleep every night she’d spent in this godforsaken place because of something very cruel Lex or Lillian had told her. Going to boarding school had expanded her view of the world, she had tasted the tiny bit of freedom then that had her addicted. After the boarding school, coming back to Luthor Mansion was the worst punishment that could be given, yet, she had endured several years more here.
She was failing to be a Luthor not because she was unsuccessful or dull or ambitionless, even though she had passed every test Lillian had subjected her, and she had finished her studies at the top of her classes; nothing was enough to satisfy Lillian and her brother, Lex. She was carrying the Luthor blood as a whore’s offspring, after all. Being an omega was the cheery on top of the cake too, Lillian’s ‘the most prominent ones are always alphas’ mentality was the prologue of every conversation. Lex was an alpha hence inherently, above anything else he was the better child.
Her brother was deemed as a genius by many people which was Lillian’s joy and prime source of her pride, so when Lena had started to do better than her brother with her projects and her personal studies despite being a ‘weakling of an omega’; it had led Lillian to hate her more. The bastard child who was better than the real Luthor. Omega, half-blood Luthor child, supposedly better than the alpha son? What an unacceptable disgrace.
Being an omega in a pheromone-driven world was considered as a disadvantage by many, people were so keen on having alpha children as they were almost every time at the top of every food chain. Alphas were the natural-born leaders, hence they were the CEOs, the inventors, the politicians, the warriors, the defenders-
Being an omega was equal to having a steaming pile of burden in a household, omegas were preys for alphas to hunt down. As if they were still living in the primordial ages.
No matter how the world had changed, even the century they were living in was called the space age; the same concepts, same stigmas were running around in circles, poisoning everyone’s minds. And for what?
Lena didn’t have any problem with being an omega. When she had her first heat in the boarding school, everyone was looking at her like she was plagued with an infectious disease, like she was a pathetic creature who would for sure beg for a knot.
It was hard, yes, especially heats were no joke; when she didn’t crave for an alpha’s touch she was burning inside out but…But that was not enough to prove that she was pathetic. Or that any omega was pathetic. Alphas were more pathetic, they would literally chase down any breathing thing -but an omega first, to stick their knots in; as if they were wild animals. Yet within society, they were treated better, like they were superior.
That was something Lena hated seeing. She hated being shamed for who she was, being not a full-Luthor wasn’t enough and she had to endure all those stupid, biased gibberish about omegas?
Lillian was certainly not a good role model, she was simply an alpha-mimicking beta. She was never true to herself as she was never true to her own nature; that was why Lena hated her even more. Even though she was a two-faced liar, she’d always seen herself above Lena, treated her like garbage since the moment Lionel introduced her.
It all took a long time for Lena to muster up the courage to distance herself from her past.
She was used to seeing things with a depressive filter, that was the way how she had been living for 15 years.
So, when she decided to leave Luthor Mansion and Luthor name behind her for good to go to MIT, Lena was ecstatic and full of hope. She felt like it was a cornerstone in her life, which surely was; finally, she was freeing herself from all the burden instilled on her.
That day was so cold as she stood in front of her rental car looking at Luthor Mansion one final time, she blamed the wind for the tears in her eyes. Her cheeks were red and her nose was running, surely it was because of cold she had tears on her eyes.
15 years spent with a stiff and unwavering rock in her heart, all those nights she had dreamed of being away there, in the world, living her life as she wanted.
Finally she was about to get what she wanted. A new chapter, a fresh start.
As she drove off to the east coast, that heavy feeling in her chest started to lighten; she breathed deeply as her eyes teared up again. But this time, there was no wind to blame; she smiled through her tears and laughed freely as tears continued to stream down her face.
She was so ready to start anew.
Boston was yellow.
Yellow had become Lena’s favorite color over the 4 years she had spent there.
It was fall, a new semester with her new position at MIT as the graduate researcher in one of the best labs in the world.
Lena was so drunk with the power she held, four walls weren’t enough to contain her. The possibilities were endless and the sky was the limit, she had so many thoughts about what to do next, how to do them; the impact they could have that would change the world.
She was simply bursting with ideas and excitation.
Four successful years spent on a bachelor’s in Computer engineering and a double major on Mechanical engineering; she had been working on an AI lab for the better of last year. The job offers were piling in her mailbox, she had people coming over to MIT to recruit her, but Lena was adamant about completing her studies. She wanted to do it right, airtight; she would have time to choose whatever she wanted to do with her life later. Everything was so fast in her past life when she was still Lena Luthor; she had graduated her schools early and she had taken early college courses and learned many languages which were pointless for the practical world; it was all for the big image of being a Luthor.
Well, she was done being a Luthor for the last 4 years. Lena Kieran was a different person, she was a conventional student who preferred to follow the conventional path of academia. Lena Kieran was certainly a different person compared to Lena Luthor; first of all, she was happier. More carefree. She was smiling so frequently that had led her friends to call her ‘Miss Dimples’ and yes, she had friends. Lena Luthor didn’t have friends back then, just a group of back-stabbing girls back at the boarding school. Lena Kieran had friends who were checking up on her, asking her out, helping her out, sharing secrets, and being vulnerable with her which she was very grateful for.
Also she had the perfect boyfriend she could ask for.
A very tall, adorably awkward beta guy with sincere brown eyes.
Jack Spheer was also an engineering student just like her, except he had started his graduate studies in business management. He was so clever, so practical; he had even set up a company in the last year of his undergrad studies. His family wasn’t rich but he was ambitious, Lena could imagine seeing Jack in the Fortune lists within a couple of years.
They shared a similar, troubled past with their families which led them to have something bond over, it all had started with two friends commiserating the olden days. Jack was thoughtful, funny, and charming; everything a girl could ask for. So when he had asked Lena out after they slept together one night which was impromptu and unexpected that coincided with Lena’s heat, it was so easy to say yes. What else she could say? He was good and caring, she was halfway broken and on the mend; Lena thought it was love she was feeling for Jack.
Jack wasn’t invasive like her previous partners, Lena had the experience to spend her time with omegas, alphas, betas; alphas were too intense and too demanding; with her busy schedule and more relaxed choice of life, a relationship she wouldn’t have to worry over was the perfect thing that could happen.
They had been going out ever since, their relationship was getting serious with time, and recently Jack had asked to move in together which was another cornerstone in Lena’s life. Her studies were going well, she had a loving boyfriend, many friends, and the freedom to do anything she wanted.
Lena thought she couldn’t be any happier, but she was very wrong.
Only two years into living together, Jack and she got married.
Oh, it was another great day she would remember for the rest of her life. Or she thought like that at first before everything turned into a sour experience.
They were friends before they were married, so that brought a whole new level of familiarity to their relationship which was something Lena was grateful for.
Jack was an accomplished businessman then, he was on the Fortune 500 list with Spheerical Industries despite his young age as Lena had predicted years ago. He always had the mind for business, and he excelled at that; he had built everything on top of that. And Lena also helped him to get to this point, not just as being a supportive wife but also being a successful partner herself.
After completing her Ph.D., she had founded a tech company that was later acquired by none other than Spheerical Industries. It was a power move, merging their powers to dominate the market; they were the ‘it’ couple of the business world.
Lena had innocently assumed first that working with Jack would give her extended mobility to bring her ideas to life, which seemed to be the case at first. She would be the mastermind behind the projects and Jack would be there to support her, to encourage her.
Well, nothing good lasts forever as they said.
Lena was too naïve to think that she could have a good life in every aspect, because why couldn’t she? She was done with the Luthors, she had been getting help throughout the college and after; her therapist was always reminding her of the change she’d gone through, how she accomplished most of all by herself.
But Jack was…Well, he hadn’t stayed as the man she thought she knew from years ago. Money, power, more money…It all had changed him.
They were the ‘it’ couple, but Lena was the most striking figure between them with her more flawed past dredged up in the news periodically. She was the topic of magazines, science conferences; her face was everywhere with her company shaking the foundation of conventional as they kept announcing breakthrough innovations.
So it was when Lena’s success was about to cast a shadow over Jack’s, the troubles began.
To say those were troubles would be an understatement, it was a methodically planned downfall.
Spheerical Industries was doing good, very good; but as one of the pioneers of the modern tech world, ‘Lena Kieran’ name was on its way to being the best. They had a private life which they chose carefully not to share, being public figures didn’t mean they were to live their lives as Hollywood celebrities. They both were educated people with some intellectual background, and their aspirations went beyond being ‘famous’. Or it was something Lena thought she had had something common with Jack.
But later as she found out, it seemed to be not the case.
Jack’s aspirations were quite different than hers.
It was small things at first, just small tricks to make Lena isolated and create a rift between her and her friends. Lena was so blinded by her trust in Jack, she wasn’t even questioning him when he was steering her out of the path. Between her hectic job schedule and home, Lena was already torn. That spark she was feeling when she was with Jack, was gone for years; no matter how hard they had tried to revive it, it was fruitless. They had separated their rooms, they were living different lives almost if it wasn’t for that apartment they were sharing. It had the best view of Metropolis, maybe the most ostentatious loft in the whole city. Jack was famous for his boasting about their home, how they carefully designed all the details -which Lena had carefully designed and made it but she was letting him have these small victories.
Lena had grown up in cold places, in wealthy-looking yet numb places that didn’t have souls. She had tried to convince Jack that maybe they could find a smaller place, away from the chaos of the city; maybe they could get a dog or two-
The response she got after saying these to Jack was one of the many slaps she got on her face.
“Don’t be cheap Lena. We worth more than that.”
That should have been alarming to Lena, but she’d taken it for stride; she had just laughed it off. She had thought maybe Jack was right, maybe she was still living in her 8-year old fantasies.
But then, Jack had seized the power of her company by appointing a CFO Lena didn’t approve of. Not that she didn’t approve of it, more truthfully Lena despised having that man as her CFO. All his concerns were balance sheets and money, he didn’t understand Lena and he never tried to see things from her perspective. She had tried to talk about this with Jack back then, but it was too late. Sometimes, just in between conversations, Jack would mention how he was worried about Lena who was trying to navigate her path in an alpha-led business world. It was the same narrow-mindedness she had seen before, the same conjectures she was trying to fight against. Jack used to support her ideas, he would encourage her saying that ‘you being an omega doesn’t matter, you are precious just the way you are Lena’.
He had lied.
And she had fallen for his lies.
She had given him too much power. Too much power to regain control and take back the reins. It had soon become a living hell working in her company, and not long after seeing that there was no easy way out, Lena had chosen to leave her company.
Something she had established from the scratch, gone the next day because of her husband.
She was livid but also she was pondering over her own actions; she was still doubting herself.
‘What if I’m not cut out for the market? What if it’s me who’s wrong, not them?’
Oh, Jack was relieved for a while. He had acted like it was okay, that she could start to work on something else. All for the great show he was playing for. He even offered to try again conceiving, they had tried before a couple of times that had resulted in miscarriages. Lena was not ready to try again, and she had started to see Jack who he was really, bringing a baby to an unstable home would be the utmost cruel thing to do.
There was a brief time on stalemate when they were just tolerating each other and cohabiting the same space.
But that didn’t last long, not when Lena got suspicious of his late-night meetings and secret calls.
The one thing she did know so well was technology, so she had looked Jack up, tracked him down. What he was doing in his free time, why he was spending so much time away from their home.
Funnily enough, Lena hadn’t cried when she’d seen what Jack was up to. She had just looked at the monitor for hours till her eyeballs ached, then she got up and went to bed. Their bed. No, to her bed. They hadn’t been sleeping together for a long time, even they weren’t touching each other. It was a goddamn miracle that they chose not to mark each other, not that marking between a beta and an omega would be the same as for an alpha and an omega. Lena had a fully functional vibrator set in her first drawer and Jack had…
Well, Jack had a lot on his plate.
Apparently, he had been cheating Lena for a long time. But that was not the worst thing. Thanks to his close ‘pals’, he was involved with sex-trafficking rings through some shell companies and subsidiaries. There was a huge money movement in that area, they were exploiting human beings to profit, to fill their disgusting pockets. And seemingly, they were occasionally indulging themselves to test the ‘products’, Lena had found dozens of videos of revolting men assaulting omega girls who didn’t look old enough to go to a damn high school.
It was another cornerstone in her life.
The moment she woke up from her frayed dream to open her eyes fully.
One minute she was a married omega to a renowned businessman, the second she was the ‘vengeful’ omega who had brought down an entire sex-trafficking network. There were some big names in that network, names that led the press into a frenzy for a long time. All Lena did was gather evidence and distribute evidence through social media for all public to see.
That was how all ‘Lena Kieran the activist’ thing had started.
She had exposed dozens of scandals to the public, annoyed some privileged alpha men who had tried to shut her up but she was relentless. Just after filing a divorce, she had caused Spheerical Industries to go bankrupt even though it meant her own company had gone to waste too. She had found loopholes Jack had utilized and exposed them publicly which didn’t leave anything to investigate further, the sudden downfall of Jack Spheer and his business was remarkably shocking.
Not so shocking for her.
And that’s how she got the ‘revengeful omega’ label stuck to her name, she was again famous after her identity was revealed to the press. Some were praising her for helping to punish those disgusting men and bringing down bloodthirsty capitalist firms to their knees; some were calling her the harbinger of the chaos. Since it was just the beginning.
Her phone rang as Lena hardly answered it while trying to find her footing in the masses of people.
She yelled over the phone. “Yeah?”
Jess was also yelling from the other side of the line, she knew Lena was attending to today’s protest.
“When will you be here?”
Lena checked her watch, she had just arrived at Wilmington Square where thousands were protesting against the latest scandal that took place in Lord Industries. All roads were blocked for the protests, and she would be at home later this night never mind the office.
“I wasn’t planning to come to the office today Jess! Is there something wrong?”
Lena could barely hear Jess with everyone around her screaming at the top of their lungs.
“No no, there is someone here who would like to do a job interview, that’s why I asked.”
Their office was so minimalistic, Lena was taking up all the work by herself and Jess was just helping her out to sort her schedule; she wasn’t looking for any way to embark on a big office, not after that bad experience from a couple of years back.
“There is no open position, is there? Anyway, just set up a meeting for later just in case, I’ll see to it.”
After getting an affirming grunt from Jess she hung up, gathering her bag in front of her to make her way around the piling bodies. It was too crowded and too hot, she debated whether to go and cave back in her house.
But no, she was the one who ignited the first spark after all. It would send off the wrong signal leaving the protest that was arranged by using her name.
It had been some time till she got an anonymous tip about Lord Industries, ever since she had started that website where she shared information about abusers and criminals, her office line had become a hotline for anonymous tips. Thankfully, she had arranged her AI to sort out the tips otherwise Jess would murder her, there were at least 100 calls they were getting on a regular day.
Some people in the crowd recognized her and saluted her respectfully, Lena hated the attention she was getting but meeting these people was so fulfilling, it was why she’d kept doing it. Seeing the effect she had on these people was certainly…rejuvenating. More thrilling than spending hours online to search anything she could find after she got an anonymous tip. Sharing classified info she’d dug out from private browsers and servers was easy, it was the hard part, organizing people and guiding them to stand up to injustice. She was never vocal about leading these protests, it was her duty to expose some hidden things to people and as for the rest…
Well, the people usually took care of the rest.
But they were always paying homage to her, she had somehow become an activist in the course of recent years.
It was a frightening change yet it was helping her to stay afloat. Helping people was giving her a purpose.
She was just about to reach the edge of the crowd, a big, solid body collided with hers and she almost fell to the ground head-on. If there weren’t for the big hands cupping her arms to support her to stay upright. If she were to fall down, she would be surely trampled down to death; who the hell was this person who almost knocked her down then grabbed her without asking her-
“Hey, what the hell are you doing-”
“Mind where you are going Ma’m-”
As she lifted her face, she was met with pair of fierce-looking blue eyes that looked at accusatively. For a second, only just a second, Lena thought her ability to articulate herself left her but it lasted so briefly; this stranger - this woman who had these intense eyes was looking at her like she was the one at fault there-
And she hadn’t retrieved her hands. Her big, warm hands were still gripping Lena’s arms tightly. Lena tried to ignore the rush of sudden warmth spreading to her body because of those damned hands.
That wouldn’t do.
She batted the stranger’s hands away and huffed a breath.
“Take your hands off me…” She hissed and tried to step back but there was another body behind her and she was again about to fall over to the ground if there weren’t those insisting hands steadying her.
The stranger took a step towards her and she leaned down, but goddamn, how tall she was, Lena was only reaching to her shoulder level-
The woman leaned down till her breath tickled Lena’s face, Lena blinked her eyes against the harsh sunlight hitting directly into her eye through the strangers’ blond locks.
“You should learn how to stand on your two feet Ma’m.” The woman scolded her with obvious disdain in her voice then she drew her hands back and went back just like she came in. So suddenly.
Lena looked at the wide shoulders that disappeared in the crowd just within seconds and gritted her teeth. The ghost feeling of those hands was still making goosebumps erupt in her skin but how-
Who the hell did she think she was?
She muttered to herself: