With a plastic container in hand, Alfred F. Jones hummed while he walked towards a light brown door that would take him downstairs to the first floor, which is where he lived. From behind him, a jingle indicated the door to the outside was opening. Alfred turned to take a look at who was there, so bright and early, before the secretary even got in.
It was a little boy and his mother. The boy was in cute overalls that were covered in sewn on patches of cats. He smelled like an omega. Alfred smiled wide and walked slowly over to them. These must be new patient's of Mattie's, since he'd never seen them before, and he didn't want to scare the poor little boy with all of his alpha pheromones by moving too fast. Though it probably wouldn't be too bad, since his alpha pheromones had dimmed with growing so painfully close to being elderly.
“Hi,” said Alfred, waving and taking the lid off of his plastic container, displaying the chocolate cookies within, “I'm Dr. William's mate. These are freshly baked, would you like one?”
The boy, who had to be no older than five, timidly looked up at his mother, blond curls falling in front of his eyes. It reminded Alfred of Mattie when he was that age. His mother nodded and the boy reached out and took a cookie, smiling as he took the first bite.
The lady thanked him and Alfred went back to the door that would take him downstairs. He could already smell the lingering scent of freshly baked cookies and cupcakes. It was the one thing that helped keep Alfred sane these days.
And the one thing that he was pretty good at doing.
As he got to the bottom of the stairs he looked over on the wall to the misshapen picture frame that held a photo of he and Mattie from their vacation a few years previous, both of their silver heads of hair shining under the tropical sun. Alfred, as it turned out, wasn't very good at woodworking.
Not that it had stopped him from trying all sorts of projects, like building bird houses (which trapped more poor animals than it fed), making chairs (that nearly crippled Mattie when they collapsed under him) and trying to put up all sorts of shelves (which couldn't hold anything that was able to roll).
He passed by a lumpy red, white and blue candle that looked more like a grotesque blob (according to Mattie) than an actual pillar candle. It was from his candle making phase.
That was when he saw the basket full of balls of yarn that were barely touched, the stack of half made scrap-books and their supplies and the falling apart model boats he'd tried to put together. Finally, there was what Mattie had deemed, 'the last straw'. Right in the middle of the living room, was a loom. It was a pretty neat loom, if Alfred said so himself.
Mattie had already put up an ad to sell it on the internet.
Alfred, meanwhile, was bored. He kept trying all of these things to keep himself occupied but to no avail. There were only so many batches of cookies that he could bake while 'watching his cholesterol'.
Retirement as awful. The alpha liked to work. He lived to provide for his mate.
But his doctor, not Mattie, even though that would have been pretty nice, had told Alfred that he could not longer work as a police officer. It was too stressful on his health at his age.
So, at aged sixty-three, Alfred had retired from the force. In his opinion, he probably could have worked for another decade, at least. Mattie, the worry-wart, said that the money he made as a physician was more than enough to live off of. Especially since he was having a paper published on the brain chemistry that went behind the phenomenon of fated mates.
Alfred didn't understand much of Mattie's research, much like he didn't understand much about medical science in general. All he knew was that he needed something to do or he was going to go crazy, despite how proud he was of his mate.
That was when he found himself on the computer. On a whim, he brought up a word processing program and began to type, even though he had no idea what to expect or even what he was going to write about.
~==The Past-Alfred's Writing==~
I suppose that my first memory would be of when I was a small child. At the time I was probably no more than four years old. Despite the general haze of very early childhood, I can remember everything about that day so clearly.
It's important, I feel, to mention something about myself. I'm a twin. I was born first by about twenty minutes. Matthew is my twin brother. We aren't identical, but we do look awfully similar anyway. Enough that our parents would sometimes mistake my brother for me, at least until they smelled his scent, which is that of an omega. I'm an alpha.
Anyway. The day of my first memory, it was raining so hard that each raindrop might as well of been a stream from a faucet. Thunder was booming closer and closer and the clouds had darkened the sky so much that the flashes from the lightning would light up the room. Every now and then I would look through the window and watch the storm. It was really interesting and I remember thinking that it was the first time I'd really taken a good look at the turbulent weather.
It was at one point that I called back behind myself, “Hey Mattie! Storm!”
When I didn't get an answer, even after straining my ears to try to hear my brother's whispers, I looked back.
Sure enough, the play room was empty, save for the train set strewn about on the blue rug.
That was really weird. Mattie never went that far away from me. We were inseparable.
I looked behind the chairs, under the rug and even in the toy box.
I then checked the rest of the parts of the house that I could think of my twin being. He couldn't have gone that far. However with each new room that I had gone into without finding my brother, I had begun to worry. Fear crept up on me and tears brimmed in my eyes. I was supposed to protect my sibling and I failed. He was gone. Maybe forever.
Just as I sniffled, my nose runny, I peeked into the laundry room. I went and looked in the closet of that room.
That was when I saw Mattie.
He had been curled up under a pile of clothes that he'd pulled out of a basket. His head was poking out and he was crying, clutching his white stuffed bear.
I ran to him and I smoothed my hands over his soft blond curls. Once he buried his head in my t-shirt, he cried in earnest.
Between sobs, he said, “I sawed a monster but you were too close to the window and the scary lightning and I couldn't get to you.”
“What kind of monster was it?” I asked because I had a need to know.
How else could I fight an evil creature if I didn't know what I was up against?
Matthew only shrugged to that and had proceeded to draw me closer and further into his burrow of clothes. Burrowing and subconsciously protecting me in a way similar to how I wanted to protect him.
“A big and dark and scary one. In the shadows,” said Mattie, mumbling, “I think it had fangs.”
I shivered. That had sounded pretty scary. Maybe kind of like a ghost. It didn't matter though, I'd protect Mattie either way, almost like an instinctual urge. It was weird but I hadn't given it very much more thought than that. I just cuddled closer to my brother and shivered but put myself closer to the entrance to the closet than Mattie was.
That monster would have to go through me first.
It wasn't until much later that our parents found us, my mother looming over us. Mattie had long since fallen asleep but I was forcing myself awake by pinching my skin. If I fell asleep the monster would eat us both. I was so tired though.
I had been glad for my mother to relieve me of my protection duty. She was our alpha and I knew that I could trust her to keep us safe.
My next memory took place not too long after that. We were at our house, which was was the central point between the houses of our two other friends. They were our age, which was to say that we weren't quite yet in school. That was still at year away at that point.
I was in the kitchen with Francis, vaguely overhearing our omega parents chatting in the sitting room over tea and biscuits. He and I were gathering supplies such as fruit and cookies as well as cups of water.
Once we had our haul of goodies, he lugged them to the bedroom. It was there that Mattie and our friend Arthur were playing 'heat'.
Of course, we were still so young that we didn't understand exactly what went into having a heat. We simply thought that you went into a nest, usually in a closet or a corner. From there you would feed your mate yummy foods while they made weird noises and screamed, “Yes”, and, “Oh God” a lot.
I thought that there must be a whole ton of praying involved. I didn't know and my parents wouldn't tell me when I asked.
That was all well and good. Francis and I set our food down outside of the 'nest' that the two omega boys had constructed. I grabbed a few items and then made my way over to Mattie.
“What are you doing? Mattie is your brother,” said Francis, hands on his hips and looking over at Arthur with disdain.
Those two hadn't ever fully gotten along. They fought quite a bit and I thought that maybe that was why they didn't want to pretend to be mates. I knew that if I said that, though, they would break out into another fight, this time with me.
So I said, “Why can't I?”
Arthur added in his point of view, “Because it's weird.”
“Yes. So give your food to Arthur and I'll give mine to Mattie,” said Francis.
I stuck out my lower lip and tried to pout, but Mattie quietly said, “It's okay. Just do that, I don't mind.”
To say that I wasn't happy was an understatement. However I played the game the way everybody else wanted me to. I gave my food to Arthur.
It wasn't so bad really, since Arthur was a close friend. It just felt weird.
At school we were always together. The four of us that is. We all went to the same school and because the town we lived in was small, we were all in the same class. I was thrilled to be in the same class as my twin and my two best friends.
Despite the fact that he was an omega, Arthur was strong as nails and didn't let anybody give him any trouble. So add in me and Francis and nobody bothered us. Mattie may be quiet, but he wasn't a pushover either.
There had been one time that Mattie had been alone. I don't remember what year we were in other than that we were young. So maybe second grade?
Anyway, I guess some bullies started trying to pick on Mattie to try to break the one that they thought was the weak link in our little 'family'. When I finally found Mattie and saw him from across the football field, I saw him just start in on the bullies.
Mattie didn't even make a fist or lay a finger on the other boys and girl. He didn't have to. He cut them to the bone with insults scathing enough to burn.
The bullies ran away with tears in their eyes, Mattie paling significantly as if he only then realized what he'd done. He was whispering apologies that the bullies were, by then, too far away to hear.
“What's goin' on Mattie?” I asked, running up to stand beside my twin, quickly followed by Arthur and Francis.
“Nothing,” said Mattie, slouching and staring at the ground, which was the classic sign of him lying.
Arthur puffed out his chest and placed his hands on his hips. He said, “It couldn't be nothing. You seemed pretty angry.”
Sighing, Mattie looked up and into my eyes. He finally mumbled, “They were saying mean things about you three.”
“Not you?” chimed Francis, on the other side of Matthew that Arthur was not on.
Mattie shook his head.
Before I could really think of anything to say to those words that made me feel all happy inside, Francis had flung his arms around Matthew and was hugging him tight. He kept calling him a 'sweet friend'.
The blush that came over Mattie's face made me feel all uncomfortable and upset. I didn't understand it then, which was generally the case when it came to my feelings.
Really, me and Mattie had a pretty normal childhood, especially for the times we grew up. It was the late fifties that we were children. That meant that when we weren't in school, or at the table eating a meal, we were running around outside. It didn't matter if it were raining or freezing cold. We'd dress for the weather and go back outside to play with our friends.
We'd go into the woods that ran along the entire one side of our town. In there we'd build forts out of sticks and fallen tree branches. We'd hop into the creek and get soaking wet. Well Arthur and I would. Mattie and Francis always preferred to hang back rather than get soaked.
I suppose the fact that Arthur and I would be freezing cold after our forays into the creek would be why. That and leeches.
I hated those things. They creeped me out. Not that I'd ever let that show. I'd just get Mattie to pick them off of me.
Arthur would pick his own off and toss them at Francis who would run away screaming despite the fact that Alphas were supposed to be tough. I was an alpha and I didn't blame him one bit.
Leeches were gross.
But the creek was still too fun to stay out of.
The four of us would stay outside until the sun had set and the bugs buzzed and sang their songs around us.
Mattie and I would say goodbye to our two friends and go home. We'd be forced into the bath by our father who was the one who did most of the childcare tasks, seeing as how he was an omega.
Not that it was a good thing, but everything was more black and white back then. Omegas, male or female, were expected to take care of the house and the children. Alphas were expected to get a job.
I guess that I understood that in a way. However I never really cared too much. I just liked to play and be with Mattie. To see Mattie's wide smile when I'd done something to really make him happy.
Like that time that I'd saved up all of my money and bought him some expensive candy. I hadn't even eaten any of them. Okay maybe I ate one on my way back home, but that made me a really great brother. I could have eaten every one of those yummy maple candies but I didn't. I saved almost all of them for Mattie. I mean, I probably only ate two or three.
There was also that time when he and I were a bit older, maybe nine or so, that Mattie got really sick. I waited on him hand and foot. I refused to go to school and let my dad take care of Mattie. My brother's eyes were all weepy and blurred, so he couldn't read. That really upset Mattie.
By then, Mattie was reading at a high school level or something like that, I don't remember. He would have been sent to a school for the super smart, but it was so far away and he and I didn't want to be that far apart. So Mattie would read extra smart things when he wasn't in regular school.
Then, however, he couldn't see the words. So I read to him for nearly a week. That was a gift in and of itself. Those books were hard and full of complicated words like: oxygenated, hemoglobin, bacteriophage and pneumococcus.
Back then I didn't understand how he could find that kind of stuff fun to read or listen to. I still don't if I'm going to be completely honest. But he found it fun, still does. So that was enough for me.
It was still hard though. I nearly fell asleep reading them to him.
That cold eventually went away and Mattie was as good as new.
Everything was good in our lives. Even as we approached our teenage years.
I always had omegas hanging around with me. One or two of them would even ask me out when I was in the ninth grade. I always turned them down, gently of course, and sent them on their way.
I was much too wrapped up in sports, tinkering with whatever I could get my hands on and spending as much time with Mattie as I could manage.
Spending time with Mattie became harder as time wore on and we got busier at school. I more so with friends. The fact that our parents thought that the two of us sharing a room while we were teenagers was weird.
So our alpha put her foot down and moved us into separate rooms when we were almost sixteen.
“Why do you need to do this?”, I had begged, hands fisted beside my hips as Matthew's stuff was placed in the guest room.
Our Mother gave me a thin smile and with the strained voice of somebody who had already explained this several times, said, “Because you two need privacy now. Alphas and omegas need their own spaces. And besides, you are nearly sixteen year old boys and siblings.”
I failed to see how any of that mattered. It still didn't make sense no matter how she tried to explain herself. Just as my upper lip rose in the mockery of a snarl, Mother gave me a full out growl. She cowed me into submission with just a single look and glow of her eyes.
I heard Mattie whimper. A display of domination from an alpha that wasn't directed at a specific person or group of people could only make an omega nervous if it was their alpha. Until we were eighteen, mother was our alpha. Her word was law, despite how much my inner alpha longed to rebel.
I satisfied myself with an arm around my twin and a continued look of contempt towards the woman who was separating me away from my Mattie.
That night, so silent that I didn't hear him until he had slipped under my blanket, Mattie came to spend the night with me. He stayed on his own side, of course, sleeping as we had since for as long as we could remember.
Alfred yawned an pushed himself back from the computer desk. He grinned at the luminous rectangle before him, which was full of his typed up work of genius.
If he had of known how great he was at writing, he would have been doing it years ago. Alfred just knew that what he was typing up was a work worthy of praise. It would probably go on the New York Times bestseller's list.
Now he just had to finish it.
The first chapter was done at least. So he decided to go back upstairs with more of his cookies and see if anybody wanted some.
So, after stretching out his back and muscles from sitting for so long, Alfred snatched up the plastic container. He opened it and stuffed one into his mouth. Matthew wasn't around to lecture after all.
Just before he opened the door after having scaled the stairs, he swallowed the last bite of his second cookie and went inside of Mattie's practice.
There was nobody in the waiting room. Alfred looked at the clock and saw that Matthew would probably be with his last patient of the day. Over at the reception desk was Emily, a beta. She was the secretary who came in around four times a week. Sometimes three if she was busy at home. Matthew was pretty good at holding his own behind the desk and Alfred helped him sometimes as well.
Alfred thrust the container of cookies towards her and said, “Have one. They're good.”
Emily looked up, her green eyes shining with amusement. She brushed a curly strand of blonde hair off of her face and behind an ear before she said, “I'm trying to eat healthy. You know that.”
Waving a hand, Alfred said, “Nonsense. You look great just the way you are.”
Heaving a sigh, Emily grabbed a single cookie and placed it on a tissue beside her. She said, “Happy?”
“So long as I see you eat it before I go back downstairs. Also, you know that I'm always willing to cook for you if you want to bring home a casserole or two.”
She smiled, “Maybe when I get closer to my due date.”
Alfred looked over the desk and saw her rounding belly.
“How are the other two?”
She chuckled, “Raising hell of course. The oldest is about to graduate.”
Emily nodded, “I just hope that my parents will be able to make the graduation.”
Alfred grabbed a cookie and pointedly ignored the look he got for it. Damn, Mattie must have told her about his diet. He got a couple of quick bites in before it was snatched from his hand and deposited into the garbage can.
Emily simply gave him a look but didn't comment any further.
Alfred sighed and stared forlornly at the ruined garbage cookie and then said, “I hope they'll be able to make it as well. They're somewhere tropical right now though, aren't they.”
She nodded, “Cuba.”
Alfred cringed. He'd met an alpha there one time when he and Mattie were younger. The guy had hit on Mattie. So Alfred was no longer a fan of the country, as nice as it had been there.
Just as he was about to open his mouth, Mattie popped by, silver hair longer than normal and so was tied back out of his face. His gorgeous violet eyes shimmered with mirth as he kissed Alfred on the cheek and said, looking at Emily, “Every time he hears the name of that country he sulks. Miguel, who is still my friend by the way, had only asked me out for ice cream.”
“I don't care. I still don't trust him,” said Alfred aware of his pouting and not bothering to do anything about it.
Mattie just rolled his eyes and said, “Do you think you can lock up, Emily?”
The secretary nodded and made a shooing motion, “Absolutely. You two go rest for the night.”
Alfred went down the stairs first after they bid farewell to Emily. He made his eyes all shiny and pathetic looking and stopped at the bottom of the stairs. He didn't let Matthew pass, thereby forcing his twin to look at him.
“Can we make burgers tonight?” pouted Alfred.
“You know what Dr. Mack told you. You need to cut down on fatty foods. I know for a fact that you've eaten way too many cookies today,” said Matthew.
Jaw dropped, Alfred said, “How did you know?”
“You just told me,” said Matthew, gently nudging the alpha to the side and went into their home. Matthew locked the door behind them once Alfred was also in, placing his keys into a neon orange wooden shape that was suppose to look like a sun made to be a bowl.
Another masterpiece by Alfred. He was actually rather proud of it.
“You're so sneaky Matt,” said Alfred, following his omega into the kitchen where he saw Mattie pulling out lettuce.
He immediately rebelled, “Not salad Mattie. Please not salad.”
“If you want, you can barbecue that chicken in the fridge,” said Matthew.
“You had me at B-B-Q,” said Alfred, saying each letter as if it were it's own word.
He grabbed the pack of meat and a big bottle of sauce. As he passed Mattie, he kissed the blond man's cheek.
Even if he tried to keep him healthy by feeding him big bowls of gross green things, Alfred knew Mattie loved him. Alfred most definitely returned the sentiment.