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Soothing the Savage Beast

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Secretly, Stiles had always hoped it wouldn’t come to this.

It’s stupid, he knows. Auctions are by far the most common way for omegas to be placed once they come of age. He’s know this day was coming for a long time now. Still, that doesn’t make it much easier to accept.

He knows his father had tried his hardest to secure a private buyer, to make sure Stiles would be owned by someone safe and trusted, but that hadn’t happened. His father had begged and bartered and offered to take Stiles’ price down to the legal minimum, but every safe choice they could think of was either unwilling or unable to buy a new omega. They even tried listing Stiles online, so that even if he was sold to a stranger Stiles’ dad could at least vet them before the sale, but none of the alphas who responded to the ad were willing to submit to the scrutiny of a beta parent who wanted to protect his omega son.

Stiles knows he didn’t do himself any favors by growing up willful and mouthy. He wishes, for his father’s sake, that he’d been able to act the part of the obedient, docile omega people pay big money for. But the clock ran out. Stiles’ body had reached maturity, and Stiles’ father is no longer permitted to act as his legal guardian. By law, Stiles has to be sold.

It’s not all bad, Stiles knows. It’s a well known fact that on average omegas sold at auction sell for much more than private sale, and most families with omega children need the extra income. Stiles is sure his father does. But putting an omega up for auction means losing all control over what kind of alpha your omega child ends up with. Omegas are simply sold to the highest bidder with no questions asked, and that typically means a stranger who has no interest in allowing their new omega to retain contact with the people from their former life.

Stiles wishes the system wasn’t designed to keep omegas in the hands of greedy, rich alphas. As a kid, his best friend Scott had made grand claims of saving up all his money so that when they were big he could buy Stiles and they could stay together forever. Scott was the kind of alpha that any omega would be lucky to belong to, but it hadn’t taken them long to realize that no amount of scrimping and saving from their birthday money and allowance and, later, minimum wage jobs would be enough for Scott to be able to afford the legal minimum sale price for an omega. Scott had cried when they’d both finally admitted it, and Stiles had wanted to. Instead, he’d hugged his friend and told him he was sure he’d end up with a nice alpha who would let them stay friends. It was a lie, and they both knew it, but it made them both feel a little bit better to pretend.

The morning of the auction, his father lays out his best clothes for him, fusses over his hair, hugs him at least a dozen times, trying not to let Stiles see the tears in his eyes before the beta marshals working the auction come to retrieve him. Stiles sits quietly in the back of the transport van with the other omegas who are being sold today, each of whom project the same mix of terror, dejection, and resignation that Stiles feels.

As it turns out, the care his father had put into his appearance is for naught. The moment they reach the market, he and the other omegas are stripped, showered, and given threadbare robes to cover themselves before their turn on the docket. Professional looking betas with clipboards and fancy machines come in and examine them like livestock.

Stiles is bent over for an utterly humiliating pelvic exam, a silent beta clinically penetrating him with cold gloved fingers and hard plastic tools, when he feels the prick of a needle in his arm.

“Ow! What the hell?” he exclaims.

The beta in front of him has the good grace to look mildly apologetic. “Sorry. We just need a little blood to run some panels, to assure the buyers of your physical health,” she tells him.

“I do have a medical record, you know,” he snarks.

She gives him a tight smile. “I’m afraid the records of personal physicians can’t be independently verified. You understand.”

Stiles holds his tongue, reminding himself that his dad needs the money from his sale and giving his handlers the impression of obstinance will only drive his price down.

The beta taps at her machine, reading through his results. “Congratulations,” she tells him, smiling brightly, “your fertility scores are very high and you’re just entering the peak of your cycle. A lot of alphas will pay handsomely for a sturdy breeding omega. You’re very lucky.”

Stiles feels his stomach roil at the reminder of what this auction means for him. He won’t just be owned by an alpha -- he’ll be fucked and bred by some stranger, probably by tonight, without much say in the matter at all.

He winces as the beta behind him pulls out the speculum, declaring his visual exam good and his virginity intact before moving on to the next omega down the line. He straightens, and awkwardly tugs his robe back down to cover himself. Looking up the room, he sees the auction has already started. His fellow omegas are being led out one by one to the stage, then returning to be held and processed while their new owner finalizes their payment.

Stiles watches the faces of the returning omegas, hoping for some hint of what to expect. Most look nauseous or worried. Some look utterly terrified. Occasionally, one will return looking downright pleased. Stiles assumes they went for a high price or were bought by a particularly attractive alpha.

Sooner than he’d like, it’s his turn, and one of the handlers is stripping him out of his robe and shoving him out onto the brightly lit stage.

“And here we have lot 47, Omega Stilinski,” the auctioneer announces brightly. Stiles wonders for a moment if all omegas are announced by their last name, or if the auctioneer was simply stumped by Stiles’ given name. “He’s ripe as they come, and ready to breed, and not too bad to look at, either.”

The audience chuckles, and Stiles fights the urge to cover himself.

“Go on, give us a turn,” the auctioneer tells him, motioning with his hand, “show the nice people what they’re bidding for.”

Stiles glares daggers at him and tries to just be thankful that the auction is only open to alphas, so his father won’t be in the audience witnessing his humiliation. Still, Stiles doesn’t have much choice in the matter so he turns slowly and tries to tune out the crass commentary. There’s a lot about how good he’d look stretched out on a knot, how a virile alpha could have him swollen with pups in no time at all. At one point the auctioneer makes some lewd comment about lactating and pinches Stiles’ nipple for emphasis. It takes everything in him not to punch the smug beta in the face.

The alphas in the audience are laughing and catcalling, and Stiles can feel their leering glances burning on his skin. Stiles had known the auction wouldn’t be pleasant for him, but this is -- fuck, this is so much worse than he ever imagined. He likes to think he’s brave, likes to think he’s a strong, modern omega who isn’t cowed by alpha influence. But he’s standing naked on a stage beneath the downright hungry gaze of a room full of alphas, one of whom is about to buy him and fucking breed him, and he is so goddamn scared that it’s taking everything in him not to piss himself or break down crying.

The bidding starts, and Stiles tries desperately not to pay attention to the numbers being called or the alphas whose paddles are being raised. He tries to think of something else, but his mind wanders to his biggest fears, like whether his new alpha will let him see his dad or Scott. He wonders how badly sex will hurt, wonders if his new alpha will do anything to make it easier on him or if Stiles’ pain will add to the alpha’s enjoyment.

The auctioneer keeps teasing the alphas with commentary, trying to drive the price higher. He calls out the flush on Stiles’ cheeks, tells the alphas how prettily they might mark up Stiles’ pale skin. He makes Stiles turn his back to the audience so he can wax poetic about Stiles’ ass, then brings a hand down sharp and hard against one cheek, leaving it stinging and no doubt red. Stiles counts his breaths in his head and tries desperately not to panic.

The bidding seems to go on forever, and with it Stiles’ humiliation, until finally the auctioneer bangs his gavel and cries, “SOLD! To Alpha Hale for $17 million!”

Stiles tries not to stagger at the amount. That’s, that’s a lot of money. Enough to make his dad richer than Stiles can even imagine. Stiles tries not to hyperventilate, because the idea of being sold for even one million had seemed absurd to him until this very moment, and he’s just been sold for seventeen million dollars . Whoever bought him is obviously enormously wealthy, and willing to spend an insane amount of money on a fertile omega. Stiles wonders idly as he’s ushered off the stage if that should make him feel excited or scared.

When he gets back to the holding room, a handler scrawls “ HALE ” across his chest in marker, then sends him to sit with the other sold omegas.

“So how much did you go for?” asks the beta next to him, sounding a little more cheerful than Stiles thinks the situation warrants.

“Um, I wasn’t listening,” Stiles lies, mostly because he can’t wrap his head around the number he actually heard. He’d done his research going in. He knows the average auction price for an omega is somewhere around $750k, depending on several factors including, yes, fertility. He knows that after the auction house’s cut and taxes, his dad could only expect to receive about half of that. The knowledge that his sale price was so far above average weighs on him, and he’s not sure how his fellow omegas would react.

“I bet it was a lot,” an omega sitting across from him chimes in. She points to Stiles’ chest, “The Hales are loaded.”

“Oh,” Stiles says, “do you know anything else about them?”

“Just that they’ve gotten real reclusive ever since that fire a couple years back. Killed a whole bunch of them, and some people say the ones who are left went off the rails a bit.”

“Yeah, I don’t envy you, man,” says the omega next to her, “I’ll take my boring middle class pencil pusher alpha over some tortured billionaire any day.”

“Thanks,” Stiles bites out sarcastically. “I feel so much fucking better now.”

The other omega shrugs, uncaring. His neighbor pats him consolingly and says, “Who cares if they’re crazy, right? I mean, rich is rich. You’ll be living in luxury, dude.”

Somehow, Stiles does not feel particularly reassured.

The door to the holding area opens, and one of the beta marshals calls, “Lot 47 for Hale!”

Stiles doesn’t react for a moment, then the omega next to him kicks him and says, “That’s you, moron! Go before he gets impatient!”

So Stiles stands on shaky legs and walks toward the marshal, who’s not even watching him as he holds the door open.

The marshal hands him a robe, thicker and longer than the one he’d been held backstage in, and ushers him toward a waiting alpha who is watching Stiles with a piercing gaze.

“Well, well. You are ripe,” the alpha says, leering at him and taking a blatant sniff. “I bet with a good fucking tonight you’ll be all bred up by morning.”

Stiles recoils, and the alpha smirks unpleasantly.

“Not to worry, pup. I won’t be the one breeding you, much as I may wish to.” His eyes trail hungrily across Stiles’ body, and Stiles squirms unpleasantly under the scrutiny. The direct attention of one alpha standing right in front of him is somehow worse than the dozens of alphas catcalling him from the auction audience. “You’re to be a, shall we say, gift for my nephew. Though, I can’t say I’d be opposed to taking a turn once he’s finished with you. Boyd!” he calls to a beta standing behind him, “Take him to the car, try and keep his scent as clear as possible. No contact with any alphas.”

Boyd nods, and motions for Stiles to follow him. He ends up sliding into the back of an expensive town car, a blonde beta with a sharp grin sitting in the driver’s seat.

“So this is Derek’s new toy, huh?” She asks Boyd, who shrugs. “You think he’ll bite for this one?”

“We can hope,” Boyd replies solemnly as he slides into the front passenger seat.

Stiles glances between them nervously.

“Is, uh,” he clears his throat and tries again, “Is my new alpha really picky or something?”

The blonde snorts. “Sure, you could say that,” she says, before putting the car in gear and pulling out of the marketplace lot.

“Isn’t the alpha who bought me coming?” Stiles asks, puzzled.

Boyd shakes his head. “You heard Peter. No alpha contact. We can’t risk Derek rejecting you because you smell like you belong to someone else.”

“We should wash him when we get back to the house,” the blonde says to Boyd, as if Stiles isn’t even there. “I know that him smelling like a whole bunch of betas and other omegas shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s Derek so better safe than sorry, right?”

Boyd nods in agreement, while Stiles flails in the back seat.

“What the hell kind of alpha are you people giving me to?” he demands.

“One who hopefully won’t be turned off by the way you run your damn mouth, omega!” snaps the blonde.

“Erica,” Boyd says, his tone warning.

Erica bristles, then seems to forcibly relax herself. “Leave it to Peter to pick a mouthy little fucker,” she grumbles before returning her full attention to the road.

Stiles snaps his mouth shut and keeps quiet for the rest of the ride.