My Omega Mate

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Chapter 6: Max

Max pushed the door of his office with one hand, striding inside while rubbing his chin. It had barely taken them two minutes to get from the Omega Quarters to the second floor of the house, but his wolf was already driving him crazy with its excitement. He had decided to find the omega on a whim — or rather, on an instinct. Before he knew it, he was following the guy’s scent. And now that they were so close and so alone, he commended himself for deciding to bring him to his office, not his bedroom.

He focused back on the quiet steps following him until they stopped.

“Close the door,” Max said, moving to sit behind his desk so there was some obstacle between them. He had always prided himself on his control and level-mindedness. To feel himself being so on edge and barely even controlling his shift or his body was maddening. And all of that because of that frail, fidgeting man standing before him.

Max leaned back in his leather chair, locking his eyes on the younger man that was standing by the door, looking awkwardly around. When their eyes met, the omega’s face stiffened, and before he could look away, Max pointed at the chair across from his desk.

Using the time it took for the omega to get to the chair, Max stared at him, studying every inch of him as he lowered himself to the edge of the seat, eyes now glued to the floor. He was tall for an omega, but very thin and pale. The latter might have been out of fear since he looked so nervous, Max was afraid he might faint.

His shoulders were wide though, slimming down to a narrow waist. Wavy blonde hair fell around his ears, obscuring the top of his face when he lowered his head. Max had never thought of other men in terms of handsomeness or beauty, but looking at the omega in front of him, he had to say that his mate looked prettier than most of the women Max knew. Or maybe it was his distorted perception making him think that, influenced by all the new emotions and desires that stirred inside of him.

“What’s your name?” Max asked, clearing his throat. If he kept staring like that, he’d soon want to touch. And if he touched… he wouldn’t want to stop. And that thought alone scared him.

“James Miller,” the omega replied in a polite, quiet voice, eyes still on the floor. Max could hear how fast James’ heart was beating, how often he swallowed, how shallow he breathed and the sounds etched into his mind, making him weirdly excited that he wasn’t the only one fretting over this.

Max closed his eyes, snapping at his wolf to shut up so he could concentrate when another impatient whimper rang in his ears. If the damn beast continued to pace so impatiently and push for control, he wasn’t sure what he could do to this complete stranger. And the human part of him really didn’t want to start the night with something that could hurt his mate or scare him even more.

“How long have you been with the Ironclaw pack?” Max asked, trying to keep the conversation going until his heart settled.

“All my life. That is, over twenty-two years. My parents were warriors in it too, before they were killed,” James replied in the same empty, obedient voice.

“Do you have any more family there?”

“No.”

“Do you have a lot of friends?”

“No.”

“Enemies?”

“I-I-I don’t think so,” James replied, his voice growing more and more hesitant.

“How about a lover or a chosen mate?” Max asked, leaning forward as he waited for the answer. James didn’t reply immediately as he did with the other questions. Instead, he licked his lips nervously before shaking his head. A strange sense of relief flooded Max’s body, and he leaned back in his chair, feeling ten pounds lighter. Letting out a low chuckle, he scratched his forehead and sighed. “You know, until today I didn’t think the Moon Goddess bestowed same-sex mates. Imagine my surprise when I felt the bond activate and on the other end was another man. This makes me all kinds of confused because I’ve actually never been attracted to a man before.”

James didn’t say anything, and Max gritted his teeth in annoyance. Was he the only one going crazy right now? Apart from his racing heart, the omega didn’t seem affected at all. But that frantic heartbeat could have just as well been out of fear — Max was the alpha of another pack after all, and he was definitely bigger and stronger than him. He could literally snap James’ neck without breaking a sweat.

‘Wait, what am I thinking right now?’ he thought as his wolf growled threateningly inside his head.

Max got up, circling the desk and taking a seat on its edge with his arms crossed. He kept staring at the other man, his mate, waiting for some kind of reaction — a question, a statement, anything. But James kept quiet with his head down and chest barely moving, as if he didn’t dare to breathe.

“What’s so interesting about my floor? You’ve been staring at it the whole time,” Max asked, looking down even though he knew exactly what he’d see — nothing. James finally shifted in his seat, eyes still cast down, but a moment later, his quiet voice filled the room, sending shivers down Max’s spine.

“Where would you like me to look, Alpha?”

He wasn’t sure why, but for the first time since he had become the leader of his pack, being called alpha didn’t fill him with pride and satisfaction. Instead, it felt like the simple mention of his position widened the chasm that was lying between them even when they stood so close.

“Why don’t you try looking at the person talking to you?” he suggested, waiting impatiently for the omega to raise his head. Even by the Omega Quarters, when he showed himself, James had been so quick to look away, their eyes barely met. It seemed like that was something usual for him, which was making Max unreasonably angry, since he could imagine all sorts of horrors that could have made him this way.

“I would never dare look at Alpha without permission,” James said in the same quiet, obedient voice that was making even Max’s wolf growl in annoyance.

“You have my permission,” Max said, trying to keep himself calm. James slowly looked up at him, flinching as their eyes met, as if expecting to be slapped. Max stared at his big chocolate eyes with a dry mouth, wondering if he had ever seen a look more disarming than his. Even when he had faced a fully feral rogue, he had never hesitated or doubted his course of action. But looking at this man — his mate — he was at a loss. Instinct and reason battled in his head, slowly fusing into a dangerous combination.

Everything about James’ existence was a problem — he was a man, an omega, and an enemy. Max had all the reasons, plain and simple, to reject him. He had even decided on it while he sat in his living room with Hunter and the others. Accepting the bond was only going to bring him trouble, and not just him.

But looking at him now, just the thought of doing that was filling him with dread. The idea that he might be into men had crossed his mind as he noticed ‌he had less and less interest in women as time passed, but no man had ever caught his eye, so he figured his instincts would kick in once he met his fated mate.

And they did, in such an unexpected way.

Max cleared his throat, shifting slightly to hide the fact that he was already hard from just looking at the man sitting in front of him. Those brown eyes and the vulnerable look on his face were definitely not helping him keep his wolf under control.

He had to distract himself. He had to keep talking. They had to figure this situation out while he was still in the right state of mind.

“So… why is Hunter bringing an omega to such important negotiations?” he asked and James stiffened, a look of panic passing through his face before he looked away. “Do you have any special skills that can make you useful in such a situation?”

“I’d rather not say,” he mumbled. Max closed his eyes, cursing himself. He hadn’t planned to ask that, but it just popped into his head — now he sounded like he was more interested in finding the Ironclaw pack’s secrets than getting to know his mate. Damn it.

“Okay,” he said, but James still didn’t look at him. “Then let’s get straight to the point. What should I do with you?”

James slowly turned to look at him, studying his face for a moment before a flicker of determination flashed in his eyes. Max watched him straighten up in his seat, as if preparing himself for something.

“The decision is in Alpha’s hands and I will accept whatever you choose,” he said with a trembling voice, his hands balling into fists. “But before you say it, may I be allowed to do one thing?”

“Will it endanger someone from my pack?” Max asked, raising an eyebrow.

“No,” Jamie replied without hesitation.

“Then I’ll allow it,” he nodded, curious as to what could make the meek and obedient omega look so determined and full of confidence out of a sudden. James got to his feet, taking a step towards him. Max’s body tensed instinctively at the proximity of another male, but the attack came in the most unexpected way.

James’s hands slid over Max’s face, pulling him closer before pressing his lips against Max’s. Max stared at him with wide eyes, trying to overcome his shock while his wolf’s approving howl echoed in his head. James’ eyes were tightly shut and his body felt tense and rigid as it pressed against Max’s chest. Despite all of that, there was no hesitation in that kiss and no sense of regret.

Max felt James’ hot tongue run over his lips and opened his mouth, allowing the omega to deepen the kiss. A crack appeared in his restraint that turned wider and wider with each passing second. He had been trying to hold back and give them a chance to talk it out, a chance to get his permission before claiming him, but this foolish man had gone ahead and destroyed everything.

Fog swept through Max’s mind, leaving only thoughts of his mate’s body pressed against him, his mate’s lips moving desperately against his, his mate’s scent making his blood boil with the desire to hold, to have and to claim. His hands moved on their own, wrapping around James’s waist and pressing him even closer. Max slid off the edge of the desk, taking control of the kiss and surrendering to the absolute bliss that was settling in his body.

He never thought that just kissing someone could make him so happy, so content, so entirely whole. The mate bond had been a distant, foreign concept, almost like a fairytale, and while everyone prayed and hoped to find their mate, he had always thought that he might do fine without one, too. He had everything he needed and more, and he had an important mission.

Now he realized just how stupid that thinking was, how laughable. The truth was, he had nothing until today, and now he had the entire world in his arms.

At that moment, he didn’t care about packs, ranks, or circumstances. He didn’t care about the fact that he was kissing a man and loving every second of it. He didn’t care that if he continued down this path, he might turn the Ironclaw pack against him and never complete his father’s legacy.

All he cared about was being with his mate. The rest of the world could go to hell.

He felt James push against his chest, trying to break free from his hold. Max let go reluctantly, figuring the other man had probably run out of air, when James not only broke the kiss, he wiggled out of his arms and even bowed down.

Max was just about to tell him he didn’t have to bow to him, when the omega spoke first.

“Thank you for allowing my selfish request. I accept your rejection.”

Max blinked in surprise, the word slamming into him like a crushing punch in the gut that repeated over and over. By the time he realized what he had heard, James was already opening the door and preparing to leave. Panic and anger took over Max’s body, and he chased after him, hitting his hand into the door next to Jamie’s head and slamming it shut. James’ body tensed as he stood there with his eyes locked on the dark wood, his body trembling slightly while his heart raced like crazy.

Max forced himself to calm down, slowly pressing his other hand on the other side of James’s head, trapping him between his arms in case the thought of running was still there.

Leaning down to James’ ear, Max took a deep breath, inhaling his mate’s scent and quieting down his wailing wolf with promises that no matter what happened, he could never let him go after finally tasting what true joy felt like.

“Now,” Max whispered and watched as the hair on James’ neck rose, “who said I am going to reject you?”

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