“Liv! Can you get more gauzes before your break?”
“I’m on it.”
As Olivia walked away from the bed, she tugged at her elastic, her black hair cascading around her shoulders.
The last drunk patient that came to the ER had been quite the fighter. Keeping him down long enough to sedate him had her looking like she’d gone through the wringer.
She ran her fingers through her dark hair before wrapping it up again in a tight ponytail. It was next to impossible to get a break when you covered the night ER shift.
But honestly, she didn’t know how much longer she could go on without stepping aside. This was not a good night.
She was in heat.
Her skin was sticky, her nerves were on edge, and everything sent her spiraling down the wrong direction. She hated the weakness it brought forward, how needy it made her.
The smell of blood.
The drunken men flirting a little too much…
It was getting to her. At least everyone was human.
She pressed her index finger between her eyes and rubbed the skin to soothe her headache away.
Thinking straight was no longer feasible.
Gauze, and then some fresh air. She could do this. She could get through the night. Then she’d go home and take care of the urges that had plagued her the entire night. By herself.
Like she often did during these times. It was safer.
There was only one person she ever sought comfort from—the rest of the time, she pulled through it solo-mode.
It wasn’t natural for her to seek another werewolf; she wasn’t like most of them. Olivia wasn’t born like this. She became a werewolf.
Thankfully, her encounters with other members of her new species were far apart.
Sometimes, in the street, she’d get a sniff, her body would tense, and she’d know what to do immediately: run like hell.
She’d always followed that advice. Sure, tonight was a little more dangerous.
But—she’d never seen a werewolf this far into the city and she knew no one at work was one.
It was safe. It was almost over.
Olivia refocused her attention on her task at hand, unlocking the blue metal cabinet with the key dangling from her ID badge.
She grabbed as many packs of gauzes as her hands allowed her and pressed them to her chest.
She locked it back with one hand and turned around, her back pressing into the door of the nearby patient observation room. Then it hit her.
She’d never smelled one before and yet—her body knew.
The second the scent reached her nose, she stiffened up. She could see the staff, the patients, the visitors as they walked past her, but she felt in another dimension.
She, however, stood there, clutching at gauzes, frozen in place.
His scent was the sole thing she could smell. It fogged up her mind, her body heating as she dug her teeth into her bottom lip.
No. It wasn’t possible.
Her heart beat faster, straining against her chest. She would have known. The second he would have walked in… Had he been there already?
She’d been busy…tending patients in the ER, running off to get some much-needed supplies.
Could she have missed it?
She made a point to always be careful. Human side first, instinct later.
However, that musky scent in the air called out to her.
This was why she never worked during her heat—it made her prone to stupid decisions. Like this one. There was one wolf who’d been around her while her heat plagued her.
Only one. Her self-control had been poor, to say the least.
He warned her. He told her. Stay home.
Her best friend had asked for a favor and she had obliged. She did so much for her. How could she refuse this one favor?
Plus, werewolves rarely came strolling into the emergency room. What could happen in the span of twelve hours?
This, Olivia. This could happen.
She tried to swallow, her mouth like paste as she smacked her lip, desperate for wetness—other than the one rendering her panties damp.
She felt it dripping from her core, staining her underwear.
He was in the room next to her; she could tell. There was blood and his scent, and that was all she could focus on. Her heart thundered in her chest like a drum as her nostrils twitched.
He got closer. Too close.
Everything happened so fast—too fast for her to register it.
Before her next intake of air, something slammed her against the door, the forceful motion closing it shut at the same time.
The next time she blinked, there were hands on her—everywhere. Large hands palmed at her stomach and glided their way up until they cupped her breasts through the blue fabric of her uniform.
She held her breath, her head tilted back as she dared to open her eyes. There he was. In front of her, his imposing frame covered her much smaller one, his height causing him to tower over her. He trapped her.
Blue eyes darkened as he gazed down at her face.
The trail of his glance on her body lit up her skin, and suddenly even the air she breathed in was hot. She was breathing, but it suffocated her at the same time.
Like dying and living all at once.
His hands slammed on the door behind her, his arms forming a barrier on each side of her body, trapping her.
Her bottom lip quivered as she parted her mouth open, wanting to speak but unable to find her voice.
She had somewhat lost control and her inhibitions during her first heat—no one to explain to her what to expect, what would overcome her. She’d lost her virginity to another stray, her friend.
Her limited knowledge of her own kind led her to be grateful for her packless status, but sometimes it came with the sting that she knew nothing. Since then, she’d learned to control herself, to establish a safe environment.
Sometimes, the ache became too much—unbearable—and she’d give in to it.
It was an itch to scratch.
A passing need.
Her body was on fire.
The sole solution to quench her thirst was him. More of his ~touch~.
The thought of begging crossed her mind.
What the heck was wrong with me? Oh God.
She felt his nose pressed against the column of her throat, rendering her breathless.
Her shoulder-length black hair tickled her skin as his lips trailed along her neck, and she closed her eyes, inhaling deeply.
A musky, earthy scent—like a campfire in a chilly night—clung to him and made her insides clench.
She bit her lip, waiting on his next move. The flutter in her empty stomach grew when his mouth found her ear.
Nibble, sharp teeth grazed against her earlobe before he tugged at it.
A warm puff of air tickled her as he panted.
Rough callus fingers brushed away the dark strand of her hair sticking to her sticky, moist skin. They dove into her scalp.
This man hadn’t uttered a single word to her, and her legs were quivering.
His scent carried his dominance while there was an inexplicable pressure in her chest coming from his need for control.
She had been told about alphas, but she could have never imagined this was what it was like to be near one.
It shouldn’t be… She’d been told many things, but…
No one told her it was dizzying, no one told her one brush of a finger and she’d be soaking through her panties.
His skin was smooth beneath her touch—though she couldn’t even remember when she had gripped his broad shoulders.
Finally, he made a sound, his voice feeling like silk ricocheting along her flesh. “Do you belong to someone?”
He ushered his words—a stolen whisper.
Belong to someone? His question rattled her brain, and despite the heat pooling in her stomach, she found her voice. “M-myself.”
It would have had a powerful effect without the trembling in her voice. The fact that she mustered a verbal answer at all represented already a victory.
He chuckled—a sound dark, rich, and it sent a vibrating rumble through her body. That alone was enough to elicit a clench in her core.
There was always a pressure; find a pack, follow an alpha.
She never took that path—not after what happened to her. She made her own pack with two friends. There were loners, mismatch, but there wasn’t an alpha to look after them. They look after themselves. It was better that way.
No one to hurt you, no one to go on a rampage.
It left her with a few surprises. Like this one. She didn’t want an alpha; she certainly didn’t want to fuck one.
They took what they wanted, and they didn’t care about the damage they left behind.
They were greedy monsters. It wasn’t for her.
Yet, despite her resolve, her fingernails dug at his skin, her thighs squeezing together, begging for some relief.
“I’ll take that as a no.”
“I-I have to go.”
Gauzes. That was her task.
Now that she could string two thoughts together, she realized that in the commotion she had lost them. They were definitively not in the room.
Come on, Olivia. Think. Pull yourself together. It’s just an alpha. You know better.
He didn’t seem to care about her hesitance as his thumb brushed up against her bottom lip, dragging it downward. “Go then,” he challenged.
Great. That was exactly what she would do.
Except her body didn’t follow.
Her legs didn’t move.
She didn’t break the staring contest they had going on.
Olivia was a statue.
“Don’t seem so eager to leave,” he teased, his warm breath tickling her cheek.
She could hear it. The small voice inside of her, the one she so often ignored. It was the wolf inside of her, the one she pretended wasn’t there for many years. The one that pushed her to follow a path that wasn’t hers.
She was a human first and foremost.
Olivia didn’t care that the moon affected her body, that animal instincts drove her. She spent sixteen years as a human. She couldn’t throw that away.
Olivia had only been a wolf for six years—it didn’t compare. No. She wasn’t doing this—whatever it was. She didn’t know this man. She didn’t know who he was, his name—he was a stranger.
“I’m gonna kiss you.”
It wasn’t a question—it was an order.
Maybe a warning?
She didn’t move, she couldn’t. His voice was commanding, his words echoing through her like they were law. Was this the unbreakable control of the alpha?
That one she had heard so much about? He wasn’t her alpha. She hadn’t pledged herself to him; she hadn’t vowed to obey and protect. She didn’t even know his freaking name.
He’ll make you feel better. No, he won’t. It was fine.
She could take care of the growing urge herself. It didn’t matter that his hand squeezing at her hip was enough for her to want to moan. It didn’t. Really.
He did well on his word.
His lips crashed on hers, his mouth melting against hers. His fingers dug into her skin while his other hand dragged down the length of her spine until it found her rear.
Forceful fingers squeezed it, earning a gasp from her.
Now that her mouth opened, he took full advantage, his tongue invading, swirling with hers.
She had let the instincts win a few times, but it never seemed like this.
It resembled fireworks erupting in her chest, each of his touches making her wetter than the previous ministrations. The thought of more wasn’t even enough to keep her sane.
The part of her she kept locked inside was clawing to free itself. It would give him a better surrender than Olivia ever would.
It screamed in her head, telling her he could make it all go away; the emptiness, the need—the urge she wasn’t even aware existed. No.
He popped off her mouth, leaving her lips bruised and swollen by the time he pulled away.
There was something magnetic in his eyes, something that kept her looking even when she didn’t want to do so.
“Shouldn’t be out here when you smell like that,” he said, pressing his forehead to hers.
His eyes hypnotized her, and the words he spoke took a while to register. “Didn’t anyone teach you that?”
She knew males could smell a female in heat.
She understood that her omega blood made her a bigger prey and a more interesting target.
Olivia heard stories, different kinds of stories, about how packs treated omegas, and to be honest, she never wanted to be someone’s toy, baby machine, or good obedient little girl.
It didn’t matter which way he thought; Olivia wasn’t interested. She didn’t want his way of life; she didn’t want what he was, and she didn’t want to be his little distraction.
But if she knew all that, why wasn’t she fucking moving?
“No.” She heard him as he sniffed her neck, taking her scent in. “No alpha, huh?”
He lifted his hand and grasped her chin between his fingers. He tilted her head backward, forcing her to look at him from below.
“You don’t smell like you’ve got an alpha. Am I wrong?”
“I told you, I belong to myself.”
He laughed again. “That’s a lot of talk for a girl who hasn’t moved yet.”
He released his tight grip on her hip. His hand inched upward until it framed one of her breasts. “Maybe you wanna know.”
She held her breath, her chest caving in. “Know what?”
His lips hovered over hers, barely touching them.
His body moved forward, pressing against hers and allowing her to sense the full force of his own urges. “What it feels like when an alpha sinks into you.”
At his words, she bit her bottom lip, teeth breaking the feeble membrane.
The taste of blood filled her mouth, but she ignored it, his promise echoing in her mind. As his thumb flickered over her covered nipple, she knew his words were not full of fake promises; she could feel it inside of her.
If she let him, if she dropped her guard for a second, he’d take her. She’d be naked on that floor, her clothes discarded, and he’d be inside of her before she could blink. And then she would feel better.
She wouldn’t feel like she was dying, she wouldn’t feel like part of her was missing.
Was it supposed to be like this?
“I’ve never had an omega before.”
Her heart stopped.
“They say alphas lose control when an omega’s in heat.”
“All they can think about is a taste of that sweet little nectar.”
His eyes were half-lidded as if he were drunk, but she knew damn well he wasn’t.
She tasted his mouth enough to know there was not a trace of alcohol in him.
She kind of wished she were drunk right now. Then maybe she could handle this. The human wanted to leave. The wolf wanted to get wrecked.
Her own heart constantly tore her in half.
“Are you gonna let me taste you?”
No. But the wrong word came out. “Yes.” Her cheeks flustered, the heat spreading through her face.
Before she could take the word back, he chortled.
Fingers hooked in the waistband of her pants and she felt the cold air wrap around her rear.
She felt light as a feather when he lifted her from the ground, wrapping her legs around him.
His hardness pressed into her aching, wet core, forcing her to shiver. She could tilt her hips, grind into him.
If she let go, if she released the control, it wouldn’t hurt anymore. He’d satisfy her craving. It’d make it so it didn’t hurt so damn much.
One tear streamed down her face and she couldn’t tell if it was from her frustration or from fighting against this. It didn’t matter.
His warm tongue touched her face, licking away the tear.
She arched her back, leaning into him.
He palmed at her breast through the fabric; her nipples hardened. He could ravage her.
Did she want him to, or did ~it~ want this?
The sound of metal clinging as his fingers fumbled with his belt buckle brought her back.
His momentary distraction allowed her to drop back to the ground, and she knew the seconds were ticking.
His bare chest was right in her face, causing her to notice his injury for the first time.
He had a deep wound beneath his ribs. The blood had dried. Stitches maybe. Why was she thinking about this now?
“You wanna do it?” he offered as his fingers let go of his belt.
No, she didn’t want to do any of this.
She was at the right level. No. No. Get out of my head. She wanted to scream at herself, but she couldn’t.
For the first time, he wasn’t touching her. Finally, the haze in her mind was clear enough for her to think.
Yet she stood there, waiting for him to move, waiting for him to proceed with fucking her senseless.
Fucking her until her voice was raw. Fucking her until her legs gave up. None of this was helping.
None of this was her fighting this heat. Because she wasn’t a goddamn animal and she sure as fuck wasn’t anyone’s toy.
It was the only part she could think of now that the fog in her mind had vanished momentarily.
She used whatever strength she had left to put her hands on his sweaty, glistening pectorals and pushed him away.
He toppled ever so slightly, but it was enough to create greater space between their bodies.
She bent over, her head swirling, and she gathered her bunched-up pants and slipped them on as gracefully as she could muster.
The next step was wrapping her trembling fingers around the metal door handle.
Olivia didn’t look back at him; she didn’t breathe. Not until she was on the other side of that door.
Her scent was strong; he was against the door. But he wasn’t coming out.
A quiver rattled her stomach while a prickling sensation traveled down her spine. She had known heat before—this wasn’t it. She tried to loosen her shoulders, standing straighter, but she couldn’t unfold her body.
Every drum of her heart echoed in her head, and her senses were on high alert. She covered the bottom half of her face with her hand, tears stinging at her eyes, her own emotions overwhelming her.
There was a hand on her shoulder, this time a much more delicate touch, but her body reacted violently regardless. She jumped out of her skin.
She zoned back into the world surrounding her, taking in the blonde ponytail swaying with each tilt of her friend’s head.
“Liv, you okay?”
She cleared her throat. “Yeah, erm—I-I’m fine.”
Minus the clenching in her belly or the wobbly legs. Minus her entire brain feeling out of whack, her body hating her for running away.
Her heart was aching, her chest was rumbling, and there was a sadness lodged deep inside of her, clawing its way out.
No feelings. No emotions. No need.
She needed a deep breath, and it would all be over.
Olivia was fine.
The sweat was still dripping down the nape of her neck, making the collar of her shirt clutch to her skin.
She stared at her colleague, who had a frown on her face, one eyebrow arched. Could Katie tell? Probably. Did she care? No.
She was too far gone. Her mind remained stuck in that room with the alpha.
Go back. Go back.
But she wouldn’t listen to the voice screaming at her.
She smoothened her wet hair, palming at it with her shaking hand.
“I’ll be right back.”
In the background, she heard Katie ask more questions, but she pushed her voice in the back of her mind. She picked up the pace and by the time she reached the end of the hallway, she was running.
Her blood was pumping; her heart inflicted pain with each strenuous beat it took.
There was the ghost of his hands on her, the memory of his mouth on her skin, and the craving left behind in her core.
Never had she lost control like this. Never.
What the fuck happened?
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