RomanceScience Fiction & Fantasy

Beyond the Pack

Vanessa Hawk

Rubina constantly struggles to live up to her mother’s expectations. Despite trying her hardest to make her mother proud, she always messes things up. One day, the omega’s pack is expecting a special guest. Her mother urges her to act like a lady, and Rubina ends up making one of the biggest mistakes in her life: she stares down an alpha! But could the huge mistake actually change her life for the better?

Age Rating: 18+

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Beyond the Pack - Book cover
RomanceScience Fiction & Fantasy

Beyond the Pack

Vanessa Hawk

Rubina constantly struggles to live up to her mother’s expectations. Despite trying her hardest to make her mother proud, she always messes things up. One day, the omega’s pack is expecting a special guest. Her mother urges her to act like a lady, and Rubina ends up making one of the biggest mistakes in her life: she stares down an alpha! But could the huge mistake actually change her life for the better?

Age Rating: 18+

1: The Guest

RUBINA

Water soaked through my shoes as I ran.

I could feel my feet squishing into the soles whenever they hit the ground.

The splash hit my stockings and the bottom of my soft blue flower-patterned dress.

My breath was steaming in the frigid weather, my reddish-brown hair sticking to my face and neck.

It wasn’t supposed to rain until later in the evening, so I hadn’t thought to bring an umbrella with me to work.

I decided to take the short way home.

Even though it would be muddy, I figured it was a bit better than continuing to freeze from the cold wind and rain.

The wooded area was private land for us, so I never had to worry about strangers when I walked through.

It took me across town back to the pack house, instead of having to walk all the way around on the human-filled roads.

I didn’t hate humans—in fact, I adored them.

I worked for an older couple in their diner three days a week serving. It was one thing I was good at.

I loved spending time with average people from the town, getting to know them.

I questioned why we were always told to keep a distance. I hated Demure’s rules and regulations.

I didn’t understand why we had them.

Luckily, there wasn’t much for a nineteen-year-old to do in Witchoken.

It was a town of maybe two thousand people.

Since we didn’t live near Seattle, or any city in the state, our alpha would sometimes allow us to take jobs with humans.

He said it was about learning people skills, but I had a feeling it was to show us how different we are from them.

How in many ways, their simple lives are good, sweet, and enough.

That’s what Demure was all about.

Everyone was raised to be humble, quiet, and submissive to elders and the alpha.

We girls had to dress as proper ladies, meaning no pants of any kind, and skirts and dresses never going an inch above our knees.

A lot of us made our own clothes—it was easier that way.

I knew my mother would be furious at how dirty my dress and shoes had gotten; she always took such care in our appearance even though they—we—were omegas.

As I was nearing the other side of the woods, my foot came right out of my shoe.

Losing my balance, I fell face-first into a huge mud puddle.

I immediately jumped up, not just because the mud was partially frozen, which made me cold, but to keep my clothes as clean as possible, which I was doing a terrible job at.

I wobbled back to my shoe and picked it up.

I was dead meat.

My shoe was encased in mud, and it was white. Was white.

I just turned and started walking again.

I didn’t care anymore that I had only one shoe on, or that it was cold.

I wanted to get home to wash and warm up.

My mom loved making apple cider, so I knew I could count on that to warm me after having been thrown into an ice bath.

I could see the lights from the windows and back door of the pack house.

It was only three in the afternoon, but it was already getting dark.

Sometimes I forgot how bland and plain everything was here.

Demure was an example to the community that simple living was the best living.

At least, that’s what Alpha Samuel and my parents would always say.

The back stairs where made of masonry brick that you would usually see houses built with.

Our pack house was grey stucco, which I never quite understood.

Simple plain living, I suppose.

I slid my hand into my jacket pocket to grab my key, only there was no key to grab.

“Shit,” I muttered to myself. It must have fallen when I had.

I peered into one of the windows next to the door and saw my mom preparing dinner for the pack.

She was looked down upon, as all omegas are, but she was a damn good cook, and no one could ever say differently.

As I stood there watching, feeling proud of her being my mother, I didn’t even notice the back door open.

“Rubina…”

A low growl came from my right. I slowly turned my head and put on the best smile I had in my arsenal.

“Hey, Dad,” I said softly, “I was just—”

He cut me off faster than a bullet.

“Inside. Now.”

His voice was stern. He stepped out a bit and held the door for me to walk in.

I slunk past him, keeping my head down.

Respect was huge in Demure, especially for your parents.

I walked into the large yet simple kitchen, my feet still freezing on the concrete floor.

Our pack house loved concrete. It was everywhere.

Concrete countertops in the kitchen and all bathrooms, concrete flooring throughout the house, and concrete people.

Bland and boring as ever.

I let my muddy shoe fall from my hand next to the huge island and took my coat off and hung it over one of the barstools.

“Rubina Holtz,” my mother said as she slammed the knife down on the side of the huge oak cutting board.

I jumped slightly, making sure to look at the floor, not wanting to be disrespectful.

She turned toward me and took a few steps before stopping a foot or two away.

“Look at me.”

Her words were soft, but I knew I was in trouble.

I raised my head slowly and looked at her.

“Mom, I can explain. I got stuck in this damn rain and didn’t have an umbrella, so I got wet and then my shoe got stuck in mud…”

I rambled on, coming to a slow stop.

The air felt denser and heavier than it had before.

A shiver ran up my spine, causing me to twitch to get out the tingly feeling.

“Rubina, I told you to make sure you were dressed in an appropriate manner for tonight’s dinner before you left, did I not?”

Her hands moved to her hips, and she tapped her foot.

“Yeah, but—”

“Yeah?” she said as she stepped closer.

“Yes, ma’am. You did. I should have been more careful and brought an umbrella to be safe. And stayed on the roads so as to not dirty my outfit.”

I spoke in a regretful tone.

“I got lazy and did not want to walk around town. I took the easy way and I understand and expect to be punished for it.”

I let out a small cough—the cold having gotten to my lungs as I ran.

“You will do well to remember to be ladylike, clean, and proper in the future. Sometimes you are so lazy that you hurt yourself in the long run. You are no longer a child, Rubina. You are a full wolf, and you must learn to follow directions. Punishment will be harsher now.”

She let out a heavy sigh before putting a hand on my shoulder.

“I love you, sweetie. I want what’s best for you. You have so much to prove to this pack, more than most. I need you to be the best you can be. Hm? Now, go on to your room and get a shower and change into something nice. Guests will be arriving and we are to take care of them.”

She patted me on the arm before turning back to her green and red bell peppers.

“Yes, mother,” I said, grabbing my shoe and walking toward the back staircase.

“And don’t leave your muddy clothes in the bathroom. Put them in the hamper so I can wash them tonight.”

She waved the knife above her head.

“I know, mother. I will.”

I try to be obedient. I try to be calm and quiet, humble and simple. I do.

But deep down I want to scream.

I hate being a lowly omega who can’t have a voice…not that anyone in this pack really has one, but I want to share my opinions, my thoughts.

I want to be myself.

To be heard.

The hot steam from the shower helped calm me down.

I knew Demure was my home, and as much as I felt suffocated, I would most likely end up living there for the rest of my life.

Omegas rarely found mates in other packs, and even if they did, they were often rejected due to their status.

The hot water feels great against my skin, burning but warming my core to the bone.

I needed this.

It was the only place I could think.

The only place warm, safe, and with freedom to be me.

I slowly ran my hand along my small breasts, then down to my sex.

I wasn’t some girl who didn’t want sex. I wanted it. I dreamed about it.

I began to slowly rub my clit, applying the slightest pressure, building my orgasm.

I took a nipple in between my fingers with my other hand and pulled, squeezing softly, letting out a slight moan as I did.

I increased the pressure and speed as my juices began washing away with the water down the inside of my thighs.

I knew I was doing something wrong according to pack rules.

Demure had a no-sex-no-masturbation-no-anything policy unless you were mated.

I ignored at least one rule weekly. I didn’t care. I wanted to feel intoxicated.

“Rubina!” my mom yelled from the other side of the door.

“Yes, mother?” I said, pulling my hands from my sweet spots.

“I set a dress on your bed for you to wear along with a sweater to go over the top. You have until 6:30 to get ready to present yourself. Knowing you—start now.”

I heard the soft noise of her feet retreating and my bedroom door closing.

Even people as lowly as us had showers in their own rooms.

That was standard for Demure.

Be simple, they said, let’s have every room in the damn pack house have its own bathroom.

That makes total sense.

I turned the water off and reached for the hook which held my towel—gray, of course.

I dried off, wrapping it tightly around me.

As I stepped out of the shower, I felt a sudden stabbing sensation in my chest.

It quickly went away.

I chalked it up to it boiling myself after being a popsicle.

I grabbed the vanilla-scented lotion off my dresser and began lathering it on.

It was the only scent I could use as an omega. I never really liked it, but it wasn’t terrible, so I used it to keep my mom happy.

Like I did with almost everything else in my life.

I picked up the navy-colored A-line dress my mom had mentioned and held it up to my body.

As I looked in the mirror, I realized it had long sleeves.

“And I’m supposed to wear this black knitted sweater over it? I am going to die of heat exhaustion,” I said, throwing it back on my bed.

I grabbed a pair of black bikini panties and a black bra.

I wasn’t impressing anyone. Comfort was my concern.

I blew my hair dry and put a light oil in it to help with the frizz.

As straight as my hair was, the frizz would be apparent.

I kept it down to my shoulders.

I liked my hair this way. Styling it up was too much work.

I slipped the dress on and pulled it up, pushing each arm through a slightly puffed shoulder to the narrow length of the sleeve.

It wasn’t ugly. Actually, it was kind of pretty.

I put on some music to help motivate me to finish getting ready, but that was never how it worked out.

I ended up lying on the bed, reading a new book I had picked up at the library.

By the time I realized the time, it was 6:20.

Ten minutes to be downstairs, greeting and serve the guests!

Shit.

I grabbed a pair of light-skin-toned hosiery and yanked them on as fast as I could.

Shoes next. Black flats. I was five-foot-six, so heels were never my thing.

Well, they weren’t Demure’s thing either.

Two facts I knew about this dinner:

One, I had to be professional and proper.

Two, I was going to be stared at for not doing my hair or even attempting to put on foundation to cover my freckles.

I pulled the loose-knit sweater over my head and ran down to the kitchen.

As I turned the corner to the hall, I plowed straight into someone’s back.

I shut my eyes out of surprise, then opened them.

A man’s broad back, clearly muscular under his black dress shirt.

He smelled like sandalwood and pinecones.

It was the most amazing, mouthwatering scent I’d ever encountered in my life.

It made my heart pound in my chest and my knees weaken, and there was a warm sensation in between my legs.

I couldn’t help but take another deep breath in; it was like some form of drug to my brain.

I pushed these thoughts aside as quickly as I could.

From his colorless clothing I could tell I had bumped into one of the guests.

I stepped back and put my head down.

“I am sorry. Please excuse my incompetence. I did not mean to be so rude.”

“And yet here we are,” a soft, husky voice said.

“I deeply apologize. I meant no disrespect by it.”

I lowered my head further, showing my submissiveness, then tilted it to the side, exposing my neck.

He leaned down, his breath hitting my neck, only making the warmth between my legs grow.

“Are you offering yourself to me as a penance for your crime?”

“If you wish to kill me, sir, I will accept it. You are a guest here, and I am but an omega who is to serve you. If you wish to rip my throat out, I can only oblige.”

I tried to sound calm and collected, but what if he really did want me dead?

This man’s aura, his scent, his presence, was unlike anything I had felt in my life.

It scared me.

“What if I wish to do something else? Something I know your body would enjoy…?”

He licked my earlobe and ran his tongue down my neck slowly.

“Something I know you will never get here.”

He grabbed my neck and held me still. He was rough; his hands felt coarse.

“I…I…”

I couldn’t speak. My body shuddered at his touch.

An unconscious moan left my mouth as he nibbled at the nape of my neck.

I don’t know if my heart can take much more of this.

I swallowed hard before taking a huge breath.

I grabbed his wrist and stepped back.

I might be an omega, but I’m not easy. This is too much.

I looked up at him, mistakenly staring into his eyes—cold and unyielding as ice.

I felt my heart fall to my stomach.

My cheeks turned red as I looked away.

My breath became heavier.

“I’m sorry—I wasn’t thinking, I—”

“My mate,” he said in a monotone, his eyes looking me over.

“You, little omega, are my mate.”

There was a slight curl in his lips, a smirk that I could not understand.

Who would be happy to be an omega’s mate?

“Alpha Xanthus,” I heard my mother say, “whatever she has done, please forgive her. She is still young and immature.”

She knelt, folding her hands over herself, pleading to him.

“Do get up. No need to kneel.” He chuckled, standing straight and tall. “My mate and I were just getting acquainted.”

“Your what?” my mother said in disbelief.

“My mate,” he said loudly, slowly, for emphasis. “The woman who will soon become Luna to my pack.”

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