Knot for Me by Rory Miles

ChapterOne

REAGAN

There are moments in life when you’re at the mercy of the world and, no matter how much you want to scream and fight, you can’t change what’s about to happen. Tonight is one of those moments.

I look at myself in the mirror, frowning at the heavy eyeliner around my blue eyes, lipstick, and contouring. Big, soft curls in my brunette hair. Normally, I love getting dressed up, but not today. The dressing room is filled to the brim with this month’s batch of omegas. We’re all wearing the exact same white dress—as required—and it makes my stomach turn. All of this is for the alphas.

“Ten minutes until curtain!” A woman with a headset scans the lot of us before glancing at her clipboard and rushing away.

She sure is in a hurry for someone who does this on a monthly basis. Each month brings a new batch of omegas who are turning twenty-one. You’d think she’d be used to things by now.

The woman next to me wrings her hands. “I’m so nervous. Are you?” She glances at me in the mirror while she adjusts her false eyelashes. “I hope I get a good assignment.”

My frown deepens. “Yeah,” I say, glaring at myself in the mirror.

“My birthday is in two weeks. I’m already feeling grumpy.” The big smile she gives me doesn’t seem grumpy at all.

“Mine is in three,” I say, trying and failing to stop scowling. An omega’s twenty-first birthday marks their first heat. We’re all here to be assigned to packs before that happens.

“Maybe I’ll get placed with a royal family. Can you imagine? All that money. My kids would be so fortunate.” She clutches her chest and gazes off, lost in her fantasy.

Fuck. That.

Despite what the Omega Council wants us all to think, being an omega isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Sure, omegas have it good. Most are treated like princesses. They’re treasured, cherished, and held in the highest regard by their pack. Most omegas dream of finding a home within a pack where they can make a nest, get fucked stupid, and have babies. That maternal instinct is a big part of being an omega.

Then there’s me. I don’t know what the fates were thinking when they made me an omega, but being a breeder is completely out of the question. I don’t even like kids; they smell and cry and throw up. The simple fact is I don’t want to be a mom. I don’t want to birth dozens of babies like most packs expect. I don’t want to be a good omega.

At the end of the day, once you strip away all those fancy cars, pretty clothes, and diamonds, an omega is only a glorified cum dumpster.

Okay, a bit crude. But still true. We get mated, knotted up, and filled with seed. Omegas aren’t people so much as machines. Knot-taking-baby-making machines.

“Any minute now,” another omega whispers, primping her hair. “I can smell them out there.” Her eyes widen with excitement, and the other omegas release squeals.

A bunch of freaking Stepford omegas. Programmed to beep-boop-sex-boop-here’s your baby-boop. The alpha pheromones are so strong tonight that my throat constricts. The alphas are excited to claim their omega. These women are excited for their first heats.

I clench the side of my chair and grind my jaw. I have to get out of here. Today is a day I’ve dreaded since I hit puberty and the first whiff of omega pheromone was noticed by my mom. Not two days later, I was registered with the Omega Council, tracked, and monitored until I was ready to be assigned at the Compatibility Ceremony.

“I can’t wait to be knotted for the first time,” I hear an omega say, voice breathy and exhilarated.

I’m even more out of place with these women when I don’t join in the chorus of agreement she receives. Omega desire fills the room, and I swallow a few times, breathing through my teeth to keep from sucking in too much of their scents.

My pheromones have yet to hit their full intensity since I haven’t gone through my first heat, but it’s coming. It’s only three weeks away. Every night that passes, I feel a quiver in my stomach, a lusting that’s hard to deny. About a month ago, the Omega Council sent me a pretty little envelope requesting—read as demanding—I log on to their website and take my compatibility test.

A lame set of ninety questions meant to determine which pack I’m best fit for.

In about five minutes, I’ll be paraded out on stage and they’ll put on a show for the alpha-filled audience. My matched pack will be named, and I’ll be mated. My entire body revolts at the thought. I jump out of my chair, startling the woman next to me.

I can control what happens. I don’t have to go through with this.

“Are you okay?” she asks, face lining with worry.

No. No I’m not fine, and you should be freaking out too! They’re going to give you to a pack, and you have no say. What if you hate them?I don’t say any of that, though. I learned a long time ago that other omegas won’t listen to reason. They’ve been brainwashed to think this is the dream. This is normal. This is the only way.

I’m the crazy one for questioning things.

“I’m fine,” I say instead before turning and making a run for it.

“Where are you going?” another asks, stepping out of my way to avoid being run over.

I ignore her and burst into the hallway, thankful none of the production crew is in sight. With quick steps, I head to the exit. If I leave, they’ll only bring me back next month for the next round of assignments, but that’s at least thirty days of freedom.

A door opens directly in front of me, and a guy walks out. We crash into each other and his scent wraps around me.

A beta.

A plan forms in my head. It’s probably the worst idea I’ve ever had, but being assigned is worse than the consequences of what I’m about to do.

“Sorry,” he says, glancing over my tight white dress, gaze lingering on my legs.

Men. So fucking typical but so fucking fortunate.

“Come here,” I say, grabbing his shirt and opening a door on the opposite side of the hall. A supply closet. Not ideal, but good enough.

“What—”

“Shut up and take your clothes off.” I tug us inside the small room and hike the skirt of my dress up, yanking off my thong.

His face fills with shock. “Jesus, you’re serious?”

“Dead serious. Are you going to fuck me, or do I have to do it myself?”

Omegas aren’t meant to be mouthy. You sit down, shut up, and do as you’re told.

I shove that nasty memory aside and grab his pants. He helps me get him out of them, dick already hard by the time we finish. Without much preparation, he drives into me.

“Fuck, you’re so tight. What’s your name?”

“Shh,” I say, squeezing my own tits to try and get myself going.

“I’m. Teddy,” he says between thrusts.

Like I fucking care.

He pounds into me like I’m his own personal punching bag and his cock is his fist. The more he drives into me, the more my body starts to awaken, my inner wanton side ready to play now. Teddy will never get an omega mate. Betas aren’t allowed to mate omegas. He’s not even that good looking compared to alphas, but for now, I can mildly enjoy having sex with him. He’ll never give me what I need, though. My body is primed and ready for a knot, or three, or fifty. Joking… fifty is unheard of. Knowing my birth control will prevent any of the tiny little beta sperm from sneaking inside of one of my eggs and impregnating me is an added bonus to the horrible decision I’m making.

Teddy is a means to an end.

My end.

He doesn’t know I’m on birth control, he didn’t ask. I can have babies with betas, but any alphas I give birth to would be considered mixed breed. Low pack. Not royal. Royal alphas only come from purebred alpha lines. He’d probably love to have one though. I don’t care what Teddy thinks he’s getting out of this encounter.

All that matters is that, despite the lack of a knot, I’m on the verge of coming. I slip my hand between our bodies and rub my clit, giving myself exactly what I need and what Teddy fails to deliver. Stimulation.

As an omega, I could have sex all day and night, but without an alpha and proper assistance, I’ll be raw.

Maybe I should become a nun. Though if I did join up, I wouldn’t be able to come— “Oh fuck, yes. Yes. Jesus, Teddy.”

A bit dramatic, considering I’m the one who got me there, but the point is to make a scene. A very loud, messy scene. There’s no other way I’m getting out of this stupid Compatibility Ceremony.

Teddy grunts in time with my moans as he pounds into me hard enough to slam my back into the wall over and over again. “Oh fuck, I’m gonna come,” Teddy says.

I chuckle and dig my nails into his shoulders. “Harder.”

And boy does he listen. I press down hard on my clit, hoping to get another one in while he goes to pound town, moving with determined strokes. A minute later, we’re both shouting with our releases. Our screams are cut short when the supply closet door is ripped open. The sounds cutting out like a needle being pulled off a record. Silence spreads between us. Our bodies are still joined as we turn to take in Camila, the head of the Omega Council and the bitch responsible for the Compatibility Ceremony.

Well, technically, it was the Royal Council’s idea, but she manages and operates the event.

Her eyes lock on mine, thunder raging in them. I pretend to cringe away from her ire even though inside I’m cackling. Fine by me. I don’t want to be matched. This whole Compatibility Ceremony is a bunch of bullshit. Take a little test. Fill out your likes and dislikes and we’ll find you your perfect pack. Ha. What a racket. You can’t find me a perfect pack based on whether or not I like my toast extra toasty or hardly toasted at all.

For the record, I like it extra toasty. What kind of monster eats squishy toast?

The compatibility test hasn’t changed since the early 1900s. I’m pretty sure that no pack is going to accept an omega who doesn’t want to have a baby. Did they ask if I wanted to have babies in the compatibility test? No, of course they didn’t. They expect me to want that. They expect me to be like every other mindlessly obedient omega. They don’t give a damn what I want. All they give a damn about is procreation. And I’m sorry, but I am firmly anti-procreation because I’m an asshole. Hell, I’m no creation.

When Camila’s mouth drops open and an outraged snarl tears from her mouth, I simply shrug and twinkle my fingers in hello. I’m in trouble now.

Omegas are meant to listen, bitch.

I fight off a growl at the unwelcome memory. I’ve met a few eligible alphas over the years, and they’re all the same. Condescending, cocky, and they expect nothing but full obedience. My fathers aren’t like that, but every other one I’ve met aside from my baby brother has been a total douche. Even my two older brothers—both alphas—treated me like nothing more than someone meant to obey them.

Teddy suddenly snaps out of whatever dumb shock he was in and pulls away from me. Cum drips down my legs. I’m slower to make myself decent because I need to clean up. Reaching for a roll of new paper towels, I rip off the wrapping and grab a few to clean the mess Teddy left behind then pull down my dress and slip my thong back on.

“What are you doing?” Camila asks once my ass is covered.

Most people would be ashamed right about now. I’m relieved. It would have sucked to go through all that with Teddy and not have gotten caught.

“Just having a little fun,” I say.

She growls, her scent brimming with annoyance. The other thing about omegas? When we get mad, we get really mad. Everyone thinks that alphas are the ones that can’t control their emotions, but really, it’s the omegas. Think about a woman so hopped up on estrogen that all she can think about nearly all day long is sex and chocolate. Imagine said woman not getting what her body thinks she needs.

Boom. Rage Central.

Camila’s growl draws out one of my own because I am an omega too. I snarl and she stabs her finger at me, shutting me up.

“You’re done. Are you really so stupid? You were supposed to be matched today. But now you’re spoiled.”

Spoiled simply because I had sex with somebody else other than my destined pack? Is it really destiny if a compatibility test determines who I’m supposed to go with? I don’t think so. Besides, I know other omegas who have sex before bonding. I don’t know why she’s so mad… they do keep it hush hush though. I basically screamed I’m not a virgin with my little act.

“Well then, I guess I’ll have to find a different job,” I say with a light laugh. “I’m really great at organizing files. Maybe I could work as a secretary for the Omega Council.”

Camila doesn’t laugh. I didn’t expect her to. But in all honesty, if I’m spoiled, where am I supposed to go? If I don’t go to my destined pack, I’ll have to find a new place to work and make money. Omegas without mates don’t get a free ride once they hit their heat. Those omegas who don’t get assigned to a pack—per destiny’s handy dandy compatibility quiz—have to work just as hard as anyone else, which means I’m in desperate need of a job because I’ve definitely fucked up my guaranteed source of income.

Almost everyone lives within a pack, but there are some people who don’t—the packless. There aren’t many of them, but they do exist, and they lead lonely, boring lives. Looks like I’ll be one of those people. If that gets me out of making babies and being a puppet for a bunch of alphas, I call it a win.

Will I miss the safety that comes with knowing I have a pack?

Maybe. But I’ll deal with that when the time comes. I’ll find new friends and family with the other packless.

“You’re just like your mother. Reckless and stupid.”

“Don’t bring my mother into this,” I snarl, ready to pounce on her if she says another word.

She eyes me with disdain, the same look she’s given me since my mother brought me in to be registered. Camila hates my mom. The little bit of malicious glee in her gaze makes me wonder if I’ve gone too far. She’ll enjoy punishing me.

After a moment, Camila says, “You’re not going to work as a secretary, you are going to the auctions.”

A stone drops in the pit of my stomach. What have I done? I thought spoiling myself would save me from being assigned to a pack. I didn’t think Camila would hate me so much she’d do this. I didn’t think the punishment would be so bad. I didn’t think. That’s the fucking problem. I should have known better. That woman despises me. The Omega Auctions are degrading and possibly worse than being assigned with a pack via the Compatibility Ceremony. My stomach quivers at the thought of alphas bidding over me, beasts ready to sink their claws into my skin and make me obey.

I was prepared to lose everything. I wasn’t prepared to be sold off like some old man’s art after he dies. The betrayal crashes into me with the force of a semi-truck. I stumble back into the wall and shake my head.

“The auctions?”

She chuckles. “What, you thought this would get you out of pack life? No, you’ll still be with a pack. But I’m betting whoever buys you won’t make you their omega. You’ll be their chew toy. And when they’re finished with you, you’ll have to watch as those alphas take a proper omega. Someone worthy of a mate bite. Your instincts will be driven mad every single day while they court and woo her. And you’ll be helpless to stop it.”

I scoff and curl my fingers into fists. “This is outrageous. Get somebody else to go to the auctions. Nobody wants me now, you said it yourself. I don’t want to be taken. Why is this a problem?”

Let me go,I plead with my eyes, but I don’t dare beg. I have too much pride for that.

Camila simply lifts an eyebrow, unimpressed by my fit. “Reagan, you’re going to have to learn to fall in line. If you don’t do what you’re supposed to do for your pack, you’ll be shunned.”

The packless live within our society, but they’re not aligned with anyone. They do the grunt work and are mostly left alone. The shunned are forced out of society and made to live off the land. Basically, they’re forced to be homeless and not allowed anywhere near towns or cities. They put trackers inside of the shunned so that if they come too close, they can be killed on sight. Again, I knew being shunned was a possibility, but I didn’t think she’d resort to threatening me with that.

That was naive of me.

Camila turns on her heel and storms away from the supply closet. She snaps her fingers, and two beefy betas—men who have been assigned to do security for the Compatibility Ceremony—reach into the closet and wrap their hands around my arms to drag me out. Teddy simply lets it happen, standing there with a stupid shocked expression on his face. I go kicking and screaming, cursing Camila to the moon and back.

“Fucking cunt,” I rage, but aside from the bunching of her shoulders, she ignores me. “You can’t do this. I won’t go.”

Stopping mid stride, she looks over her shoulder. “Tell your mother I said hello.” She struts to her office which is just down the hall and snaps the door shut.

I’m being taken to the auctions.

Camila is a bitch.

I’m an idiot for thinking I could get out of this unscathed.

My eyes connect with a man leaning against the wall. His blue eyes are as turbulent as the ocean. My gaze quickly flicks down his body because I’m an omega. We’re always sizing them up. Always seeking the perfect fit… and damn. He’s perfect. Alpha energy oozes off of him. He’d be ideal for what my body needs and wants.

Enough of the ogling, more of the escaping.

I try to make a run for it, but one of the betas catches me around the waist. I slap at his arms, but he’s way stronger than I am.

“Teddy, you fucking worthless piece of shit, help me,” I shout at him.

Silence. He won’t even come to help me after we had sex? I gave him a goddamn orgasm and he can’t even say anything?

“Let me go,” I yell at the beta holding me.

“She’s feisty,” the one not holding me says.

“She can walk,” I say, planting my feet and forcing the beta to let me stand. “I’ll go willingly, but I’ll be damned if you carry me out of here.” I glare at him. He considers me for a moment, finally nodding in agreement and grabbing my hand.

“Let’s do this the easy way,” the beta says.

“Good luck,” the alpha down the hall mutters.

Glancing over my shoulder, I sear him with a look. “Fuck you!”

His lips twitch. The betas continue to drag me down the hall. I swear as we round the corner I hear that alpha bastard chuckle. The sound bounces around my head and taunts me.