A Zeta's Mate
- 7.2K words
Nola’s living the high life as a Zeta, a new, rare species with just the right amount of Alpha and Omega essence. All of the tenacity of an Alpha with none of the Omega heats. Rooming with an Omega, graduation on the horizon, and every chemistry lab begging to take her on, Nola couldn't have been in a better place. There’s just a few problems. The day before a legendary lockdown field trip to one of the most prestigious labs on the East Coast she’s somehow on the cusp of a heat. Oh, and she’s found her mate. Well, TWO. *No Shifting Omegaverse Novel*
**This story is set in the Omegaverse with a few differences. There is NO SHIFTING and NO MPREG.
Zetas are a new thing (details revealed as the story unfolds)
Alphas, Betas, Omegas, and Zetas are referred to as beings rather than humans.
A/B/O + Z dynamics are slightly different in this story than in the established Omegaverse. Details will be revealed as the story unfolds.**
I was itchy. Which was semi-normal at this time of the month. As a Zeta, I didn’t get heats like Omegas did, but around the same time every month, I still got super irritable. Or as my Omega roommate, Ravana, liked to tell me – insufferable, especially when it coincided with my period. Then I was just an outright bitch. These Zeta times of the month were the only downside to my designation.
Well, that, and the fact that I had apparently let down my parents because I had refused to mate with my ‘betrothed’ Alpha to carry on the family legacy. It was an age-old tradition that somehow never seemed to die out, even with the Omega Rights Committee. I had no desire to play into their plans for my life, especially after presenting as Zeta, much to everyone’s surprise. My entire family was chock-full of Omegas. It was only natural that I presented as an Omega and then married off to an Alpha of my mother’s choosing.
I was a disgrace. Especially since Zetas found nearly everyone’s scent repulsive. Mating with anyone other than a Zeta was unheard of. Constantly being bombarded with scents, emotions, and the stink floating through the air made it nearly impossible to mate at all.
I had only recently gotten used to Ravana’s scent, and I’d been rooming with the girl for the better part of three years. Everyone said she smelled like flowers and honey. To me? It was just above palatable. Trying to think of what it would have been like to settle down with an Alpha, my Alpha, and create a family made my stomach churn. Not being able to go to school, get a job, and live my life freely because of those pesky rules within a marriage where the Alpha reigned supreme? That just wasn’t an option. I shoved the thought from my mind and snuggled farther into the large, colorful pillows on my bed.
The pink and yellow fluffy decorations were far from my favorite, but Ravana had a knack for sprucing up the apartment against my wishes. And really, who was I to stop the Omega? It was an Omega’s biological need to nurture and nest. I didn’t really care either way, so long as Ravana didn’t try to start dressing me. Not that she had tried. Yet.
I debated shedding the last layer of my clothing, heat coursing through my limbs like molten fire. Ditching the bra and panties might not do much, but at least it’d be less restrictive. Then again, Ravana and I weren’t really close enough for me to be lying in my dorm room butt-ass naked.
A shocking wave of pain washed over me as I curled into a tighter ball on my mattress. This month felt different – worse and better at the same time. Like a gut-wrenching thought that I wasn’t as Zeta as I had been led to believe. There were reports of Zetas finding out that they weren’t Zetas at all, just defective Alphas or Omegas. I shook my head, tears welling up in my eyes. I can’t be an Omega.
Being an Omega meant that once my mother found out, I’d be dragged back home and forced to marry my betrothed. The only reason I had made it to college was that my parents couldn’t legally force marriage upon a Zeta. It was my only saving grace. Returning to that prison would be torture.
Another wave of pain tore through my gut, leaving me panting and out of breath. I shut my eyes, grasping at the blankets beneath my fingers, hoping to distract myself from the constant throbbing through my body. I tried to hold onto the fact that at the very least, slick wasn’t running down my legs, the undying need to be knotted by some random Alpha. At least there was that.
Ravana popped her blonde head into my room, dark eyes roaming my withered form. She never knocked, which was a constant strain on the relationship, but I was in too much pain to start that conversation. I shot Ravana a feeble look through glassy eyes, the Omega’s brown eyes sparkling before filling with concern. “TOM’s here already?” I grimaced at Ravana’s nickname for my time of the month. “You weren’t scheduled for another week or so. I mean… the doc said stress could mess things up, but this seems-”
I clenched my jaw, grinding my teeth together, but couldn’t stop the moan that escaped my lips. God, this was definitely worse than last month.
Ravana continued, “Excessive. Oh… my… god.”
I loved my roommate, but sometimes the Omega’s inability to stop talking got on my nerves. All I wanted was my Omega to cuddle me and do the catnip thing that our health class always fawned over. For whatever reason, Zetas and Omegas were drugs to each other – somehow I could only really tolerate Ravana’s scent. Finding Ravana had been a godsend, always having someone to share my TOM with. But Ravana liked to draw things out, watch, and talk about things.
Making grabby hands toward the Omega by my door, albeit a little shaky, I motioned for her to come closer. Ravana chuckled and climbed into the bed, snuggling into my arms, allowing me to crush her in a tight embrace.
The best part of my TOM was the cuddly warmth that Ravana showered me with. Almost all Zetas, even as rare as they were, had an Omega. It was almost like a master/pet relationship – weirdly with the Omega falling into the master role. Alphas were all too ready to adopt Zetas as well, adding to the strength of the relationship. Zetas were rarely a threat to the hierarchy, as they never competed with the Alpha/Omega mating system. Zetas didn’t have scent glands, just a strong distaste for Betas’ scents that was almost primal. No one knew why.
I crushed Ravana further into my chest, relishing the way she began nestling against my breast, her fingers tracing light circles on my shoulder blades, the soothing gestures sending calming tingles down my spine. After almost three years, I had finally found someone I could be close to without retching at their scent. I never would have thought Ravana would be that being though.
Ravana was forceful, abrasive, and foul-mouthed most of the time, except to me and somehow it worked. I would have done anything for the girl in my arms. Yet, if I thought about it too much, the Omega’s scent was still repulsive. Zetas had a lonely existence if they couldn’t persevere through at least that much.
Ravana snuggled closer and I dug my nails into her back, trying to find a way to relieve the pain coursing through my body. The Omega winced and I scrambled back across the mattress, hanging my head low apologetically. Three years ago, I would have mumbled a soft apology, but made no move to let up. Now, I felt compelled to protect the Omega in front of me. Anything less was unacceptable. It was a little disturbing, but I didn’t want to think about that right now.
The Omega smiled softly at me, but her eyes were looking straight through me. It was an unnerving feeling knowing that Ravana’s emotions and her words didn’t match up. “Your smells are all over the place.”
I felt mocked, watching the Omega’s nose wrinkle. It was one of the only times that a Zeta’s true essence could be smelled – during a TOM. Smells ranged across the spectrum, wavering dangerously between Alpha and Omega, confusing everyone who passed by.
A day or so later, much shorter than an Omega’s heat, everything returned to normal, and a Zeta’s scent would disappear. Ravana usually kept me holed up in my room, which meant that no one other than herself had ever really caught my scent. She placed a small kiss at the base of my neck, a supposedly sweet gesture between bonded friends – something between platonic and romantic. I shivered against the Omega, the touch both unsettling and frightening. Um, well… fuck.
Ravana shot up to a sitting positing, a large frown plastered on her face. I couldn’t read the Omega’s expression, which was a little worrisome. “You shouldn’t – that’s not supposed to happen.” The warmth drained from Ravana’s cheeks as she cocked her head to the side and blinked a few times, before reaching towards my neck, two fingers outstretched.
I squirmed away, covering up the base of my neck instinctively. A pure Omega move. We both froze, staring at each other, tense silence falling between us. The neck was an erogenous zone, for everyone other than Zetas, for obvious reasons. Most Zetas didn’t even have a scent gland. Those that did only had a remnant of the real thing. Unless the Zeta could go into heat – which was impossible.
But even I could feel the tenderness at the base of my neck, something that hadn’t been there during my last TOM. “No,” I tried to find the words to explain the thoughts rumbling through my head. “I can’t… this can’t,” But words wouldn’t explain the tightness in my chest. I wasn’t prepared to go into heat. If I was an Omega, which wasn’t an option, everything I had worked so hard for would fall apart. My mother would demand my immediate return. I would be the baby-making machine that everyone in my family had hoped I would be.
I clenched my fists in determination. I wasn’t going to present as an Omega as if that were my own choice to make. I wasn’t going to depend on some Alpha biologically for the rest of my life, desiring to be knotted and filled with little children. That just wasn’t in my life plan.
Ravana’s soft touch on my arm brought me back to reality. I hadn’t even realized that I had started shaking as my Omega crawled into my lap, nestling her head against my chest once again. She pressed soft kisses on my exposed collarbone, my breaths leveling out and I strung my arms around her shoulders, the pain settling as a dull ache in my stomach. Ravana sighed against me, “We can figure all that out later. For now, just rest.”
I didn’t fight her. I wanted to, my mind racing a mile a minute, but I didn’t have the energy for it. Ravana’s soft stroking circles on my back started up again, lulling me into a peaceful trance. Hopefully, when I woke up, my TOM would be nearly over. But I would never be that lucky.
Read novels from various genres