Zale’s jaw was tight and his teeth gritted as he waited in the hall outside of Finn’s quarters.
He knocked again. This time more loudly using the heel of his fist, since, apparently, his knuckles weren’t getting the job done.
The alpha-born prince was losing his patience, which he usually had an abundance of. Just not today. Especially since the visiting omega, Finn, had been seen sneaking off with Zale’s youngest brother Caol.
Which was dangerous.
Particularly since Caol was considered a Selkie slut. What humans would call a man-ho. He loved to rut with anyone who would let him, be it Selkie, human or hybrid. Most likely any male with a cock swinging between his legs.
Hell, he probably rutted with other species of shifters.
But even so, it brought Zale back to the problem at hand. He and his brothers had told their father, the King of the North, that he should send Finn away. Return the omega to his own colony. That he was no longer needed here at the Northern colony. But his father hadn’t listened.
No surprise there.
They all suspected that King Solomon had considered taking the omega for himself.
But a whole two years had passed since the King first brought Finn to the castle, so it made no sense for the unbonded male to remain. His father needed to shit or get off the pot. Either take Finn as his own to bear more sons or send the poor omega home so he could find an alpha of his very own.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a fated mate waiting for Finn anywhere. His supposed alpha had been killed and eaten by an orca during their bonding swim from what Zale understood.
None of them had ever asked Finn about it because neither Zale or his brothers wanted to know those cringe-worthy details and they also were inclined to avoid him since he was an unbonded male. Again, being around an unbonded omega could be dangerous.
However, Caol tended to be reckless. If the omega came into heat, Caol would most likely be the proud father of a future pup. Zale could just imagine how the king’s head would spin at that news.
So, Zale needed to nip whatever was going on between Finn and Caol in the bud. For his youngest brother’s sake and also for Finn’s. If the omega had the urge to rut, he could do so with some of the betas the king kept on hand for that purpose. Nothing stopped Finn from taking a beta lover, especially since his corona membrane was no longer intact.
But an alpha? No. He could not rut with an alpha that was not his mate.
That was against Selkie law.
Caol knew that. As did Finn.
Therefore, Zale was being a good older brother and trying to head off a disaster.
Or that’s what he told himself.
Yes, he was protecting not only Caol but this omega... who continued to live among a castle-full of alphas even though that was unsafe.
He stared at the heavy wood door and cursed. Why wasn’t Finn answering?
He leaned closer and shouted, “Finn! Are you in there? Open your door.”
Zale listened carefully. Nothing.
He was done knocking. He had announced his presence and now it was time to take the next step...
Into the omega’s quarters.
If the omega was inside, he had given Finn plenty of time and notice to make sure he was decent.
Zale’s hand dropped to the door handle and he pressed down. Unlocked! Another reckless act he would have to address with Finn. With a push, the door creaked open.
All at once, the scent of an omega in oestrus hit him like a brick wall. He gasped as he fell to his knees, sweat beading instantly on his forehead. Holy Poseidon! Forcing himself to his feet, he was of mind enough to close the door and lock it.
His nostrils flared as the heady scent of an omega ready to breed swirled around him, beckoning him like a siren from the sea. He’d never gotten so hard, so fast. Not even when Del had gone into heat recently.
But the difference was Del was bonded, Finn was not. He belonged to no one. No alpha had a claim on him.
The male was available for any alpha to plant his seed deep.
For Poseidon’s sake! Every fiber of his being was screaming that he should be the alpha to do so. A growl slipped from his lips at the thought of any other alpha even coming near this omega. He found him first.
Finn was his.
Zale filled his lungs deeply, and a shudder went through him as he made his way farther into the omega’s quarters. He couldn’t even concentrate on the contrast between his large two-story wing and Finn’s tight quarters.
That was the least of his worries.
His fingers curled over his erection through his pants and his hips twitched uncontrollably. The urge to knot and spill his seed drove him forward, following the scent as it got stronger and more alluring.
It called to him.
“Finn,” he tried to yell out but nothing escaped but a croak. His throat was dry, his heart racing and another bead of sweat rolled off his brow.
He couldn’t bear this pull. It was like someone had tied a rope to his waist and was tugging him forward.
He knew this was wrong, but he was powerless to fight it.
Finn is not your omega.
He cannot rut with you. You’re not his alpha.
Zale’s fingernails dug into the wood frame of the doorway that he just knew led to Finn.
His nose didn’t lie.
He’s not my omega, he told himself again.
But he could be.
Zale squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head, trying to clear it.
Then he heard a whimper. He reached into the dark room, feeling along the wall until he found the switch, flooding the room with light.
Zale’s gaze searched the small bedroom. Finn wasn’t there. How could that be?
He heard another whimper.
Before he could stop himself, he rushed to the other side of the bed to see Finn sitting in a ball on the floor in the corner, rocking back and forth, tears streaming down his cheeks.
Zale lost his breath at how strong the urge hit him to help this omega end his suffering. He swallowed past the lump in his throat and asked, “How is it possible?”
Wasn’t this omega on suppressants? And if he wasn’t, why not?
“Can you help me?” Finn cried as his fingers were quickly at work, tearing off his clothes. “It’s unbearable!”
“Did it just begin?”
The buttons from Finn’s sweat-soaked shirt exploded from the fabric as he stood up and ripped it off his shoulders before tossing it to the floor. His hands dropped to his waist. “I wasn’t feeling well since breakfast. I had no idea...” His words stopped when his teeth began to chatter.
A moment of clarity had Zale insisting, “We must get you a beta.” Yes, that’s what he needed to do. Back out carefully. Call his own beta servant for help. Lock himself in his own quarters while this omega went through his heat cycle. He couldn’t help him.
No! No, he couldn’t. He also needed to protect his brothers, warn them to stay away from this side of the castle.
Zale’s nostrils flared again. Oh, but that scent. He shuddered and his hand dropped once again to his rock-hard cock.
“I need to call Jordan. I need him to find you a beta to help relieve your suffering. I need him to...”
To drag Zale out of there before he did something drastic.
Like mate with this omega.
“You could use a condom.”
Even if he had one... “You’re in heat. I won’t be able to control my knot.”
“So? It’ll split the condom making it useless. That’s how Del got pregnant!”
“I don’t care, Alpha. Just take me. Help me!” Finn cried, now naked, a sheen of sweat covering his lean body, his hand desperately stroking his own erection. “I need something. An alpha. You. I don’t care who!”
“Oh, I promise you’ll care who later.” So would Zale if he gave in.
“Please,” Finn begged, moving to the bed and climbing on. “Please.”
Zale clenched his fingers into fists and closed his eyes from the sight before him. The handsome omega now presented himself on the mattress, forehead pinned to the bed, ass up. Even from where Zale stood, he could see the slick leaking down the omega’s thighs. Finn’s loose hole beckoned him.
“I need to go!” Zale barked loudly, hoping he would heed his own words.
“No! Please don’t leave me to suffer. Only your seed will cool my heat.”
“Finn... I can’t. I’m not your alpha.”
“Nobody is my alpha! He was eaten!”
Zale’s head jerked back at that. Holy sea gods. That had to have been tragic to witness.
“I’m sorry, Finn, I... can’t. I can’t. I can’t.” If he said it enough times, he’d begin to convince himself that he couldn’t. Even though every instinct in his body screamed that he could.
But he was next in line to find his fated mate. And Finn was not it.
He was not.
If he mated with Finn and the omega became pregnant, Zale would never have the chance to find his own fated mate. That opportunity would disappear. He would miss bonding with his true mate.
He didn’t want that.
He wanted what Kai had with Luca. Rian with Del. That unbreakable bond. That strong connection.
Just mating with an omega in oestrus did not create it. It didn’t make the omega his mate. It would only make the omega the pater of his future son if the mating took.
He only wanted sons with the omega the fates had chosen for him.
For Poseidon’s sake! What a bloody mess!
“I need to go,” he groaned again, more to convince himself than to let Finn know his intentions. But he couldn’t tear his gaze away from what Finn was doing, which was plunging three fingers wet with arousal into his own gaping hole.
The slick now rolled in rivulets down the omega’s inner thighs, down his crease, dripping off his erection and sac. The smell of it...
“I can smell your slick,” he moaned. He couldn’t fight his own feet taking a step toward the bed. “I can smell your heat. It’s... irresistible.”
“Take me, please, Alpha. Take me.” Finn’s face was planted into the mattress so he could continue to play with himself.
And also tempt Zale to no end. “No... Oh great sea gods. I can’t do that to you. I can’t do that to myself. It’s wrong.”
“Please. You’d be helping me.”
“Getting you pregnant will not help you.” Yes! Yes! There it was. A sliver of common sense! He was always the pragmatic one out of the five princes. He needed to remember that. He needed—
Zale squeezed his eyes shut as his mind spun out of control. Don’t do this, Zale. It isn’t right. It’s so wrong. You’ll regret this. Fight the urge. Remove yourself from this situation. Run like hell!
“Jordan will get you a beta.”
“A beta’s seed won’t cool the heat!” Finn screamed into the mattress.
Zale blinked, then his brows furrowed. “How do you know?”
“What—or who—do you think I’ve been doing every time I’ve come into oestrus?”
“You’ve been in heat before? Here? You’ve rutted with one of the betas?”
Finn released a loud, frustrated scream. “More than one! Please. You’re here now. I need an alpha to end this torture.” Finn’s slick fingers continued to plunge in and out of his hole as he whimpered.
Suddenly, Finn lurched up from the bed and launched himself across the room. Zale stumbled back as the omega tackled him to the ground.
Finn was tearing at Zale’s clothes, at his belt. His strength was completely unexpected as he held Zale down and popped the button off his pants. Zale heard it ping against the stone floor.
“Finn!” he shouted. “Stop.”
“No, Alpha. I can’t stop. I’m sorry. You have what I need.”
Zale lost his breath as Finn shoved his hand down Zale’s boxers and grabbed his erection. He groaned and closed his eyes. “It’s wrong.”
“It’s not,” Finn insisted. “I need you, Alpha.”
Zale groaned again as the omega pulled away his pants and boxers to expose Zale’s cock, which wept steadily with precum. His eyes rolled back as the scent of Finn’s oestrus enveloped him, drawing him in, making him lose his mind even more because of his proximity. Then slick fingers were being drawn over Zale’s lips. His nostrils flared at the alluring scent of the omega’s arousal. He sucked Finn’s fingers into his mouth, letting his tongue taste every drop.
His body arched, and he bucked Finn off of him and onto the floor.
“In position, Omega!” he barked, no longer able to fight the instinct. Finn scrambled from the floor and rushed over to the bed, planting his palms into the mattress, but keeping his feet on the floor. He shoved his ass out, waiting.
Zale got to his feet, his gaze glued to the inviting, slick hole as he stalked to the bed, shoving his pants down enough to free his cock.
Without a word, he thrust hard. Zale shuddered as the warm, wet heat surrounded him. The omega’s hot canal throbbed and squeezed him tight. He thrust again and again without mercy. Giving the omega just what he wanted, what he begged for. He heard nothing but a roar in his ears as the omega slammed against him over and over.
He couldn’t get deep enough, he couldn’t.
He needed to be deeper.
“Head down!” he growled.
Finn immediately dropped his head and Zale dug his fingers roughly into the omega’s hips, holding Finn steady as he pounded him, feeling his cock swell even larger with each stroke.
He willed himself not to knot the omega. If he did, he was done.
The knot helped ensure pregnancy. If he didn’t knot Finn, they might be safe. If he knotted the omega...
“Is your womb open?”
“Please, Alpha, give me your knot. I need your seed.”
And just like that, the thought of this omega’s womb being receptive to accepting his fertile seed made his knot expand to what seemed an impossible size. Then Finn’s rim tightened around the root of Zale’s cock, tying them together for the duration.
His hips continued to twitch uncontrollably as his seed spurted fiercely and deeply into the omega bent over before him.
Before Zale could stop himself, he leaned over and sank his teeth into the back of Finn’s neck, claiming the omega for his very own.
Finn opened his eyes and realized it was now morning. Of the third day.
Prince Zale was curled around his back, snoring lightly.
What had he done?
He had begged the prince to rut with him. He had thrown himself at this alpha. One that wasn’t his.
He had actually forced himself on the prince!
A whimper escaped him, but this time it wasn’t from the suffering of oestrus, it was from embarrassment.
He had acted like a Selkie slut.
Now he could be pregnant with the prince’s pup.
He groaned. The king would be furious.
Douglass, the king’s personal assistant, had been quite clear that Finn was only permitted to rut with betas during his cycles.
And, also, while he was living in King Solomon’s castle, he wasn’t allowed to be on heat suppressants. He understood why at first. The king had brought him to his colony for Prince Kai. For the King’s firstborn son’s use if the prince’s fated mate couldn’t get pregnant.
Finn was brought in, not to be a surrogate, but to replace Luca, Kai’s bonded omega, if needed.
But he hadn’t been needed. Luckily, Luca had become pregnant and had a healthy alpha-born son. Finn’s lips curled as he pictured Dylan, who was now almost two.
And once again, Luca was heavy with pup.
So Finn wasn’t needed, but he also had nowhere else to go. After his pater had died during Finn’s whelp, his father had taken another omega and went on to produce five more sons. All alphas. Unlike Finn.
His father never wanted an omega son and never hid that fact. Because of that, he couldn’t wait for the Seekers to present Finn to royals. To get Finn out of his home.
Eventually, Finn was claimed by a duke, even though they weren’t fated mates. Even though the duke had lied and told everyone they were.
Finn had a difficult time rutting with him during the Bonding Ceremony. He felt no attraction or desire for the duke. It didn’t help that the alpha had been ruthless with him while taking his virginity, then crowing about it after the deed was done to everyone who stood around the platform observing.
However, the rut was so rough and painful, since Finn couldn’t produce enough slick, that Finn had begun to wretch and vomit right afterward. It was bad enough that the duke’s family decided to delay the royal branding until the next night. But during their morning bonding swim, the duke had been attacked and eaten by an orca.
Finn had told everyone he was devastated because that’s what had been expected, but he wasn’t. He was relieved that he wouldn’t have to live with the callous duke forcing himself on him over and over.
The duke’s family couldn’t wait to ship him back home since they no longer had a need for him. However, his father didn’t want him to return home, because Finn had rutted with an alpha and could come into heat with no alpha to service him.
Thus, his father generously offered him to the King of the North for one of his sons.
King Solomon accepted.
Even though he was no longer needed, King Solomon had not sent him away.
Finn had no idea why, but he was grateful for a place to stay. Omegas were not allowed to live on their own. They either needed to reside with their family or with their alpha. No exceptions.
But the king had made an exception for Finn, allowing him to remain in the castle.
Finn figured he’d end up being a surrogate omega for one of the princes if their own omegas couldn’t whelp a live alpha pup or get pregnant. Or, Finn shuddered, the king would take him for himself.
He really didn’t want to mate with the king. He had no attraction to the older male and heard that his previous five omega mates all died during whelp.
Though, he did produce five very handsome alpha sons.
One being the prince who currently knotted Finn as he slept.
Or passed out, more likely. They had rutted so many times over the past three days, they could hardly bear it anymore and this last time they had both immediately fallen asleep once Zale’s knot expanded.
Finn glanced at the nearby clock. That had been an hour ago and Finn had never heard of a knot lasting that long before.
Had the prince rutted with him again while Finn slept? He doubted that. As soon as a knot would subside during oestrus, the frantic urge to rut and knot immediately began all over again until the next knot.
And the next.
Until they were exhausted, dehydrated and starving.
Normally, an alpha’s beta would tend to the couple during a long oestrus. But Zale never had a chance to get a hold of his.
And the prince wouldn’t leave the bed to find his phone. His protective alpha instinct wouldn’t allow an omega he was breeding to be alone. Just in case another alpha came along.
That strong alpha instinct was to make sure it was his seed and his alone that spilled into a fertile omega’s womb.
It ensured the continuation of that alpha’s bloodline.
Even though Finn knew he might end up bearing one of the princes’ sons as a surrogate or for whatever reason the king kept him there, he hadn’t expected to rut with one of the unbonded alphas in the castle.
That was a huge mistake.
Finn was not allowed to rut with an alpha who was not his own. To do so was against Selkie law. So what Prince Zale and Finn had done was very bad.
Enough so, that he was now afraid he’d be banished. Then Finn would not only be homeless but he’d be forbidden to interact with any other Selkies for the rest of his life.
He closed his eyes and drew in a ragged breath.
“Are you okay?”
Prince Zale had a deep, deep voice that was pleasant to Finn’s ears and even though he couldn’t see them now, he knew the alpha had blue eyes that reminded him of turquoise. The color was vivid. Nothing like his own green eyes that reminded him of ripe garden peas.
“I’m fine as long as the knot holds.”
The prince yawned loudly. “I don’t think I have anything left in me. I’m now like a seedless watermelon.”
Finn rolled his lips inward in an attempt not to giggle. He should be giving the poor alpha his sympathy not laughing at him. “I’m sorry I dragged you into this.”
“If it was only once, I’d hope we were safe and no one would ever have to know. But it’s been three whole days. The good thing is, that means you haven’t been impregnated yet, so we may still escape this situation without any disastrous results. The bad thing is, once my knot goes down, I won’t be able to walk away to ensure you don’t get pregnant.”
“I’ll go away,” Finn said softly. He didn’t want the prince, who so generously helped him out, to be stuck with an omega and pup that he never wanted. Just like he hadn’t wanted to be stuck with that duke. He’d never want the prince to feel obligated.
“What? And where would you go?”
“I don’t know. I could go live in Seaport. Among the hybrids.”
“And if you carry my son?”
Finn didn’t know how to answer that. “You should be able to find your fated mate. Not be stuck with an omega who isn’t.”
“Again... What if you carry my son? Am I just supposed to let you take him elsewhere?”
“He would be considered a bastard, Your Highness. Any son born outside of a bonded mating would bring shame upon your king.”
“You think my bastard son would bring shame upon my family? Maybe my father, yes, but even though you’ve been here a couple years, you apparently haven’t been very observant.”
Finn twisted his neck and peered over his shoulder at the prince. “Why do you say that?”
“Do you think any of my brothers or their omegas would care that I produced a bastard? I hate even saying that word. My son would be my son. No matter who whelped him. Bonded mate or not. I’m not my father. I wouldn’t judge my own offspring like that.”
“But is it not the king that matters most?”
Prince Zale didn’t answer. Instead he moaned as he slipped from Finn, leaving a messy trail of fluids behind. Finn automatically moved to his hands and knees and blew out an exhausted breath.
When the prince didn’t move, he glanced over at him, lying on his back, his eyes closed and his mouth gaped open.
He’d fallen back asleep?
How is that possible?
Before he could even consider the answer, Finn dropped to the bed, onto his belly and he, too, was soon fast asleep.
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