The Alpha's Perfect Mate

an excerpt

Alpha Oliver Torfrain looked up from his suitcase as his Beta Xavier stomped into the room.

Xavier threw himself into a chair before bursting out. "Why are we even considering an alliance with these idiots? The Southdown pack are so far behind us it's not even funny. They've refused all our suggestions for improving security and the Alpha is an arrogant jerk."

"We're cementing an alliance with them before our enemies can. You said yourself when we arrived that their security is a joke. Gretason Pack would roll right in and take over in moments. Then they would be adding over two thousand shifters to their ranks against us. The less we have to fight the better."

"I know, I know, but this Alpha, he's just so..."

"Yeah, I get you. I just hope the potential mates he has lined up aren't like him and the others we've met so far." Oliver shuddered. He knew he needed a mate and it had seemed like the best way to cement an alliance with the Southdown pack. Two birds and all that.

Now, he was starting to wonder what he'd let himself in for.

"I--" He stopped when the door banged opened again and his head enforcer, Jayne, barged in.

"Those rude, arrogant, chauvinistic bastards. They're lucky they're not dead, or worse."

Oliver sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "What's happened now?"

Jayne huffed. "Apparently a ‘mere female' wouldn't know anything about how to defend a pack this size." She even did air quotes. "I was told I should learn my place. And when I made the mistake of asking what that place was, I was informed it was at home keeping the house nice and looking after the pups for my mate, while he did the male's work."

Oliver bit his lip to stop the laugh he felt building, Xavier didn't have such control and doubled over. Oliver caught Jayne as she lunged at the still chuckling Beta.

"So," Oliver said, once order was restored. "How much damage was done?"

Jayne snorted. "Their head enforcer has a broken nose and his second-in-command may have a fractured arm. They thought one could distract me while the other took me from behind--cowards."

Oliver sighed. He had a terrible feeling more bad stuff was to come.

* * * *

"I can't allow your female attacking my men to slide. No matter how important this alliance is."

Alpha Michael Southdown's tone set Oliver's nerves on end. It was whiny in the extreme. In Oliver's opinion the man had no self-respect and didn't know the first thing about leading by example like a good Alpha should. He dressed in expensive suits and tried to project an air of entitlement...and failed.

"My head enforcer was protecting herself from an unprovoked attack. Have you no control over your pack?" Oliver waved off the answer before the conversation could degenerate into a pissing match, he wanted to get to the purpose of his visit and get it over with. "You have the Omegas you want me to meet ready?"

Oliver thought Michael was going to push the issue, but like he'd come to expect from the coward, when confronted by someone stronger than him, he backed down.

"Yes, yes, they're ready." Michael waved a hand to an enforcer at the door and the big male nodded. Then he added arrogantly with obviously false bravado, "But, we will revisit this issue at a later date."

The door opened cutting off Oliver's answer and he watched in shocked silence as a line of female Omegas entered the room. Each of them had their signature Omega red hair styled differently, and they all wore make up that highlighted their best features perfectly. In contrast, they were wearing very little in the way of clothes, only scraps slung around their chests and hips. They also looked malnourished--which was almost impossible with shifters genes. But, what shocked Oliver the most were the chains. Each woman's chain connected to the next, like animals being led to the slaughter house.

"What the fuck is this?" he demanded and turned furiously to Michael.

Michael frowned as though Oliver was asking a stupid question. "You wanted to meet all the eligible unmated Omegas. Here they are." He swept a hand in an arc toward the women.

Oliver's answer stalled when the end of the line appeared and a lone male shifter entered. He wasn't part of the line, although he still wore manacles. His hands and ankles were restrained and connected by another chain. He carried a tray in his hands and moved with a seeming innate grace. His long red hair hung down to his very temptingly swishing ass, which was barely covered by a scrap of material similar to the women's.

"Omegas present!" Michael's command brought Oliver's attention back to the women.

Each female stepped forward as far as their bindings would allow and declared various numbers all with the prefix "O". There was O-two, six, nine, ten, twelve, and fourteen. Oliver couldn't speak his shock was so complete. He'd heard of packs that treated omegas as property, but he'd never seen it for himself, and he'd never heard of it being this bad. Chains? Numbers? What the fuck was he supposed to do?

"They are all healthy and fully trained in all household and breeding duties. The oldest is twenty and the youngest is twelve. Thankfully no other Omegas have been born since O-ten was born."

Oliver searched for words, these weren't all adults, most of them were children. To buy some time he pointed to the male who was currently setting up the refreshments he'd brought in. "What about him?"

"Him? That's D.O-five."

"Why did he not introduce himself with the others?" Oliver hoped he could keep Michael talking until he figured a way out of the mess he seemed to have stepped into.

"Why would he? You requested a mate, not a pack toy."

Pack toy?

Oliver sent a frantic message through his pack link to Jayne as Michael continued rambling on about the females training. A few sharp questions and her suggestion surprised Oliver in its simplicity.

"How much?" His question stopped Michael's prattle.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean I'll take one as my mate and I'll buy all the rest from you. I need help around the pack house as we've only just moved in and it's a mess. So, how much?"

Michael stared at him and seemed to be collecting himself, then Oliver saw what he'd expected in the other Alpha's eyes...calculation. The bastard was predictable if nothing else. Oliver told Jayne to check the current prices for black-market Omegas and suppressed a grin at her growl through the link.

"You would be leaving me short six servants. I would have to ask for--"

"Seven," Oliver corrected him, containing his anger barely. Servants!

"What?" Michael's mouth hung open.

"Seven Omegas. Seven pack members you'll be losing. I said I'll take one as my mate and buy all the rest."

"But, there are only six eligible unmated Omegas."

"Including the male by the refreshments, makes seven."

A gasp came from the male at the same time Michael swore.

"You have got to be fucking kidding me? You want to buy a defective Omega?"

Oliver cast a glance at the male who'd frozen at Oliver's inclusion of him with the other Omegas. He looked more than fine to Oliver.

"No, I don't want to buy him. I am taking him as my mate--if he agrees. The females I will buy."

If the situation hadn't been so distasteful Oliver would have laughed at Michael's red face.

"Him? A mate? But he's a male."

"Is he? I hadn't noticed." Oliver rolled his eyes as the sarcasm went straight over Michael's head. "Yes him. Our agreement gives me the choice of any unmated Omegas within your pack, it doesn't specify the sex of that mate. I can scent he's not mated and he appeals to me. I'm sure you investigated my pack before agreeing to this alliance and saw that I am gay, out, and proud of it. As for the females. As I said I need help getting the new pack house sorted out. Plus, I have a lot of unmated males who prefer women."

He could see Michael had been blindsided and obviously hadn't done any research on Oliver's pack. How incompetent can one Alpha be? He'd probably only seen how many male members they had. He wouldn't have dug into why a new pack was setting up at such short notice and with so many members already in it. Michael was still spluttering when Jayne let Oliver know the figure he needed.

"I'll offer you two hundred dollars per Omega." He'd halved what Jayne had told him.

"Two hundred? I told you they're breeders and trained in all household duties. They're worth at least triple that. Six hundred."

"Three and I don't report you to the council for improper treatment of pack members."

"Report me? I thought you wanted us as allies?"

"We are all subject to the same rules as other packs. That includes all pack members are free to leave as and when they choose. As Alphas we are no longer allowed to chain up members and treat them as property. I was under the impression I would be meeting your available Omegas and letting them get to know me, and me them. Then after a few days I would approach one to see if they were willing to mate me. If I hadn't been able to find a mate, I would have offered you something else to seal the alliance. But, seeing how these pack members are treated, I want them in my pack where I can protect them. I will abide by all the terms of the alliance, and my enforcers will be at your bidding if you have need of them. I believe my head enforcer has already tried to offer her expertise in reinforcing your defenses. I will not perpetuate the breaking of council law. The money I'm offering you is compensation for losing so many useful pack members at one time. Nothing more."

After more blustering Michael accepted Oliver's offer and turned the keys to the chains over to him.

"Thank you, Michael. I'll have the paperwork drawn up and we can sign it all in the morning. The money will be in your account as soon as the signing is complete."

"You don't know what you're getting yourself into with that defective Omega. He can't even complete the simplest tasks without spacing out and forgetting what he's doing and why. We're not even sure if he can function as a normal male, let alone as an Omega. I should have culled him as soon as we found out."

Oliver gritted his teeth and balled his fists, he so wanted to plant a right hook in the smarmy jerk's face. "Well after tomorrow he will be my problem, not yours."

On those words, he headed for the door signaling the Omegas to follow him.