Story Excerpt
Omega Born

flame div

"I talked to Sawney today."

Ricardo ‘Ricky’ de Luca stilled, his fingers spreading as soil slid through them. His heart pounded hard causing his chest to ache. It had been so long since he had heard that name or allowed himself to even think of the man that haunted his dreams for so very long.

"He asked about you."

Ricky swallowed roughly. "Yeah?" His voice sounded worn. He was tired. It took too much energy most days to merely function. He didn’t have the strength to do more than that. He certainly didn’t have the strength to give into the desires that constantly ate away at his control.

 Only when he was asleep and his guard was down were his desires strong enough to break through the wall he had frantically built around himself just so that he could survive to breathe another moment.

"He wanted to know how you were."

Ricky turned his head until he could see the vivid pink flowers on his sister’s skirt. She did so love wearing the brightest colors she could find. "What did you tell him?"

Maria shrugged. "What was there to tell him?" Maria’s voice was sour, bitter, yet resigned. "You wake up. You play with your plants. You go to bed. Sometimes in between you eat, but not nearly enough. There wasn’t much else to tell."


"Whatever." Maria turned and started back toward the door of the greenhouse. She paused at the doorway, glancing back over her shoulder, her angelic face lined with worry. "I love you, Ricky. You know that. But I’m tired of watching you fade away to nothing. If you want to continue to kill yourself, you’re on your own. I’m going to go stay with Aunt Clara."

"No, wait, I…Maria, please!" Pure, unadulterated panic shot through Ricky’s system like a run-away freight train heading for broken track. He needed Maria. He couldn’t function without her. She was the only bright spot in his life, the only reason he continued to draw in breath. Without her…"Maria, you can’t—"

Maria’s caramel-colored eyes were suspiciously bright and glossy when she replied, "I can and I am. Call me when you decide to come back to the land of the living."

Maria turned and walked away before Ricky could find the words to reply. When he finally did, they came out in a soft cry that slowly turned to heart wrenching sobs that shook Ricky’s body until his muscles seized and he finally collapsed on the ground.

Hours passed, moments ticking by at a snail’s pace. Time came and went. The sun rose, light filtering through glass panes high up on the roof of the greenhouse. Darkness eventually settled over the valley, blanketing the sky with points of light a million miles away and still Ricky lay on the ground, unmoving.

He had nothing to move for. Maria was gone. Sawney Marshall was beyond his reach. His mother had been gone for more years than he cared to remember. Only his loneliness and despair remained, clinging to Ricky like a second skin. It never left him, always holding on, permeating his every move, his every thought.

He had nothing but the stars in the night sky to keep him company until he faded into nothingness. It shouldn’t take too long. He was practically dead already and had been for months. His body just hadn’t gotten the message yet.

"Come on, baby." Gentle hands reached for Ricky, pulling him off the ground, cradling him close to a wide muscular chest wrapped tightly in a black cotton T-shirt. A loose tendril of hair on Ricky’s cheek was lightly fingered. "Time for you to come home."

Ricky inclined his head in compliance, turning his face until his lips brushed against warm skin that tasted of musk and man and everything right in the world. He inhaled deeply letting Sawney’s strong scent invade his senses and sink into his soul. Sawney’s hands were rough on his sore body yet gave Ricky a sense of protection he hadn’t felt in forever.

He tilted his head back to gaze up into eyes that had the ability to steal every thought from his head. Sawney’s dark smoky blue eyes were startling against his golden skin and thick coal black hair. There were touches of humor lines around his mouth and near his eyes. He was even more stunningly virile than ever.

"Sawney," he whispered on a slip of sound, wanting, needy as he rubbed his face against Sawney’s skin.

"I’m here, baby."

Ricky wiped his tear-stained cheeks with the back of his hand. He wasn’t wiping away the evidence of his breakdown. It was too late for that. Everyone knew he was fragile, on the verge of falling off the edge of reality and never coming back. He was strung too tight, his emotions chaotic and out of control. But his cheeks were cold.

Sawney stood, lifting Ricky’s slight from his arms. There was a disgruntled twist to his lips that spoke of his displeasure in how skinny Ricky had become. Sawney didn’t make a sound, though. He simply headed for the door of the greenhouse, the same door Maria had exited hours earlier.

"Oh, Sawney, I can’t—what if—" God, he was terrified. The thick emotion consumed him.

Sawney’s dark eyebrows slanted into a frown, a muscle flicking angrily in his jaw. "Let me take care of everything, Ricky."

He always had.

Ricky remembered the moment he became Sawney’s obsession. He had been nineteen, a young man just learning about life. Sawney had been a beautiful man from the neighboring pride, meant for things far greater than Ricky.

Sawney had been on a mission for his alpha. Ricky had been working at his part time job at the local general grocers. He had been sweeping the walkway in front of the small brick building when Sawney pulled up on his motorcycle. He had sat there and looked around, the king of all he surveyed.

And then his smoky blue eyes had landed on Ricky, and Ricky’s world changed forever. The heat that had instantly ignited in Sawney’s eyes singed Ricky to the bone. He still had the scars, at least on the inside. They were burned into the very fiber of his being.

"I’m tired, Sawney." He could barely lift his eyelids to look up at Sawney. It took effort, energy, and he had just enough left to cling to Sawney, curling his fingers around the man’s shirt.

"I know, Ricky." Sawney’s chest began to rumble, a deep purr filling the air, cocooning Ricky in its soft welcoming sound. "Close your eyes and rest. I’ll keep you safe."

"No one can keep me safe."

And therein lay his problem.