Gabriel, a dreamer and a librarian, is so shy and introverted that he’s still a virgin Omega at twenty-five — but he can’t help wishing fairy-tale Prince Charmings were real and that one would find him. One does, a rough-hewn but outgoing, captivating quarryman Alpha called Wynn. For them, it’s love at first sight. Gabriel doesn’t care if they’re an odd couple, no matter what others and his Beta co-librarian Cameron thinks about it.
But the happy ending is harder to come by. When Gabriel’s almost full term with their first child, there’s an accidental explosion at the quarry that leaves Wynn trapped behind a wall of rubble. Waiting for news – any news – and hoping against hope, all Gabriel has to comfort himself with is the memory of his fairytale of a love story. He’s so lost in dreaming he doesn’t realize he’s in labor and needs to get to a doctor.
Who will rescue who?
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Copyright ©2021 Willa Okati
Love at first sight was only for stories, or so Wynn had always been told.
Fairy-tale princes that carried you away beneath their hills, who danced the night away with you, and left you changed.
So he’d always been told.
Everyone who’d ever told him that had been wrong.
The second he laid eyes on the cute little librarian with the glasses and the sweetest smile he’d ever seen, Wynn knew: everyone else was so, so wrong, and he was going to prove that.
* * *
Tick. Tick. Tick.
The clock perched on their windowsill wasn’t old enough to be vintage or antique, and wasn’t new enough to be anything but old, but Gabriel liked it anyway. He’d painted the metal frame brass, then scuffed it with sandpaper until it took on a patina of age.
“Like it’s been through a war or something,” Wynn had said, turning the thing over in his strong, work-scarred hands to marvel at it. “What made you think of doing that?”
Gabriel took the clock away, his hands so much smaller and fairer than Wynn’s that he let them linger there, so long that Wynn took one of them in his and kissed the back of his knuckles. “Because time matters,” he tried to explain, lifting his hand to Wynn’s hair to ruffle the short, still-wayward sandy strands. “Because I wanted it to be beautiful.”
No one besides Gabriel ever got to see Wynn’s best smile, the one that made him warmer than the sun, and that sent a slow-rolling wave of pleasure tingling down to his toes. “You’re beautiful.”
“Stop it, I’m not.”
“Shh.” Wynn pressed his lips to Gabriel’s hot cheek and laid his hand on Gabriel’s belly. “You’re beautiful if I say you are, and I do. So there.”
When he said it, Gabriel believed him. He raised himself to wind his arms around Wynn’s neck and pulled him down into a kiss. One kiss, and then another, and then —
* * *
Tick. Tick. Tick.
“Hey. Where’d you go?” Tucked up big and hard and solid behind him, his chest pressed to Gabriel’s back, Wynn nosed against Gabriel’s ear. “Come back.”
Gabriel blinked out of the daydream he’d drifted into. It happened more and more often these days, but he’d been told that was natural for Omegas this close to giving birth. He looked down to where Wynn’s big hand splayed wide over his belly, and even it wasn’t big enough to cup more than the top. They’d been twined together for an hour, maybe more, taking their time and letting the fire build.
He glanced at the clock — they had half an hour before the alarm rang, not enough but enough to make use of — and covered Wynn’s hand, turning his head as far as he could toward Wynn’s mouth. “I’m here.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Willa Okati (AKA Will) is made of many things: imagination, coffee, stray cat hairs, daydreams, more coffee, kitchen experimentation, a passion for winter weather, a little more coffee, a whole lot of flowering plants and a lifelong love of storytelling. Will’s definitely one of the quiet ones you have to watch out for, though he — not she anymore — is a lot less quiet these days.