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Alec Lightwood was drifting off on the side of the table, his head bent and his face plastered against its mahogany surface. His plate of half-finished spaghetti sat right next to his cheek.

Alec was exhausted. He had gotten off work just an hour ago at nine p.m. (he was getting so used to overtime now that it was crazy), and upon leaving the office, had headed straight for the Italian restaurant just a few blocks away from his apartment for a late dinner. The only issue was, he was so fatigued that he couldn't even make it through finishing his dinner.

Alec idly wondered what his father would think if he saw his son like this. Alpha Alec Lightwood, slumped messily against a table in a near empty restaurant, his food mostly untouched. In Robert Lightwood's books, his alpha son was supposed to be dignified, strong, and in control of whatever situation he was in. Alphas were genetically built that way in society. They took the dominant position at home and in their workplaces. They were physically stronger than omegas, since their role was to take care of the latter and house them. Therefore, such duties and expectations were naturally assigned to Alec the moment he was born.

And Robert Lightwood had never once doubted that his son was an alpha. Male omegas were a joke, since omegas were mostly females. They were rare, and resented by the world. As the oldest child in the Lightwood family, Alec had responsibilities thrust upon his shoulders. He was to succeed his father's position as CEO of Lightwood Enterprise one day, support his family—consisting of his little sister Isabelle and his mother, Maryse—and eventually marry an omega who would carry on the bloodline of the family. Since Isabelle was a beta, it appeared that Alec was the only one who could produce a heir.

They were wrong. All wrong.

Alec was not an alpha, despite his pretenses for almost all his life. He was on daily suppressants to conceal his scent and prevent his heats. Sure, he could give Robert and Maryse grandchildren, but not in the way they would expect. He was not capable of impregnating an omega.

He was capable of becoming pregnant himself, though.

He was a fucking omega.

Sometimes Alec wondered why he was so stupid. Why did he have to pretend to be an alpha? If he wanted to hide his gender, the more logical thing to do was obviously pose as a beta. He would not be expected to impregnate or marry an omega then, since betas were sterile.

But damn it. Alec couldn't ever forget how delighted his father had been back when he was in high school, when he'd graduated as the valedictorian. "My alpha son," Robert had said proudly, to all his friends and business associates over the celebratory dinner that night. "The absolute replica of myself." It was the best compliment his father had ever given him. To this day, Alec could never forget those words.

And Alec didn't want to shatter his father's illusions.

He knew that all this was too much for him. Omegas were biologically and physically built to stay at home—or perform simple part-time jobs, at most—and nurse children. They weren't equipped with the sturdiness of an alpha to work a hectic full-time job at the security firm known as Lightwood Enterprise, not to mention having to work overtime and in the weekends as well. Hell, even for an alpha, the amount of workload he had was slightly too much. And soon, his father would retire, and Alec would have to step up into the role as CEO.

It was frightening. So frightening.

Alec didn't realised he'd actually nodded off until he came to himself with a jolt suddenly, his eyes flying open. He was painfully aware of the drool gathered at the side of his mouth, and the omega instantly straightened himself from the table with a gasp, shocked and appalled at how easily he flaunted his vulnerabilities. A bloody alpha didn't go to sleep in public, for God's sake!

"You're awake, darling?"

Alec jumped in his chair, completely taken aback by the smooth, accented voice. He lifted his disheveled head, and stared straight into golden, catlike eyes of the strange man sitting opposite him.

The male was… mesmerizing. His amber eyes were accentuated with exotic, winged liner, and extravagant steel piercings decorated both his ears. His jet-black hair was gelled up in casual, elegant spikes. His skin was a gorgeous olive tan, and there was no denying the Asian nuances in his angular features, with the narrow eyes, the high cheekbones, and the sensual pout of his glossy lips. He wore a vibrant plum blazer over a black tee, coupled with tight leather pants.

Alpha. This man was undeniably an alpha. It wasn't just his powerful, spicy scent that gave him away. It was in the self-assured, confident, unruffled way he held himself.

"Who the hell are you?" Alec demanded hoarsely. "Why are you sitting by my table?"

The corner of the male's lips quirked amusedly. "There's no need to get so worked up, Alexander."

"Wha—?" Alec spluttered. "How do you know my name?"

"Your father is Robert Lightwood, yes?" the other man asked, smiling. He was sipping from a half-filled wineglass he had apparently ordered himself, most likely when Alec had passed out just now. "He's an acquaintance of mine. A very well-known man in the business world. I'm aware about his children."

"Oh, er," Alec said, suddenly embarrassed. What if this man told his father about his horrible behavior? Fuck. "Sorry I was so rude. You are…?"

"You mean you don't know me? Don't you know of the magnificent Magnus Bane?" the alpha inquired teasingly, waggling long, dexterous, black-nailed fingers theatrically against the wineglass. His gold eyes raked Alec's face with interest.

Alec stiffened. Magnus Bane. He knew that name somewhere, he was sure of it.

And then it came to him, and Alec's jaw slackened.

Magnus was the director of the fashion clothing line known as Asmodeus. It was an expensive, high-class brand name that had swept the nation, and which catered to both male and female consumers. Supermodels walked the runway at exclusive fashions shows wearing all kinds of outfits designed by Asmodeus. Heck, most staff in Lightwood Enterprise wore Asmodeus suits, including Robert himself. Izzy was crazy about Asmodeus. She'd bought all their clothes, declaring that nothing was more fashionable out there in the designer's world right now, which probably explained the outrageous prices they were sold at.

Alec swallowed. What were the chances that he would randomly meet Magnus Bane in some low-key restaurant? From what rumors he'd heard, Magnus Bane had expensive tastes. He dined at the finest of restaurants, and partied at the most wild, popular and lavish venues all over the city. What the heck was he doing here, in a near deserted restaurant at ten p.m.? Was Alec still asleep, somehow?

"My sister's a huge fan of yours," he said awkwardly.

Magnus's lips curved knowingly. "But not you?"

"I, er, I'm not a fashion type of guy," Alec stammered, flushing.

Great. Where was his confidence? He wasn't naturally confident, but he sure as hell was good at acting as if he was with his family and with his colleagues.

But not with the 'magnificent' Magnus Bane, apparently.

"Tragic," Magnus sighed ruefully. "But it doesn't change anything. I still want you."

"Huh?" Alec's flush deepened. "What are you talking about?"

Magnus' golden, feline eyes were gleaming. "Has anyone told you how beautiful you are?" He reached over gracefully and gently touched Alec's cheek with a ringed finger. "Your skin so creamy and fair. Your pretty ebony hair. And your eyes." Magnus sighed dreamily. "So blue. So lovely."

"Excuse me!" Alec said hotly, slapping the man's large hand away. His face was as red as a tomato. "Are you finished?"

Magnus smiled fondly at him, ivory teeth glinting. "How cute."

"If you're done sexually harrassing me—"

"Come be a model for my clothing line," Magnus said.

Alec stared. "Huh?"

"Think about it," Magnus said silkily, retrieving a card from his blazer pocket and sliding it fluidly to Alec across the table. "I could assure you that you will become famous overnight, but I don't think fame interests you. But the pay is excellent, and the benefits are exceptional. I treat my staff very well, and I promise I will get you a remarkable agent."

Alec's breathing was uneven. Was that what Magnus had meant when he'd said he wanted Alec? So he had meant it professionally, after all?

Shit. Was it relief he currently felt, or disappointment?

"Of course, you'll have to fix yourself up first," Magnus went on, his smile fading. "Especially those hideous eye circles. You're exhausted, darling."

"I'm fine," Alec snapped, affronted. "Look, just leave me alone. I'm not interested in being a model." He slid Magnus' card back towards him across the table. "I'm set to take over my dad's company soon. I appreciate your offer, but my path's been set for me. I'm the Lightwood's heir, as you know. I can't afford any other distractions."

He stood up from his table, and quickly turned away, about to call the waitress for the bill.

But then slender ringed fingers gripped his wrist, and before he knew it, he was being pulled back.

The business card was placed directly into the palm of his hand, and Alec raised his head disbelievingly to gaze at an unaffected Magnus.

"Sleep on it first, darling, before you make any decisions," Magnus drawled. "You look as if you're about to pass out, you know. And as for the bill, I've already covered it while you were adorably dozing off earlier. But this time, go home and rest in a proper bed, alright?" He hummed melodiously. "Goodnight, Alexander, and I hope to hear from you soon."

Alec opened his mouth to say something—anything—but Magnus Bane was sauntering off already, and the door of the restaurant closed softly behind him a few seconds later.

And he was gone.

Chapter Text

Alec sat curled on his bed the following night, staring at the business card in his hand. The light from his laptop atop his pillows illuminated his wide cobalt eyes, making them bluer than ever. There was nothing he wanted more than to go to sleep after another awful, gruelling day at the office, but the card Magnus had given him last night continued haunting his mind.

The card was as flamboyant as Magnus himself, which made sense, since he'd probably designed it. In large, bold, strikingly scarlet letters were the words 'MAGNUS BANE', and below his name was his mobile number. Even further down the card was the address of the office headquarters of Asmodeus, which was located in New York.

Alex had searched Magnus up online despite himself. The alpha's net worth was a stunning five hundred million dollars, and the amount was still growing. It wasn't too staggering considering how Asmodeus had taken over the world not just in terms of designer clothing, but also in distributing leather products, watches, footwear, and perfume. The wardrobe alone was met with tremendous success. Celebrities walking the red carpet these days wore gowns and tuxedos from Asmodeus. Magnus Bane himself, the founder and director of Asmodeus, always donned the flashy wardrobe and accessories belonging to his fashion line. Known for being extravagant and scandalous, he'd caused quite a stir in the public from the numerous past lovers he'd had—not just omegas, but also betas and fellow alphas. Alphas being in a relationship with another alpha was unheard of, but it seemed Magnus didn't give a fuck about what people thought of him. Alec stiffened as he browsed through the long list of Magnus' exes online, wondering if the strangely painful sting in his belly was jealousy.

In fact, Magnus' last lover, as reported in tabloid articles, was a female alpha named Camille Belcourt, who also happened to be one of the main models representing Asmodeus. Alec had seen her beautiful face several times on the billboards in the city.

He vaguely wondered why he felt like tearing that face apart.

Abruptly, Alec's phone rang, and Izzy's name flashed on his lit screen.

He picked it up reluctantly. "Hello?"

"It's time to come out and party!" she sang. "And you don't have an excuse not to come, because tomorrow's Sunday! You only work on Saturdays in the weekends!"

"I have to work tomorrow, Izzy," Alec said wearily. "Half-day."

"What?" Izzy sounded shocked, then angry. "I really need to talk to Dad about this."

"Hey, leave him alone," Alec cut in sharply. "Dad worked just as hard when he was my age."

"Yeah, but it's still ridiculous! You practically have no time for yourself!"


"You have to come to the party tonight and loosen up," Izzy insisted firmly. "Pandemonium. That's the name of the new nightclub that just opened. I'll see you there in an hour."

She hung up, leaving him with no room to object.

Alec hesitated, staring at his phone. Normally he wouldn't even consider going clubbing. He didn't like the idea of socializing unless it was necessary. He was always terrified that someone would sniff out his omega scent, despite the daily suppressants he took and the heavy cologne he sprayed over himself. The omega made it a habit to pop a suppressant pill each morning without fail. He hadn't experienced a heat since his very first—shocking and terrifying—one when he was fifteen, which he'd spent alone, huddled in his bedroom under the guise of a flu to his family. The suppressants masked his scent too, though he still never felt safe enough, and frequently added cologne to the mix. In fact, some brands of cologne helped him emulate the powerful scent of an alpha.

Right now though, for the first time in months, Alec was tempted to go to the club. He needed some alcohol to erase the sensuous, catlike images of a certain alpha out of his mind. He couldn't go to sleep tonight, not when he kept thinking about Magnus Bane and the unwelcome arousal the alpha engendered in his belly.

And he wasn't even in heat!

It was stupid. There was no way he would take up Magnus' offer. He couldn't be a model for Asmodeus. His father had raised him up as the heir of the Lightwood clan, which meant he was to become the next CEO of their company in the near future. There was no other option.

His life was devoid of options from the moment he was born, just like with his gender.

Alec clenched his teeth, and got up from his bed, then reached for the packet of suppressant pills from his drawer.

There shouldn't be any harm for a few drinks to take the edge off tonight, should there?

If only he knew.

 Alec, dressed fully in black, gulped down another shot of tequila from where he sat opposite the bartender. The loud music was jarring, the disco lights were burning his eyes, and the amount of noise from the crowd was driving him insane. He could smell the mixed scents of omegas, betas, and alphas all around the nightclub, and the combination threw him off. Izzy had tried getting him to dance, but he had completely refused. Giving up, Izzy had then hooked up with an omega she'd seen by the name of Simon, and they'd disappeared to goodness knows where in the packed club. It was rare to see a fellow male omega like himself, even if no one other than Alec knew it. Unlike Alec, Simon made no secret of his gender, and Alec had to fight the painful envy he felt towards someone who could be so free with their identity.

Already, there were plenty of female omegas sidling up to Alec, pressing their full breasts blatantly to his arms and batting their lashes at him, evidently thinking—as they should—that he was an alpha. They took his awkward silence as stoic reticence, and somehow that aroused them even more. Alex ignored them, downing one shot after another. His vision blurred as liquid fire seared down his throat.

"Want to come home with me tonight?" one female omega asked flirtatiously. She had long golden hair that flowed lusciously down the curve of her ample breasts. Dressed in a tight, sexy cocktail dress, she probably looked like a delicious morsel to genuine alphas.

He took another shot, and then another.

"Sorry, not tonight," Alec said, slurring a little. Or any night, really. Hooking up with a fellow omega was just weird and wrong, not to mention he didn't feel an ounce of attraction to her. And she was bound to suspect something when he was unable to pop a knot in bed.

He was already feeling very light-headed from the alcohol. Shit. Any moment now, he was going to fall off his stool.

The female omega tugged at his arm again. "I want to share my heat with you."

"We can have a three-way," another omega giggled.

"No! I want his knot," the first omega snapped.

Uh-oh. Alec's face flushed with embarrassment. Were people who partied at clubs so straightforward when it came to sex?

But then again, judging by all the grinding that was going on around him, he wasn't too surprised.

Suddenly, calloused hands grabbed Alec and he looked up hazily. A pair of muscled, menacing bouncers were gripping his shoulders tightly, and before he could stop them, they were hauling him away from the bar, much to the female omegas' protests.

"Hey!" Alec shouted, his ears ringing, feet stumbling clumsily. "Let me go! I can walk! Hey—"

The bouncers basically dragged him through the throng of dancing bodies into one of the winding corridors in the club, where the pulsing music was thankfully softer and there were almost nobody around, save for other members of the security patrolling the area. They looked at Alec with bare hints of distaste on their faces.

"Where are you taking me?" Alec mumbled, his senses still compromised by the amount of alcohol he'd consumed. The pair of bouncers didn't reply him, but continued forcing his inebriated form further down the corridor in silence.

A minute later, he was brought to a large door, which one of the bouncers opened, and then he was shoved inside a private room. They released their hold on him, and he nearly fell over.

"Alexander," a deep, familiar voice murmured.

Alec jolted at the sound, and stared disbelievingly into the feline, golden eyes of Magnus Bane.

The alpha was reclining comfortably on a chaise lounge. He was dressed in a leather trench coat, coupled with a dark amber waistcoat and a pair of tight dress pants. An explosion of ebony crow feathers lined his coat. Exotic jewelry seemed to drip off him; he wore a ruby pendant around his neck, his black-nailed fingers—elegantly cradling a flute by its stem—were heavily ringed, and he wore large, silvery piercings that glinted from the tip of his ears. His eye makeup was exquisitely done up with sparkling glitter this time and plenty of eyeliner, and his lustrous hair was slicked back regally.

The alpha looked so sensual and beautiful that Alec's dizziness seemed to escalate.

Magnus lowered the flute of champagne he had been holding back onto the glass table in front of him, then unfurled himself like a lazy cat from the lounge, and moved over to where an incredulous Alec stood, swaying slightly.

"Wha—what are you…?" Alec spluttered. He was so drunk that it was hard to form coherent words. He turned his head to look behind him, but the bouncers had exited the room.

"Come sit, darling," Magnus said gently, pressing a warm hand to Alec's back and guiding him to the lounge. He tutted disapprovingly. "You're more intoxicated than I thought."

"Why are you here?" Alec slurred, confused.

Magnus broke into a grin. "This is my club, dearest. How do you find Pandemonium so far?" He beamed. "The name seems fitting, doesn't it, considering the wondrous chaos outside?"

Alec wasn't at all pleased to hear the news. He pointed furiously at Magnus as he was pushed softly onto the sofa. "I came here to drink because of you!"

Magnus arched a brow, but Alec was shouting again before the alpha could speak.

"I want you to get out of my head!" he raged at Magnus with childlike anger. "Why won't you leave me alone? You've been haunting me all day!"

The corners of Magnus' lips quirked upwards. "Have you been thinking of me, Alexander? I'm flattered."

"Yes," Alec said annoyedly. "The tequila was supposed to erase you from my head, but you're still here!" He spun his dark head around, and grabbed the flute of champagne from the table, the liquid sloshing. "I'm going to drink until I forget you."

"Alexander," Magnus said sternly, sitting down next to him. "Put down the glass. You've had enough alcohol for the next century, as far as I'm concerned."

Alec ignored the alpha, about to bring the glass to his lips, when Magnus suddenly snapped his ringed fingers.

The glass vanished.

Alec's jaw dropped. He rubbed his eyes, trying to clear his vision, but no, he wasn't imagining it. The flute of champagne had vanished into thin air, almost like it had never been there in the first place. His hand was empty.

How was that possible?

He looked at Magnus, and his throat tightened. It was for the first time that he realised how breathtakingly bizarre Magnus' golden eyes were. They had always appeared catlike, but at this moment, his pupils seemed to have slitted into thin, vertical lines.

No human eyes were like that.

He was drunk, right? He was probably hallucinating things. The alcohol was messing with his brain. That had to be it.

"Who… What are you?" Alec whispered.

Magnus smiled. He reached out a long-fingered hand and stroked Alec's messy hair tenderly. "I'm your future employer, of course."

So it was about the job offer again, wasn't it?

Alec wrenched himself away from Magnus. "I already said I don't want to be a model for Asmodeus."

Magnus' ringed fingers clasped his wrist before the omega could pull himself fully away. For a brief heartbeat, Alec found himself captivated by the colored gems of his rings.

"Then what do you want, Alexander?" Magnus inquired levelly. "Tell me. Do you wish to stay stationed behind a desk in a tragically boring office for the rest of your life until you wither away like a fallen butterfly? Is that what you want?"

Alec got to his feet, incensed. All of the pent-up frustrations in his chest seemed to rise up his throat like vomit, and next thing he knew, it all came spilling out.

"It's not about what I want, you idiot!" he burst out. No omega in their right mind would dare address an alpha this way, not even an omega posing as an alpha, but Alec was too far gone thanks to his wasted state. "Not everyone is like you! I have responsibilities, I have duties, I have my father's wants before my own! So in response to your question, Magnus, no, that's not what I want. But is that what I intend to do for the rest of my life? Yes! Because that's what my family wants!"

Magnus' eyes were sombre. "Alexander, darling—"

The omega shook his head, abruptly drained from the uncharacteristic fit of fury he had displayed.

"I feel so suffocated," Alec whispered, clenching his hands into fists. His blue eyes stung with tears. God. He hadn't cried since he was fifteen, when his first and only heat hit him. It was all the tequila's fault. "I feel like I'm going to choke to death from it all. I'm… I'm so sick of being someone I'm not."

A sudden wave of giddiness struck him, and he stumbled on his feet. A toned, warm arm caught him by his waist, but Alec was too fatigued to register it. His eyelids drooped, and he moaned under his breath, feeling his muscles weakening. His long legs began to crumple.

And then it all went black.

Chapter Text

Alec opened his blue eyes blearily, and stared as the rich surface of a vast mahogany ceiling swam into view. He felt comfortable, warm, and cosy, which were sensations that appealed greatly to his instincts as an omega. It was ingrained in every omega, even those that played the charade of an alpha, to desire to be enveloped and protected. Alec could feel his body buzzing with contentment, and his sleepy gaze flickered down to himself.

He was covered in a thick, plush comforter from where he lay snugly on a king-sized bed. He appeared to be in a bedroom of some sort, only the bedroom was the most glamorous one he had ever seen. It resembled the interior of a Presidential hotel suite, with golden rays of sunlight filtering through the creamy drapes, the lushly carpeted floor, and the unlit chandelier hanging above him.

"Awake, darling?"

Alec stiffened at the sound of the deep, velvety baritone, and he jerked upright on the sinfully comfortable bed, then froze as he caught sight of the alpha sitting on an scarlet armchair by his bedside.

Magnus Bane was dressed more simplistically than Alec had ever seen him. He wore a long tunic shirt and a pair of skin-tight skinny jeans, and Alec noticed that there were no signs of the necklaces and pendants that the alpha seemed to always like donning.

Instead of the usual numerous extravagant earrings lining Magnus' earlobes, there was only a single plain stud on each ear now. His fingers were mostly bare save for a silver band on the index finger of his right hand, though his nails were still painted black. Alec felt something strange and hot swelling in his stomach when he realised the alpha's angular face was currently devoid of makeup.

And yet Magnus was as beautiful as ever, his golden eyes gleaming brightly at Alec. The omega was stunned to see that Magnus' dark, sooty lashes were naturally long, and that his mesmerizing tanned skin was just as smooth and unblemished without any traces of foundation on it. His black locks was free of hair gel, and it was soft and tousled in a sensuous, somehow still stylish way. Alec had no idea if Magnus had awoken in the morning with his hair looking naturally like that, or if he'd deliberately fashioned it despite the lack of hair products he'd used.

"How are you feeling, Alexander?" Magnus inquired gently.

Alec continued staring at him, his grogginess gone. Instead, he could feel a nauseating pounding in his temples. "What are you doing here?"

Magnus' flawless lips quirked. "Considering this is my home, I live here."

Oh, God.

The memories of last night flooded Alec's head abruptly, and he nearly reeled.

Izzy had invited him to the nightclub called Pandemonium, and he'd gotten drunk, and then he had seen Magnus. And he'd spewed all kinds of nonsense at the alpha. In his hungover state now, he couldn't recall what he'd said to Magnus, but he had a feeling that it wasn't anything he would have ever repeated if he was sober. This was beyond humiliating. 

And then... Everything had gone black afterwards. He had passed out in the club.

The gravity of his situation struck him like a ton of bricks. 

"Work," Alec gasped, his chest tightening as panic seized him. Ignoring his throbbing headache, he swung the comforter aside, got out of the bed, and stood up shakily. He was so caught up in his worry that he didn't register that he wore nothing but a night robe. "I have work today—"

"No, love," Magnus cut him off soothingly, rising to his feet gracefully as well. He placed a large, long-fingered hand on Alec's shoulder. "I already informed your father that you would be on sick leave today."

Alec's jaw dropped in disbelief. "What are you talking about? How are you even able to contact him?"

Magnus looked amused. "I happen to be somewhat acquainted with your father, Alexander. Besides..." He reached out and softly brushed a loose strand of Alec's ebony hair from his forehead, making Alec shiver. "Even if I wasn't, I fortunately do have access to quite a few business contacts here and there."

Alec struggled to suppress a flush at the alpha's close proximity. His pale complexion only made his flaming cheeks all the more obvious. Magnus' intoxicating scent was making him slightly dizzy, his omega's instincts stirring with pleasure at the presence of an attractive alpha.

He inhaled a sharp breath as a sudden thought hit him.

His suppressants!

He always popped one every morning. This was his habit for years and years since his fifteenth birthday, and he had never once gone a single morning without taking his pill before. Alec didn't even want to consider the consequences of missing a pill for a day. He couldn't bring himself to think about it, not after everything he had done and had worked so hard to conceal.

"I have to go!" Alec babbled, trying to quell the horror and hysteria bubbling within him.

Magnus arched a brow. He stretched out his arm fluidly, effectively blocking Alec from his path towards the main door.

"Not so fast," Magnus murmured. His amber eyes raked Alec's panicked features with interest. "What's the hurry?"

"I just—I—" Alec stuttered, desperately finding an excuse. "I have to go to work now! I've already taken the morning off, so—"

"I specifically told your father that you would be on leave for the whole day today, Alexander," Magnus replied evenly.

"Yeah, but that wouldn't reflect well on my performance, so I should go—"

"Darling," Magnus said quietly. "You work seven days a week, and you work overtime almost every day. I think your more than perfect performance has already spoken for itself. You need to rest."

Alec chewed his lip. How on earth did Magnus know that?

Granted, the alpha had seen Alec at an Italian restaurant after work at ten p.m. two nights ago, but that was only once. How did Magnus know Alec worked overtime almost every day, and that he also worked seven days a week? Even if he was acquaintances with Robert Lightwood, Alec wasn't sure if his father would have told Magnus such details. 

But this wasn't the time to dwell on it. Alec needed to get out of here pronto, and to get his hands on his suppressants as soon as he could.

"Look, Magnus. You may be right, but my father won't be happy with me if I take leave for an entire day," Alec forced out. He wasn't lying about that, but he was lying about having to work an entire day. Today was Sunday, and he only worked half-days on Sundays. 

"Maybe not," Magnus responded mockingly, "but I don't think he has a choice in the matter."

Alec's cobalt eyes narrowed. "What do you mean?"

"Let's just say that he owes me a debt," Magnus said coolly, "and we'll leave it at that."

Alec eyed Magnus suspiciously. His father, owing Magnus a debt? What did that mean? Robert was the proudest alpha that Alec knew—he hated owing anyone anything. Alec couldn't understand how Robert would have asked Magnus, out of all people, for help. He wasn't even aware that Robert had any connection to Magnus in the first place, though they were both successful businessmen. Had Magnus loaned Robert money at one point of time? But that didn't make sense; the Lightwoods had always been wealthy.

Still, Alec couldn't afford to fret about this now. He had to get back home as quickly as possible, no matter what.

"I need to go, Magnus," Alec insisted. He gestured wildly at the opulent bedroom and at the king-sized bed, grasping for straws to exit the lavish room. "This, uh, this is a little too inappropriate for me, so I'll just excuse myself—"

Instead of appearing fazed, Magnus' sculpted mouth curved into a feline smile.

"How so?" he purred.

Alec was taken aback.

"I mean," he stammered, his cheeks reddening again, "I'm an alpha, and you're an alpha, and I somehow spent the night at your place, and..." His sapphire eyes dropped down to the night robe he donned, and he gulped. "Magnus, where are my clothes? You didn't... Oh, God. Did you change me out of my clothes?"

"I couldn't allow you to sleep in your dirty and uncomfortable attire," Magnus answered amusedly, and Alec's pulse sped up at the heat in the alpha's golden eyes. To his shock, the omega could feel himself getting hard under his robe, and he inhaled a labored breath, feeling scared, vulnerable, and ashamed at the same time.

Magnus had seen him naked. No one had seen him naked for years, certainly not since he had turned fifteen and had gotten his first and only heat. Before he had turned fifteen Alec had naturally assumed he was an alpha, and he'd actually slept with two female omegas when he was fourteen. Much to his puzzlement and disappointment, he had been unable to knot in bed, and the female omegas he'd had sex with had sneered at him and called him a failure of an alpha. Their cruel words had stayed with him for the rest of his life, and he'd resigned himself to celibacy since then, especially after discovering his omega status. He was aware that he was too thin and lanky to be a desirable alpha, his physique a clearer indication of his traits as an omega. If anyone looked at his bare body, they would conclude that he was a strange, frail-looking alpha. Not to mention male alphas were also well-known for the difference in size in regards to their genitalia, and Alec hence wasn't exactly endowed in that area, being an omega.

The female omegas he'd slept with in the past had sneered at him for that, too. He could understand why; an 'alpha' with his smaller size—which was the actual, normal size of a male omega—only made for an inadequate and an oddly deficient alpha.

What if Magnus, too, thought that Alec was an inadequate and an abnormal alpha?

"I'm straight," Alec blurted to Magnus, before he could help himself. "I'm only attracted to omegas. I know you're a bisexual and you've slept with fellow alphas before, and I swear I don't discriminate at all and freedom to you and all that, but I don't swing for the other team. Sorry."

Magnus stared at him, his exotic golden eyes gleaming and a half-smile playing on his sculpted lips.

"You've done research on me?" he said silkily.

Alec turned crimson. "No!" he defended himself hastily. "It's just... I mean, you're famous and people talk about you, and I overhear things. That's all!"

"I think you're lying," Magnus said softly.

Alec glared furiously at him. "Excuse me! I'm not—"

"You said you were only attracted to omegas, didn't you?" Magnus took a step towards Alec, and tenderly cupped his cheek. "Then... What's this?"

The alpha's amber eyes, darkened with hunger, lingered to the visible hardness tenting Alec's robe.

The omega emitted a choked, horrified noise, and he instantly backed away from Magnus, putting his hands guiltily over his groin.

"Alexander, darling," Magnus said gently. "There's nothing to be ashamed about."

Alec's heart was thundering so loudly within his ribs that he wondered if Magnus could hear it, and the omega's fear escalated straight into terror when he felt moisture between the back of his legs.


He hadn't gotten slick for years since he had turned fifteen. The last time he had experienced it was during his first and only heat, and after it had ended and he had started taking his suppressants, he had never felt that repulsive wetness betwen his thighs ever again.

So feeling that icky sensation after years of its absence sent Alec into a petrified frenzy. He let out a half-sob, half-moan as the onslaught of a panic attack consumed him. Spots of white blotted his vision, and his airways constricted.

No. No. He couldn't let Magnus see him like this. At this rate, the slick was going to trickle down his thighs.

Without thinking, he turned on his heel inside the grandiose bedroom, sprinted straight to the second door closest to him (Magnus was blocking the path to the first door), flung it open, and slammed it shut behind him, all the while ignoring Magnus' surprise.

It led to Magnus' bathroom, he realised in dismay, and not to the exit of the bedroom.

The omega locked the toilet door rapidly behind him, them slumped to the floor, trembling and quivering. Tears streaked his face.

What was he supposed to do now?