The Alpha Knight’s Promise by Jon Grace and Charlie Moses

1016

Omegaverse Series Book 3

Before Marcus took the throne, before Ana’s wedding-bound voyage to Syrage, before Theo became captain of the King’s Guard…

There echoed tales of the most formidable army history ever knew. Its soldiers were stronger, loved harder, and lived a legacy that shone brighter than the finest armor.

Alpha Balian always knew he wanted to be a knight. It was in his blood. He’d grown up on stories of valor passed down from his grandfather, Sir Bahram, one of Syrage’s most decorated commanders and hero of the second Great War.

The tales of Sir Bahram’s conquests on the battlefield were paralleled only by those of the passionate love he held for his Omega, the fated mate who gave him the greatest gift of all — a family.

But times are different now. Gone are the days where Alphas can seek both honor and love. Fated mates have become mere fantasy, something whispered between Alphas during training.

That is, until chance brings Balian face-to-face with a captivating Omega on the brink of heat. A forbidden fire ignites, one that threatens to burn Balian to his core as he finds himself torn between the weight of his legacy and a pledge made from his heart. It's in this struggle that he learns a lesson no tale of even Sir Bahram's could have taught: that even the might of the greatest army pales in comparison to the inevitability of an Alpha's promise.

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Excerpt from The Alpha Knight's Promise © Copyright 2023 Jon Grace and Charlie Moses

I turned to leave, only to freeze when a man, slender and pale, came stumbling out from one of the alleys near the heat house, holding his stomach as though he was about to throw up. He was glistening with sweat, his eyes shining a dull gold, but I didn't need to see his eyes to know he was an Omega. His scent hit me a second after the sight of him did, sweet and inviting, more so than any meal or warm bed had been in my life.

I was standing between him and the woman who ran the house, so I quickly stepped to one side so that she could see him and so that he didn't have to stare down an Alpha blocking up the road when he was clearly in the middle of preheat stupor.

“Emil!” the woman gasped, rushing up to him and throwing her shawl over his shoulders. She cupped his face as he whined, his face flushed and twisted up as another cramp made his knees buckle. I wanted to go to him and help him up, but I planted my feet and clenched my fists so that I didn't succumb to the need to be closer to him.

It was difficult. I'd been to the heat house a few times before when I knew an Omega was there who would need help through their heat, but there were so few Omegas these days, and many Alphas had been lost to wars over the years, so there simply weren't as many of us as there used to be. It made any concept of finding a mate and being with each other beyond the primal need to satisfy a heat and rut…difficult. We were encouraged to think of this kind of thing as transactional, simple, and separate from our daily lives.

But that didn't make the instinct any less powerful, nor my ability to fight it any stronger. Watching this boy, Emil, shaking and cold from the fever wracking his body, listening to his pitiful whimpers that he tried to stifle into the woman's shawl, I was overcome with the desire to hold him. My body heat would keep him warm. I was strong enough to soothe him, to protect him. I could be whatever he needed, do whatever he wanted, I could do it. I wanted to.

“You're still in preheat,” the woman said quietly, checking his temperature with the back of her hand and tutting. I wondered how she could tell – she was a beta, she didn't have the nose for that kind of thing. But I supposed working here long enough she'd be able to figure out the signs.

Emil bared his teeth towards his feet and tried to straighten up, hissing in pain. “I know,” he grunted, his voice rough and high. My own gut ached with sympathy. He was empty, he was in pain, I wanted to help him.

I grabbed onto a post outside the heat house, where horses could be tied, and held it tight enough my knuckles went white, so that I didn't lunge into his space and frighten him. I didn't know if he could smell me, if he could even focus on anything but his own preheat, but I hoped if he could smell me, that it was soothing to him, and not making things worse.

“Come, I'll get you home and make sure a nest is prepared for you tomorrow,” the woman said, wrapping her arm around Emil's shoulders and helping him walk. I heard him thanking her quietly, but then there was no sound except the roar of blood in my ears, as Emil looked up and our eyes locked.

His expression didn't change, it was likely he didn't even register me, but as the woman walked Emil past me, careful to keep her distance, Emil didn't look away. I couldn't either – my entire body was frozen because the only other option was lunging for him and mounting him right in the middle of the street, and obviously I couldn't do that.

Still, the farther he was walked away from me, the louder my blood roared in my ears, the more my stomach hurt, the sharper I felt this painful tug in my chest, as though there was a rope between us and being too far away from him pulled it taut and made a hook dig in behind my ribcage. I wanted to follow him so badly, to make sure he reached a safe nest, and to keep him warm and fed and touch him until he wasn't in pain any longer. I could do it, I knew I could do it, or die trying.

It felt like a century had passed when the woman rounded the corner with Emil, breaking my line of sight. That in and of itself was excruciating, and made my bruised ribs and aching shoulder screech in additional pain since I was so tensed up. I forced myself not to move, not until it was safe, not until I could no longer smell him, though even when the wind picked up and the night grew chill, I still could. He was like a taste on the back of my tongue I couldn't quite swallow down completely.

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