Loving the Omega
Book 7.5 in the Redwood Pack Series
Maddox Jamenson almost lost his mate before he knew she existed, but his life is now exactly how he’d dreamed it. The war with the Centrals is over, and his family is healing one day at a time. Ellie is reveling in the simple perfection that is her life and family now, but that doesn’t mean she can shed the self-doubts and concerns that come with being a new mother, mate, and Redwood.
When a disturbance in their quiet life threatens to ruin everything they’ve fought for, Maddox and Ellie will have to learn not only to rely on each other more than ever, but find within themselves the power to forgive.
Author’s Note: This is a novella set after book 7 to give you a taste of Maddox and Ellie. It is best that you have already immersed yourselves in the Redwood Pack world, however even new readers will enjoy a glimpse of one of the Redwood’s favorite couples.
Loving the Omega is Book 7.5 in the Redwood Pack series
- Book 1: An Alpha’s Path
- Book 2: A Taste for a Mate
- Book 3: Trinity Bound
- Book 3.5: A Night Away
- Book 4: Enforcer’s Redemption
- Book 4.5: Blurred Expectations
- Book 4.7: Forgiveness
- Book 5: Shattered Emotions
- Book 6: Hidden Destiny
- Book 6.5: A Beta’s Haven
- Book 7: Fighting Fate
- Book 7.5: Loving the Omega
- Book 7.7: The Hunted Heart
- Book 8: Wicked Wolf
- Boxed Set: Redwood Pack Box Set 1
- Boxed Set: The Complete Redwood Pack Box Set
- Anthology: 1001 Dark Nights Bundle Four
The full series reading order is as follows:
Loving the Omega
The quick, lethal slice of the blade robbed him of breath, and he gasped, clinging to that last thread of life he knew would fade away as he exhaled. Fire scorched down his throat, down his spine. The absence of pain, the absence of agony was a torture in itself. He reached out, begging, screaming until his voice was raw.
It wouldn’t matter though.
It never did.
The darkness surrounded him, clawing, digging its talons into his skin until he bled dry. It was the same thing every time. No matter what he did, he wouldn’t save him. He’d watch him die and lose the connection to the one man who mattered.
He pushed off the enemy and the cloying scent that meant the nothingness had found him and ran through clay and mud to the man who’d fallen, the man who’d been his everything as a child.
His screams did nothing.
The man fell to the ground, his body burning, turning to ash. There would be no rebirth. No phoenix rising. Only death.
“Maddox! Let go!”
He turned at the sound of his mother’s voice, the pain underlying her terror unbearable. She stood in a ring of fire, a sad smile on her face.
“Let go, baby. Stop fighting.”
Maddox Jamenson jolted from sleep, a scream on his lips. Sweat slicked his back, and his hands shook. He let his face rest in his hands as he tried to throw off the nightmare as he’d done every morning since his parents had died, but it wasn’t enough this time.
He staggered from bed, his feet sliding on the tile when he got to the bathroom, his body still in a state of shock and sleep. As he vacated his stomach of whatever was left over from the night before, he closed his eyes, trying to will away the shakes.
Soft hands rubbed the scars on his back, soothed his aches. His mate, his love, Ellie placed a cool washcloth on his forehead, and he leaned into her, his eyes closed. He knew she sat on the floor next to him, her back to the sink as she took the brunt of his weight. She’d carry him through fire. Had literally done that once before. Just as he had done for her.
Those days were over now. At least they should have been.
Ellie shifted so he sat between her legs, supported against her chest, and ran her hands through his hair. “Feel better?”
They’d lain the opposite of this before, his large body cradling hers. The picture they made now would have looked odd to outsiders, but this was him and Ellie. They were who they were. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Maddox nodded, finally opening his eyes to see his mate. Her dark hair framed her face, the worry in her dark eyes mixed with sleep—sleep they both should still be relishing in.
“I’ve been better,” he replied truthfully. He ran his tongue over his teeth and winced. “And I need to brush my teeth.”
Ellie wrinkled her nose then kissed his temple. “Yeah, brushing your teeth sounds good. But what about the nightmare? Was it the same one?”
He sighed, closing his eyes for a moment, before forcing them back open. He was man enough to admit he was too afraid to keep them closed for too long afraid of what he’d see.
“It’s the same thing each time. I feel the bond between my father and me snap, sever, break. It’s not just the Alpha bond, but the one that holds us together as a family…”
“…and your connection to him as an Omega,” his mate finished for him.
Maddox leaned into Ellie’s hold once more then stood up, holding out his hand. She put her hand in his, and he pulled her up, tucking her into his body. With her there, his wolf calmed, and he didn’t feel so out of place, out of sync anymore. He slid his fingers through her long black hair, loving the soft texture against his skin. Memories of her hair brushing his sweat-slick skin as they made love filled his mind, and he held back a groan. Yes, he loved her hair. The dark tresses fell over her honey-dark skin, the combination a perfect blend of what he loved about his mate.
“Want to talk about it?” she asked through their mental connection.
Their mating bond was unique in that it had held this special feature. They could communicate thoughts to one another along a special path created when they mated. He could hear the thoughts she sent him and vice versa. They couldn’t hear every thought, and he was glad for that. Without that barrier it would be easy to become lost inside her mind forever, painful memories and all. If he could, he would find a way to erase everything she’d been through with the Centrals and soothe her aches, but as Ellie had pointed out, without those, she wouldn’t be the person she was today. It was the same for him as well. They each needed their own space, but knowing that the other person would be there, even in that special connection, made Maddox feel more centered.
He wasn’t sure how the extra power through their mating bond had happened, or if there were true instances beyond rumors of it happening to others, but he was grateful for it.
Before they mated, Maddox had felt that special spark with his Ellie but had also felt cut off from her in a way that terrified him. Not only had he been an idiot in thinking she was his twin brother, North’s, mate, but he hadn’t been able to feel her emotions.
As the Omega, he had that bond with each and every packmember—except his twin. He could feel the highs and lows that came with living, and it was his job to keep the emotional health of the Redwood Pack in alignment.
Without the mating bond, however, he hadn’t been able to feel Ellie. That alone had made him feel adrift in an endless stream of pain and loss.
Now, though, he had everything.
Or at least he tried to believe he did.
“No, I don’t need to talk about it again,” Maddox finally answered. Ellie let out a breath then leaned into him, brushing her teeth at the same time as he did.
They’d discussed his dreams and what they meant over and over in the past month since the Redwoods had defeated Caym and the Centrals, but they couldn’t find a way to make them stop.
There was no Omega for the Omega.
Not even the mate who loved him with everything she had could be his Omega.
Maddox grinned despite the sour way they’d woken up and pulled Ellie into the bedroom at the sound of their daughter’s voice.
“We’re in here, Charlotte,” he called out, grateful he and Ellie had worn clothes to bed that evening.
Charlotte huffed and rolled her pretty brown eyes—so much like Ellie’s— as she walked into the bedroom. Seven years old and the little girl already had the attitude of a pre-teen.
Not that Maddox cared a bit. Considering how they’d found her, he’d take the attitude and eye-rolling over the abject terror and fear he’d seen the first time they met any day.
“I know you’re in here. That’s why I knocked first.” She said it with a smile and that hint of giddiness that told Maddox she was just happy she could speak whenever she wished.
When they’d first found Charlotte, she’d been chained to a wall in Corbin’s basement. Charlotte, fearful and in danger, tried her best to help Maddox and Ellie out of a dangerous situation. As soon as they’d gotten near the girl, they knew who she was.
It hadn’t been a hard decision to take Charlotte away from the Centrals and bring her to the Redwoods. In fact, he wasn’t sure he and Ellie had talked about it beyond the plan to save the little girl. Once Charlotte became a Redwood, there had been the issue of just how to raise her. Others might have raised her as a younger sibling and found a way to deal, but Charlotte desperately needed a mother and father.
The little girl had told them that in plain words.
There was no way to say no to that, and they adopted her as their own.
The fact she called them Mom and Dad, though, that was new. And still a kick in the chest every time he heard it. The good kind of kick, though. The really freaking good kind.
“Can we have French toast?”
Maddox blinked at Charlotte’s question then shook his head, trying to clear the cobwebs. His mind had been on the past and what they’d overcome more often than not lately, and he needed to start focusing on the future.
“No? We can’t have French toast?” Charlotte asked, her lip wobbling.
Maddox knelt down before picking her up and tossing her over his shoulder. She squealed and wiggled, but he had a firm hold on her. He’d never let his daughter get hurt. No matter what.
“Yes, I’ll make you some French toast.”
“Do you want me to make it?” Ellie asked behind them, laughter in her voice.
“No,” he and Charlotte said at the same time then froze. Maddox turned and pulled Charlotte so he held her in front of his chest. “Uh…”
Ellie raised a brow and folded her arms over her chest. “You both are way too much alike. And I only burned the French toast once.”
Maddox grimaced, remembering the taste. He wouldn’t let her throw it out. No, he had to eat it all to prove to her that he was a good mate.
Or a crazy one.
His mate winked then tickled Charlotte, who in turn thrashed and ducked in his arms. Soon he was laughing with the both of them, the perfect morning after another shitty night of dreams.
“Crap! Why can’t I get this right?”
Maddox winced at Ellie’s words but didn’t get up from his spot on the floor. He kept painting Charlotte’s dresser as a surprise for her when she got home from the play date in the center of the den.
Ellie had tried baking.
And from the burnt smell filling his nostrils and the frustration radiating off his mate mixing with the paint fumes, she wasn’t doing well. The woman could cook and not kill them. They all knew that. She could make pastas, rice, some sauces, and even dressings.
As soon as she had to add sugar to something and call it a baked good or even French toast, it was like she forgot how to use an oven.
For some reason he thought that was the cutest thing ever. Not that he’d ever tell her that.
“I see that smirk, Maddox Jamenson.”
Maddox schooled his features as Ellie came to his side before sitting down. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Ellie snorted then leaned into him. He set his paintbrush down and wrapped his arm around her shoulders.
“What’s up, mate of mine?”
“I will never be able to bake cookies and other things for our girl like Willow does.” Willow was Maddox’s brother Jasper’s mate. She was also an amazing baker and now a chocolatier.
“Baby, that’s Willow’s job and passion. You don’t have to bake as well as her. In fact, you can use her skills to your advantage. We can have cookies without the cleanup.”
She sighed then bit into his shoulder softly. His wolf perked up, the slight sting of her teeth against Maddox more than enough to entice him.
“I want to be able to bake with Charlotte,” Ellie whispered.
Maddox kissed her temple then brought her to his lap. She curled into him, and he ran his hands down her side. He knew this was about more than just baking, but he would wait until she was ready to talk about it. After all, she’d given him time that morning.
“You can. Maybe Charlotte will be a savant at it.”
Ellie snorted then leaned into his neck, sniffing before licking behind his ear. It was a slow move, as if she hadn’t thought about doing it and just did it instinctively.
Maddox groaned then stood up with her in his arms. Thank the moon goddess he was a wolf with extra strength because getting up from a seated position on the floor with his mate in his arms wouldn’t have been easy otherwise. Not that Ellie was heavy by any means, but it could have been awkward as hell.
“Where are we going?” she asked softly.
“I’m going to take you to the bedroom and make love to you and make sure my scent is all over your body.”
Ellie licked the underside of his ear again before nipping on the lobe. He growled, the sting of her bite going straight to his cock.
“I’m pretty sure your scent is so deep in my pores there’s no way it would ever leave.”
Maddox grinned then set her down on the edge of the bed. “I just want to be thorough.”
“You look like a wolf on the prowl, you know.”
Maddox licked his lips then nipped at hers. “I am, Ellie mine. Now let me strip you down and lick those pretty breasts.”
She blushed then lifted her arms, making it easy for him to take off her shirt. When they’d first mated, he’d been soft, gentle, oh-so-sweet. It was what they’d both needed. The pain in Ellie’s past, and the strain on his wolf from knowing that past, had forced him to treat her as gently as possible. Not that she was fragile, oh no, she was the furthest from fragile as a mate could be.
She was strong to the core.
And as they became mates in truth and time had passed, they’d explored each other in a heady way. Each time they came together was more explosive than the last, their wolves arching, bonding, and mating in all ways possible.
He took off his clothes as well, leaving both sets in a pile on the floor near the bed. His gaze went to hers, the gold rim around the honey brown glowing in need, in heat. He loved those eyes, loved falling in love with them each time he set eyes on her.
“Love me, Maddox.”
Licking his lips, he knelt before her, putting his hands on her knees. “Let me taste you, Ellie mine. You know I love it when you come on my tongue, all sweet and delicious. Like my own taste of candy and nectar.”
“You know, I’m starting to crave your dirty talk.”
He grinned then spread her legs. As she shuddered under his gaze, he blew cool breath over his pussy, loving the way she tensed then fell back fully on the bed.
“Up on your elbows, Ellie mine. I want to look in your eyes as I lick your pussy.”
She shivered, and his wolf growled, wanting more.
He licked her then, the sweet taste bursting on his tongue. She bucked, and he put his arm over her hips, holding her in place so he could lick his way around her, a sweet torture for the both of them. He suckled and licked around her clit, pulling back the hood so he could flick her clit with the tip of his tongue.
She cried out for him, and he hummed against her hood and clit before spearing her with his fingers. He curved them, finding that swollen spot deep within her. He rubbed circles over it as he licked and nibbled her clit. He knew she was close, her body zinging with that special energy that shot right to his cock.
He pressed harder on that bundle of nerves at the same time he bit down on her clit with one fang, a gentle scrape that was more of a dominance play than anything else. They both loved it, and from the way she screamed his name, her gaze never shuttering as those honey brown eyes met his, he knew that he would have to do that move again.
Because right then all he wanted was to be deep within her.
He pulled out of her and licked his fingers. A slow movement that had his mate swallowing hard, still gasping for breath from her orgasm.
“I want you on top, Ellie mine,” he said as he plucked her off the bed and set her on her feet. “Ride me so I’m deep within that tight pussy of yours.”
“You like it when I’m in control, do you?” She grinned then pushed his shoulders so he fell back to the bed, his cock bouncing off his belly.
“You know I love it when you do that hip-roll thing. Sexy as hell.”
She straddled him, her hands planted near his head and her slick heat brushing against his dick. “I like it too. I like when you play with my breasts when I ride you. It makes me feel like I’m in control even as you press up deep within me, never letting go.”
He almost came right then at the visual. With a grunt, he lifted her up by her hips then slammed her down on his cock. They both groaned, lying still and adjusting to the feeling of her pussy wrapped so delicately around his dick.
She sighed then rolled her hips in that way that made his balls tighten. Fuck, he loved it when she did that.
He cupped her breasts, flicking her nipples. Goddess, he loved her breasts too. Honestly, he loved every single thing about this woman. She lifted up, sliding up his cock, leaving a glistening trail, then slid back down. He groaned but kept his attention on her breasts, knowing that’s what she loved. He let her set the pace, because as soon as she came again, it would be his turn.
“Rub yourself against the base of my dick, Ellie,” he grunted through the pleasure. “Make yourself come.”
She grinned at him then shifted forward so her breasts were near his mouth. He loved the taste of them, he licked and suckled until they were like dark red berries, ready for plucking.
Ellie rolled her hips again, this time grinding her clit against the base of his cock at an agonizing pace. Her breath quickened, her moves becoming frantic as she reached her climax, her pussy clamping down on his dick.
He pulled out in one quick move, flipped her on her back, and then plunged into her before she could come down from her high. She arched her back, her eyes closed.
Goddess, he’d never seen such a beautiful sight.
He gripped her hips, ramming into her with all his strength. They both needed the strength, the pace that sent them over the edge. His balls tightened, the tingling at the base of his back telling him he was close.
“Ellie, open your eyes.”
She met his gaze, and he slammed into her once more, staying there as he came within her, filling her up until he was sure she’d always be part of him as he was of her.
Soon after, he lay down beside her, spent yet energized. He knew they would have to get up soon and get dressed again so they were ready when Charlotte came home, but right then, he was perfectly content with his mate naked in his arms. Things weren’t perfect in their den, in their home, but they were well on their way to becoming exactly who they needed to be.
However, it didn’t shake the sense of something about to change. Something even his Omega powers couldn’t predict.