The Care and Feeding of Omegas
In Bayou Wolf, Cassius met with Serafina in private in order to ask about borrowing Sovvan.
In Untamed Wolf, Dylan Royce found himself confronted by a different type of wolf—one who didn’t always listen or follow the rules. One who grew very distracted when she was hungry, and one, as it turned out, who had a very special gift.
Chrystal is an Omega—a very special type of wolf in the world of Willow Bend—so I asked Dylan to stop by and fill you in on what he learned after he and Chrystal went to Delta Crescent to study with Sovvan, the Delta Crescent Omega.
Dylan: Thanks for having me today, although I’m not really sure why you wanted me when we’re going to be talking about Cassius.
Me: Not talking about Cassius precisely, even if he is the hero of the tale…
Dylan: Last time I checked, he was a jerk, not a hero.
Me: Last time you checked, you were a playboy and not a happily mated wolf.
Me: So, work with me?
Dylan: Sure, why not. What do you need to know?
Me: We’re here to discuss the care and feeding of an omega.
Dylan: An omega isn’t a pet.
Me: I’m aware of that.
Dylan: Then why do you have a subject like that? It sounds like you’re talking about the care and feeding of your chinchilla.
Me: It’s a basic subject, but I know it’s more complicated—hence me talking to you.
Dylan: Uh huh. I almost want to go back to discussing jerk heroes.
Me: *laughs* We can, but I think we should discuss omegas.
Dylan: It’s your quarter.
Me: More like my four bucks, but we’re digressing… Before you met Chrystal, had you ever met an omega?
Me: Heard about them?
Dylan: Not really.
Me: So, she’s your first?
Dylan *grins* In so many ways.
Me: *coughs* Stay on target. She is the one with the shiny object issues.
Dylan: She is, but not to the same extent as she was when we met.
Me: Would you say it’s the mating her or training that has helped her focus more?
Dylan: It’s her—oh, I see what you did there. It’s her eating habits. *he mimes a half bow* She didn’t eat as well before she met me. In fact, I don’t think she understood how much wolves need and burn in the terms of calories.
Me: All wolves? Or is there something peculiar about the omegas?
Dylan: *shrugs* All wolves need to eat a high calorie diet. Shifting requires a lot of energy. Chrystal didn’t grow up around other wolves, and she didn’t understand the caloric intake. That said…yes, she does tend to become a little more unfocused when she’s hungry.
Me: You took her to Delta Crescent to spend time with another Omega?
Me: Can you share a little of what you learned?
Dylan: I could, but I won’t.
Me: Why not?
Dylan: Because omegas are precious, and who knows what you want to do with the information…
Me: I know they’re precious, and I know how important Chrystal is to you, I promise. I’m not going to use the information to harm them.
Dylan: You do realize I’ve been written by you.
Me: Of course.
Dylan: So, not telling. *folds arms* Omegas are all different. Precious but different. So, yes, you should feed them and take care of them.
Me: Were you always this stubborn?
Me: If you could give one piece of advice for someone who may never have experienced an omega before, what would it be?
Dylan: Be prepared to be amazed.
Me: I like that… Does Chrystal still amaze you?
Dylan: Every single day.
If you want to know more of Dylan’s story, check out Untamed Wolf. To learn more about Omegas, don’t miss Desert Wolf.
Title: Desert Wolf
Author: Heather Long
Series: Wolves of Willow Bend #8
Genre: Paranormal/Shifter Romance
Release Date: November 24th, 2015
Print Length: 90K
Format: Paperback and Digital
Print ISBN: 978-1-517315-795
Digital ISBN: 978-1-310000-867
Cassius, Alpha of Sutter Butte, leads the most ruthless and dangerous pack in the United States. A pack comprised of misfits who didn’t fit in their previous packs, cast offs discarded by their packs and forgotten wolves who rose to create a pack more than a century before in utter defiance of the order of the day. Sometimes pitiless and cruel, he wants more for his people than a yearly bloodbath as they fight for a new place, a better spot in the pecking order. To change his pack, means to change himself and he will find rebellion on all sides, not the least of which is his own defiant heart.
Sovvan Stark, Omega of Delta Crescent, lives a cherished, beloved life in the center of her pack, a delicate and hard won balance. Though she is not the only Omega, she is the most experienced with the tremors of pack upset when power shifts from Alpha to Alpha. When her Alpha approaches her about Sutter Butte’s request, Sovvan considers the matter for several long months. While she might hold within her the key to helping the Sutter Butte Alpha, the undertaking could very well kill her.
Accompanied by a single Hound, Sovvan begins a journey to help Cassius rebuild the foundation of his pack, but first she will have to transform him…
An Excerpt from DESERT WOLF:
Heat rolled in waves from the blacktop of the old highway. Around him, the desert sprawled in its painted glory, seemingly melting into the horizon where it kissed the sky. The colors streaked past him as he accelerated, blowing past the old trading posts and bypassing the interstate with its smoother surface and promise of civilization in the distance. If one sought to journey through the decades, the old highway east of Holbrook was the place to start.
Sweat slicked his back beneath the leather jacket and the motorcycle vibrated between his thighs. Clocking over a hundred, he barely noticed the machine’s growl echoing his wolf’s. Cassius Lucera del Alba, Alpha of Sutter Butte squinted to catch sight of the town he sought ahead.
Though town was a generous description for the collection of ramshackle structures—of which a filling station with a decrepit market attached and a lone bar were clearly detailed. Time hadn’t forgotten the town, it had left it in the dust by doing a hundred and sixty and never looked back. If the location had a name, no map detailed it, not even Google. The poor bastards didn’t even have a ghost to call their own.
Though they might when he finished.
He didn’t slow until he reached the main drag, all eighty-five feet of it and parked his bike in front of the bar. A handful of vehicles were scattered amongst the cracked pavement and gravel. Three he recognized, two he didn’t. Like the bar, the cars were in sad shape and far more popular in earlier decades. Killing the engine, he dropped the kickstand and slid off his baby. Road dust coated her paint and chrome. With a stroke of his gloved hand over the seat, he promised her a bath later.
Leaving the bike, he strode toward the building. No one moved outside, but one wolf stood inside the filling station. He was a smart wolf, he’d spotted Cassius, yet didn’t reach for a phone or make any move other than retrieving his newspaper and flipping it open.
Inside, the cool air rushed over his sweaty face like a sweet kiss. The scents of stale beer, body odor, remnants of the blood spilled throughout the years, and fear stained the experience. The population of the bar—easily a dozen wolves though Cassius scented at least four more in the back—glanced up from their places scattered around the room. Three played pool, four others huddled around a card game while the rest sat in various spots including two at the bar drinking. A couple in the corner paused with her hand down his pants. The bartender—a tall, broad wolf with a balding pate and a world-weary expression raised his eyebrows in silent inquiry.
“Beer. Cold.” Cassius said, and the bartender nodded. A moment later, he set a tall bottle of Corona on the weathered bar top. The sides frosted and a hint of vapor escaped the top. Condensation formed almost immediately on the sides, slicking along the glass in rivulets.
Stripping off his fingerless gloves first. Cassius set them on the bar. Next, he peeled off his jacket. The old leather moulded him perfectly after the many years he spent wearing it. Only after setting it on the bar next to his gloves did he peel off three one hundred dollar bills and lay them next to the bottle. The bartender didn’t say a word as he took the bills, tucked them into his pocket then locked his register and exited through the double doors behind the bar.
Leaning against the aged wood, Cassius swept the room with his gaze. “If any of you are still sitting on your asses, disobeying the direct orders I sent out when I finish this beer, I’ll kill you.” He didn’t raise his voice. Shouting accomplished nothing. Yelling indicated the battle was lost before it began.
Chair legs scraping across the floor splintered the silence. The couple in the corner disengaged. The she-wolf grabbed her purse as she stood. Boots striking the floor punctuated her exodus. No sooner did the door slam shut behind her than the four wolves playing cards toss them down, abandoning their game. The men muttered, but they divvied the pot, then bowed their heads to him one at a time before hurrying out.
Tipping the bottle up, he took a long pull of the cold drink. It soothed his parched throat. One of the pool players threw down his stick. One of the wolves tried to stop him with a hand on his arm, but he shook it off. Then like the other wolves before him, he hurried out the door.
From nearly twenty to only ten—behind feet stomped on the stairs followed by another door slamming. Make that eight. One of the upstairs wolves strode into the bar, and stood in the center of it. Surprise filled his scent at the emptiness in the room. The others waited, their attention divided between Cassius and Finch.
Stupid fucking name for a wolf. Another long pull from his beer, and Cassius was three quarters finished. One by one he met the gazes of the wolves around the room. The smarter ones lowered their eyes immediately, the dumbasses fought to hold his gaze—even Finch.
Focusing on him last, Cassius studied him. Fresh beads of sweat began to trickle along Finch’s cheeks. The wolf swore, then stomped out and slammed the door with enough force, one of the hinges cracked.
Then there were seven.
Other Books in the Wolves of Willow Bend Series:
WOLF AT LAW
WOLF NEXT DOOR
WOLF WITH BENEFITS
SINGLE WICKED WOLF
National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.
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