Beta's Love (Irresistible Omegas #8) - Nora Phoenix
One Year Ago
Ten days. Sando had been at the PTP Ranch for ten days now, and nothing was like he’d expected. Granted, he had limited experiences in life—make that zero, actually—so he wasn’t sure what he had envisioned exactly when he’d turned here for help, but these people were strange.
Good strange, though. The kind of strange that kept him observing, trying to figure things out. Luckily, everyone seemed okay with him keeping to himself and not saying much. Maybe they reasoned he was worried sick about his father. He was. But that didn’t mean his brain had switched off. Nothing ever could accomplish that. His brain was always busy, always churning in the background, analyzing and reasoning, even when he didn’t do it consciously.
Some of his best ideas had happened that way, by allowing his brain to mull it over while he was technically doing other things. His father had taught him that, one of the many lessons he’d instilled in Sando. Fostering creative thinking was a big success factor, his father had always impressed upon him, and Sando believed him. The man had never lied to him.
His brain certainly had enough to ponder here. Take the dynamics between pack alpha Lidon Hayes and his three mates. Enar especially fascinated Sando. Unfailingly kind, the beta who was born an alpha truly behaved like a beta in every way. Palani was a force of nature, Vieno was as sweet as they came, and even Lidon—so clearly the alpha in every way with his big, burly body—was kind and honorable. Sando had watched him, but not once had he treated anyone else with alpha contempt, as his father always called it. Papa had little to no tolerance for alpha arrogance, but Sando hadn’t encountered much of that on the ranch.
They treated him with respect, which was even more exceptional because he was an omega. Not once had they given him the impression he was less or that he should submit to the alphas and betas on the ranch. They’d taken him seriously, including what he had shared about his father’s research. They’d given him a room, and Palani had said Sando should ask if he needed anything.
He was sitting near the pool in the late afternoon sun, attempting to relax. He’d been holed up in his room most of the day, writing out his father’s concepts and formulas, committing as much to paper as he could remember. This research was the kind where little mistakes could have big consequences, so he constantly feared forgetting or misremembering something. The stress of that made him tense all the time, which had probably caused his headache.
“Hi,” a hesitant voice spoke, and Sando looked up. He’d seen him before, the beta with the dark hair and the friendly brown eyes. He often sported a shy smile that made Sando feel like they could be friends. If he knew how to make friends in the first place. Or even how to be a friend. Again, zero experience.
“Hi.” He pushed his glasses up his nose. What was the beta’s name again? Sando had met so many people, had tried to remember all their names.
“Can I sit here?” The beta pointed at the chair next to Sando.
“Yes, yes. Of course.” Sando bit his lip. “I’m sorry, but I forgot your name. I’ve been practicing all the names, but I’ve met too many people, and I can’t recall it.”
“Lucan. Lucan Whitefield. And no worries. I completely understand. I haven’t been here that long myself, and it’s kind of overwhelming.” The beta sent him one of his sweet smiles, and Sando relaxed.
“Thank you. Yes, it is. So many names to commit to memory…and I don’t want to mess up.”
“They won’t get mad if you do,” Lucan said. “They’re not like that.”
“That’s good to know. I have noticed people on the ranch are…different. Do you like it here?”
Lucan immediately nodded. “I love it. It’s challenging at times, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I don’t know if you heard how I ended up here?”
Sando shook his head.
“Lidon arrested me.”
Sando’s eyes grew big. “He what?”
“I met Lidon when he was a cop, and I was a pharmacy tech. He caught me accepting an illegal prescription. It’s a long story, but the short of it is that a corrupt cop in the police department changed my statement, and when he discovered I had talked to Lidon about that, he threatened me. Lidon decided I should come here for my safety, and my father