Those sirens were really becoming a pain!
Tristan looked out the cafe window as three police vehicles sped by, heading who knows where! What the hell was happening so early in the morning? From the corner of his eye, he glanced at the clock that read 8:00 am. Shaking his head, he focused on the man in front of him. "Here you go, Tom. Hope everything goes well today with your big meeting!" he called out as he handed him his iced coffee.
Maddie, his assistant manager, came up to stand beside him as they watched another police car pass while they prepared the following order.
"I wonder what's going on," Maddie commented, curiosity displaying on her face. It was normal for police officers to visit the cafe as it was close to one of the biggest precincts in the area. It was not normal for them to swerve through the street as if in a high-speed chase.
He shrugged his shoulders, irritated that his usually quiet mornings had been disturbed by all the chaos happening outside the small coffee shop. But it wasn't like he could call the police and file a noise complaint. "No clue," he finally replied in response to Maddie's earlier statement.
Turning his focus back to his customers, he gave them a dazzling smile, his eyes twinkling, as he saw that the next customer was one of his favorite regulars.
"Hi, Rose!" he said, moving away from the counter to grab a scone from the stand. " Vanilla latte, coming right up. How's your dog doing? Better after the surgery, I hope?" he asked the thirty-something beta woman, who looked frazzled as she dropped her briefcase on the floor while searching for her wallet in her overly stuffed handbag.
Rose looked up and gave Tristan a small smile. "She's all recovered." Rose accepted the coffee and the complimentary scone and headed off to her high-stress job as executive assistant to the Mayor.
Tim, a college student who worked part-time at the cafe, craned his neck to see out the front window as more police vehicles went by. At this point, most of the customers had forgotten their freshly baked pastries and coffee as they stared out the window, wondering what was happening. "This can't be good, " Tim muttered, picking up a discarded coffee mug and cleaning the table, "Whatever this is."
Tristan agreed, but for different reasons. He had bought this small coffee shop due to the proximity to the police station. He loved the police coming in and out of the cafe and always gave them free coffee and pastries. The free food brought them into his shop and reduced the possibility of anyone harassing him or his shop. Who would be stupid enough to commit a crime a block away from a police station?
He was an unmarked omega, and even though things had changed over the years, just being an omega made him vulnerable. Gone were the days when omegas were treated as less than human and more like sex-slaves, sure there were still morons who were stuck in their ways and fought against the change, but for the most part, he was free to be and live the life he wanted to. He just had to be cautious.
He'd opened Y Not Scone two years ago, right after he had broken up with his dick of an ex. And since then, he knew he'd made the right choice every time he looked over his small but busy coffee shop—both about starting his own business and getting rid of Jacob.
Jacob had been his high school sweetheart. One of those cliche love stories where a nerd fell in love with the school jock type of shit. It was all sweet and fluffy in the beginning until it wasn't. They dated straight through college and moved in together right after. But Jacob had always been reluctant to mark him, saying he was waiting until they were more stable in their respective careers.
Jacob had been finishing up a fellowship in Plastic Surgery, while Tristan completed a degree in social work. Jacob was an alpha and had assumed that overbearing role as the relationship continued. Somewhere along the line, Jacob allowed the opinions of the self-important alphas in his social group to poison his thought and actions.
He couldn't even count how often he'd come home from work to find Jacob lazing about the house, the place a mess, and Jacob had the gall to look him in the eyes and ask what they'd be having for dinner. No longer had he felt like an equal in his own home.
But Tristan had been in love, or he thought he was. For years he put up with cleaning, cooking, and picking up the son-of-a-bitch's dirty underwear off the floor of their apartment, hoping Jacob would eventually marry and claim him.
One night, soon after Jacob had finished his fellowship, he returned home to find the son-of-a-bitch in his bed, fucking some blonde-haired bitch in the sheets that Tristan had washed just that morning. He had been furious and not at the bosom blonde who ran out of the house, barely covered, but at the man whom he had given ten years of his life to. Without listening to any explanation Jacob could come up with, he walked right out the door, vowing never to let himself get played for a fool again.
Shaking his head, he pushed all thoughts of Jacob out of his mind, refusing to allow him any more space in his life. He was happy!
He had the next order packaged and ready when he felt a strange sensation come over him. Looking around, he wondered what had changed. The customer line was almost out the door, his workers were busy exchanging pleasantries with the regulars, and the oven had just dinged to inform him that another batch of freshly baked chocolate chip muffins was ready. All was right in his world.
And then he saw him.