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Lost in Arcadia

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omega
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Blurb

Meet Arcadia "Kade" Harker—alpha male (yes, male) and playboy extraordinaire. His motto? "Ask and you shall receive," the keyword being "receive."

To get over a recent heartbreak, he has been roaming the world in search of his own fated mate.

There is only one problem: that b*tch called Fate seems to really have it out for him.

Will he EVER get his damned happy ending at all?

NOTE: This is the sequel of "The Beta Is His Omega." It works as a standalone, but to get a better idea of Kade's back story, it is highly recommended that you read the first book beforehand. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy :)

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Prologue

A little boy sat on a single couch, his short legs dangling down the edge, not quite reaching the floor. He was holding a portable gaming console in his hands, but he had now lost interest in it.

He looked around at the adults sitting near him in this large and opulently decorated living room. They were occupied with speaking with each other, and their topic seemed to be serious and boring. The little boy did not spend even a moment bothering to listen.

Instead, unnoticed by everyone else, he placed down his console and left his seat.

It was a stranger’s home he was currently in. Given how big it was and how nice-looking the things inside were, even his eight-year-old self knew that its occupants were far wealthier than his family was.

This was the first time that Kade Harker could remember ever being inside such a grand place. His curiosity made him want to go exploring.

Despite how big the house was, aside from the adults he had just left behind, there seemed to be no one else present.

Upon exiting the living room, he found himself back in the spacious and high-ceilinged entrance hall. Starting from one side, there was a grand curving staircase leading up to the upper floors.

Without hesitation, Kade took it and went up. He was panting a little by the time he reached the first landing. Not wanting to climb anymore, he entered the corridor that led down to multiple doors.

Each of them was closed shut, and he was not undisciplined enough that he wanted to try opening them and enter. He just wanted to reach the brighter end and see where else he might be led to.

When he was nearing his destination, however, he stopped.

He didn't really know why. The door he had just drawn closer to looked exactly like the others he had recently passed.

It too was tightly shut, but… for whatever reason, there seemed to be a sweet smell coming from it and it alone.

He couldn't resist being drawn to that scent.

Before the little boy could think better of it, his hand had already reached for the door handle. A single twist told him that it was unlocked.

Kade pushed the door open a smidgen, and immediately, the scent that had drawn him to this room became stronger.

At the exact same time, a hushed sound entered his ears. Someone was inside. 

He paused and just tried to listen at first. It was already a bad thing that he was being such a curious cat and may have disturbed whoever was in the room. 

Though he was not scared of being reprimanded if his parents found out what he was doing, he didn’t want them to be embarrassed in front of others because of him.

Just as it was occurring to Kade that he should just close the door again and leave, he heard the person inside let out a louder sound, and he identified it as a groan of pain.

In time with that, the scent grew even stronger. The young boy forgot what he had been intending to do as he grew confused.

He really liked that smell. It made his head feel light and his skin tingly.

He wanted to smell it more. He wanted to be closer to wherever it was coming from.

Thus, he stopped thinking altogether and went in.

The room was shadowy, but with his sharp eyes, Kade had no trouble seeing inside and distinguishing the bed in one corner whose occupant was under the covers.

There came that groan of pain again, and when Kade drew closer, he saw that the sounds were made by an older boy who was lying on his belly with his eyes tightly closed. 

With his face turned sideways over his pillow, he seemed to be sleeping. It appeared he was distressed by whatever he was dreaming about.

“Hey…” Kade whispered in his childish voice. He wanted to wake the older boy up, and so he repeated the call. “Hey, you! Hey!” 

Getting no response, he drew even closer and reached for the older boy’s shoulder to shake him a little.

But when his hand landed, even though the older boy had been jolted by the touch, he didn’t wake up. Instead, he turned his face the other way as he tried to curl up and whispered, “No… no…”

Kade’s hand froze and was left hanging in midair. He couldn’t pull it away. He had gotten distracted by something else—

His eyes had been drawn to the back of the older boy’s neck, which was wrapped in bandages. 

They were not spotless. Blood seemed to have oozed out of the wounds that they were covering. In fact, under the bandages’ lower edge, there appeared to be the tail end of a long scratch that had gotten uncovered.

It too was bleeding a little, and Kade managed to identify that this was mostly where that scent was coming from.

A confused thought pierced through his dazed mind: How could a wound smell so sweet?

Being an active kid who kept getting into all sorts of trouble, he had gotten wounded so many times in his short life. But he couldn’t remember ever getting a scratch like that, even when he had landed on top of his father’s thorny roses after he fell over their house’s balcony.

Before Kade knew it, his curiosity had already consumed him. It didn’t even register to him anymore how the older boy’s groans of pain had begun to come more frequently as he curled up even further.

He just wanted to look at that wound closer and smell it more.

And for some reason, he just really really wanted to…

“Arcadia?” 

A soft call sounded from the corridor. Seeing from afar that the last door on the right was slightly ajar, Mrs. Harker turned to the female beta servant behind her and said quietly, “I am so sorry. He seems to be in there. May I enter?”

When she saw the slightly open door as well, the servant’s eyes widened and she shook her head at once. “Best not, Madam. That is the young master’s room.”

“Oh my…” said Mrs. Harker, looking mildly dismayed before sighing and taking out three pieces of face masks from her pocket. While putting them on as she stayed where she was, she told the servant, “Will you please bring my son to me? We must be going now.”

The servant nodded and hurried to the room in question at once. Some moments later, she came out carrying the little boy in her arms.

Seeing that, Mrs. Harker sighed again. Her voice was muffled behind the layers of masks when she muttered in resignation, “Oh, Arcadia…”

She began to raise her arms in preparation for taking her son from the smaller woman.

Though she seemed to be having some difficulty with the weight of the child she was holding, the servant paused some three feet away from the female alpha.

She then asked gingerly, “Will you be fine, Madam? There are traces of omega pheromones on him…”

Mrs. Harker smiled kindly behind her masks. “It’ll be all right. I have a strong resistance, and we have a deodorizer spray in our car. We’ll manage.”

The servant could do nothing but take her at her word and moved forward again to give her her sleeping child.

While looking down at Kade’s face—particularly at his mouth that was parted slightly open, as if he was really tired—Mrs. Harker began to turn to head back downstairs. 

She was still smiling in some private amusement as she did so, then she thought to say to the servant following her, “I hope he didn’t disturb your young master? This little guy can be quite a handful.”

“No, Madam,” the servant answered. She was keeping a close watch on this mature female alpha to make sure she was keeping control of herself, despite the scent of omega pheromones that she must surely still be detecting despite the face coverings. “The young master was also sleeping peacefully when I found them.”

A pitying look appeared on Mrs. Harker’s eyes as she nodded. “Good,” she said softly. “I hope he can make a full and speedy recovery.”

After she rejoined her husband outside and told him what had happened, Mr. Harker also let out a long-suffering sigh before similarly putting on several masks and taking out a can of aerosol from their car.

With Mrs. Harker carefully keeping their son’s face covered, Mr. Harker doused them both liberally with the deodorizing spray, then the three boarded their car to get back home. Their elder child was still resting there all alone, also in isolation.

Kade woke up finding himself in their familiar comfy cottage surrounded by summer blooms.

He had been deposited on their couch beside the open window. Still dazed and unseeing, he stared up at the wooden beams of the ceiling. Then, a fresh breeze blew in.

How strange, though. He thought he could taste the very scent of flowers in his tongue.

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