Jensen could see it in Chris’ eyes, the omega was bored and a bored Chris was a dangerous thing. Before he could suggest that they head out to the streets, the sweetest of scents filled the air and Jensen found himself growling in pleasure. He raised his head and breathed in deeply, never had anything smelt so sweet.
"Uncle Jeff! Uncle Jeff!" A small voice filled the air, full of excitement.
Coming out of his office Jeff couldn't stop the grin from forming on his face as he opened up his arms and happily swooped up his great-niece. "Well well, isn’t this a nice surprise! I didn't expect to see you two here today."
"Emily wanted to tell you all about her first day of class," Jared explained to his uncle as he joined them. “Are you busy?”
“I’m never too busy for my family,” Jeff reassured his nephew before smiling down at his niece her excitement catching. “And I want to hear all about it."
Jensen’s eyes zeroed in on the sweet scent filling the air and the alpha in him purred excitedly. ‘Go! Find it! Now!’ it tugged at him insistently.
Chris was mesmerised by the sight of Jeff holding with Emily, listening to her excited stories of her day; ‘he looks so good with a child in his arms,’ the young omega thought longingly. ‘I wish that was our little girl he was hold…’ At moment a low possessive growl sounded from next to him, startling him out of his fantasy and he suddenly became aware of the waves of alpha pheromones pouring off of Jensen. Chris shifted uncomfortably in his seat as his psyche was battered by the intense desire coming from his partner; he wasn't interested in Jensen in anything but friendship, never had been, never would be, but Jensen's alpha was out and on the prowl. Even though it wasn’t Jensen’s intention, it his growing lust was making Chris instinctively want to submit to the other man.
Completely unaware of the effect he was having on his younger partner, Jensen knew he was staring helplessly, hopelessly, but he couldn't stop himself; the man was perfect in every way possible. "Who is that?" Jensen demanded gruffly.
Hiding a small smile, Chris shook his head when he noticed where Jensen’s attention was focussed. “Forget it, man; that is a lost cause. He’s Jeff’s nephew, he’s been through hell and back again, and even if he was up to dating you’d have to get by Jeff and I promise you, that ain’t happening.” Chris had never seen his boss so protective and possessive over anyone like he was his nephew and great-niece. Chris only knew part of Jared's story and other parts he’d surmised from overheard conversations in the squad and break rooms, so he could understand Jeff's intense reluctance to let anyone near Jared, even someone as cool as Jensen.
"I don't care!” Jensen growled out in a low, savage tone as he shoved back his chair and climbed to his feet. “That omega is mine!"
Listening to his daughter going on a mile a minute about her first day in school, he couldn’t help but feel incredibly proud of Emily; she was definitely destined to do great things with her li… Jared froze in mid thought as the most delicious scent in the world filled the room, wafting through the air to tickle his nose. The omega in him, the part of him that he ruthlessly kept under wraps, was suddenly urging him to take action, to find the alpha who was summoning his omega and submit to him. Despite his disastrous past experience, Jared shivered with pure need.
Suddenly aware that a threat to his family was approaching, Jeff shifted Emily to his weaker side, freeing up his gun hand and placing himself between her and looming danger. He growled under his breath as he watched Jensen moved towards Jared and he could see the lust and heat flaring in the younger alpha’s eyes. With every step he took Jeff could smell the pheromones becoming stronger and he turned to look at his nephew.
Jared took three stuttering steps forward before coming to an abrupt halt, staring in complete fascination at the alpha before him. Never before had he seen such a piece of masculine perfection; the man was everything an omega could want, especially a lonely omega like Jared, and to his complete shock and utter amazement he actually found himself wanting to submit to him. Jared swallowed hard as the alpha stalked purposefully towards him and a small whimper tore itself from his throat; the delicious scent enveloped him as the alpha moving closer to him, making Jared go weak in the knees.
"Hi," Jensen couldn't believe that he actually managed to get the word past his lips when everything inside was screaming at him to claim the omega before him. ‘Now! Make him yours! You want him!’
"Hi," Jared murmured back, struck by an attack of shyness and he found himself unable to continue looking directly at the alpha lest the deep hunger in his eyes and the absolute need to submit to the alpha get the best of him. ‘He wants you,’ his omega insisted. ‘Give yourself to him, NOW!’
"I'm Jensen Ackles." Jensen deliberately limited any further personal space left between the two of them.
"I'm Jar... Jared Padalecki,” Jared whispered; he was simply overwhelmed by the pheromones pouring off of the alpha. He couldn't stop himself from licking his lips and to his surprise he swore he could taste Jensen's exotic scent on his lips.
"Jared." Jensen purred as he rolled the name off of his lips and decided that he really liked the sound of it.
A shot of pure desire coursed through Jared's body and he forced himself to bite back a whimper; Jensen was a dangerous man in that he made Jared feel and want things that he hadn't experienced since he’d first met Alex. Despite the intense attraction he felt for Jensen that realisation scared him more than just a little.
"Kane! Get your partner out of here before I do something he’s gonna regret!” Jeff snarled as he used his free hand to yank his nephew behind him. “Do it now!”
An answering snarl curled Jensen's lips as he and his omega were separated and the fact that another alpha would dare to get in his way made the situation fraught with peril. "Get out of my way!" Jensen growled. “He’s mine!”
Narrowing his eyes dangerously Jeff handed Emily off to Jared and pushed them towards his office. "I'm not moving and I'm not letting you get anywhere near my nephew."
Barely aware that he now held his daughter or that she was paying close attention to what was going on in front of her, Jared crowded behind Jeff, looking over his uncle’s shoulder, trying to figure out just what was happening; all he knew was he definitely did not want to keep away from Jensen.
On the job, Jensen would never dream of challenging Jeffery Dean Morgan but this wasn’t work related – this was primal, intense and personal. He didn’t care what the older alpha said, in his soul Jensen knew beyond a question of a doubt that Jared was worth taking on his boss for. “That's up to Jared to decide,” he declared. Looking directly at Jared, the alpha asked, “Do you want me to stay away?"
Stunned by the fact that an alpha had basically just asked permission to claim him, Jared wasn't sure what he should do. On the one hand, no alpha, not even Alex, had ever had such a powerful effect on him and it was making his head swim. On the other hand however, there was still a tiny frisson of apprehension niggling at the back of his mind, what if Jensen one day turned into Alex. "It's fine, Uncle Jeff, it he doesn't bother me." Jared surprised everyone, including himself, when he admitted that.
Jeff blinked in bewilderment while Jensen smiled invitingly, the heat filling his green eyes growing more intense the longer he stared at Jared. "Hear that, chief? He doesn't have a problem with me. In fact, I believe he wants me…” Jensen deliberately paused, “…flirting with him," he drawled out, thickening his Texan accent.
Jared whimpered an honest-to-god whimper slipping past his lips as the honeyed tone from the other man dripped down his spine and slip over his heart. In all his years he’d never heard his own Texas accent sound so unbearably sexy.
Hearing the odd noise coming from her dad Emily glanced worriedly at him. "Daddy, are you okay?" Emily asked as she tightened her grip on Jared's neck with one hand while the other patted his face until she had his attention.
Jared blanched as he felt Emily’s hand insistently touch him, drawing him back to the present, and all thoughts of the things he wouldn't mind and even definitely wanted Jensen to do to him faded from his mind. Just how was he supposed to tell his innocent little girl that he would be just fine if only the alpha standing like a god before him would bend him over and knot him right then and there? He had heard stories of true mates being drawn to one another by scent alone – they all had; they were the fairy tales and bedtime stories that parents told to little children – and if pressed, he would admit that one of his favourite dreams growing up was to have exactly that happen to him. "I'm fine, baby girl." He stroked her hair comfortingly.
Emily's eyes narrowed with suspicion; she might only be five years old but she wasn't a fool, her dad was acting odd and she didn’t have to be an adult to know that something had changed as soon as they’d arrived to see Uncle Jeff. She placed a hand on her dad's cheek and turned his head so that she could look into the hazel eyes that match her own. "Are you sure, daddy? Cos you look sad and I don't like seeing you sad."
Silently thanking the universe for giving him such a wonderful child, Jared held his daughter closer and brushed a loving kiss on the top of her head. "I promise, honey, I'm fine." He was thankful that his voice didn't crack given the sea of tumultuous emotion he was holding back; the last thing he wanted was to give Emily any reason to think he was unhappy. Jared looked over Emily’s shoulder and met Jensen’s feverish gaze; in a sudden flash of self-realisation he came to the understanding that he was past what Alex had done to him and that it was time he started living again.
Watching the way Jared cradled his daughter so possessively to his chest and considering how aggressively Jeff defended his nephew, Jensen didn't have to be a genius to know that someone had badly hurt his omega and that caused a protective growl to rumble up from deep within his chest. He also knew that because of the undeniable damage from Jared’s past relationship, he was going to have to go slowly with his omega.
Perhaps it was instinct or perhaps it was the tiny flame of hope and desire shining in Jared’s eyes, but Jensen knew it was now or never.
"Would you like to go on a date with me?" Jensen asked in a soft voice, “Please?” and his eyes never left Jared's. He knew that as an alpha he had surprised everyone when he actually asked Jared out on a date rather than telling him they would be going out.
Licking his lips nervously Jared felt his heart skip a beat or two or three as he considered Jensen's question. He knew that it was time to make a choice: either stop allowing the memory of Alex to win forever or accept Jensen’s heartfelt invitation to a new life. One long, deep look into the alpha’s beguiling green eyes and Jared knew his choice. "Yes, I'd love to go on a date with you."
Jensen’s heart leapt for joy; the hardest part was over! Sensing intense scrutiny on him he glanced at Jared's daughter; she lay curled up in her dad's arms staring at him with a rather curious look in her eyes, as though she were sizing him up, trying to decide if he was worthy of her father. Figuring that he should ask her permission as well Jensen sketched a small bow and asked, "Is it alright with you, Miss Emily, if I take your father out on a date?"
Astonished that an alpha was asking her permission to date her dad Emily’s face lit up with happiness; she may only be five years old but she knew that her daddy was lonely. He didn’t know that she could hear him crying at night and even though she always gave him her best hugs every morning and that they made him smile it never seemed to be enough. Every night she prayed that her daddy would find someone who would make him smile again and just maybe Jensen was the man to make her wish come true. Straightening up, Emily looked at Jensen very seriously. "It's okay with me as long as you promise not to hurt my daddy."
Even though it was a childish gesture, Jensen solemnly crossed his fingers over his heart. "I promise I won't hurt your daddy."
That simple gesture seemed to please Emily as she held out her hand to Jensen and Jensen couldn't help but shake it with a smile; Emily Padalecki, like her father, was utterly adorable.
Turning to Jared with a million watt smile, Jensen asked "Friday night good for you?" He was sure that Jared was the kind of father who wouldn't go out on a school night leaving such a young with daughter with a sitter.
Tingling with excitement Jared glanced at his uncle; the older man had been silent this entire time, his arms crossed against his chest and a glare on his face. “That works for me if it's okay with you, Uncle Jeff?” He cast the man a pleading glance. “Would you mind if Emily cooked dinner for you on Friday?”
Ever since Emily had been old enough to stand on a kitchen chair and wave a wooden spoon at a bowl or play with a bit of bread dough on the counter (Jared always kept a bag of ready-to-bake dinner rolls in the freezer; he’d thaw a couple of them out for Emily to ‘cook') every other Friday had been family dinner night. As she got older, Emily took on bigger challenges in the kitchen and she loved showing them to her uncle.
Twisting about in her father’s arms, Emily reached out for Jeff and he gladly took hold of her. “I’m making salads now, you know,” she told him in a very serious tone. “Daddy won’t let me use a knife…” and she threw the man in question a rather withering look, “…so you’ll have to cut stuff up, but I can mix it up and serve it.”
Working hard to hide his smile Emily so easily prompted from everyone else, Jeff gave serious consideration to his officer and friend. He knew that Jensen was a good man, he was without a doubt one of his best detective, but that didn't mean he had to like the hungry, lustful way he was looking at Jared or the fact that he wanted to take his nephew out on a date where it would be just the two of them, with no one to watch Jared’s back. But then again, Jared looked so hopeful that Jeff couldn't find it in him to say no. In his heart he knew it would be good for him to start dating; after all, it had been five years and ‘the boy really does need to put Alex behind him like a bad smell.’ Suddenly Jeff was reminded of sixteen-year-old Jared pleading with him to keep the stray kitten he’d found on his way home from school; Jeff hadn’t been able to resist his nephew then and he couldn’t resist him now. "Yeah it's fine with me, what time?"
Biting his lower lip Jared shot a questioning look at Jensen beneath his eyelashes. "Would seven o'clock work for you?" Although Emily’s weeknight bedtime was seven, on Friday and Saturday nights Jared stretched it to nine o’clock, although she was generally sound asleep in her daddy’s arms by eight-ten.
"Seven o'clock would be great! I'll just need your address and phone number." It was hard for Jensen to keep the huge grin that wanted to break free contained as he watched Jared reach for a pen and paper to jot down his information.
Jared suddenly had a terribly naughty idea; "What if Chris joins you?" he suggested making sure not to look at his uncle. He wasn't a fool, he knew how much Jeff liked Chris, he knew that he considered the omega his and that he was rather possessive. The only thing left to do was get the alpha to act on his feelings for the younger man. "Would you like that, Emily, if both Uncle Jeff and Uncle Chris baby-sat you?"
Emily's hazel eyes sparkled with joy; she loved it when her Uncle Chris baby-sat her! "Yay! Will you, Uncle Chris?"
Like everyone else who’d ever been faced with the Padalecki puppy eyes Chris was powerless as Emily gazed at him hopefully. "Yeah, kid, I'll help baby-sit you." Chris shot a warning glare at his smirking partner as though daring him to say something; he couldn't wait until Jared and Emily had him wrapped around their little fingers. Payback would be swift and sweet and he was already planning just what he’d do.
"Alright, munchkin, it's time we headed home and got you feed, you have school in the morning," Jared reminded his daughter, as though Emily even needed reminding.
"Yay! More school!" Emily's delighted little cheer earned a collective laugh. “Come on, dad! Let’s go!”
"That's some special kid you've got there," Jim spoke up with a grin on his face, “I don’t remember any of my kids being this excited about school.” It wasn't every day that you a child of any age as passionate about learning and yet that was Emily to a T. Out of the corner of his eye Jim saw his partner smiling shyly at Chris and he mentally crossed his fingers. He really hoped that Jared's matchmaking attempts paid off; he was tired of watching Jeff pine away for Chris.
Smoothing her fringe back from her forehead, Jared smiled down fondly at Emily. "Yeah, I know."
And at that moment Jensen fell just that much more in love with Jared and he wondered what he had to do to get such a l perfectly beautiful smile directed at him.
Danneel loved her son, she really did, even when he was being a complete pain in her ass but she had never seen him talk so much in one go.
When he could finally get a word in edgewise, Steve asked, "Are you sure this is our son?" He stared at his son who’d stopped talking after ten minutes – a new record for him – and was shoveling his dinner into his mouth. Another surprise was that all Nate talked about was his new friend, Emily; usually when he did talk it was only about his Legos, his Hot Wheels and his robots. “You don’t suppose he’s one of those pod people now, do you?”
Danneel laughed; ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ was her husband’s favourite 1950’s sci-fi movie. “Oh no, He's ours all right and he’s been like this ever since I picked him up from school. But you haven’t heard the best part yet, he told me that he couldn't wait to go to class tomorrow!”
“You have got to be kidding me!” Steve was flabbergasted. “Nate?”
Danneel raised her wine glass and clinked it against her husband’s in celebration. “Nate,” she confirmed with a happy nod.
“Well, I’ll be darned,” Steve looked at his son, who was eating his dinner with gusto.
“Our son, who has tried everything to get out of going to kindergarten, is excited about going to school. This Emily is really someone special and you know what? Her dad's pretty good looking too and I know one particular alpha that would be perfect for him," Danneel said with a waggle of her eyebrows.
“You’re kidding, right?” Steve couldn't contain his groan. "You're planning on playing matchmaker again, aren't you? Don't you remember the last time you tried that for Jensen? He ended up with a stalker beta who refused to take a hint that he wasn't interested."
“Oh phooey,” Danneel waved her hand dismissively. "Oh trust me Jared is perfect for Jensen. And since you're meeting the boys tonight you can find out if he's seeing anyone that he hasn't told us about." It was a long-standing ritual for Chris and Jensen to stop by Steve's bar after their shift; it gave them a chance to decompress after a rough day, to catch up with their old friend, and to casually make sure that no one was getting in to any trouble.
Steve knew that he didn't have much of a choice, not when Danneel got an idea in her mind. "Yes, dear," he agreed meekly. No matter which way the match-making went, he’d hear all about it at the bar and besides, the consequences of not going along with her plans were just too awful to think about – no sex, burnt eggs for breakfast, no clean underwear, empty toilet paper rolls, no sex…
Danneel smiled smugly to herself. Whoever said that alphas have the real power was not an omega; no alpha would dare risk pissing off their omega. 'Yes, it's good to be the Queen.'
"Daddy, do you like Mr Jensen?" Emily asked her dad as he got her ready for bed. She was bathed and dressed in her princess pj's, she had her stuffed teddy bear in her arms and her dad had just finished reading her the latest chapter of Harry Potter. Sleep was calling to her, quite loudly actually, but she still couldn't sleep without knowing that one thing.
Stroking his daughter's hair Jared smiled fondly, touched by her concern. "I think I might, is that okay with you?"
Sleepily Emily nodded her head. "Uh-huh, he seems nice even if he makes Uncle Jeff all growly, he makes you smile and that's what matters most." She tucked her teddy bear under her arm and settled into her pillow.
Choking up Jared never realised how much his little girl wanted to see him happy. "I don't know what's going to happen with Jensen and I but nothing makes me happier than having you for a daughter," Jared whispered as he pressed a kiss onto Emily's forehead.
Sighing Emily let her eyes drift shut but a small smile remained. "I love you, daddy."
"I love you too, baby girl, so very much." 'More than you'll ever know,’ Jared thought and for a few moments he just sat there watching as Emily drifted deeper into sleep. Finally he kissed her one last time, turned off the light and went to bed himself, even though for him it was fairly early, but he wanted to think about his date with Jensen and maybe even dream about him. ‘When did you become such a girl?’ he though ruefully although nothing could wipe the smile from his face.
Things were still a little tense between Chris and Jensen that night as they stepped foot in the Crimson Angel bar. Steve had named it after Danneel once they’d mated and while he thought it was a little cheesy she loved it and that was all that matters. Steve didn't mind the teasing he got from his friends; he just reminded them – rather smugly sometimes – that he was happily mated while they were still sad singles.
Steve knew he’d missed something important as he looked between a scowling Chris and a glaring Jensen who looked ready to tear out someone's throat if they asked him the wrong question. "Did I miss something?" he finally asked.
Still scowling Chris hiked his thumb at Jensen. "Genius here hit on Morgan's nephew today; he took one look at the guy, went full alpha right there in the squad room and nearly got into a fist fight with Jeff."
Steve had to blink in surprise and let Chris’ words sink in for a moment before he could respond. That didn't sound like the Jensen he knew, for as long as they’d been friends that man had had a tight control on his alpha side and he rarely ever lost control. "Okaaay and besides the fist fight angle that’s a bad thing?" Steve wondered.
"Thank you!” Jensen exclaimed. “That’s exactly what I would like to know!" He’d been wracking his brains for the last three hours and he still couldn't understand why Jeff had reacted the way he did. "But it doesn’t matter cos Jared said yes to a date with me this Friday night and it's going to be perfect."
"This isn't my story to tell,” Chris shook his head decisively. “All I can say is that Jared has been badly hurt in the past and that’s why Jeff is very protective over his nephew and great-niece.” He looked at his partner curiously. “I've never seen you like this, Jared really got to you, didn't he?" Chris had never seen the man get so worked up over anything that wasn’t related to a case they were working; truth be told it was rather amusing to watch.
Jensen was known around the station as having ice in his veins, always trying so hard to be the cool and calm alpha. Their team mates were always trying to set him up with friends, relatives and co-workers but Jensen merely said thanks, but no thanks; even around the station he never allowed himself to be swayed by any of the beta's and omegas who’d flirt with him and try to turn his head. Jensen never took any of them up on what they were so freely offering, although it didn’t stop some of them from trying. As far as Chris was concerned, it was quite a treat to see his friend so worked up over a man he’d only seen one time.
Hearing Chris’ cryptic words, Jensen groaned and hung his head. He couldn't explain why Jared had affected him so immediately and so strongly and now every instinct Jensen possessed was screaming at him to protect the vulnerable omega and claim him. "I can't explain it; there was just something about him that calls to me. In here,” and he touched his heart, “I just know that he meant to be mine!" Jensen knew it was a poor explanation but he couldn’t put what he was feeling into words.
Something Danneel had said over dinner popped into Steve’s head and he blinked. "Wait; by any chance does this Jared have a daughter named Emily who started kindergarten?"
"Yeah, today was her first day, why?" Chris answered.
Instead of answering all Steve could do was throw his head back and laugh long and loudly. Danneel was going to get a kick out of this once he told her that the omega she wanted to set Jensen up with was the same that one he couldn't stop talking about. 'Danni’s gonna be bummed that she didn't get to play matchmaker this time, but that won't stop her from being smug over the fact that she was right when she said they would be a good match for one another.'
Noticing that his friends were staring at him, Steve hastened to deflect attention from himself by saying, "Nate told Danneel that moms aren't allowed to be pretty." He hoped to lighten up the mood and change the subject before they could question what his little freak-out had been about.
Chris and Jensen both stared at Chris in disbelief. "Dude, he said that and Danni didn't ground him for life?" Jensen adored his godson but honestly, some day the stuff that came out of his mouth was going to get him in trouble.
Steve grimaced. "He did indeed and now I get to have a serious father/son talk with him and explain why moms are allowed to be pretty as well as why we don’t say things like that to any woman. But on the bright side Nate actually willingly ate his vegetables."
Chris was seriously impressed and a low whistle escaped his lips. "How the hell did she pull that off?" That was a pretty amazing feat given that Nate absolutely detested anything even close to healthy.
"It would seem that Nate's new friend Emily's dad is really tall and Nate has decided that he wants to grow up to be tall like him and so when Danneel said the only way for him to do that was to eat his vegetables, Nate not only cleaned his plate but had a few extra pieces of tomato," Steve explained.
Jensen froze with his beer halfway to his mouth; there was no way that could be talking about his Jared. "Is Emily's dad about 6'4, tall, drop-dead gorgeous and could be considered a Greek god, by any chance?" Jensen asked raising an eyebrow.
Steve shrugged his shoulders; yes, that was how Danneel described the man but he decided to play it safe. "Couldn't tell you, I haven't met him yet."
Jensen's eyes narrowed; he knew that innocent look all too well. "Tell Danneel that I do not need her to play matchmaker for me; I don't want her scaring off Jared, he's far too special and I don’t want to lose him."
Steve could see by the intensity of his stare that Jensen meant every word. it "I'll do my best but you know what Danni’s like when she gets an idea in her head."
"Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of," Jensen muttered as he took a long sip of his beer. Her could already see the writing on the wall; ‘please don’t let her pressure Jared about going out with me!’ he sent a quick plea out to the universe.