Destiny, it has been said that I can be cruel mistress and deal out the worst fates imaginable, but she can also be a funny thing, as well as a tempest dangling the one thing a person longs for in the most unlikely of places.
For two such souls, I have played a long game, beginning their bond when one was young, neither person knowing what she had in store for them.
The world was made up of alphas, betas, and omegas with the betas being normal. Alpha and omegas were drawn to one another while beta’s normally married other betas. Now it wasn’t uncommon for alphas, betas, and omegas to entered into a relationship or an omega to have two alphas but it was extremely rare for an alpha and beta to marry because the alpha couldn’t deny the call of his true mate.
Amanda Padalecki had no clue what I had in store for her. She was a woman that refused to be denied what she wanted when she wanted it. She knew she was a beautiful catch for any alpha or fellow beta to have, but she wasn't ready to be tied down.
She had forgotten that sometimes life doesn't always go as planned.
She was given a stark reminder of life’s uncertainty as she stared at the small plastic stick in her hands, willing the positive sign to change.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this; she had taken all the precautions in order to ensure that something like this would never happen.
Amanda was a beta and she wasn't bound like alphas and omegas; she didn't have a true mate and she didn't want one. She liked the freedom that being mateless offered her, she wasn't ready to be tied down and start popping out a bunch of children.
A little too late for that, a bitter voice in the back of her head taunted her.
Jared Padalecki might only be four years old, but that didn't mean he was stupid no matter what that bully Alex said. And he wasn't a loser just because he didn't have a daddy… lots of kids didn't.
Plus, Jared had something better: he had a Jensen.
From the moment he saw Jensen, Jared had been utterly taken by the handsome alpha.
The first time they met, Jared hadn’t hidden behind his mother’s skirt-- not that Amanda ever would have let him; she hated Jared’s shyness and did her best to make Jared overcome it. That day, her usually shy son seemed drawn to twenty-year-old alpha. The best Amanda could figure is that Jared’s omega side was responding to the alpha.
Jensen squatted down so he was close to Jared’s height. “Hi, I’m Jensen, and you must be Jared.” Jensen Ackles knew from the moment he laid eyes on that smile, complete with dimples, that he had lost his heart to little Jared Padalecki.
“I am. I like your spots.” Jared could barely tear his eyes off of the golden freckles that seemed to be everywhere.
Normally, Jensen hated his freckles and any attention they received, but coming from Jared, he didn’t mind it as much. “They’re called freckles and I have a lot of them.”
Jared’s eyes grew wide with wonder. “How many? Can I count them?” Jared was learning his numbers and he wanted to show Jensen how good he could count.
Jensen’s lips twitched into a smile. “Sure, go ahead.” Jensen was thankful that his best friend Chris was nowhere near; the beta would never let him live it down. Making himself comfortable on the ground, Jensen waited for Jared to make the first move.
Biting his lower lip, Jared took a step forward before stopping to check to make sure that this was okay, and Jensen’s encouraging smile had Jared bolting forward and pressing a single finger to Jensen’s cheek. Tongue poking out of his mouth in concentration, Jared began to count, “One...two...”
Amanda could see the moment that Jensen was gone on her son and she fought hard to contain her glee. She knew that Jensen Ackles was her meal ticket, a way to the life of luxury that she yearned for.
Until now, the alpha had shown no signs of settling down. Oh, Amanda had done her homework, and she knew that Jensen had to either be mated or married by his 21st birthday if he wanted to be named his grandfather’s successor and become CEO of Ackles Corp. And Amanda knew she was everything that a successful man could want, and, to top it off, she came with a built in heir for Jensen. It was a foolproof plan.
Amanda knew a catch when she saw one and only a fool would let someone like Jensen Ackles go. The Ackles were of old money, the kind of money that Amanda had dreamed of getting her hands on.
It had been so easy to get a date with the handsome man after intentionally bumping into him at a club. She poured on the charm and Jensen stood no chance. What had surprised Amanda, and unexpectedly worked in her favor, was how utterly taken Jensen was with Jared. Amanda knew that she would never win any mother of the year awards, and she wasn't ashamed to admit that she wasn't above using her son to get what she wanted. And what she wanted was to be Mrs. Jensen Ackles.
Jared knew what marriage was: it meant that he was going to get a new daddy. But it felt wrong to Jared to call Jensen daddy. Jared couldn’t put his finger on it, he had never had a father before so he didn’t know what a father should feel like but his nose wrinkled at the idea of calling Jensen’s dad just seemed wrong. However, he shouldn’t have worried because Jensen already had an alternative suggestion.
“Why don’t you just call me Jen?” Jensen suggested. Even though he hated that nickname, he very much doubted that Jared could say Jensen yet, even if the boy was incredibly smart. ‘I just know that Chris and Steve will never let me live this down,’ he thought
Christian Kane and Steve Carlson had tagged along with Jensen on the outing that Amanda insisted that Jensen takes Jared on. 'Bonding' had been her excuse, but Jensen had been more than happy to take Jared out for the day, even if his two best friends said he was whipped.
Chris and Steve exchanged looks - it was rare of Jensen to let anyone call him Jen, hell they were Jensen two oldest friends and they weren't even allowed to call him Jen.
“Jen.” Jared made a face as he tried it out, he didn’t like it and it didn’t fit his Jenny. ‘That’s it he’s my Jenny.’ Nodding to himself Jared looked up at Jensen and declared, “Jenny, you are my Jenny.”
Jensen dared anyone to say no to Jared’s utterly adorable face. It was impossible to do so. He looked at his friends in the hope that they could offer some suggestions. Chris was no help the man had fallen off his chair laughing so hard and the look on his face clearly stated ‘I’m never letting you live this down.’
Steve shrugged his shoulders. There was no way he was going to be able to tell Jared that no, he couldn't call Jensen ‘Jenny’.
One look at Jared proved that the little boy was stubborn and not about to change his mind. Letting out a sigh Jensen found he had no choice but to agree. “Yeah, okay, I’m your Jenny.” ‘and I hope that Chris chokes on his laughter,’ he thought.
“So does that mean we all get to call you Jenny?” Chris teased, once he managed to get his laughter under control.
“NO!” To everyone's surprise, the cry did not come from Jensen but a snarling Jared, who looked like a mad puppy that it took everyone’s self-control not to awe over how cute he looked with his tiny hands on his hips glaring up at Chris. “Jenny is my Jenny and my Jenny alone,” Jared declared with a tiny stamp of his little foot.
It was too cute to be threatening but Chris didn't have the heart to tell the kid that. “Got it kiddo he’s your Jenny.”
"Good." Satisfied that matter had been settled Jared lifted up his arms and sent a pleading look to Jensen to be picked up.
Jensen dared anyone to say no to that look, hell even Chris and Steve looked like they were itching to take care of the adorable little omega. 'No mine.' Jensen's alpha snarled as he bent down and picked up Jared.
Jared threw his arms around Jensen's neck and happily snuggled in closer to the alpha, he loved being in Jensen's arms.
Jared Padalecki couldn't understand what the big deal was about getting married, but if it meant that he would get Jenny in his life, then he was all for it. 'My Jenny, my alpha.'
Jensen would be the first to admit that he was completely gone on the little boy - there was just an innocence about him that called to Jensen and there was no way that he could ever let him go.
Jared was Jensen's ray of sunshine.
Chris and Steve watched them go. “That kid is going to have us all wrapped around his little finger in no time,” Chris commented.
"Heaven help any alpha or beta who tries to court Jared, they are going to have a hell of a time of getting Jensen's approval," Steve replied.
Steve’s statement had Chris' eyes narrowing as he studied the retreating figures. ‘Could it be?’ he wondered, a sneaking suspicion coloring his thoughts. ‘I guess only time will tell.’ Chris was going to be keeping his eye on Jensen and Jared's growing bond.
Donna Ackles may have been born an omega but that didn't make her a fool. She didn’t trust and she certainly didn’t like Amanda Padalecki; she knew a gold digger when she saw one. She was thankful that Jensen didn’t seem to actually love her. No, all his love and devotion was focused on Jared.
While Donna might not have any positive feelings for Amanda, she did adore Jared. That little boy was a ray of sunshine and he seemed to think it was his mission to make everyone smile.
Alan was right when he said the boy was a lot like a puppy. Donna could already see his nurturing side coming out and the omega he would become in time. She also saw the pure joy that Jared brought into her son’s life.
Donna could see that Jared needed Jensen as much as Jensen needed Jared.
‘I will not let Amanda do anything that hurts Jensen or Jared’, Donna thought. She knew that she would be keeping a close eye on Amanda and the first sign of trouble she would be dealing with her.
Jensen knew that he didn’t love Amanda and it was clear as the sun rising that she didn’t love him, though she clearly loved his family’s money and fame. But when it came to Jared, in the short time that he had known the little guy, the adorable omega had stolen his heart and it was clear in the way Jared looked at him that he loved Jensen just as much. So Jensen was willing to put up with Amanda if it meant getting even a little bit of Jared’s love and affection.
Jared had never known love; his mom had never been one to show any affection towards him. But with Jensen it was different, the older man truly loved and cared about him and it made Jared feel warm inside when Jensen would smile at him like he was wrapped up in a warm blanket.
"Mommy, you look so pretty," Jared commented as he stared up at his mother who was dressed in a long white gown.
"I do, don't I?" While Amanda hated the idea of wearing a white gown, Donna Ackles had insisted and the dress had cost a small fortune, one that Donna didn't even bat an eye at. Smoothing down the silk, Amanda admired herself in the princess gown, its strapless corset like top with tiny diamonds sewn into the front. She loved the way it flowed out around her like a lace dream and how on the skirt the diamond embodied flowers started from her thigh and spilled down to her ankle.
"Jared, why don't you go see Jensen?" Amanda asked. She couldn't wait to marry Jensen not just for his money but for the fact that she would have a built in babysitter and she could finally have her life back.
Jared's whole face lit up in beaming a smile. "Okay!" He couldn't wait to see Jensen and show him his suit, even though Jensen had been with him when he had to go for fittings.
Amanda could hardly contain her eye roll as Jared dashed off. She couldn't understand how Jensen actually liked having Jared around. "Oh well, it doesn't bother me." Today was the day she was finally going to get everything she dreamed of - a life of wealth and luxury.
Jensen Ackles was nervous. He didn't want to get married to Amanda. While he cared about her, he didn’t love her and he was just thankful that she wasn't his true mate.
He thought back on their conversation.
"Jensen, I know that we haven't been dating for long, but I have to think of Jared's future and in the few times he's met you he has utterly adored you. If you don't see this relationship lasting then I think for Jared's sake we end this before it goes any future."
Jensen studied the woman across the table from him. He knew that she had agenda; this wasn't the first time that he had dealt with a gold digger, but he couldn't deny that he had fallen head over heels in love with little Jared the moment he looked into those every changing eyes of his. Jared was a breath of fresh air and he couldn’t remember the last time he had so much fun on outings like the zoo or a day in the park. "What are you proposing Amanda?"
Amanda fought the urge to smile smugly. "I'm not getting any younger and neither are you. I also know that Jared needs a father figure in his life. I need to know whether or not you can see a future between us." Amanda laid her cards on the table.
Jensen wasn't a fool and this wasn't his first rodeo. He knew what she was hinting at and he had his doubts. The truth of it was that he was a romantic at heart. He didn't always show it, choosing to hide behind the gruff alpha persona he chose to wear and for some reason, it still drove the betas and omegas wild. He had been a confirmed bachelor for so long. Oh don't get him wrong, he had his flings and a fair share of one night stands but none of them lasted more than a month at least. So many would be surprised to learn that Jensen didn't want to mate just anyone. He wanted his true mate, but so far had struck out in finding them. Amanda Padalecki was not the type of woman that he pictured himself settling down with and, truth be told, the only reason he was even considering Amanda's proposal was because of Jared.
"I could see a future for us. Could you, Amanda, someday see yourself as Mrs. Ackles?" Jensen asked, sending her his most charming smile.
‘Oh, you bet your sweet ass I could.’ she thought. Knowing that was the wrong answer to give she faked a shy smile. "I think I could. I know our odds are not good but I think we could be good together for however long we have."
‘Liar,’ Jensen had to admit that Amanda was a pretty good liar, so good that he almost believed her. Still, he would be getting Jared out of this deal and that made his heart glow.
He came back to the present when he heard a voice,
"You know there is still time for you to call this off," Danneel Harris commented. She was not fond of Amanda and as one of Jensen's best friends she only wanted what was best for him. At one time the omega thought that she might be in love with Jensen, the tabloids had certainly liked the idea of them. But Jensen never looked at her like that and truth be told, she was happier being Jensen’s friend.
It was tempting, very tempting but there was one good reason why he couldn't. "No I can't." Jensen couldn't abandon Jared like that.
Chris, Steve and Danneel all knew that reason was Jared and they knew that nothing they said would be able to change Jensen's mind.
“We could always kidnap Jared and run away with him. I think if you offered Amanda the right amount of money she wouldn’t stop you.” Steve Carlson spoke up and the small group of friends knew that he wasn’t joking. There was only one thing that Amanda loved and it wasn’t her son.
There was a soft knock on the door moments before it flew open and a bouncing Jared came running into the room. "Jensen!" Jared flung himself at the alpha knowing and trusting Jensen to catch him.
Jensen easily caught the small body coming his way and twirled around Jared around. "Looking good little man," Jensen said. He had been shocked and honored when Jared declared that he wanted a suit to match Jensen's.
If it was possible Jared's smile grew even more. "Thank you, Jenny, you look very handsome."
Three eyebrows raised as a faint blush appeared on Jensen's cheeks. It was rare very rare to see the alpha blush and all three were cursing themselves for not having a camera ready at this moment.
"Thank you, Jared, yours is the only opinion that truly matters to me." Jensen knew in his heart that there was no way he would ever be able to walk away from Jared; he would marry Amanda so that Jared would know what real love was.
“Jared, did you mom let you come here by yourself?” Danneel knew that the church was full of friends and family but to let a small child roam the halls by themselves was still very irresponsible.
Jared beamed up at Danneel. “I did. I’m a big boy Miss Danni.” Jared didn’t see what the problem was - he was in a place full of people that his Jenny trusted.
Danneel smiled at the adorable boy. “I know you are, Jared, but the next time you want to go somewhere it would be in your best interest to ask one of us to go with you.”
“Danneel’s right Jared, the last thing I want is something to happen to you.” Jensen would be having a long talk with his soon-to-be wife. It was dangerous for Jared to be left unsupervised, especially given soon he would be an Ackles and he would be the perfect way for someone to get their hands on the Ackles fortune.
Jared could see the worry in Jensen’s eyes and he hated making his Jenny worry. “I promise Jenny, I won’t go anywhere without you.”
Closing his eyes Jensen held Jared close. “That’s all I ask, kid. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you.”