A young insecure alpha, an older omega determined to keep his freedom, and the injustice neither of them can permit to go on.
Lyall Williamson is failing at alphahood like a pro—he’s presented, but he’s still too skinny and too short, and nowhere near aggressive enough to put off his packmates’ constant reminders that he looks a lot like an omega.
Then his parents book Doctor Tristan Sanders to come lecture in their territory—virgin and untouched by humans in the middle of the Australian wilderness—and he discovers his budding interest in biology can be useful for more than cataloguing all the ways in which he is not enough of an alpha.
Tristan Sanders is not living up to the expectations for omegas, a real achievement when his body insists submission and children are the way to go. But Tristan doesn’t want an alpha, he wants to give other omegas a chance at the freedom he’s carved out for himself as a researcher into sexuality and relationships.
He’s figured out enough loopholes to keep himself unbonded and free to do it, but he’s still only one person and there are a lot of people who need to hear what he is teaching. When he meets Lyall and they get talking, he realises the young alpha would make an ideal assistant, even if his pack have convinced him he is good for nothing but odd jobs no else wants.
Their meeting is brief, but their connection is undeniable and as they work together with an ocean between them, it gets harder and harder to deny their own lives had been changed forever… By each other.
A coming of age romance between a young alpha and the older omega who teaches him to believe in himself and learns to believe in them both in the process.
Warnings/Enticements: A/B/O, age gap & other power unbalances between the couple, werewolves, half epistolary, bullying.And a link to download the first chapters for free from my website (they just need to enter the code RUNT when they Check Out) https://www.njlysk.com/product-page/runt-of-the-litter-first-chapters
‘Runt of the litter’ was actually one of the nicest things he got called by his siblings. Sometimes they’d even say it fondly instead of mockingly, although Lyall didn’t appreciate it either way.
They didn’t dare do it at all in front of their parents and older siblings. His dad had made it clear very early it was not acceptable to make fun of Lyall for being small.
They were all grown now and it didn’t even happen that often— and when it did, it was more leftover habit than actual aggression—but it was like a sore place inside him, the knowledge they thought that of him.
They were his littermates, not twins but almost as good. They’d shared everything from the moment they’d been born, and they had been meant to share everything from then on.
They did, the four of them.
But Lyall was too weird, too small, too weak…
His older siblings had always been kinder to him than to the rest of his litter, but in a way that overcompensation had set him apart for his weakness just as much as his agemates’ disdain.
And for all his dad defended him, he had chosen to start trying the new experimental birth control methods to right after the five of them had been born.
Not that Lyall blamed him—he’d been teased enough about how he’d obviously be an omega that he was better informed than most about the hardships of pregnancy.
Omeganess was the one thing his siblings wouldn’t make fun of—but other pack kids, who’d bought on the stupid human ideas that a man being anything like a woman was embarrassing, said it often enough that he’d ended up believing them.
He respected his dad and he wouldn’t have minded being an omega so much—it wasn’t like anyone would look at him twice without pheromones intervening.
Lyall would have liked being more attractive, instead of just small. At 5’7 he barely made it to average for human standards, among wolves who regularly reached 6 feet as teenagers, he often felt like a child.
He was ready to be a beta forever—most people were—and to become an omega.
It should have come as no surprise when he presented alpha instead—after all, Nature had made it clear it liked screwing him over from the moment he’d been born.N.J. Lysk