Well, what had happened was......


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... and heartbreak ensued Chapter 23 testimony
When Jim Beaver called and asked for Jared to testify in front of the Senate, he didn’t expect to have to wait months to speak, but he did; three months to be exact. During that time he talked to Mike about what he should say, and it surprised him when Mike suggested that he concentrate on turned Omegas.

The two of them spent hours gong over what he would say to the senate and a couple of times when he changed his mind and wanted to cancel; Mike reached that prideful Alpha that was still inside him and convinced Jared to change his mind.

Not wanting to look like a frat boy, Jared had Jensen to arrange for an Omega car to take him shopping to find a suit to make the people listening take him seriously. He never wore suits when he was in the office because he was the boss and he didn’t wear them now because no one expected an Omega too, and that was one stereotype he didn’t mind.

James was supposed to accompany him but he had therapy and wouldn’t be free to assist. Jensen told Jared to wait, but he couldn’t because somehow choosing what to wear to the hearing was of immediate importance. He should have asked Felicia to join him.

“You should choose the black,” Donna Ackles told him as he looked though the rows of suits. “It makes you appear serious and professional and not a flighty Omega.”

He’d been so deep in thought that he hadn’t heard her approach and her appearance surprised him. Jared wasn't sure if she was making a dig at him with the flighty remark, but since she was ready to help him, he would let that pass. In the end he chose the black suit with a blood red tie and both he and Donna were pleased with the choice.

“There’s a great little restaurant around the corner, would you care to join me for lunch?” He asked.

“No,” she said. “I’m helping you today for my son, but just because he was idiot enough to forgive you doesn’t mean that I have. As I said earlier I just didn’t want you to embarrass the family.”

With those words, Donna walked away leaving a speechless Jared staring at her retreating figure.

The day of the hearing Jared was all sweaty palms and fast beating heart, but despite his denial, Jensen was as well, but while Jared’s nervousness was visible, Jensen presented a calm front. When Senator Beaver’s aide asked Jared to come forward, Jensen followed close behind.

Jared could tell that he wanted to go Alpha on the aide for touching him, and the possessiveness made him smile.

Once Jared was seated before the Senate, he saw that Jensen wasn’t alone. There were two other Omegas who were speaking today, but Donna and Alan Ackles and his brother Jeff was there as well. He was happy to see them, but to get him through the hearing without setting Omega Rights back fifty years, Jared concentrated on his bond to get grounded as Jensen seemed to be.

“Can you begin by introducing yourself?” Jim asked.

Clearing is throat, Jared spoke into the microphone, “Jared Padalecki… Ackles.”

He listened as Jim spoke passionately about the need for Omega Rights and the effect the treatment was a black spot on our Nation. And it was true. America was the only Western Country who didn’t have equal rights for Omegas and countries like France refused to deal with the incoming administration until they at least acknowledged that there was a problem.

After Jim’s speech, it was Jared’s turn and he thought about the Omegas he’d hurt and how he ended up in a place better than he deserved. Omegas like Mike and Megalyn, so he spoke with them in mind.

“I introduced myself as Jared Padalecki- Ackles and it wasn’t because I hyphenate my name, it’s just that sometimes I forget. I forget that I have been claimed and no longer belong to myself. In many ways my situation is different from most Alphas who’ve been turned.

Jensen and I are true mates. When we met we had the kind of experience that Nicholas Sparks writes about and the Rom Coms that are so popular. That night one of us were going to change and I made the mistake of thinking it would be Jensen. My troubles began when I still thought it should have been Jensen.

Well part of my problems, but you must understand that overnight I went from an independent Alpha to an owned and controlled Omega. I could no longer drive the new car I’d just purchased, I had no control of the money I’d made and I had to sit by and watch as my new mate took over my position in a company I’d help build.

I was no longer able to do those things but suddenly I was supposed to know how to cook, clean and take care of a home because my biology had changed.”

“Let me stop you right there,” a voice with a strong southern accent rang out across the room. Jared recognized the owner of the voice and Timothy Omundson, a very conservative Senator and anti- Omega Rights opponent. “The rest of my constituents might sit here and let you use this platform to whine about what are your duties as an Omega. It is your duty to cook and clean for your mate, and if he was an Alpha worth his salt he wouldn't have let you come here and embarrass him and your families.”

Even though the members he’d met had been polite, most of them muttered an agreement and Jared found himself clenching and unclenching his fist, he curled his lip and was about to rip the esteemed Senator a new one when he realized that's what Sen. Omundson was trying to do. He wanted everyone to see that an Omega was emotional and couldn’t be trusted with duties outside of the home.

“Do you cook, Sen. Omundson?” Jared asked politely. “Do you clean? Are you there to help your children with homework, or see them off to school?”

“See this is what I mean,” the senator laughed, “he’s asking stupid questions. Of course, I don’t cook and clean or take care of children, that’s an Omegas job.”

Ignoring the jab, Jared smiled and asked, “So if you were claimed and turned Omega say tomorrow, then you would automatically know how to cook and clean and how to be an Alpha’s mate?”

“Of course not, but then I wouldn't be weak enough to lose a fight with another Alpha,” He smiled to lessen the insult. You mentioned driving, you can’t drive when you’re in heat. Everyone knows that an Omega’s in heat are driven to be knotted, they can’t be trusted behind the wheel of an automobile.”

“How is an Omega’s heat different from an Alpha’s rut? The drive to find their mate is just as overwhelming. If we use heats and ruts as an example, then by your premise only Betas would have the right to drive.”

“A rut is different!” he snapped.

“How?” Jim Beaver asked. “When the rut hits, Alphas are just as just crazed and an Omega, the only difference is an Alpha is stronger and have things their way by brute force. Look we all saw the photos of Jared and his friend in the paper, how is it okay to treat another being in such a vile manner. This young man owned a business, and traveled the world, but because he can now give birth he can’t drive himself to the grocery store to get the food that Sen. Omundson insists that an Omega cook.”

“So what you’re seeking from the Senate is to give you permission to leave your mate?”

“No, that’s not what I’m asking. I love my mate and I know that he loves me,” Jared glimpsed at Jensen and gave him a small smile, “but what I want is to be treated human outside of my home. I’m the same person I was before the change, what I’m seeking is equality, but if I can’t get that I would like to have some of my freedoms returned.”

“You seem to have adjusted just fine,” Senator Lauren Cohen, a female Alpha from Utah chimed in.

“Not really. I’m better than I was last year, but I don’t feel the need to try to run or kill myself.”

“Now you’re being dramatic,” Omundson said.

“I don’t think so,” Jared denied. “Did you know that twenty-four percent of the people in this country have attempted suicide and of that twenty-four percent seventy percent are Omegas, and ninety percent of the Omegas are those who have been turned from Alpha to Omega? I have… acquaintances who were born Omegas, and they are better adjusted because they have known they were Omegas since childhood, so they grew up knowing what life held for them. Please understand I am here for them as well, not just those of us who have been turned.”

“You have given us thing to think about today, Jared. We will have someone advise you of the outcome of this hearing and if we decide to write a bill concerning Omegas Rights.”

Just like that Jared was dismissed and he wanted to cry that he had to beg to be treated equally, but he would not give any Alpha in this room the satisfaction.

When he stepped into the hallway, Jared was surprised to see his family had come to support him. Jeff and Megan had been in constant communication since they came to the barbecue, but it was Donna and Alan Ackles whose presence surprised him the most.

“Good job Jared,” Alan told him as he shook his hand while Donna stood to the side not saying a thing. Her stiff posture told Jared that she didn’t want to be there but kept up appearances for Jensen’s sake.

“Thank you, Alan,” Jared replied. “You aren’t angry with me?”

“I’m hurt, and maybe a little angry. I’ve done rounds in the hospital and I’ve seen cases where Omegas are nothing but incubators, punching bags or slaves. I’m working through both my anger and hurt, but I’ll get there and so will Donna.”

Jared let Alan’s words comfort him on the flight home.

Chapter 24


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