Home > Out (The Omega Collective #3)

Out (The Omega Collective #3)
Author: Mina Carter

 

1

 

 

T’kinn was used to those who lived within the palace storming into his healing hall at all hours. They were usually bleeding and always full of themselves. Only the elite came to him for treatment. The others were generally carried to the healing hall closer to the warriors’ barracks… or to the morgue.

This time was different.

For one thing, everyone in the group was bleeding. For another, the source of their injuries was still with them, and she was a sight to behold.

Lithe, fast, and with a mouth as profane as any warrior, the human female was kicking and scratching like a wild thing. Her short blonde hair stood out in unruly waves and her slender form was clad in well-patched and faded clothing that hung off her frame.

She snarled and twisted in the grip of the warrior who held her by one arm while trying to stay out of range of the rest of her. Judging by the deep gouges on his arms, he hadn’t been that successful.

“Why is she here?” he demanded. “I don’t treat humans.”

“Because they’re idiots. That’s why!” The female hissed, managing to twist somehow and slam a hard knee up into the midriff of the warrior who held her. This maneuver allowed her to break away from him to vault over the nearest examination bed. The crash as an equipment cart went flying was then followed by silence.

“Oh for xarth’s sake. Someone fetch it,” Kinn growled.

The warriors in the group shuffled from foot to foot but refused to meet his gaze.

“What?” he asked.

“We got her here, Healer,” one got up the courage to say. “She’s your problem now.”

“She’s the cat’s mother!” an irate voice announced unseen from the other side of the bed.

“She is a human female, not a feline. So either my translator is broken or something is wrong with her mind.”

“It’s not your translator,” one of them muttered.

“So she is defective. Again, why have you brought her to me?”

“Because there’s something funny about her. She’s not a beta. Not an omega, either. Her scent is strange. You’re supposed to be learning about the omegas. Right? This one is a mystery. We thought you might want to see her. We brought her stuff too. In the bag by the door.”

“The only mystery here is how the hell you assholes managed to conquer Earth at all. It’s fucking embarrassing. Now, is someone going to help me up or do I have to do everything myself?”

T’kinn sighed. “All of you, out. I’ll deal with this female. You can get treated by the barracks healers… if they’ll do so once they learn you were injured by an unarmed human female. She’s right. You are an embarrassment.”

Several of the warriors snarled. T’kinn snarled back and all of them backed down. “Remember where you are and who I am. Behave or bleed to death the next time you lose a fight.”

The warriors filtered out, and the door slid shut behind them. Kinn remained where he was, his arms folded.

“Are you going to come out?”

“The fuck I am. It’s nice down here. Cozy.”

He raised an eyebrow. “You consider the floor of my medical bay cozy? You are definitely mentally defective.”

“And you’re an asshole, but I ain’t judging. Am I? And it’s cozy. Dry. No wind. Not filled with mud. There’s even a blanket. Ergo… cozy. Now fuck off.”

“Are you injured? Are you bleeding on my carpet right now? If so, I can treat you.” He frowned at nothing, trying to figure out what to do. This was not something he was trained for. Females should be obedient. Submissive. Gentle.

This one was none of those things.

“Who carpets a medical hall?” The question was barely audible and he assumed it wasn’t directed at him.

He decided to repeat the question since the female was clearly having trouble understanding him. “Are you injured?”

“It’s nothing.”

That, he understood. That was a warrior’s answer when they were hurt but did not wish to admit it. “If you have any injuries, I can treat them. I have food if you are hungry.” He knew the humans outside the citadel didn’t have much. If that’s where this one was from, she had to be starving.

There was a silence. If silence could be interested, this one was.

“What kind of food?”

The question made him smile and he softened his tone when he answered. “What would you like? Fruit? Meat? Perhaps something to drink, too?”

“Fruit? Fresh, actual fruit?” There was no mistaking the longing in his visitor’s voice.

“I believe you call them apples.”

“Apples. You have apples. And water?”

He considered that. She would be dehydrated no doubt, but if she was starving, she’d need more calories, and quickly. “Water, and some warm broth, too.”

“Yes. Wait. No. You could drug the broth.”

“That would not be advisable. I have no idea of your metabolism or physical attributes. I may give you too much.”

He heard a faint sound and saw a crop of blonde hair appear over the top of the bed followed by a very wary pair of eyes. “I’ll watch you make it.”

Annoyance flashed through him. This was his medical hall. He was the lord healer, not a servant for some half-starved feral human female.

“Tell me your name first.”

“Hungry.”

He frowned again. “I do not think my translator is malfunctioning, so I am assuming this is a human… joke? Yes?”

She snorted. “And I would have thought being a healer required an above average level of intelligence, but once again you aliens are proving me wrong.”

He folded his arms again, suppressing the anger that rolled through him. Only her wince as she stood upright negated it and his expression hardened.

“You let me treat you and you can eat.”

She barked a laugh. “When did this become a negotiation?”

“Since you ended up locked in my medical bay.” He smiled. It wasn’t a nice expression. It was a warning.

She shivered. “Don’t smile. Your face looks odd.”

“My face is perfectly symmetrical. There is nothing odd about it. You are injured and hungry. I am willing to treat your wounds and feed you. What is there to negotiate?”

“Plenty.”

“Name,” he repeated again.

“My friends call me Pita.”

“Pita. If you will sit on the bed, I will treat you. What is the nature of your injury?” He fell into the habits of his profession. This was familiar. Routine. Unlike the oddly striking female standing before him. She was lean and hard, her hair short, eyes bright and watchful. It didn’t match with her apparent defects. The males were right. Something was different about her.

He took a step toward her, and that’s when it hit him. Her scent. It was… wrong. So wrong that his steps faltered.

“Something wrong?” she asked, her head tilted to the side. For a moment he thought amusement shone in the backs of her eyes, but then it was gone.

“Your scent. You’re not a beta.”

She snorted. “Of course I am. Would I have made it here unmolested or even alive if I was an omega?”

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