Home > Out (The Omega Collective #3)(6)

Out (The Omega Collective #3)(6)
Author: Mina Carter

His fingers moved from her ankle to her heel and then across the bottom of her foot. Something shifted beneath his touch. Something that wasn’t skin.

He shot a look at her face. Her eyes were closed but tension radiated from her. Fear flooded her scent as he traced the edges of it with his finger.

“Serena?” he asked in a low voice. “What is this?”

She refused to answer him, her lips pressing tightly together. He frowned and crouched, bringing himself in line with the bottom of her foot. His breath caught. There was a patch on her skin, almost invisible against the pale, soft flesh. If he hadn’t touched it and noted the difference in temperature and texture, he might not even have known it was there.

Gently, he eased the edge up and peeled it from her skin. It was thin and sticky. Lifting it to his nose he took a sniff, recoiling from the chemical smell. Once it was separated from her, he could smell its wrongness.

“What does this do?” he demanded, holding it out toward her.

“Asshole repellent. Clearly it doesn’t work.” She watched him warily, every part of her tense. If the field hadn’t been there, she’d have bolted again by now.

“I’ll figure it out for myself eventually. If you tell me now, it will change nothing but how annoyed I’ll be by the time I learn the truth.” He placed a healing acceleration module over her ankle and activated it. For something this minor, it would only take a minute.

“Oi! That’s mine. Give it back!”

He turned and gave her a hard look, his voice dropping to a growl. “You belong to me, Serena. That means everything that was yours is mine now.”

“Bastard! Asshole!”

He folded his arms, watching her. He couldn’t hide the small smile curving his lips as he did. She was glorious when she was mad, so cute in the way she glared up at him, her eyes spitting fire. And, to his surprise, his claim of ownership had felt good. He hadn’t expected to say it. The words had slipped off his tongue before he could think about them.

“I’ve told you before. My parents were mated.” He reached out to slide a hand down her calf. The move was half functional to check there was no inflammation and part possessive. He found he liked touching his little not-beta. A lot.

“What does it do, Serena?” He leaned over her on the bed with his hand by her head. She was pinned by the restraints, though, helpless beneath him, and her fear leached out of her pores. He didn’t like that.

He wanted her to welcome his presence. Crave his touch. It made no sense. The module uttered a soft double-beep, indicating the process had finished. He reached out and batted it away from her foot without moving away from her.

Something dark sank its claws into his thoughts and words he didn’t expect flowed from his lips. “If you think you can escape me, then try. Run. But if I catch you…”

He deactivated the restraining field and stepped back, giving her room to move. He had no idea why he’d issued a challenge like that, but his breath caught at the idea she would run. That he could chase her.

Her. Not the nameless, faceless omega who had inhabited his thoughts whenever he’d thought of a claiming chase. Now she occupied that space instead, and she was all he could think of.

Eyes wide, she sat up warily, edging to the side of the bed.

“Run,” he growled, the sound close to a snarl. Heat and need tightened every muscle in his body as he waited for that glorious moment when she fled. That would be the moment he knew she wanted this, wanted him.

 

 

4

 

 

Run… she should run.

Serena balanced on the edge of the bed, watching the big alien as he watched her. Her breath was shortened, her heart pounding in her throat, but it wasn’t the fight or flight instinct her brain insisted it was. That it should be when faced with an alien alpha. One who only minutes ago was fully shifted into his beast form, where he was most dangerous to women like her… omegas like her.

She didn’t look at the patch on the trolley. It wouldn’t help her now, and with any luck, the blocker it had contained was burned out so he wouldn’t be able to glean any information from it.

A soft growl made her flinch and her gaze darted up to his again. His eyes were black, but he wasn’t feral. He was watching her, waiting for her to run. She shouldn’t. That’s what he wanted. He would chase her and become the beast. She would die. But he’d already done that, and he hadn’t hurt her.

She bit her lower lip, her eyes locked with his. She shouldn’t run, but she wanted to. Not to escape, not to hide, but to… make him chase her? With a startled cry, she shoved off the bed and ran—to escape him and her own traitorous thoughts.

Where to go? Her mind raced even faster than her feet as she flew toward the door. This time she didn’t bother trying to throw things into his path or to dodge and weave. She’d seen how little good that did. It would only slow her down. If she could reach the doors…

Part of her mind laughed. She wasn’t going to get that far. Not unless she sprouted wings and took flight. She ran anyway, excitement replacing fear. She wanted to laugh but saved her breath.

Two steps. Three. Four. She thought maybe he wasn’t going to chase her after all. Was he letting her go?

Why did that idea fill her with disappointment instead of exaltation?

Her bare foot hit the carpet. Five steps.

Then the floor shook and a roar filled the air. He was coming after her.

She squeaked, the sound somewhere between fear and excitement. Fear because he was an alpha. Years of fearing them, hiding from them, didn’t disappear overnight. And excitement because this was Kinn. He wouldn’t hurt her. He’d promised that. He was a healer. And his touch…

She didn’t get to the doors, ducking sideways instead and into one of the storage rooms. The back door led out onto a small terrace. She could loop back and—

He ripped the door off its hinges rather than open it, and the metal screamed in protest. Then he was in there with her, his massive frame making the tiny room seem even smaller. She bit out a cry, almost at the back door. Fingers wrapped around the handle, she managed to open it a couple of inches when a huge hand slammed it shut so hard, the frame cracked.

Closing her eyes, she rested her forehead against the cool metal, aware of him behind her. She felt him… the heat of his body against her back, the whisper of his cool breath against the back and side of her neck.

He nuzzled her hair, dragging her scent into his lungs. “You are an omega.”

“That’s just my perfume.” She couldn’t keep the breathlessness out of her voice anymore.

“Do not lie to me, Serena. You will never lie to me again.” His lips grazed the nape of her neck. Need coursed through her, that simple touch making her body ache and her blood roar. She wanted to step backward, to press herself against his hard body.

“We all have secrets. You don’t get to know mine. You don’t have the right to know.”

He kissed his way along the back of her neck to the bare skin at the top of her shoulder. He crowded her, doing what she’d wanted to do by putting them in full body contact.

Kinn growled, and something sharp grazed the side of her throat.

Fangs.

Heat swirled in her belly, making her ache and throb.

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