UNCLAIMED, THE MOON OMEGAS

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Summary

The technology we grew too dependent on has killed more people than bullets. EMP detonations had crushed our media-driven lives. The cyber-world destroyed we lost communication, transportation, law, and order. The wild West was reborn. Boundaries had been drawn. All survivors scrambled to be safely claimed within a territory. My mother and I fled to the coast — swearing allegiance to Lucretia, the Sea Queen. The Omega Queen promised to keep us sheltered and fed. In return, we'd protect, fighting to keep our lands and our bodies. I thrived here, growing stronger and faster. I was a natural warrior, maturing on every front. By 18, I captained my own company, leading and caring for my sisters. Women who knew the danger that roamed outside our borders. Alpha's, greedy and dangerous predators that hunted. They'd use our DNA to damn and conform us into submission. The queen kept us safe. But the world was slow to recover after the Fallout. We struggled. And struggling territories are vulnerable and weak. My assignment was to find a suitable partner. An Alpha we could make a pact with. They were oblivious to me stalking them. I'd enter and retreat different territories, lands, and tribes. But my searching stopped when I'd entered the tent of king Lathan Caldwell. Wolf King of the Silver Mountains.

Genre:
Scifi / Romance
Author:
Westwyo
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
16
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

Chapter 1

Start writing here…Unclaimed- The Moon Omegas

Prologue Control, power, and greed, that is how we had gotten to this place. Mankind claimed we’d risen from the primitive. That we’d evolved, attained knowledge, we hadn’t. The ruthlessness that tempts all life had infected those in power. Promising they could rule it all. War threats became viable, real. Orders were given, and our world stopped. The technology we grew too dependent on had killed more people than bullets. The EMP detonation devastated the world. Anything with a computer was worthless. The cyber-world destroyed we lost communication, transportation, law, and order. The wild West was reborn. Boundaries had been drawn. All survivors scrambled to be safely claimed within a territory. My mother and I fled to the coast — swearing allegiance to Lucretia, the Sea Queen. The Omega Queen promised to keep us sheltered and fed. In return, we’d protect, fighting to keep our lands and our bodies. As an Omega, we’d had more to lose than most. We were hunted, stalked. Our genetic dynamic made us targets. Marking our DNA, we were genetic and cellular keys. We unlocked the door to life. Our bodies were the vital link that was needed to birth new life. Without us, there was no future. Or so we were told, birthed only to be claimed and bonded by Alphas. All Omega’s knew what happened if you were claimed. Your life ended. The result was total submission and slavery. The Sea Queen kept us from that. I went from being an only child to having sisters. Surrounded by Betas and Omegas, just like me. I thrived here, growing stronger and faster. I was a natural warrior, maturing on every front. By 18, I captained my own company, leading and caring for Omegas, and Betas. Women who knew the danger that roamed outside our borders. Alpha’s, greedy, and dangerous predators that hunted. Taking and claiming Omegas and praying on those of us cursed by our genetics. They’d use our own DNA to damn and conform us into submission. The queen kept us safe, isolated. Educating and warning us, that’s how we lived safe and unclaimed. But the world was slow to recover after the Fallout. We struggled. And struggling territories are vulnerable and weak. Plans were made, orders were given. My assignment was to find a suitable partner. An Alpha we could make a pact with. I spent weeks shadowing these beasts. Slipping in and out of their camps as they hunted. I crept in their tents while they slept. They were oblivious to me. In and out, I’d enter and retreat. I did this for weeks: different territories, different lands, different tribes. But my searching stopped when I’d entered the tent of king Lathan Caldwell. Wolf King of the Silver Mountains.

Chapter 1

This day had been a long time coming. The fateful meeting of the Alpha King of the Silver Mountains. A day planned and baited with lives I hated to play with. Orders I’d been forced to follow. This was one of those moments I hated being a warrior. I squared my shoulders, head held straight and high as I waited for fate to change our lives. There were more than twenty mounted Alpha’s advancing on my company. Men twice the size of the Beta’s that lived in my homelands. I cast a quick look at my sister’s. ” We have order’s Omega’s, do not fail the Queen.” I reminded my sisters to stand proud. “Sephra, take your position,” I ordered my trainee. The loud thunder of hoofbeats echoed off the massive rock walls that surrounded us on three sides. The greedy dog had obviously not paid any attention to where I had led him. After all, he was only an Alpha. Hell-bent on laying claim on an Omega. So, prized he’d let me set the stage to my liking. Bright sunlight gave me an unobstructed view of Lathan Caldwell, the Alpha King. I didn’t need to be an Omega to know he was attractive, handsome. Broad-shouldered and muscular. A large man top to bottom. I felt bad for his horse. That was a lot of weight to have to carry. The rapidly approaching Alpha Calvary stopped a hundred feet short of me. I stood tall, as tall as my petite frame allowed, my warriors forming a line in front of me. The king and his men were taking stock of the women before them. The nervous energy that comes with the anticipation of the unknown filled the air. Hanging just as heavy as the dust their arrival had stirred. “Greetings to you and your… companions.” He said curious, hungry eyes taking in the view before him. “I am..”

“I know who you are Alpha. Your colors and sigil are well known to us.” I interrupted the braggadocious king. A look of shock on the handsome king’s face was insanely gratifying. He was not used to being interrupted. Especially by a woman. “As are your colors.” He said. “You’re a long way from home little Omega.” The Alpha king looked every bit like the wolf that represented his house. His smile revealed long, sharp canines. “True, but I am still in my lands.” I retorted, watching as he dismounted. The giant coming to stand closer to my line. “That is a matter of opinion.” He said. The boundaries were always in disputed. I wouldn’t argue over blurred lines. I huffed my disagreement. “I am only interested in mine,” I replied, watching him as carefully as he watched me. “Tell me, princess is your army close?” He asked me, taking stock of the numbers around me. Knowing he was already counting how many Omegas were here. No doubt there were more Omega’s than he’d ever seen before. “I am not a princess, and I will tell you nothing dog.” I dismissed the question. I was trying my best to appear unconcerned with him or his men. Their reaction to unclaimed Omega’s already starting to changing their breathing and posture. It was a dangerous game I was ordered to play. With lives, I was sworn to protect not toy with. “Then I will assume you wish for me to take you all prisoner?” He said like the ego Alpha he was. I smiled sweetly. “You presume wrong,” I said sternly, watching the king look upon us an easy conquest. “Where are your soldiers, where are the men who will fight for your honor?” He was enjoying this conversation. “You ask too many questions,” I said as I watched him gauge me. Honey brown eyes were laughing with what he believed to be a game. “You are alone, no men to protect you and your sister Omegas. Outnumbered and trapped. How do you see this encounter ending?” He asked, looking upon me with interest. Not for my words, but my dynamic. “We don’t need men to protect us dog. We are warriors, and I lead them. As for our end, that depends on you.” I told him. Standing tall against the imposing presence of the Alpha king. He cocked a brow in amused curiosity. “You lead these women?”

“I lead these warriors.” I clarified. A swelling of anger flushing me from head to toe. He struggled to contain a smile. The urge to hurl one of my daggers at his cocky head was hard to resist. I needed to stay level headed. I needed to stall. “You are lovely.” He leered at me. “How may I help you reach your end?” The tone of his voice was crude and offensive. Condescending and perverted, seeing me as nothing more than a prize. “I challenge you to single combat. My sword against yours.” My voice echoed slightly of the rocks that surrounded us. Wanting every man and women to hear my challenge. He threw his massive head back and laughed. His men found my offer funny as well. Not good, being disrespected was on thing. Being underestimated was insulting. “Laughing is a sign of disrespect dog.” I reminded him sternly. The insult burned me, twitching my muscles. But it was enough to calm his outburst. ” I humbly apologize Omega.” He wasn’t the least bit sorry. Blatantly lying to my face, I did not hide me feelings. Letting my eyes and hostility speak without words. “Will you accept my challenge?” I asked again. Silently praying I could stall long enough for my reinforcement to arrive. “Tell me your name?” He asked, not seeing me as the threat I truly was. Infuriating and foolish. The dog king would regret his mistake. It was never easy to confront an enemy. My insides churned like the sea under Poseidon’s wrath. Feelings that I never allowed to surface. Keeping the truth from my sisters and my enemy. If the dog king wanted unknowingly gift me time, I would take it. “Neisa, if you must know,” I said, keeping my eyes off his impressive form was hard to do. I mentally checked myself. “Neisa,” Lathan repeated. “A unique name for a unique Omega.” As if the compliment would make me swoon. “What are your terms?”

“The terms are simple, a life for a life.” The standard rule of solo combat. “I promise to give you an honorable death, and you will do the same for me. If you are lucky enough to bet me.” I jabbed. He fought the smile this time, the chuckle let me know his thoughts. “And your women?” He asked

“I will not bargain with their lives. They walk, as will your men, once I win.” He paused as my offer rolled around his hollow skull. The wolf laughed again; complete disbelief shook his form. “I don’t think you have the strength or the skill to match me Neisa.” He said the warning was firm, but gentle. I cocked my head, raised a questioning brow and snickered. I mirrored the Alpha’s rudeness. A challenge and an open sign of disrespect. “Strength is a powerful word. One you know nothing of.” I continued to jab at him with my words. “I define the word Omega.” He said offended, hostile. That was good. I liked his emotions exposing him. “Really? Because you assume strength means size and power? How stupid are you dog?” I smiled, loving the clench in his jaw and the flaring of his nostrils. The Alpha king did not take well to my verbal attack or disrespect. “Do you know how much strength it takes to control our true nature? The restraint needed not to abuse the power in our hands?” I raked a disapproving look up and down his body. “No, of course, you don’t. You take without regard. You demand without right.” I accused him justly. “Alpha, you will know what it feels like to be small and weak.” I promised misery. I stood to my full height, which next to this giant was nothing. “Know your place before you accept my challenge,” I warned a warrior I had never fought.

“I know my place, Neisa. As will you, When I am buried deep inside of you.” He smiled wickedly at me. The air around the giant smelled of aggressive musk—a new and frightening smell to me. The odd fragrance hit my senses in a foreign wave of danger I had never encountered before.

I scoffed at the Alpha. “You think you’re the first fool to assume that? You are as arrogant as you are big.” I chuckled. ” I will enjoy watching you fall,” I said as I walked out towards him. My soldiers broke the line to allow me to advance.

“You’re no warrior, Princess.” He repeated, his hostile posture a clear warning I’d hit the right nerve. “Send your guard to fight for you.”

“No man fights my battles dog,” I told him fiercely. “Don’t be afraid. If I wanted you dead, I would’ve killed you last night while you raped your hand.” I smiled up at the Alpha king. I wanted him to know I had been close enough to kill him. That I had, in fact, been in his tent, his brow raised. Was he angry or impressed? “You should have stayed.” He let his eyes express his very suggestive ideas. “This day could have found you mated and claimed.” He said. “I prefer death to the thought of being mated or claimed. Especially by a dog like you.” I snapped. There was no greater fear for an Omega.

I removed my long tunic, exposing my sleeveless, fitted shirt, and leggings. The king’s surprised eyes burned my skin. “Your greed will end your reign,” I promised the Alpha King.

“My greed will see you in my bed. And your kingdom under my rule.” He said as he took position across from me.

“You think highly of yourself. I don’t. As for my kingdom, it will never be yours, Lathan, king of the dogs.” I promised him. The look of rage he burdened me with was unnerving. He’d like nothing more than to educate me on the hierarchy of our nature. Reminding me where he believed I stood in the world where he thought he ruled. ” Sephra, my swords,” I called my sister. She appeared at my side, offering them to me. I gripped them firmly. Clutching the weapons, I practically slept with. I knew them well. I rolled my shoulders, twisted my wrists, feeling the balance and weight. My heart raced with the sound of war horses galloping into battle. This day had been inevitable. His wolfish smile curled his lip. I’d pay a fortune to know what he was thinking. He arrogantly charged towards me. The king didn’t even bother to raise his sword—a sign of disrespect to any warrior. I flicked my wrist and cut his left shoulder. My speed caught him off guard. The slightest glimpse of surprise flashed across his face.

“Don’t doubt me, Alpha,” I warned as I launched my attack. His eyes followed me like the predator he was. He was a Goliath compared to me. When he smirked at me, again charging my position, I dropped to the ground sweeping his leg from underneath him. He dropped to his knee long enough for me to bring my elbow sharply across his chin—two points for me. A captive audience roared fueled by the high-octane chaos. I quickly retreated, taking instantly to my defensive stance. I just had to stay out of his hands long enough. He growled, reminding me I was playing a dangerous game on borrowed time. Minutes were lost to the sound of combat. I had no way of knowing how long I actually fought him. No matter, it felt like hours. He was big, where I was quick. I engaged him in a game of speed, using my small stature and reflexes to attack and retreat. When he tired of it, he jumped. His large muscular thigh’s propelling him up like a rocket, jumping completely over my crouched body. I gauged where he would land — kicking him hard in the chest. I didn’t have the strength to move his mass, but I could take his wind, leaving the Alpha gasping for air. It was a strike that took more energy than it was worth on my part. My muscles burned from the battle. More minutes passed as I fought harder than I ever had. I couldn’t keep this pace for much longer. Knowing I was physically at my end. My swords felt like bricks. But the fate of my Omega’s was my only real concern. The sound of clashing steel was being drowned out by my ragged breathing. I was crumbling. Matching metal with a skilled warrior four times my size had me greatly weakened. I stumbled, he missed nothing grabbing my braid and yanked me violently to his chest. I blinked, and his sword was at my throat—the air reeking of adrenaline and enraged Alpha. Our chests were heaving from our battle. He pulled me harder, exposing my neck. I offered it with honor. “Make it a clean-cut dog,” I said, panting as I insulted the Alpha one last time.

“I’m very impressed.” He panted hotly into my ear. “It takes a lot of courage to stand up to an Alpha, let alone a king.” The wolf said, leaning his head lower, actually resting his nose on my neck, inhaling the smell of my skin. An act of dominance and intimidation. “Do you not have anything to say?” He goaded me. I turned towards him, looking right into the eye of my death. I had plenty to say.

“Is your sword faster than an arrow?” I breathlessly asked. “All I needed was time.” I panted. The wind shifted, alerting the transfixed army to the arrival of twenty of the world’s finest bow women. All, having taken position trapping us. The look of disbelief on his face was more than worth my life. I so badly wanted to laugh in his face. If I had the air to do it, I would have.

“Little sister, what have you done?” The beautiful voice of the commander asked me from her perch on the rocks above us. The outraged roar of the king echoed off the rocks. A sound that undoubtedly could be heard for miles. Alexa, the beautiful but cold-hearted hand of the queen, looked down on the scene with joy. This had not been the plan, and yet she saw success. The lustful look in her eyes chilled me.

“Honor your word. Admit defeat.” The Alpha king demanded as he pulled at me roughly. The smell of aggressive, Alpha confused my senses. Being this close to him was frightening and oddly intoxicating. Why did he smell good? Focus, Neisa, your life is about to end. Die with honor.

“I intend to. But only if every one of my warriors leaves untouched. That was the deal.” I panted. Reminding him of our agreement, I was honor-bound.

“Heel your dogs or die where you stand,” Alexa ordered the king. He grabbed for the front of my clothing, threatening to rip it from my frame — an act of assertiveness and dominance. An arrow grazed his arm, stopping him from what would more than likely be a brutal assault.

“My Queen offers terms, Lathan King of the dogs, you’d be wise to listen.” The warning in her voice clear to all. The commander waited; hand poised to give the order to fire.

“Kneel.” He ordered as he pressed me down to the ground. My weakened body obeyed. Time moved in slow motion as my body tried to recover from the brink of exhaustion. The arrival of my commander was a welcome sight. My death would see my sisters safe. I couldn’t ask for more.

“Look around dog, what do you see?” Alexa asked him calmly, standing in front of my small company of warriors.

“The spoils of war.” The King’s voice was proudly sounding his victory to his men.

The cold commander would not be drawn in by his immature comments. “Warriors, women who would kill you. Women, you blindly let trap you into a corner.” The commander gloated. She pointed out the obvious. He’d allowed me to lure him into a location of my choosing. Even beaten, it was extremely gratifying. “Your no match for my Alpha’s commander, and you know that.” He said, not concerned with the odds. Unfortunately, he was right. Pound for pound, muscle against muscle, we would lose, even with the advantage of terrain, position, and bows. Any death was a loss; an Omega death was sacrilege. She smiled at him. Unimpressed was Alexa’s usual emotion. A look of boredom she’d perfected as a toddler. “We will find out if you are not agreeable to the Queen’s terms.” She said as she walked around the giant wolf. “The terms of your surrender, I assume,” Lathan said, watching with interest as the graceful yet deadly Omega circled him. “Your humor amuses me dog.” Alexa’s eyes shimmered brightly. Not from his jab, from something else. I’d seen the look before. I was instantly worried. I pushed my shaky legs up from the dirt. I was trying to regain a little bit of dignity. Lathan moved quickly back to me. Posturing over me, I’d lost my challenge. He meant to remind me with his hostile aggression and presence. “I didn’t give you permission to stand.” He stated. I spun around to meet his brown eyes. “I am not yours to command.” I spit at him. “Are you sure of that?” The bastard asked. “Remember, little warrior; I bested you.” Nothing but victory burned there in the honey-brown eyes of my death. “Did you enter freely into combat with him, Neisa?” My commander asked me, turning to look at me. “Yes, Commander, I challenged him to single combat.” I stood proudly on my convictions. “I wish to die by the sword.” I shook internally, trying to remain brave in the face of death, and my sisters. My commander did not hesitate to ask. “Will you honor a warrior’s request?” Alexa asked the wolf. “I will not.” He breathed hotly behind me. “This was the agreement you accepted?” My commander asked him. There were rules to waging war, rules of engagement. “I am aware of the terms Commander. A life for a life. Is that not what you offered me, little warrior?” His words implied something dark, something terrifying. I shuddered as I met the eyes of the King. “I did, so show my sister’s you’re not too stupid to understand that and give me a clean death.” I purposely offended the beast. “Honor your agreement and form alliances, not enemies,” Alexa said.

“I intend to.” The King said an un-nerving calmness in his voice caused me to break out in chills. “What does the Queen of the Isle offer?” He demanded, blatantly ignoring my commander and me. Alexa was mildly shocked that the king side-stepped the topic of my death. Agile as she was beautiful, she was more than happy to strike a deal with the king. “A mate and the chance to create a legacy, your legacy.” Alexa dangled the bait right in front of him. “The queen will gift you a pure Omega. One with position and title.” Neither of us missed the noticeable excitement brighten his eyes. ” In exchange for ten of your men.” He relaxed a fraction, pulling his imposing presence off of me. Momentarily, giving me a much-appreciated breath of fresh air. Curious and excited, the Alpha king bit. “Please, continue.”

“Your men will be returned to you in a month, along with your Omega.” The commander said, openly eyeing the king’s men with appreciation.

“Ten of my men?” He asked, more than amused. The brown eyes of the wolf danced with curiosity. A smile curled his lip as he mulled over the offer.

“Yes, men of my choosing.” She added. ” With conditions, of course.” The commander continued. “Name the conditions.”

“You will allow me to escort ten of your Alpha’s to my territory,” Alexa said, pulling her eyes from the silent soldiers at her back. “In four weeks, they will be returned to you.” The commander said, coming to stand before the king. “As a sign of good faith, I have been ordered to give you a piece of precious information.” The beautiful Omega tempted him. “Precious information regarding the safety of my men, I assume.”

“Your men are not in danger.” She chuckled; her beautiful smile was a dangerous lure. “I offer information on your future mate.” I felt my horror flash across my face. What was she doing? “Information on the proper care and guarantee on insuring your heirs.” Alexa continued, knowing damn well she had his attention. “Honor demands you cannot mate with your Omega until she cycles. If she is taken without her consent, she will never conceive. You will brand her as barren.” I gasped in horror. Why was she telling him this? She’d told him to much. “Do you see the error of your enemies? No damaged land will ever yield crops.” I could see the moment clarity hit him. My stomach churned. The Alpha king’s lips twitched with a grin. My eyes bolted to my stunned sisters. All of them shocked, angered and betrayed. All Omegas guarded this information. We held on to it for our safety, our survival. We did not share secrets, especially with the enemy. “One Omega for ten of my men is not a fair trade.” The king countered. “One pure omega is worth a thousand of your dogs. And I am only borrowing them.” She reminded the wolf.

“Pure, how would that be possible?” The king asked. “How many men do you see in our ranks?” Alexa asked him, sweeping her hand around us. “Do you know why? We have few, and we outnumber them greatly.” Again, she revealed too much information. Not that all the women in our lands were Omega. But he didn’t need to know this. He leaned back against the rocks. The king pondered her offer. “Everything about the queen’s Omegas are pure dog. We do not lay without purpose or honor.” What the hell was she talking about? We didn’t lay period. When he hesitated, she continued. “I assure you the Omega that has been chosen for you is a rare creature. No detail has been overlooked.” Alexa tempted the man. He crossed his arms. Large muscles flexed as he sincerely thought over her offer. The wolf’s eyes were looking down at me. A little smile tugging at his lips made me more uneasy. “I will accept, with conditions, of course.” He said, mocking the commander. “Of course.” Alexa’s smiled; the glow of victory lit up her eyes. “I will choose my Omega, and you will leave ten of your women.” Alexa laughed robustly at his conditions. “You may choose your Omega, but I will leave only one in your charge.” She countered. “May I tell the queen to expect you in one month?” Alexa asked, clearly proud of her negotiation. He chuckled. “No, Commander. I have already chosen my Omega. Isn’t that right, princess?” He openly leered at me, pushing his large body off the rock to step to my back again. I felt as if he’d kicked me in the stomach. I instantly stepped back. “That was not the offer?” Alexa intervened, sensing my panic she almost looked as shocked as I felt. “It is the only one I will accept.” Lathan’s tone broadcasting the authority his title gave him. “Why?” Alexa asked the question for me. Gone was all her façade. Truly stupefied as to his rational. ” Your little warrior requires discipline. I look forward to educating her.” He said as he eyed me again. “And the scent she tempts me with tells me she is beyond pure.” My skin had not even cooled from our battle. It burned hotter from his words. I tried to remain stoic; I failed. If he could smell my innocence, then he could smell my fear. “She is pure but not noble.” The commander reminded the king. A truth I was very grateful for. ” Any Omega is noble Commander.” He quipped, almost offended by her fact regarding my birthright. “I don’t need another title attached to my legacy. I need a mate.” Lathan said the dark timbre of his voice implied an arrangement that I feared more than death. Visible panic shook me. He wanted to pair bond with me. This was a fate worse than death. “And as a sign of good faith, you will leave me an Omega?” The wolf smelled victory. “I am sorry, sister,” Alexa said to me, but her words lacked real empathy. “Sephra is Nesia’s study. She will be left in your care. But hear me now, dog. If Sephra is not as pristine in a month as she stands now, no mercy will be shown.” The commander threatened.

“No.” I cried in outrage. I dared to question my commander. I was sickened that she would leave any Omega in his care. Let alone Sephra, she was my friend, my fellow sister.

“Yes.” Alexa barked at my outburst. Her sharp reply and fury filled eyes stopped me. “In one month, our ships will reach your port. If Neisa’s woman is safe and untouched, your men will be returned to you. And my sister united with you in a pair bond.” Alexa’s verbal account of my future death froze my muscles. I trembled as I wrestled with my emotions. ” A pair bond?” I gasped in real horror. “We agreed on a life for a life.” I hissed at the bastard. ” An agreement that will be honored,” Lathan said. “Your life will be mine to command. And I will.” The wolf promised fear, pain, and punishment. I was sick. I would have to face this fate. But I would spare my sisters at all costs.

“He cannot be trusted to keep her safe.” I lashed out, grasping at anything. My words stopped the commander as she prepared to shop through the Alpha kings’ men.

“Then he has no control or honor. Therefore, he is worthless as a leader and unfit to claim a pure Omega.” Alexa said, her remark a jab at his rule. Silence set heavy on the captivated audience. The hostile Alpha leader roared in offended outrage — the sound of aggression that snapped Alpha and Omega alike to attention.

“Alpha’s.” He called out loudly. Nothing but authority booming in his voice. Taking Sephra to the center of the crowd. “Look upon this Omega. Do you see her?” He roared his question. “If unfavorable touch falls upon her flesh, I will peel yours off while you breathe. No man will deny me my Omega. Do you understand?” He bellowed the question. The pack roared their allegiance. I’d lost to him again.

Ignoring the king, I went to Sephra, pulling her to my sweat-soaked body. Apologizing for what our queen was putting her through. “I am so sorry," I begged her forgiveness. Sephra held tightly to me. Feeling her tremble, I pulled back to look into her eyes. Praying, I had done all I could to prepare her to be brave in the weeks to come. “I am ready, Neisa,” Sephra assured me, pulling me back to her chest.

“Go with honor,” I whispered into her ear. The wolf named Lathan snagged her from my embrace like the animal he was. I glared at him as he pulled her from my arms.

“I will see you in one month, Neisa.” He smiled down at me as he said my name. He leaned over to draw my scent deeply into his lungs one last time. His pupils were blown with more than just the high of his recent victory.

“Remember my words.” I seethed at his back.

“I will remember everything, little warrior.” He told me as he moved away from me. My heart sank. The mission had not gone as planned. But the queen would call it successful. I watched my sister walk bravely back to his army. While my commander hand-picked men to breed our women. Unfortunately, we were severely lacking men of good stock and genetics. Lathan believed he had won. But he hadn’t. My queen was using him. Rather his men, securing a new, healthy line of superior genetics and unknown control.

We rode for two days. The trip back to my homeland felt like a week. I needed to be back in the capital. I needed to speak with the queen. There was no way she’d make me go through with this. I wasn’t the intended mate. I didn’t even bother to bathe before I requested a meeting. Days had been lost just trying to get back home. In our world, time mattered. The Fallout had left us scattered, isolated. Our tech was rarely reliable, and with no infrastructure to support or maintain it, we’d been thrown back into the 1800s. Anything that had a computer had been fried with the EMP detonations. Old carburetors powered vehicles were all that worked. And with fuel being as precious as Omegas. Horsepower was how we traveled and communicated reliably. With my mount tended to, I quickly hurried to the council room. Not at all surprised to see Alexa already updating the queen. As a young woman, the queen’s icy pale blue eyes had been intimidating. They were cold, almost as cold as she was. “Neisa, it seems you made a huge impression on the King of the Silver Mountains.” The woman who was only ten years older than me said. “Not the impression I was aiming for,” I said regrettably. “What is to be done about the situation?” I asked. “You have established a rapport with the king and his men.” The queen’s coldness had the ability to chill me even on a sunny day. “You will be in charge of the breeders while they stay in the capital.” “I fail to see how I established anything, ma’am,” I told her. I hadn’t established shit. But the look she shared with Alexa told me she didn’t believe me or care. “Alexa tells it differently. It appears the breeders have already accepted you as the king’s mate.”

“Meaningless conversations and repeated threats do not mean they accept me.” I bristled. “You threatened the breeders?” The queen’s eyes sparkled, a tell-tail sign of an approaching tirade. “Hell, yes, I did. My warriors are not hookers. ” I snapped. “Nor were they intended for the Alphas.” I reminded her. “The Alpha’s are very sensitive to our scent, my queen,” Alexa spoke up. “It was for everyone’s safety that we maintained order and returned quickly.” I did not hide my look of surprise. Alexa rarely worried about anyone but herself. “Really?” The queen looked pleased and curious about the news. “They are dogs, my queen. Only focused on the rut.” Alexa said in a disgusted voice. “Deplorable.” The queen visibly sickened by the thought. “We will smile and accommodate to meet our agenda.” The queen calmed, reigning in her hair-trigger emotions. “As it stands, Neisa, his men know you; they watched you parlay an honorable agreement with their king. They also know he intends to pair bond. You have meaning and importance to them.” I could see some value in her thinking. I feared for what she intended to do with me. “He may intend to pair bond with me, but that wasn’t the plan.” I tried to point out the obvious respectfully. “The beauty of being Omega is resilience, Neisa. A trait that we will take full advantage of.” The queen said. “The king will be given a choice.” She said, watching me intensely, waiting for her order to move me. This was her favorite part of the game. “What choice might that be?” I didn’t mask my true feelings. “I will offer him my niece.” It was all I could do to not visible shake, a reaction that would thrill her. The queen’s niece was a sixteen years old child. A fragile, sheltered one at that. Smaller than me. He’d kill her. The queen was willing to offer him a child bride. “My queen, Kambry, is a child.” I plead for her innocence and lack of skill. She’d never held a sword. How the hell would she survive? “She is a rare fruit. One that I have no doubt he would not be able to resist.” The bitch queen sneered. “He will not have the disciple to wait until she cycles.” She laughed, laughed at the thought of Kambry’s brutal, savage rape. I seethed with outrage as I once again wrestled with my temper. “You want him to defile her?” Kambry would be torn apart by the large Alpha. He’d kill her. The queen snapped. Glaring at me with icy blue daggers. “I want him to be what he is. Which is a dog.” The undertone of her words had me lost to her meaning. I would not try to understand her logic or lack thereof. “And if he refuses?” I asked. “Then you will honor the debt. A life for a life.” My breath caught in my chest, and I tried so hard to remain still. “You will order my death?” I asked her. “I will demand it.” Her heartless voice prickled my skin with fear. “But before you die, you will kill the king and hand me his crown.”

How had this gotten so fucked so fast? I was a high-ranking warrior within our army, but this part of the mission had been left out. I knew we were to make contact. I knew we were to barter for the king’s Alphas. The cost was one pure Omega. A gift and an olive branch to the Alpha king. A joining of houses. A chance to bring stability, and forge alliances against the nomadic warlords that threatened all life. But it was all bullshit. The queen meant to plant an assassin in the king’s bed. I was to be that assassin. “Commander,” I stopped Alexa as she left the council chamber. “Kambry. Why would she put her in that kind of danger? She is not a warrior.” I said. Not at all too surprised to see the look of disinterest in the commander’s eyes. “This war is coming, Neisa. Whether it’s by the pain of Kambry’s body or your knife at his neck.” Alexa looked at me, annoyed as usual. “You want him to hurt her?” I asked, completely outraged. “The mistreatment of the queen’s flesh would be all the justification needed to band with stronger houses,” Alexa stated calmly.

“Then, why the game? Why are the king’s Alpha’s here?” I needed to know. “Besides the obvious. Leverage and power.” The commander told me. “The Alpha’s will all be granted a pair-bond. One of the queen’s choosing. And when the time comes, they will be given a choice. Return to their mates and join the queen, or suffer.” Alexa said, the Omega showing no empathy for the plight of her sisters. “Harder times are coming, Neisa. We struggle now to keep the city safe and fed. When the true depravity of civilization hits rock bottom, we need to be prepared.” Alexa said. “By using Omega’s as currency?” I dared to ask. “By any means. Don’t forget that, Neisa.” Alexa’s warning was clear.

My days started early with one or two of the Kingsmen. Hours spend in “training.” A time that I was to use getting to know my fellow warriors and future countrymen. From there, the Alphas were given free rein of our city, where they were given a warm welcome. Their afternoons and nights were spent in the company of Omegas in heat. The days raced by for me, knowing all too well that my execution day was just around the corner, made me depressed, angry, and rebellious. In the last week of the month, all ten of the king’s men were paired with one Omega. These women were given to the men to pair bond with, presented as gifts from the gracious and loving queen of the Isle. A pretty -bomb wrapped up in flesh and bone. What bullshit.

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