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Choosing Theo: Chapter 25

Theo had spent his day trying to learn more about human females. His contacts had been helpful but didn’t know much more than he had learned on his own. Of the new information he did learn, very little was useful.

There were whispers among some of his seedier contacts that a job offer concerning humans had been circulating a few years ago. Once they knew more, they’d relay that information to Theo for a small fortune.

Making a quick trip to an underground trading outpost a few cities away in the Sparno desert, Theo had been able to find the trader who’d sold Cebo to him all those years ago. The trader had confirmed that Cebo had been bred from a line of domesticated beasts from a Class 4 planet, but he hadn’t known which one.

Theo had also enlisted the help of his close friend, Rhaego. Like himself, Rhaego was a mercenary hired through their government. Unlike Theo, Rhaego was a tall, horned Tuvasta male who Theo suspected took unpaid side jobs to aid the people of his home city.

Rhaego was an honorable male and had easily agreed to help Theo learn the truth. His imposing friend would stay near the informant who’d told him about the job offer concerning humans and make sure they didn’t become distracted from their task of learning more.

Standing slightly taller than Theo with a bulkier frame and razor-sharp horns, Theo suspected they’d work extra hard to learn the truth just to get Rhaego to leave.

On his ride home, Theo found his thoughts returning to Jade. Try as he might to keep his mind on other things, the image of her naked before him in the bath kept slamming into the forefront of his consciousness.

It wasn’t only her nudity that caused this image to be so visceral to him, although her glistening naked breasts were on his mind often. It was her manner in that moment. Jade had smiled brightly while looking at him. She’d seemed relaxed and happy while touching him.

Then I ruined it. Theo sighed, leaning his head back against his seat.

The rest of his trip home was spent inwardly berating himself for thinking about Jade and then consequently thinking about Jade.

When Theo arrived home, he ran into Asivva leaving.       

“Hello, brother,” she said, smiling.

Theo gave a quick nod in response. “Were all of her things delivered? Does she like them?”

Instead of answering, Asivva replied, “From what she’s told me about your behavior, I’m surprised you care if she liked them.”

Theo frowned but said nothing. I shouldn’t care if she likes them! he scolded himself.

“She’s an exceptional female, Theo. The more I talk to her, the more I feel sure she was created solely for you. I hope you realize that before it’s too late. All of this nonsense about her being here to spy on you is… Oh, what was that new word she taught me?” She closed her eyes in concentration. “Oh, yes! Bullshit.”

“I’ve seen it happen to males before Asivva,” he argued. “I’ve even set some males up to be seduced by females under my employ! Only last year I hired a Deali pleasure worker to seduce and drug a male I was monitoring. It’s not improbable that someone would do the same to me.” Once the male was incapacitated, Theo had been able to retrieve a biometric scan of his hand that he’d used to break into his home. He had planted surveillance devices throughout and continued to monitor him to this day.

Theo knew better than most that throughout the universe, many males had a tendency to vastly underestimate females.

Asivva pursed her lips but didn’t press the issue. “Do you mind if I take your transport home?” Before he could answer her, she’d climbed in and waved a goodbye.

As the transport began to float away, he thought, What the hell is a bull?


Jade had picked out a few pieces of jewelry to go with her dress but decided to stay barefoot. After living in a T-shirt for a few days, even wearing a simple dress around the house felt extravagant.

She heard Cebo bark excitedly from where he lounged on her bed and then run out of the room.

He’s home! Her stomach gave a small flutter. She frowned. Her excitement at his return was troubling.

You can like the alien. You can crush on the alien. You can enjoy some casual sex with the alien. You cannot fall for the alien!

She studied her appearance in the mirror again before leaving the room. Not sure what he preferred, she’d opted for minimal makeup and loose hair.

When she reached the living room, she found him leaning down to lovingly pet Cebo. His dark hair fell across his eye as he tilted his head up to look at her.

He stilled, and his gaze roamed over her slowly. Jade had the irritating urge to twirl for him but refrained.

Cebo let out a whine and nudged Theo’s hand.

“Where did you go?” Jade asked.

“Out,” was all he said.

Jade had to clamp her mouth shut to keep her retort in. Don’t let him get under your skin. She went to sit on a couch near where he stood. “Did you have a nice time while you were out?”

He shrugged but didn’t answer.

Work with me here!

“Asivva came over today,” Jade tried. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your sister?”

“It didn’t seem important.” Without glancing at her, he moved to the kitchen.

Jade let out a frustrated breath and then followed him. “You could’ve said something when I asked to see her.”

“Yes. I could have.” Theo stopped suddenly and examined the ground, lifting his foot comically, as though he’d never seen water. “Why is the floor wet?”

“I tried and failed to clean the dishes from this morning.”

He blinked at her. “Why would you try to clean the dishes?”

“To help out.” When her answer didn’t seem to satisfy him, she added, “You cooked, so I figured I should clean.”

Again, he scrutinized her. “I don’t understand you, female.”

Jade rested her elbows on the counter and propped her head in her hands. “I get that a lot.”

“I thought…” He stopped and looked like he was deciding whether to continue.

“That’s good. Otherwise you’d just be a handsome sack of meat,” Jade said, trying to lighten his mood.

The corner of his mouth rose slightly.

“I thought you’d be angry after last night.” He wearily added, “I don’t understand your mood today.”

“Something you should know about me is that my mood can turn on a dime.” At his confused expression, she amended, “Right, no dimes here. I just mean my mood is quick to change. After you left the bath last night, I went from feeling frustrated, to angry, to lonely.”

When he just continued to stare at her, she continued. “Ignoring the way I ended up in the tub,” she said with an admonishing look that made him shift his weight side to side, “I had a nice time. I enjoyed talking to you.” She shot him a coy smile. “I also enjoyed licking you.”

His eyes darkened at that, and he scrubbed a hand over his jaw.

“I decided I’m done fighting with you. As time passes and I don’t betray or kill you, you’ll understand I’m not a spy. So instead of arguing with you about it and driving myself crazy, I’m just going to try and enjoy myself.”

She felt an amused thrill go through her at the flash of panic that crossed over his face.

“And how, exactly, do you intend to enjoy yourself?”

She grinned. “Let’s just say I’m not opposed to our weekly bath time anymore.”

Theo swallowed then turned to grab a mott from a low refrigerated compartment.

“Except for next week, that is,” Jade said.

“Next week?” Theo asked after taking a long pull from his bottle.

“Yeah. Asivva explained the custom to me.” Jade grinned innocently. “Instead of a couples’ bath, I get to choose what we do. She called it females’ choice.”


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