Choosing Theo: Chapter 29

Jade had no idea what had caused such a drastic change in Theo, but she wasn’t complaining. The last few days had been downright pleasant.

The morning after he’d stormed off, she’d come down to breakfast, ready for another disappointing conversation in which she’d be friendly and he’d ignore her. While he’d been by no means happy, he had talked to her.

She’d asked endless questions about Clecania and how it looked in different parts of the world. She’d asked about his childhood and his parents. He’d told her about his four brothers and how they were rarely able to see each other.

Over the day, they’d continued talking and learning more about one another. She’d tried her damnedest to explain the allure of movies and television, but he hadn’t seemed to comprehend their importance.

One topic she never went near was his job. Curiosity burned in her, but she didn’t want to set him off or make him suspicious of her again. In general, Jade was very careful not to do or say anything that’d get him worked up. To her chagrin, that meant steering clear of sexy talk.

Yesterday he’d walked with her all through the woods, pointing out various plants and trees and discussing their possible uses.

In the evenings he was even allowing her to watch him cook so she could learn how to do it herself. He was still perplexed as to why she’d want to cook for herself, but he allowed it anyway.

Their time together was very nice, but there was still one problem. He continued holding back. While he didn’t blow up or get angry anymore, he also didn’t laugh or smile much. It was as if his passion were replaced with a lukewarm reluctance.

She could tell he still wanted her. Every so often she would catch him stealing hungry glances at her. At one point, when they’d been walking in the woods, she’d tripped and almost fallen on her face. He’d caught her easily and held her against him for a breath too long before he’d hastily righted her and let her go.

Still she hadn’t pushed it. Made sure that whenever she felt aroused, she quickly left so he wouldn’t scent her.

Tonight was going to be different though. It was females’ choice. The made-up ceremony Asivva and her had concocted ensured she could do what she wanted and he couldn’t leave. Yes, tonight she’d break that calm demeanor he’d been sporting recently.

Did she want him to touch her again? Absolutely. But it was more than that. This man she’d been hanging out with the last few days was nice, but it wasn’t really him. She struggled to admit it, but she missed him. Missed his ferocity, his sexuality, the way he pinned her with his dark stare. Jade wanted him to let go of that control he wore like a weight around his neck.

She had a plan. All she needed now was the guts to go through with it.

***

He looked nervous. Jade watched Theo cook as she’d done the past few days, but today, instead of the calm, focused expression he normally wore, a tight, anxious mien covered his face.

He kept sneaking glances at her, and she felt flush with success at her outfit choice. A sheer, gauzy material was covered in emerald green embroidery and lined with a flesh-toned fabric, giving the illusion that Jade was naked under the embroidery. When he’d first seen her in the tight dress, he’d had to clear his throat before speaking.

Dress? Check. Hot alien? Check. Cebo? Check.

Before heading down to dinner, she’d locked Cebo in her room so he couldn’t distract them.

When he was done cooking, he guided her to the dinner table, mott in hand.

Each meal he made was somehow better than the last. The fact that he continued to examine her food habits in order to cook more of the foods she liked made Jade melt. It also made her even more certain that she was making the right decision.

She’d decided that she wanted to stay on Clecania indefinitely. She’d also decided, despite her fear of rejection, that she’d make herself emotionally open to a real relationship with Theo. Putting herself out there was terrifying, but she’d realized during her time here that terrifying could also be good.

For all his bark, Theo didn’t have much bite. Not toward her, anyway. As she chewed a deep magenta vegetable similar to broccoli, she gazed longingly at Theo. Jade had come to learn that he was just a big softy with a hardened outer shell.

Theo glanced at her and then returned his gaze promptly to his plate.

“Do you like my dress?” Jade said with a smirk, not bothering to disguise her blatant complement fishing.

Theo gave her an exasperated look. “I believe you already know how I feel about it.”

Jade tilted her head at him. “A girl always likes to have verbal confirmation that her efforts weren’t in vain.”

The corner of his mouth lifted at that. “I received the highest grade possible in the culinary arts and yet I burned our food three times while cooking this evening. Is that enough confirmation for you?”

Setting her silverware down, she gave a mock shrug of disappointment. “I suppose it’ll do.”

Jade had finished her meal rather quickly tonight. Now she sat back and sipped the pink fizzy drink, which she’d dubbed prosecco 2.0. Theo, on the other hand, was eating much more slowly than normal.

Stalling, big man? she thought, downing her drink and pouring another.

Watching him eat like this made her notice that he didn’t look like he enjoyed the food he’d spent so long making. Now that she thought about it, she couldn’t remember him ever savoring any food. A pang of guilt ran through her to think that he might’ve been eating his version of liver and onions the past few days in order to keep her happy.

“So, what food do you like, Theo?”

He glanced down at his plate and gave a half shrug. “I like this food fine.”

“I think you make these things because I like them, but it doesn’t seem like you do.” Jade leaned forward onto the table. “What’s your favorite food?”

He gawked at her like she was asking, “What’s your favorite season of American Idol?” Obviously, he’d never been asked this before.

“If I weren’t here, and you wanted to make something special for yourself, what would you make?”

He chewed thoughtfully, and then answered. “A resh steak. I enjoy eating meat.”

Of course he does. You don’t get muscles like that without some protein in your diet.

“Can we have steak tomorrow?” she questioned.

He peered up at her suspiciously. “You don’t like it. I’ve tried a few different types of meat, steak on the first night, and you always eat around it.”

“That’s okay. We don’t always have to eat what I like. I can give it another try.”

He gave her a perplexed look but then nodded. “As you wish.”

Finally finished with his food, he sat back and took a long pull of his bottle.

She did the same from her glass. “I haven’t said it enough before, but thank you for all the cooking and clothes and everything. I really appreciate the effort you’ve gone to.”

The corner of his mouth turned down and he shifted in his seat as though uncomfortable with the compliment. “It’s no trouble.”

Alcohol, give me courage.

“Let’s go sit on the couch,” she said, grabbing her glass and the bottle of prosecco 2.0. Jade moved to the living room and sat with one leg tucked underneath her. After long moments, she heard Theo follow. He sat stiffly on the opposite side of the couch.

“You look nervous,” she said, trying to keep the smile from her voice.

Jade felt powerful, knowing she could make a man as gorgeous and strong as Theo this nervous.

As though the words were pulled from him, he asked, “What do you want to do tonight?”

Feeling playful, she asked, “What do you think I want to do tonight?”

He stared fixedly at the fire and squirmed in his seat. “I cannot begin to fathom the torture you’ll put me through.”

Jade let out a laugh. “I sure hope it won’t be too torturous.” She reached over to trace an exposed scar on his forearm and grinned when goosebumps broke out over his smooth skin. “I want to teach you how to kiss.”

He shot a sidelong glance at her then downed his mott. “Very well,” he ground out, voice gone deep.

He made a move to stand, but she stopped him. “No, you can stay there. I’ll come to you.”

Jade started to crawl over to him on the couch. His eyes were now riveted to her. When she was right next to him, she slowly pulled her dress up to her thighs and then straddled him.

He seemed frozen in place. One arm was stretched long over the back of the couch. The other rested on the arm. Was he going to try not to touch her again? She could tell he was turned on. His chest rose and fell quickly, his eyes glued to her breasts, and when she settled herself in his lap, she felt his hard shaft jerk in response.

He was so large that sitting on his lap barely brought them face to face. She still had to tilt her head up to look into his warm green eyes. “You can put your hands on me if you want.”

He gave a long exhale, set his empty mott bottle on a low end table, and then placed his hands gently on the still-covered areas of her upper thighs.

Damn his control. We’re going to break that tonight baby.

She ran her hands up his chest and onto his shoulders, causing him to shudder. “Just follow my lead,” she said, leaning in. “And don’t bite me.” Smiling, she amended, “Don’t bite me…hard.”

When she pressed her mouth to his, his hands tightened on her thighs but he didn’t kiss her back. She continued to run her mouth over his, coaxing him to respond. Finally, when she gently bit his bottom lip, his quick intake of breath gave her an opening. Deepening the kiss, she touched his tongue with hers.

Theo gave a pained groan and slipped his tongue against hers in return. He began to kiss her back. Slowly at first but more feverishly as his confidence grew.

Soon, he’d taken the lead with a skill that made her moan and absently rock her hips against him. One of his hands snaked up to fist her hair while the other wrapped around her waist, crushing her to him.

Her nipples were tight, and even the soft material of her dress chafed. She pulled back, intending to remove her dress and his shirt so she could feel his skin against hers, but with a growl he wrenched her mouth back up to his and continued skillfully kissing her.

When he moved to nip at her jaw, she panted, “Theo, my dress. Take off my dress.”

He stilled under her. She leaned back to look at him. “This can’t happen,” he bit out between clenched teeth.

Jade wanted to scream in frustration.

His large hands moved to clutch her waist, but he didn’t let go of her.

Fucking overly controlled man! She could tell he was on the verge of losing it. His grip was firm as if he couldn’t decide whether to set her away or keep her in place. Despite his words, his hips rolled. Why was he holding back?

She ran her hands up his strong arms, enjoying the feeling of his muscles jumping at the contact, and asked, “Why can’t we do this? I can tell you liked kissing very much.” She ground against his erection to emphasize her point.

In one swoop he lifted her and deposited her on the couch. He then sprung to his feet and backed away.

She’d known this was going to happen. It’d all been part of her plan, but it still stung that he was able to resist her when she could barely keep her hands off him.

“Why? Tell my why?” she shouted.

His eyes shifted to her mouth, and he licked his lips hungrily. “I’m not in control with you, Jade.”

“That’s what I want!” she said, throwing her hands up. “I want to see the real you.”

“If I can’t control myself, then I can’t be sure I won’t hurt you,” he said, shaking his head.

He’d moved a safe distance away from her, but she could tell it was taking everything he had not to return. His hands clenched and unclenched as if wanting to touch her, and his eyes roamed greedily over her body.

“I believe you won’t,” she said stubbornly. “I’m not afraid of you.”

He let out a strangled growl. “Don’t you think I want to! All I can think about every day is pushing you down and sinking into your warm, wet cunt!”

He looked crazed as he shoved his hand through his hair.

“You asked about what food I like?” He barked a laugh. “No food has any taste. The only thing that makes my mouth water is the thought of devouring your sweet juices while you writhe and claw at me. I can still smell your arousal in my bed and I have to relieve myself ten times a night just to keep from storming into your room to taste you!”

He looked at her, defeated and pained. “Everything I want to do with you is rough and brutal and mindless and happens whether you want it or not. I would hurt you. I wouldn’t be able to stop myself, and I wouldn’t be able to live with my guilt if I hurt you.”

Jade felt like she was on fire. Every single confession had cranked up her arousal until she felt hollow and aching with need. He didn’t understand that she wanted him just as he was. Phase one of her plan had been a bust.

Time to nut up or shut up, Jade. Phase two, commence.

“Theo, I want all of that.” One foot at a time, she backed up toward the glass door leading outside.

He watched her with brows drawn.

“I know you’re never going to be that way with me though.” She felt the glass wall nearing behind her.

His shoulders seemed to relax.

“Not unless I force you to lose control, that is.” The cool night air rushed in as the glass parted.

Understanding lit his eyes, and he held up his hand. “Jade, do not do this.”

A wicked smile curved her lips. “Catch me if you can, big guy.” Then she darted.

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