Resisting Maxu: Chapter 11

A few minutes of muttered bitching alone ensued before Meg finally jumped up and walked out of her room. Her steps faltered when she spotted Maxu sitting at the end of the hall again, bottle in hand.

A wide grin spread over his face when he saw her. “That was fast.”

Sticking her chin into the air, she crossed over to Daunet’s room and knocked. No answer. Maxu was visible in her periphery. She put her hand to the side of her face to block him out and knocked again. Nothing.

Of course Daunet wasn’t here yet. What had she been thinking? They’d left her at the party and hadn’t seen her pass them. Meg had access to Daunet’s room in case of emergency. This wasn’t really an emergency, but close enough. After all, she was in serious danger of murder at the moment.

Placing a palm on the door, she let herself in and waited. An hour passed. Two. Meg paced and sat. Then stood and paced before sitting once again, all the while fuming. Finally, bolts scraping from the door made her jump up from her seat. Daunet’s gaze found her immediately.

“What are you doing?”

Hiding. “I was waiting for you. We need to talk about Maxu.”

Daunet released a heavy sigh, her shoulders falling as though she were mentally preparing herself for a long fight. “He’s your mate, Meg. I can’t keep him away.”

“Why not? Aren’t women supposed to make the rules on this planet? If he were my husband and I didn’t want to see him, you’d keep him away.”

“That’s true,” Daunet responded in a tone meant to soothe, “but he isn’t your husband. He’s your mate. And he hasn’t done anything to threaten your safety. I’ve already upset the Goddess by lying about matehood. I won’t do it again by keeping you two apart.”

Meg’s eyes widened. “Is that why you’ve been so quick to be on his side?” A sour taste invaded her mouth, knowing Daunet’s decisions were based on yet another higher power who had more of a say in her life than she did.

Daunet only smiled at her helplessly. “Meg, you’re being stubborn. You told the Queen that you’d accept your mate if someone recognized you.”

Meg knew Well, that was when I was sure no one would recognize me wasn’t a mature response, so she held it back. “I’m not not accepting him. I just need time to sort my thoughts. Alone. I can’t do that with him setting up camp in the hallway outside my room. All you have to do is not tell him where we’re going next. He can’t follow the cruisers if we put their shields up.”

“I don’t understand.” Daunet shook her head. “You act like finding your mate is the worst curse in the world. Maxu is rough around the edges, but if he’s anything like his family, then he’s a good male. Give him a chance.”

Meg’s pulse buzzed in her ears. He’s a good kid. He’ll make a good father. Give him a chance.

She’d heard these arguments before. Her throat constricted around a lump. No one was on her side, and that was what really hurt and terrified her more than anything else. She’d come to this world free, thinking she finally had a say in her own life.

As it turned out, that freedom was just an illusion. Tears sprung to her eyes, and she bit down on her lip, trying to reclaim her composure.

“Meg…” Daunet’s eyebrows furrowed. “It’s really not as bad as all this. I think you’ll like Maxu once you get to know him.”

Meg sank into a chair. She held Daunet’s stare. “I know. But…I don’t want to like him.”

Her friend cocked her head in confusion.

It was time for Meg to come clean. “There’s something I haven’t told you about my life on Earth.”

The weariness slumping Daunet’s shoulders vanished, and she straightened. “What do you mean?”

Meg explained everything. Her family, Jeremy, how she’d been bullied into a marriage once in her life already and how the sudden appearance of Maxu paired with the shame being heaped on her by all the Clecanians had brought back all the emotions she’d believed she’d successfully suppressed.

By the time Meg was done explaining her life on Earth, she was dizzy and the fabric of her red dress was covered in dark wet splotches from her tears.

“You have a husband on Earth?” Daunet’s eyes widened. “That’s why you’ve never been interested in returning.”

“It’s been over nine months. I had a husband. He probably moved on a week after I went missing.” Meg sniffed.

Sympathy shone from Daunet, but she also appeared conflicted. “Meg, I understand now where you’re coming from and my heart aches for the position you’ve been put in, but I don’t know what can be done. Do you really want me to send Maxu away? He’ll suffer—you know that. He didn’t ask for this either.”

“I know, I know. I just need some time.” Meg rushed forward and knelt in front of Daunet. “You haven’t told him where we’re going next, have you?”

“No,” she grunted.

“So, just don’t tell him. We’re supposed to be in Adenelas for three days. Just give me those three days alone. And then you can contact him and tell him where the next city is. I’ll have a plan by then.” Meg held her breath. Hope floated in her like a rain cloud ready to burst at any moment.

Daunet stared, a deep crease appearing between her brows. “He won’t let you go with us unless he knows what our next stop is. You know that. I’m positive he’ll insist on riding with us, and I have no good reason to give as to why he shouldn’t. The other guards will insist as well. Unless…” She gave her a defeated look. “You could tell them what you told me. They might have more understanding if they knew.”

“No.” Meg shook her head. She didn’t want anyone’s pity. She hadn’t wanted to tell Daunet either, but she hadn’t seen another choice. As much as she could, she wanted her shitty past to stay in the past. She lowered to sit on her knees and wracked her brain. How could they leave without Maxu knowing?

An idea formed in her mind. She winced toward Daunet, but it was all for show. In her heart, she was rather excited to see this plan through. 


Maxu tugged Meg’s pillow under his head and smiled. She wasn’t exactly pleased with him at the moment, yet he couldn’t help but feel a mild rush of satisfaction. His mate was close by. They’d be headed out to a new city tomorrow. And he’d have all the time he needed to slowly win her over.

It was true they’d clashed a bit. Like him, she had a hot temper, but he only felt that would translate into passion when he finally made her fall for him. A long night and half a day of sleep had worked wonders for his clarity.

He’d awoken with Rita’s words fresh in his mind. He’d cleaned himself up until he was polished enough to be nearly unrecognizable and set out to win his female.

Though there’d been a few missteps at the party, he was rather proud of the amount of control he’d exercised. He hadn’t murdered the man who’d insulted her, even though he’d wanted to. And when he’d carried her back to her room, he hadn’t pushed his way inside, though he suspected she would’ve allowed it if he’d tried a little harder. Not even she could say she wasn’t physically attracted to him. There was no disguising it.

Her affection and acceptance would come in time. He didn’t doubt it.

A knock rang from his door. His instinct was to frown, but after one sniff of the air, the grin spreading across his face had his cheeks hurting from lack of use.

Maxu leapt across the room and waited for the door to slide aside.

There she stood, still clad in that red dress but with bare feet. He grinned. “Told you you wouldn’t be able to stay away.”

She shot him a tight smile. “I thought we could try talking again.”

It wasn’t at the top of his priority list, but if it equaled time near her, he’d take it. “Alright.” Maxu stepped aside, but she didn’t enter immediately.

A hint of worry filled her gaze. Was she worried about being alone with him in his room? He took a few steps back so she wouldn’t feel crowded.

“Sorry about this.” She winced. From behind her back, she produced a Pearl Temple guard’s tranquilizer gun. Before Maxu could react, a click and whistle sounded and a sharp pain jabbed him in the thigh.

He swiped at the small dart.

“Did you…?” His words slurred as they left his lips. Fury erupted through him, and he lunged for her before collapsing onto his face.


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