Resisting Maxu: Chapter 20

Maxu gazed at the retreating form of his mate. His mind was in shambles, his confidence clouded. He’d lain awake thinking about Meg for the last two nights and how she had agreed to testing in Adenelas without pay, even after the way the two scientists had treated her. Seeing her willingness to help Clecania—a planet she didn’t owe anything to, despite what she’d said—had even made him consider returning the human items he’d stolen. It was doubtful the researchers could learn anymore from them, but what if they could?

He was going soft, and it was fucking with his head to the point where he didn’t trust himself around her. He wanted her desperately, but there was too much at stake. Maxu could remember only one other time he’d felt this clawing greed. 

When he’d been a boy, his father had taken him and his brothers to a nature reserve near Tremanta. He’d hiked along behind his family, bored as his elder brother Luka had rambled on about the different animal species living in the forest. But then the most glorious flower he’d ever seen had caught his eye.

Rising out of fluffy black moss, the white flower had glowed in a beam of sunlight breaking through the canopy. Its delicate petals were splattered with fuchsia, and the smell wafting from it had been sweeter than any candy he’d ever had. His family had moved on, not noticing he’d remained transfixed.

It was the first time he’d ever desperately wanted something to be all his, only his. So, he’d picked it even though they’d been in a nature reserve and it wasn’t allowed. He’d hidden it in his pack the whole way home, then scurried to his room and placed it in a glass of water.

He’d hide in his room, just staring at the velvety petals, smelling it, loving the fact that he had something more beautiful and precious than any of his brothers and no one else could even look at it. But over time, the water had turned cloudy, the white petals wrinkling and growing yellow. The sweet smell had become sour.

In a panic, he’d attempted to plant it outside in the forest behind his house. He’d go to check on it every day, and he could recall the sadness he’d felt when the flower had finally wilted into nothing.

Maxu followed Meg, watching from the shadows as he’d done for the past two days. His temper rose to near anger at how gorgeous she looked. How unattainable, untouchable she was, with her pale green dress and pink wings glimmering in the moonlight. He wanted to take her, hide her, and selfishly keep her brightness and warmth to himself, but he knew he couldn’t. So he’d seethed from afar instead. At least if he only watched, he couldn’t harm.

He blinked at her retreating back, wondering for the twentieth time what had made her choose the light green color of her outfit. His fingers curled as she disappeared into the tower. Chase her. 

He clutched a piece of stone in his pocket, and a vile wave of guilt helped keep him planted in place. He’d thought nothing of it at the moment, cracking off an innocuous piece of the coral from Adenelas. The way she’d spoken about the fossil with such passion…if he couldn’t have that passion for himself, he’d take a piece of something she did love instead.

He’d intended for it to bring him a modicum of relief, but the rough stone only reminded him he had a tendency to take more than he should with no thought of the damage it might cause. He had to remind himself of that every time he found his feet carrying him toward her without his consent.

Keeping his eyes trained on her balcony, he waited for her light to come on. He tumbled the stone more quickly through his fingers when it didn’t. A buzz in his arm had him freezing. His heart thundered in his ears. His alarm.

She wouldn’t. Not after last time. Would she?

He brought up an image on his communicator and sucked in a shaky breath, his cock already filling with blood. Meg was there, wrists and neck trapped against the wall in his room, but this time she didn’t look mad. She looked triumphant.

The stone turned to dust as he closed his fist over it. This female would be the death of him. For once in his life, he’d been doing the noble thing, the right thing by staying away from her, but there was only so much he could take.

He quickly showed his room credentials to the guards waiting outside. Though the steps of the stairway activated, spiraling upward, he took them two at a time anyway.

The breaths he sucked in as he stood outside of his door did nothing to calm him. He needed to just release her and shoo her away before he did something he’d regret. Scrubbing a hand over his face, he steeled himself.

She stiffened as he entered, her eyes going wide. Maxu’s gaze lingered for too long on the curve of her breasts as he watched her chest slowly rise and fall as if she were attempting to control her breaths. The cuffs had sliced through her wings as they’d magnetized to the wall behind her. Delicate flaps of fabric hung by her wrists. The sight helped him control the urges pulsing straight from the dark corners of his mind to his dick.

He held up his communicator, making a show of turning off the shock to her collar. “What are you doing here?” His voice was hoarse, his gaze now glued to the high slit running up her thigh. He took a step closer, unable to help himself.

That damn blush was on her cheeks again when he met her gaze. He still hadn’t discovered how far down her body that flush would travel. His mouth watered. He hadn’t even seen what her nipples looked like. He could look now if he wanted to. She wouldn’t be able to stop him.

“I wanted to talk to you. Where have you been?”

“You chained yourself to my wall in order to talk to me?” He chuckled, taking another step closer. There was a seam on the right side of her bodice. It would be so easy to rip.

She swallowed, seeming to gather her nerve. He traced the stubborn line that appeared between her brows. “You never spoke more honestly to me than when I was chained to your wall, I figured…” She licked her lips. “I think, maybe, seeing me vulnerable helps you open up. So, if that’s what it takes to get you to talk to me…” She gave a tense shrug. “Quid pro quo.”

“A favor for a favor, huh?” he repeated as his translator uttered the phrase in his ear. This was dangerous. She didn’t understand where his mind was at the moment.

Large cool-green flower petals were plastered over her bodice, and a matching gossamer skirt wrapped around her waist. The material was almost see-through, the delicate threads as fine as any he’d ever seen. Water droplets from the air clung to the crisscrossing threads as they would on a web.

“What if the favors I want are ones you’re not willing to give?” Heat flourished behind his eyes; a sign he was starting to understand meant his irises were going black.

His focus lingered on her delicate neck as she swallowed. “I wouldn’t have allowed myself to be shackled to your wall if I wasn’t prepared for that,” she murmured, skin flushed with red but gaze determined.

A dark laugh bubbled up in him. She thought he was someone else. Maybe he should show her. Just scare her a little so she knew not to pull anything like this again.

He could see her pulse fluttering in her neck as he ran the back of his fingers over the curve of her waist. A bit of white dust on his palm caught his eye. This wouldn’t end well.

“You’ll go back to your room, and we can talk another time.” He lifted the communicator, thumb a hair away from pressing the release.

“I’m married,” she blurted.


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